Over at The Daily Caller, Matt Lewis reveals the details of a poll commissioned by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS which is full to the brim with good news for Republicans in their effort to frame the 2014 election as a referendum on the Affordable Care Act. Grassroots conservatives have, however, latched on to the one detail in that poll which shows that shutting down the government as part of a gambit aimed at defunding the implementation of the law would be a public relations disaster for the GOP. Those questioning the poll have — no joke — reverted to suggesting that it is methodologically flawed (AKA, skewed).
As Lewis notes, the GPS poll – conducted by legendary Republican pollster Whit Ayres and his firm North Star Opinion Research, largely validates much of the Republican strategy over the last several months.
– A plurality of Americans oppose Obamacare (47 percent -42 percent).
– Large majorities of Americans support dismantling the worst parts of Obamacare now (63-22) – including 61 percent of independents.
– A strong plurality (49-39) of Americans believe healthcare is a responsibility of the individual, not a collective right.
If one only consumed MSNBC’s political analysis, as I do, you would think that the Republican messaging against the ACA has been a unique disaster on a scale unseen since Gallipoli. This is clearly not the case.
But, and it’s a big “but,” the poll also shows that those Republicans who have convinced themselves that the GOP can deal a death blow to Obamacare by defunding the program in the budget and forcing a government shutdown when the president refuses to concede defeat are deeply mistaken in believing that the public would support them.
64 percent of voters think that shutting down the government over Obamacare would be a bad idea while only 24 percent believe that such a maneuver is justified.
Lewis notes that some observers have claimed that this poll was “rigged” and framed the question about a government shutdown in such a way as to elicit the negative response it did.
The question reads:
Some people say that the health care reform law is so bad that an effort to repeal it should be attached to a bill necessary to keep the government running. Do you think it is a good idea or a bad idea for opponents of the health care reform law to risk shutting down the government in an effort to get rid of the law?”
“Crossroads says they were describing it as it would likely be explained by the mainstream media, and this isn’t an absurd thing to say,” Lewis writes. “I’m generally of the opinion that the President always has the bully pulpit (and Obama has a friendly media), so it probably is probably wise to overestimate Obama’s ability to frame the debate.”
“Regardless, it seems that the only thing less popular than Obamacare itself is a government shutdown,” he concludes.
Fortunately, the GOP leadership in the House does not seem to share the base’s affinity for holding hands and jumping over the government shutdown cliff. If history wasn’t guide enough, this Crossroads poll has shown a government shutdown is not a winning move for the Republican Party.
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