Voters may like the healthcare plan after all, poll shows

October 5, 2010

Pundits may want to reconsider the conventional wisdom that U.S. voters are sour on President Barack Obama’s sweeping healthcare overhaul, at least according to a new survey released Tuesday.

rallyA majority — 54 percent — of all voters said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported the healthcare overhaul, the Public Religion Research Institute found in its American Values Survey of more than 3,000 voters.

Among women voters, 60 percent said a candidates’ support for the new healthcare law made them more likely to vote for that candidate, Dan Cox, the institute’s research director, said.

Women surveyed were also keenly interested in healthcare, with 25 percent saying they considered it the most important issue in the Nov. 2 election. Sixteen percent of men rated healthcare the most important issue, Cox said.

“Women who say healthcare is the most important issue for them are leaning toward Democratic over Republican candidates by 56 to 34 percent,”  Cox said.

Obama’s fellow Democrats are facing a tough battle to hold their majorities in Congress on Nov. 2.

With the public angry over the sputtering economy, a growing budget deficit, a perceived failure of government in Washington and skepticism about big new programs like the healthcare overhaul, Republicans are expected to cut into or possibly eliminate the Democrats’ majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate.

Energized after election defeats in 2006 and 2008, Republicans have promised to repeal or at least pare back the healthcare overhaul if they take control of Congress.

The PRRI conducts the survey every two years as the national election season gets under way. This year’s survey of 3,013 adults was conducted between Sept. 1 and Sept. 14. It has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (Supporters reach out to shake hands with Obama after he spoke about healthcare reform in Portland, Maine April 1, 2010.)

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