The new national survey of Republican primary voters from Public Policy Polling (D) asks a simply devastating question regarding Mitt Romney’s future political fortunes — and it comes down to the fact that Romney’s signature achievement as governor of Massachusetts, a workable system of mandatory health insurance with subsidies for lower earners, bears a striking resemblance to the national health care reform plan that President Obama and Congressional Democrats passed last year.
The poll asked respondents: “Would you be willing to vote for someone who supported a bill at the state level mandating that voters have health insurance for President?”
The answer: Only 17% would be willing to vote for that candidate, compared to 61% who would not be willing, and 22% who are not sure.The question did not directly mention Romney, but clearly shows a pitfall for him in the 2012 Republican primaries.
To deal with this problem, Romney has tried taking the states-rights angle, as in a recent speech: “Our experiment wasn’t perfect–some things worked, some didn’t, and some things I’d change. One thing I would never do is to usurp the constitutional power of states with a one-size-fits-all federal takeover.”
But as this poll illustrates, even a state-level individual mandate for private insurance is likely too much for the GOP primary electorate to swallow.