Poll: Support for Obamacare Drops Amid Heavy Media Coverage

The November Kaiser poll finds decreased support for the law among Democrats and women.

Supporters of the Tea Party movement demonstrate outside the Capitol in Washington, DC, on March 20, 2010.
National Journal
Sophie Novack
Nov. 22, 2013, 6:09 a.m.

A new Kais­er poll re­leased Fri­day finds a sig­ni­fic­ant drop in sup­port for Obama­care.

Forty-nine per­cent now have an un­fa­vor­able view of the law, while 33 per­cent have a fa­vor­able one, ac­cord­ing to the poll. The fa­vor­ab­il­ity gap has only been this big once be­fore in the four years that Kais­er has been con­duct­ing polling on the law. The first was dur­ing the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial primar­ies in Oc­to­ber 2011.

The drop comes amid heavy neg­at­ive news cov­er­age of the law’s im­ple­ment­a­tion prob­lems. While four in 10 people say they have seen mostly bal­anced cov­er­age of the law, twice as many be­lieve cov­er­age is “biased against the law” (33 per­cent) as be­lieve it is “biased in fa­vor” (17 per­cent).

The largest de­crease in fa­vor­ab­il­ity since last month was among Demo­crats, though ar­gu­ably Re­pub­lic­an sup­port for the law has little room to drop. The por­tion of Demo­crats with a fa­vor­able view of the law de­creased from 70 per­cent in Oc­to­ber to 55 per­cent in Novem­ber.

The de­crease in sup­port was also sig­ni­fic­ant among wo­men, with 48 per­cent now say­ing they have an un­fa­vor­able view, and 32 per­cent say­ing they have a fa­vor­able one.

The heavy me­dia cov­er­age likely con­trib­uted to the in­crease in people who have heard “a lot” or “some” about the ex­changes. That per­cent­age has more than doubled since Septem­ber, to 42 per­cent in Novem­ber. Fa­mili­ar­ity has also near doubled among the un­in­sured — the pop­u­la­tion that has the most to gain from the ACA — though at 29 per­cent, it re­mains far be­low that of the pub­lic over­all.

The Kais­er poll was con­duc­ted Nov. 13-18 among 1,204 adults and has a mar­gin of er­ror of plus or minus 3 per­cent­age points.

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