A new poll from NPR sheds more light on how the Supreme Court’s decision to declare the Affordable Care Act constitutional has affected the popularity of President Obama’s signature legislation. While the majority of voters, 58 percent, said the Court’s decision had no impact on their opinion about the law, the overall effect of the ruling was a small net positive. Of the people whose opinions were changed based on the ruling, 21 percent said it made them more likely to support the law, while only 16 percent said it made the less likely to support it.
I think it is fair to assume almost everyone in the 16 percent who said the ruling made them less likely to support the law were already strongly opposed to it. I doubt almost anyone from this group supported or was neutral about the law before the ruling. On the other hand, I can picture how at least some people who said the ruling made them more likely to support the law could have switched categories.
While this five percent net improvement is very small, it appears to be real. Most polling has showed support for the law improved very modestly right after it was declared constitutional. Looking at the Real Clear Politics polling averages on this question there has been a modest but noticeable bump.
This minor bump from the Supreme Court decision isn’t nearly enough to make the law popular though. According the same NPR poll, 48 percent oppose the ACA while 43 percent support it. Even worse, the CBS New/New York Time poll out today found dismal numbers for the ACA. The poll found 50 percent disapprove of the law and just 36 percent approve of it.
Even after the small boost from the Court ruling it looks as if Obamacare will remain a net political liability for Obama going into the November election.