Despite ample evidence that Obamacare isn’t the disaster they’ve warned about for years, Republicans just can’t quite give up the ghost. They’ve started to hedge their language a little bit more, and they aren’t beating the repeal drum as much as they used to, but get them in front of the home crowd — say, a GOP primary debate in Georgia or North Carolina — and it’s 2010 all over again.
Three findings from a poll released Tuesday by the Washington Post and ABC News help explain why: Republican voters still believe that the law’s rollout was completely botched, they are going to vote for Republican candidates and they say they are definitely going to vote.
It fits with previous public polling as well as the perception of the national landscape from Democratic strategists: Republicans can’t abandon Obamacare entirely because it motivates the base unlike any other issue. And it appears that the conservative echo chamber remains convinced of the law’s failure — despite the indications to the contrary.
And if the law’s best month of news since its passage isn’t going to change Republican minds, it seems nothing will before November 2014. So the GOP will likely keep singing the same song.
The new WashPost-ABC News poll found that 68 percent of Republicans said that Obamacare’s rollout has gone worse than they expected — suggesting that, at least for now, the facts on the ground aren’t going to change their view of the law.
Republicans were also more likely to say that they were absolutely certain to vote: 78 percent, compared to 72 percent of Democrats. So while Democrats hold a slight edge, 45 percent to 44 percent, on the generic congressional ballot among all registered voters, Republicans possess a more substantial advantage with absolutely certain voters: 49 percent to 44 percent.
That’s the enthusiasm gap — something of a cliche at this point, but nevertheless borne out in polling — that Democrats have to overcome this fall.
The poll, conducted April 24 to 27, surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults. Its overall margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.