State’s Hispanics, Young Adults Turn on Obamacare

March 19, 2014
By
Obamacare disapproval ratings are an ominous sign for Democrats.

Obamacare disapproval ratings are an ominous sign for Democrats.

WASHINGTON –- Colorado Hispanics and young adults used to be strong supporters of Obamacare but the botched rollout has turned many into its biggest opponents, according to new poll results from a Democratic-leaning organization.

Fewer than 39 percent said they approve of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and 51 percent said they disapproved, according to the survey from Public Policy Polling, a North Carolina research firm that represents Democratic clients. Support for the law dropped even further among the two groups that overwhelmingly supported President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

Among Hispanics, 36 percent said they approve of Obamacare while 57 percent said they disapproved. Hispanics’ dissatisfaction with the law was stronger than that among whites, of which 37 percent said they approved while 52 percent said they disapproved.

Eighteen to 29 year olds were only slightly less disapproving of the law than Hispanics, giving it a 38 percent approval rating versus a 55 percent disapproval ranking.

Floyd Ciruli, a Denver-based independent pollster, said the disaffection of the two groups is an ominous sign for Democrats heading into the mid-term elections this fall.

“That’s very bad news for (Obama). Not only are those groups kind of the shock troops for the success of the law because they’re the ones who need to sign up, they’re losing their support for the president,” Ciruli said.

“If we’re talking about young people and Hispanics not showing up this fall, it becomes sort of a valence issue across the board. People realize this is not working out,” Ciruli said.

The poll did not ask respondents the reasons they supported or opposed Obama and Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado. But its results suggest a link between disaffection with the health-care law and growing opposition to the two Democrats.

As late as last April, Udall enjoyed a 50-33 approval-disapproval rating in a Public Policy Polling survey. The Democratic senator’s ratings stand at 41-40 today.

Disaffection with the law is creating an opening for Republican Rep. Cory Gardner to defeat Udall in the November election — Gardner trailed two points in a head-to-head matchup, 40 to 42.

In November 2012, Obama captured more than 51 percent of the vote in Colorado — his approval and disapproval ratings today stand at 43-53.

Early opposition to Obamacare was confined to conservatives, Republicans, and independents. Yet the results of the Public Policy survey suggest some Democrats too dislike the rollout of the law — more than one in five

Twenty one percent of self-identified Obama voters said the law was “somewhat” or “very” unsuccessful.

Women, too, opposed the law, though not to the extent as young people and Hispanics. Thirty-seven percent of women disapproved and 48 percent approved.

The unpopularity of Obamacare has become a source of dark humor for Gov. John Hickenlooper. In an interview with the website BuzzFeed, the Democratic governor said, “As a campaign thing, when I walk into a room and say how many people hate the ACA, half of the hands or two-thirds of the hands in the room go up.”

Ciruli compared widespread disgust with the healthcare law to that of the Bush administration’s handling of the cleanup after Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War in 2005 and 2006.

“The terrible implementation has turned it into like Iraq and also Katrina in a sense that it’s not working, and what good parts there are being overwhelmed by the terrible implementation. We’re in a pre-2006 period now. Definitely this is a disaster,” Ciruli said.

The poll of 568 registered voters was taken March 13-16. It had a margin of error of 4.1 percent.

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