Poll shows negative reaction to Obamacare decision

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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The first poll conducted after the Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama’s health care reform law shows bad news for Obama and his fellow Democrats.

Fifty percent of 650 Florida adults polled by SurveyUSA opposed the court’s decision to uphold the law. Only 39 percent supported the decision.

The poll also showed that 51 percent of respondents expect health care costs to rise faster, and 47 percent believe quality will decline because of the decision and the law.

The poll showed that 83 percent of respondents were following the debate.

Those poll numbers are preliminary, and the court’s decision may end up boosting Obama in the 2012 election. But if they do remain stable, the decision pushes Florida’s 29 electoral votes toward Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s tally.

Currently, in Florida, Obama leads Romney by a slight margin, according to a compilation of state polls displayed by The Huffington Post.

Obama has support from 45.5 percent of the state’s voters and Romney has 44.6 percent support, leaving almost 10 percent of the voters uncommitted.

There’s also indirect evidence that the decision is bad for Democrats. For example, Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill declined to talk about the court’s decision, even when repeatedly called by local media outlets.

Several Obama surrogates, including Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, said June 29 that the law’s individual health insurance mandate is not a tax, one day after the court upheld it only because it was deemed a tax.

The bad news follows previous polls that showed negative reactions to Obama’s recent immigration and church-regulation announcements.

Those high-risk actions were intended by Obama to spur turnout among Latinos and unmarried women in Colorado, Florida, Virginia and other swing-states.

But they’re costing him support in critical swing-voting Midwest states.

For example, his June 15 decision to provide de facto amnesty to at least 800,000 younger illegal immigrants likely boosts his Latino support in Colorado, Virginia and Florida, but seems to have already damaged his support in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In a poll released June 26 by Quinnipiac University, 26 percent of Ohio swing-voting independents said they’re less likely to support Obama because of the amnesty decision. Just 10 percent said they’re more likely to support Obama.

In Pennsylvania, 32 percent of swing-voters said the amnesty decision pushes them away from Obama, while 10 percent said they’ve moved closed.

In Florida, the move dinged Obama’s support among 22 percent of independents, while boosting it among 14 percent of independents.

That bad news isn’t decisive. Quinnipiac’s polls showed Obama well ahead of Romney in the three states, even though Obama has the support of only 47 percent in Ohio, and 45 percent in Florida and Pennsylvania.

The Huffington Post’s poll compilations, however, show Romney closer to Obama in those three states.

Other polls also show a negative reaction among swing-voters to Obama’s February decision to mandate the distribution of contraceptives by employers.

In April, a Pew poll showed that Obama’s approval among non-Hispanic Catholics dropped from 45 percent in March to 37 percent in April, while support for Romney rose from 51 percent to 57 percent.

That’s especially important in Midwest states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, which contain large numbers of swing-voting Catholics.

Obama’s February regulations require government officials to decide whether churches’ activities are religious enough to merit exemption from a federal mandate that clashes with some churches’ core message. The mandate requires religious institutions to cover contraceptives in insurance policies for employees who work in church-run schools, charities and hospitals.

The regulation is strongly opposed by the Catholic Church — which operates many schools, charities and hospitals — but also by Baptist, Evangelical and Jewish religious groups. They fear it could be used by progressives to impose further disabling regulations on religious observance and on churches.

The Huffington Post’s poll compilations show Romney closing the gap in several Midwest states. In February, he was 10 points behind in Michigan, but he’s cut the gap to 2.3 percentage points. In Wisconsin, a nine-point gap in February has been reduced to 2.3 points.

However, the compilations show Obama comfortably ahead in Pennsylvania, 47.3 percent to 39.1 percent. He’s expanded his advantage in Colorado to 4.5 points, while he remains narrowly ahead in Iowa, Virginia and Florida, according to the compilations.

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