A new Gallup poll on Obamacare was released this morning and it showed that there is still a great deal of Division in America regarding the health care issue. More than anything the divide is along party lines with democrats supporting the plan, independents and Republicans opposing. Members of Congress should pay heed that Americans, especially the bill’s opponents, will use the Obamacare vote as a key factor in determining who to vote for in the 2010 elections.
Nearly two-thirds of Democrats (68%) want their representative to vote yes on Obamacare, and a slightly larger majority of Republicans (72%) want their member to vote against it. A plurality of (and the key to the 2010 elections)Independents lean against healthcare reform, 44% vs. 29%.
Even though it is a long time away, the poll indicates the health care issue will be explosive during the 2010 elections. Almost two thirds of Americans say their representatives position on healthcare reform will be a major factor in their vote in the next congressional election. Those who are against the bill are more determined to use their representatives votes as a major factor (82%) than those for the bill (62%).
Demographic Breaks on Support for Healthcare Reform
Apart from Democrats, support for healthcare reform is highest among women, lower-income Americans, those with postgraduate education, and residents of the East.
Looking at support by gender and age, women under 50 are particularly supportive (47% in favor of passage vs. 27% against), whereas women 50 and older are about evenly split.
A slight majority of upper-income Americans want their representative to vote against healthcare reform. Middle-income Americans are divided on the question while lower-income Americans are more supportive than opposed.
Young and middle-aged Americans are closely divided in their views, while adults 55 and older lean against reform. These generational findings are consistent with other Gallup polling in recent months finding seniors to be the most hesitant of all age groups about healthcare reform.
A month of town-hall meetings across the country during Congress’ August recess has hardly budged Americans’ views about passing a healthcare reform bill, or helped many more Americans form an opinion. The public is as divided over healthcare reform today as at the beginning of August (37% in favor and 39% opposed), with a large segment still undecided.
Although the two sides on healthcare reform are about evenly matched numerically, opponents may have a political edge. The 82% of reform opponents saying the issue will be a major factor in their vote for Congress next year eclipses the 62% of reform advocates who say the same.