Hard Sell

John Fund
The Wall Street Journal

President Obama has made a full-court press to sell ObamaCare since it was passed ten weeks ago. But the program appears more unpopular than ever. A new Rasmussen Research poll finds that fully 63% of voters favor repeal, up from 54% to 58% just after the bill was enacted.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen uses several questions to break down voters demographically, but one of his most original tweaks is to differentiate between those voters he calls the “Political Class” and those he calls “Mainstream Americans.” The “Political Class,” representing about 14% of the electorate, tend to express “trust” in political leaders while rejecting suggestions that government is its own special interest and often works with big business against consumers. In contrast, “Mainstream Americans” represent about 75% of the voting public and identify with or lean toward a more populist skepticism about the intentions and actions of political leaders.

Striking is how the two groups divide on the question of repealing ObamaCare. “Mainstream Americans” support repeal by an overwhelming 73%, while the numbers are almost exactly reversed among the “Political Class,” 72% of whom oppose repeal.

“It is astonishing how wide the gap is,” former Democratic pollster Pat Caddell tells me. “ObamaCare is bidding to become the ‘New Coke’ of its era — a much-hyped product that people resoundingly rejected.”

Mr. Caddell should know. He was a consultant to Coca-Cola when it rolled out “New Coke” in 1985. The difference is that the company’s executives realized their mistake and reversed their decision after 77 days. With ObamaCare, the administration clearly is not going to let consumer rejection stop its plans. Expect a prolonged period of trench warfare over the fate of ObamaCare, with the first big battle to come in this November’s mid-term elections.

Comments are closed.