Voters are reacting in broadly negative ways to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the legislation known as Obamacare, a new Newsweek/Daily Beast poll finds, with a majority disapproving of the ruling, fearing health-care costs and taxes will rise, and preferring Mitt Romney to President Obama on the issue.
At the same time, voters scored the ruling a short-term political win for the president by a huge margin.
Overall, 50 percent of those polled said they disapprove of the court’s 5–4 decision, while 45 percent said they support it. Consistently, a majority of voters said that they oppose the individual mandate (53 percent); believe taxes will increase (52 percent); believe their personal health-care costs will increase (56 percent); and disapprove of Obama’s handling of health care in general (58 percent). Only 24 percent of those polled said that they believe the ruling will make the country better off.
Against Romney, Obama maintains a narrow lead in the presidential race, 47 percent to 44 percent. Twenty-one percent said that they were open to changing their mind. State-by-state polls are more useful in predicting the actual outcome of a presidential contest, but national horse-race numbers are something to talk about while the election is still months away. The president’s approval rating stands at 45 percent. Fifty-nine percent of poll respondents said they believe the country is headed in the wrong direction—down slightly from about a year ago, in May 2011, when 65 percent said the country was on the wrong track.
Even as those polled said that they prefer Romney to Obama on health care—as well as almost every other issue, with the exception of terrorism, foreign policy, and education—voters said that they trust Democrats more than Republicans overall on the major questions facing the nation, 37 percent to 32 percent.
The poll was conducted by Douglas Schoen, a Democratic pollster who has worked for the campaigns of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, and other candidates. A national random sample of 600 likely voters was interviewed June 28, immediately following the announcement of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percent.