No Referendum on Obamacare

Many conservative gabbers are tripping over themselves and each other to claim the broadest possible “mandate” from the midterms. But most include “kill Obamacare!” as one of the most urgent and overwhelming messages that “America” (again, the 52% who voted Republican among the 38% who voted) sent.

But now comes a Republican polling firm with data suggesting Obamacare wasn’t on that many minds, despite massive negative advertising on the law:

Public Opinion Strategies’ Election Night Poll shows that the ACA was not as much of a vote factor in 2014 as it was in 2010.

Here is what we knew going into Election Day 2014:

This was one of the top issues Congressional candidates were focusing on this cycle with one out of ten campaign commercials revolving around the ACA.

Voters’ attitudes about the ACA were negative and established with stronger opposition to the law than support.

However, roughly half of voters said they wanted the health care law fixed rather than totally eliminated or kept in place as is.

Here’s what happened Election Day 2014:

Less than one-third of voters (32%) recalled seeing, reading, or hearing any campaign commercials on the topic of the health care law or Obamacare. This is drastically different than voter recall levels in 2010 where nearly seven in ten voters (69%) recalled campaign commercials on the ACA….

Nearly six out of ten voters (59%) this election cycle said their Congressional vote was NOT a message about the ACA. This again differs from 2010 where a plurality of voters said their vote for Congress was a message opposing the ACA.

Remember that when you hear, as you will, that Obama is ignoring “America’s” demand that we return to the wondrous pre-2010 status quo ante on health care.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.