Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Affordable Care Act's last stand, again

In November of this year, we will have our third nationwide federal election since the 2008 presidential election.  It will also be the third referendum of the Affordable Care ACT (ACA).  The Republican National Committee (RNC) has already decided that the 2014 elections will be heavy on advertising against members of the House of Representatives and Senate who they view as key allies of the ACA's passage.  Deep pocketed special interest groups have already begun to flood the airwaves of the key Senate states, with advertisements using PolitiFact's lie of the year title, even though they'll later denounce PolitiFact as unreliable.  They'll also use my favorite phrase which is that each of the Senators that they are advertising against was the deciding vote for the ACA.

In what will be one of the most contentious Senate races in 2014, advertising has already begun and we may be getting a better sense of how the ACA will be viewed in what will likely be the final referendum on the ACA.  I, of course, am talking about the state of North Carolina and the bid by a number of Republicans to unseat Kay Hagan.

Public Policy Polling  (PPP) is based in North Carolina.  Because of this, they have a special interest in the state and publish a poll every month on what is happening in North Carolina.  It may also serve as an interesting proxy, as to what is happening in the country, as a whole.  But enough introducing, let's get to the findings.

At the end of the tables and talking about the changes over the last three months, I have bolded the conclusion so you can skip a majority of the post, if you want.

PPP has polled North Carolinians on their view of the ACA and how they view the success of the implementation of the ACA.  In the table below, we are looking at the approval or disapproval of the ACA among North Carolinians.  We see that approval has more or less stayed the same in the last three months.

Date
Approve
Disapprove
Not sure
11/12/13
38
48
14
12/10/13
38
50
12
01/14/14
38
48
13

But by asking the question of how North Carolinians view the implementation of the ACA, we see that they see the implementation as becoming more successful.

Date
Very successful
Somewhat successful
Somewhat unsuccessful
Very unsuccessful
Not sure
11/12/13
4
21
20
49
7
12/10/13
4
26
20
45
6
01/14/14
9
23
17
44
7
Hagan's support has stayed about the same throughout the three months.  That's pretty consistent with what we were seeing with the ACA's approval in North Carolina.  Maybe we should look to see if there are any other major changes happening with who views the ACA in a favorable light.  

We see no substantial change when we look at it based on who they voted for in 2012.  But we do see a curious change when we look at it based on ideology.  

Those who identify as very liberal have seen a 4 point decrease in approval of the ACA since November but a 12 point increase in their thoughts that the rollout was successful.  Those who identify as somewhat liberal have the same approval rating of the ACA and more or less the same amount of people identifying as somewhat liberal thinking that the implementation was a success.  Moderates have the same approval rating of the law despite a 10 point increase in those who view it as a success.  There has been a 7 point increase among those who view the ACA favorably among those who identify as somewhat conservative and a 10 point increase in those viewing the implementation as a success.  Finally, among those who identify as very conservative have seen a 4 point decrease in approval of the law and a 4 point decline in those who view the law as being succesfully implemented.  

This isn't too terribly surprising.  The ACA has never been particularly popular among those who consider themselves very liberal because, well, the ACA is more of a moderate law than it is one that could be considered very liberal.  Lately, there has been even more "very liberal" commentators complaining about the ACA and advocating more vocally for a single payer system.  But what is interesting is the fact that the somewhat conservative people are approving of the law and the implementation of the law, as well.  But, is that changing how people vote?

Well, there's more than that, but yes it appears that people are changing their votes over the last three months.  Hagan has lost 6 points from those who consider themselves very liberal, 6 points from those who consider themselves somewhat liberal, and 4 points from moderates.  Hagan has picked up about 6 points from those who consider themselves somewhat conservative but lost 10 points from those who consider themselves very conservative.  Hagan has been able to pick up those somewhat conservative voters in North Carolina who have changed their mind on the healthcare law's rollout.

How does the approval change based on political party id?  Approval of the ACA has increased among Democrats by 7 points.  It has stayed around the same with Republicans at around 7-9%.  Support of the ACA has decreased among independents by about 4 points.  Democrats, not surprisingly, have increased their support in the implementation of the ACA (by 17 points in this case).  Republicans have not changed in their view of the implementation of the ACA.  But more independents believe that the ACA has had a successful implementation, 6 point increase.  But in this case, Hagan is losing support among independents instead of gaining.  Combined with her decrease with Republicans, her gains with Democrats have been negated.

I'll note here that support for the ACA and the idea of the ACA being successfully implemented has greatly increased by those 18 to 29 (+18 and +27, respectively), the ones who are subsidizing the health care coverage for the older people, or so I have heard.  30-45 year olds, for the most part, have the same opinion of the ACA and of the implementation that they had 3 months ago.  44-65 year olds, those who largely benefit more than other age groups have decreased support of the ACA by 5 points despite a 7 point increase in those who thought the ACA was successfully implemented. Those 65 or older who are also receiving larger benefits have basically the same opinion of the law despite a 7 point increase in those who view it was successfully implemented.  This leads credence to the idea that the support of the law is largely based on ideological factors or party id.

So, this has been a very long-winded post.  So, I'll just post the conclusion.  I'll even bold it so you can just skip most of the post.

Conclusion: Over the last three months, we have seen an increase in the support for the implementation of the law.  The major gains in the approval of the ACA are based on party id and not ideological factors.  Despite an increase in support from Democrats, Hagan has not seen a strong bounce yet because of large decreases with Republicans.  Independents have an atypical response from their response to the implementation of the ACA compared to their loss in support for Hagan.  But, it is likely that we will see an increase in support for the ACA, but not, necessarily, an increase in support for the candidate who supported the ACA in the first place.  If North Carolina is any indication, we will continue to see a slight increase in those who believe the law has been successfully implemented but unless political candidates reach out to those who believe it is a success but do not support the law, this will not lead to increased support.  

The three polls I used can be found at the following links:
    

No comments:

Post a Comment