Poll: Moderate, Conservative Democrats' Support of ACA Slipping

Support for the Affordable Care Act among ideologically moderate and conservative Democrats has declined from 74% in 2010 -- when the law was enacted -- to 46%, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, the Post's "The Fix" reports. Last year, a similar poll found that support for the ACA among the two factions of Democratic voters stood at 57%.

Meanwhile, 78% of self-identified liberal Democrats said they support the health reform law, the latest survey found. Because 57% of Democratic voters in this year's poll identified either as conservative or moderate, overall support for the ACA in the party has declined from 68% in last year's poll to 58% in this year's poll, the lowest it has been since the law's enactment, according to "The Fix."

The drop in support among the broader group of Democratic voters mirrors the results of similar tracking polls by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Fox News (Clement, "The Fix," Washington Post, 7/23).

For the poll, Langer Research Associates surveyed a random national sample of 1,002 adults by telephone between July 18 and July 21. The poll has a margin of sampling error of 3.5 percentage points (Langer, "Politics," ABC News, 7/23).

More Details of Poll

Overall, 42% of respondents said they continue to favor the ACA, while 49% said they oppose to the law (Sherfinski, "Inside Politics," Washington Times, 7/23). The poll also surveyed respondents on the Obama administration's recent decision to delay by one year the ACA's employer coverage mandate.

The poll found that overall, 51% of respondents said they support the administration's decision, while 45% said they opposed the decision. Of the latter group, 48% of respondents said the delay indicates that the law is so flawed that it should be repealed, while 46% said the delay "is just something that happens when changes are made to a complex system."

Effect on Midterm Election

According to The Hill's "Healthwatch," some observers suggest the decline in overall support among Democratic voters could be detrimental to congressional Democrats' efforts to retain key Senate seats in certain conservative states in next year's midterm election. However, some Democrats say they remain hopeful that public opinion will improve as the law's major provisions take effect in January 2014 (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 7/23). 


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