Poll: Majority Opposes Defunding Obamacare If It Requires Government Shutdown

A couple of traffic lights shine red outside the Capitol Building as a Government shutdown looms. 
Chet Susslin
Charles S. Clark, Government Executive
Charles S. Clark, Government Executive
Sept. 23, 2013, 8:44 a.m.

In the first na­tion­wide poll re­leased since Fri­day’s House vote for a stop­gap spend­ing meas­ure that de­funds Obama­care, 59 per­cent of re­spond­ents said they op­pose the Re­pub­lic­an plan to de­fund the Af­ford­able Car Act if it re­quires a shut­down of the gov­ern­ment.

A CN­BC All-Amer­ica Eco­nom­ic sur­vey of 800 from last Monday through Thursday found that a plur­al­ity of Amer­ic­ans — 44 per­cent — op­pose the gen­er­al concept of de­fund­ing the pres­id­ent’s land­mark health care law, versus 38 per­cent who would ap­prove.

The House on Fri­day voted along party lines for a con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion that would fund the gov­ern­ment through Dec. 15 at cur­rent spend­ing levels, but which would also re­move all funds for the health care law whose im­ple­ment­a­tion is set to take ef­fect Oct. 1. The fisc­al year ends at mid­night on Monday, Sept. 30.

The poll also showed more wo­men than men op­pose the de­fund­ing plan, with men roughly split. Sup­port for at­tach­ing the de­fund­ing pro­vi­sion is widest among re­spond­ents who identi­fy with the tea party move­ment, the poll found.

Only 19 per­cent of re­spond­ents said they would back a shut­down if it means de­fund­ing Obama­care, while 18 per­cent said they are un­sure. “A 51 per­cent ma­jor­ity of Re­pub­lic­ans gen­er­ally sup­port de­fund­ing with 36 per­cent op­posed and 13 per­cent un­sure,” CN­BC wrote. “However, when in­clud­ing the is­sue of a gov­ern­ment shut­down and de­fault, the pic­ture changes: 48 per­cent of Re­pub­lic­ans op­pose de­fund­ing Obama­care, while 36 per­cent sup­port it. “

In­de­pend­ents op­pose de­fund­ing by a slight plur­al­ity of 44 per­cent to 40 per­cent, the ana­lysts noted. But when the pro­spect of a shut­down is in­cluded, op­pos­i­tion to the meas­ure “swells to 65 per­cent, while sup­port drops to just 14 per­cent.”

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