The Affordable Care Act is still not popular but it is noticeably less unpopular than it was a month ago and the government shutdown may be responsible for this.

Currently, 38 percent think it is a good idea while 43 percent see it as a bad idea, according to the latest NBC/WSJ poll. While not great this is a real improvement from last month when only 31 called the law a good idea and 44 called it a bad idea.

The news coverage the first few days of the exchanges has been very negative, made the law look very complicated, and made the administration look incompetent. If the roll out had been the only major story this week I would have expected support to drop slightly in the short term, but instead it went up.

It would seem that Republicans have not only successfully taken the media spotlight off of the problematic roll out, but have made the whole law long better by comparison. Since Republicans’ only plan to deal with the law is to completely cripple the government, allowing the law go into effect is starting to look not so bad to many.

This strategy has been a total disaster for Republicans. They destroyed their brand, they probably made the Affordable Care Act slightly more popular, and they are about to fold having achieved almost nothing.

Image by Marina Noordegraaf under Creative Commons license