Poll: Health Care Obama’s Best — And Worst — Accomplishment

In a stark measure of just how divisive the health care law is, a Quinnipiac poll released today finds that that piece of legislation is both the most popular and unpopular accomplishment of Obama’s presidency.

In the poll, health care reform was by far the top answer to two open ended questions that asked respondents to name the best and the worst thing Obama has done as president. Twenty-six percent of respondents said health care was he best thing Obama has done, while 27% said it was the worst thing he’s done in office.

No other specific policy or action Obama has taken polled higher than six percent on either question in the survey.[TPM Slideshow: Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Weekend Health Reform Became Law]

On the question of Obama’s greatest accomplishment, 4% cited the recent tax compromise with Republicans, 3% named the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and another 3% said it was his work on the economy and the extension of jobless benefits. Sixteen percent said he hadn’t done anything good in his tenure, while 18% couldn’t name a specific achievement.

As for Obama’s worst move as commander in chief, 6% said it was his handling of either the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. Four percent said he compromised too much with Republicans, and 4% cited his handling of the economy. Only 7% said Obama had done nothing wrong, while 16% had no response.

The sharp split over health care underscores how polarizing that issue remains nearly one year after Obama signed the bill into law, and as Congress braces for a showdown on amending or repealing the law. House Republicans have called rolling back the health care law a top priority in the new Congress, whether through direct repeal or by blocking the funding necessary to implement parts of the legislation. The issue was slated for early debate in the 112th Congress but, as with other contentious issues, was postponed in the wake of last weekend’s shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted January 4-11 among 1,647 registered voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of 2.4%.