Bloomberg poll shows unpopular party poised to make huge gains

BLOOMBERG POLL SHOWS UNPOPULAR PARTY POISED TO MAKE HUGE GAINS…. Some of the descriptions of the results are clearly misleading, but there are some noteworthy results in the new Bloomberg poll. Most notably, Republicans may be poised to win at least one chamber of Congress, but they’re still strikingly unpopular.

The poll finds Republicans in an anomalous position — poised to make political gains while the party and its policies are unpopular. That stands in contrast to midterm elections in 1994 and 2006, when the insurgent party gained congressional control after polls showed voter attitudes tilting toward them.

Going through the results (pdf), it’s tempting to think the landscape doesn’t look especially favorable to the GOP at all. While Republican leaders say the nation’s focus should be on deficit reduction and spending cuts, the American mainstream wants to focus on job creation. What’s more, when it comes to actually trying to reduce the deficit, the most popular ideas are the progressive ones.

But perhaps my favorite part of the poll was on health care.

Turning to the health care law passed earlier this year, what is your opinion of the bill — should it be repealed or not?

It should be repealed: 47%
It should not be repealed: 42%
Not sure: 11%

For reform proponents, that sounds discouraging, right? It is, right up until the poll goes through the specific provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and finds that some of them enjoy very strong support. Americans are inclined to support repeal of the health care law, right up until they’re told what’s in the health care law.

Eliminating lifetime caps? A 54% majority doesn’t want this to be repealed. Protections for those with pre-existing conditions? A 75% majority doesn’t want this to be repealed. Insurance exchanges for the uninsured? A 60% majority doesn’t want this to be repealed. Allowing kids up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ policies? A 67% majority doesn’t want this to be repealed. Filling the Medicare donut hole? A 73% majority doesn’t want this to be repealed.

Republicans really do seem to believe their repeal push next year will be a huge political winner for them. There’s a reason the White House doesn’t seem especially nervous.

In related news, the same Bloomberg poll showed Dems with a slight, three-point advantage on the generic ballot, the president’s approval rating is still 47%, and the three most popular political figures in the country are Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Barack Obama, in that order.