04/07/2014 05:52 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

HUFFPOLLSTER: Uninsured Rate Hits 6-Year Low


Gallup finds evidence that Obamacare is working. Three political scientists test knowledge of Ukraine using an interactive map. And most Americans think money corrupts politics, with or without contribution limits. This is HuffPollster for Monday, April 7, 2014.

GALLUP FINDS LOWEST UNINSURED RATE SINCE 2008 - Jenna Levy: " In the U.S., the uninsured rate dipped to 15.6% in the first quarter of 2014, a 1.5-percentage-point decline from the fourth quarter of 2013. The uninsured rate is now at the lowest level recorded since late 2008. The uninsured rate has been falling since the fourth quarter of 2013, after hitting an all-time high of 18.0% in the third quarter -- a sign that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as 'Obamacare,' appears to be accomplishing its goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage. Even within this year's first quarter, the uninsured rate fell consistently, from 16.2% in January to 15.6% in February to 15.0% in March. And within March, the rate dropped more than a point, from 15.8% in the first half of the month to 14.7% in the second half -- indicating that enrollment through the healthcare exchanges increased as the March 31 deadline approached." [Gallup]


A 'more modest impact'? - Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar: "Gallup's numbers suggest a more modest impact on coverage than statistics cited by the Obama administration. The administration says 7.1 million have signed up for subsidized private plans through new insurance markets, while 3 million previously uninsured people gained coverage through the law's Medicaid expansion. Millions more remain potentially eligible for marketplace coverage under various extensions the administration has issued. However, those numbers are not comparable with Gallup's. The White House figure of 7.1 million insurance exchange sign-ups includes insured people who switched their previous coverage, as well as people who have not paid their first month's premium, and who would therefore still be uninsured. Also, Gallup is counting just adults, while the administration figures include children as well." [AP]

-Kaiser Family Foundation Senior VP Larry Levitt: "Still don't know exactly how many, but increasingly clear a bunch of uninsured folks are signing up for Obamacare." [@larry_levitt]

PEOPLE LEAST CLEAR ON UKRAINE'S LOCATION MOST LIKELY TO SUPPORT MILITARY ACTION - Kyle Dropp, Joshua D. Kertzer and Thomas Zeitzoff: "Since Russian troops first entered the Crimean peninsula in early March, a series of media polling outlets have asked Americans how they want the U.S. to respond to the ongoing situation. Although two-thirds of Americans have reported following the situation at least “somewhat closely,” most Americans actually know very little about events on the ground — or even where the ground is….Survey respondents identified Ukraine by clicking on a high-resolution world map….About one in six (16 percent) Americans correctly located Ukraine, clicking somewhere within its borders. Most thought that Ukraine was located somewhere in Europe or Asia, but the median respondent was about 1,800 miles off….[T]he further our respondents thought that Ukraine was from its actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene militarily. Even controlling for a series of demographic characteristics and participants’ general foreign policy attitudes, we found that the less accurate our participants were, the more they wanted the U.S. to use force, the greater the threat they saw Russia as posing to U.S. interests, and the more they thought that using force would advance U.S. national security interests; all of these effects are statistically significant at a 95 percent confidence level." [WashPost]

MOST SUPPORT CAMPAIGN FINANCE LIMITS - Emily Swanson: "Most Americans support campaign finance laws limiting both donations to individual candidates and the total amount one person can donate to candidates, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted after the Supreme Court struck down limits on total donations last week. By a 54 percent to 32 percent margin, most Americans in the new poll said they support limits on the total amount any individual can donate to federal political campaigns and political parties….Despite their support for donation limits, Americans don't necessarily think they help prevent corruption, the poll shows. About a third of respondents said each type of limit decreases corruption in politics, while a quarter said the limits have no effect on corruption and another quarter said they increase corruption." [HuffPost]

FEW THINK CONGRESS IS UNDERPAID - Swanson: "Americans do not think Congress is underpaid, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted after outgoing member of Congress Jim Moran (D-Va.) asked Americans to take pity on their struggling representatives, whom he said can't afford to 'live decently' on their current salaries….In fact, 69 percent of Americans think members of Congress are paid too much, according to the new poll. Sixteen percent think they are paid about the right amount, and only 3 percent agreed with Moran that members of Congress are paid too little." [HuffPost]

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MONDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-An automated poll finds the Arkansas governors' race close. [Talk Business/Hendrix College]

-Chris Cillizza looks at the polling on Democrats' enthusiasm gap. [WashPost]

-Nathan Gonzales examines Republicans' struggle to elect women to Congress. [Rothenberg]

-Harry Enten identifies Thad Cochran as the Republican senator most vulnerable to a primary challenge in 2014. [538]

-Frank Newport thinks March yielded several interesting public opinion developments. [Gallup]

-Byron York profiles Rob Maness, another GOP Senate candidate running in Louisiana's general primary. [Washington Examiner]

-Micah Roberts (R) sees good news for Republicans in the preferences of independents in recent national polls. [POS]

-A video report on the GOP's effort to match the Democrat's digital edge. [Bloomberg]

-Anna Greenberg (D) named Pollster of the Year by the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC). [GQRR]

-Ezra Klein writes a deep-dive into motivated reasoning, or how "politics makes us stupid." [Vox]

-Sarah Kliff profiles Obamcare enrollment data tracker Charles Gaba. [Vox]

-Brian Keegan calls for more openness in data journalism. [BrianCKeegan.com]

-Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis list nine problems with "Big Data." [NYTimes]

-People who smile are perceived as smarter than people who don't. [Wonkblog]

-Most people think modern music is terrible. [Vanity Fair]

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified Micah Roberts as Micah Cohen.