As the AP reports, and we’ve been confidently predicting for…best not to gloat:
Strong opposition stands at 30%, close to the lowest level registered in Associated Press-GfK surveys dating to September 2009…
Opposition to the law remains strongest among Republicans: 71% say they are against it, compared with 35% of independents and 19% of Democrats. Republicans won control of the House partly on their promise to repeal what they call “Obamacare.”
But as the House prepares to vote on repeal this week, public support for that has flagged. Only about 1 in 4 respondents said they wanted to do away with the law completely. Even among Republicans, repeal draws markedly less support than it did a few weeks ago: 49%, compared with 61% after the November election…
Here you see the result of the time since passage of federal health care reform legislation, and the demystification of the new law’s effects, that we’ve been telling you for over a year can only result in a turnaround in public support. In a way, it’s simple: the Republican opposition to health care reform became sufficiently detached from reality that the public was certain to start pulling back from their irrational, emotional dislike for the bill, as soon as the politics surrounding it began to deflate. That process began after the bill was passed, and has sped up since the elections.
This is why we said repeatedly last year, while acknowledging the short-term political damage Democrats were likely to suffer for reforming health care, that the 2010 elections were in all probability the only elections that Republicans would be able to win by opposing it. On the day after the bill was passed, we quoted leading conservative strategist David Frum, whose warning to his colleagues on the right seems even more prescient as the House GOP takes up their meaningless, DOA-on-passage health care repeal vote this week:
No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?
We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.
We know a couple of freshman Republicans from Colorado, both of whom ran on a pledge to repeal “Obamacare” and will in all probability be running in perfectly competitive districts in 2012, who should be looking very hard at these poll numbers–and the trajectory of polling on the issue since passage–and thinking about whether joining in the last gasp of reform opposition histrionics we’re likely to see, as public opinion shifts out from under them…is really a wise career move.