Tag Archives: Polls

The GOP’s March Disaster: Obamacare worked, and people like it

Paul Krugman was wrong about one thing, the media is actually covering the success of the Affordable Care Act. Not on nearly the sale scale they gave attention to the exchange problems, but that’s status quo. Disasters are entertaining which make for ratings, successes are boring.

Today is the final day you can register on a health care exchange and the end of the first enrollment period.** Now is the time we can begin making serious judgments about the success of Democratic health care reform, although final judgement (which Republicans came to before the law even passed) won’t be appropriate for several years.

It took several years for Romneycare to get where it needed to be and Obamacare is very much the same program on a national scale.

That said, the verdict is good news for just about everyone except Republican politicians. Private enrollment will land somewhere near original projections, about 7 million people. That’s about a million more people than the CBO projected after making regular revisions and exactly in line with what they thought would happen back in 2010.

That’s also with almost every insurance exchange website malfunctioning for the first two months of the six month period enrollment period. If not for that, signups would have exceeded original expectations.

The facts are simple. The number of uninsured Americans has dropped from 18% to 15.9% in less than a year. Between 6.9 and 7 million people have signed up just on the public exchanges. 2.5 to 3.1 million young adults were able to join or remain on their parents’ insurance policies. 4.7 million poor and struggling individuals joined the Medicaid rolls only because of reform. (Had states with legislatures controlled by Republicans expanded Medicaid, that number could easily be double or even triple that figure.)

In total, as many as 16.8 million Americans gained insurance under the Affordable Care Act in its first six month period. In some states only 25% of those people were previously uninsured, in others it’s as high as 75%. States that embraced reform have seen significant numbers of people gain insurance they couldn’t previously afford. States that fought reform have seen very little progress and still have a tragic number of people who can’t afford insurance.

Anyone who has followed enrollment data gathered and published by Charles Gaba knew this was coming for some time now. Enrollment was very slow in October and November of last year, but once the exchanges started working, there was a surge in signups in December of 2013 and another surge this month to the point where more than a million people per day were visiting the federal exchange website. HealthCare.gov reported more than 1.2 million visits just today and that was by noon. Nevada’s call center is being flooded with last minute signups.

The big surprise may be a just-out poll from ABC News/The Washington Post showing a plurality of Americans now support Obamacare, 49-48. Alone, it’s an outlier outweighed by other polls and should be judged accordingly. It’s neither absolute proof that the ACA is now popular, nor should it be dismissed as meaningless. It’s value is somewhere in between and is just another point of information to consider along with many others.

The question from ABC/WaPo is different from what you’d expect, instead of asking if the respondent supports or opposes Obamacare, it asks if they support or oppose “the federal law making changes to the health care system”. We’ve seen before that merely asking about the “Affordable Care Act” instead of “Obamacare” can increase support, and this may be one of those bits of noise where what you ask changes the response.

That’s certainly possible. But it’s also possible that with nearly 7 million Americans getting insurance on the exchanges, with many of them seeing lower premiums thanks to subsidies, with nearly 17 million Americans directly benefiting, word is spreading that the ACA is helping a lot of people. Based on overall numbers, about 1-in-18 Americans has benefited from the ACA in some way which is bound to punch through partisan information filters eventually.

What’s sad to see is that politics is dampening the good news. More than just a few Republicans are denying evidence that the ACA worked just like they believed all polls from 2012 were skewed and biased.

I’m sorry to taint this newsy post with such, but I think that’s pathetic. The data is in and the data says that the Affordable Care Act wasn’t a disaster, and that it did exactly what it was supposed to do. If Republicans can’t deal with that reality then they should just get out of politics and find something else to do with their lives. Lying about good news that rubs their ideology the wrong way is unacceptable behavior from elected officials and the American people deserve better treatment than that.

If the GOP is going to be this partisan and this ugly about being wrong, it’s only fair then that Democrats have earned a few bragging rights. The ACA isn’t perfect and a lot more could have been done — should be done still.

But nobody should forget that health care reform was solely a Democratic priority. Republicans did everything they could to stop it from happening and have done everything they can to undermine it. Democrats have won every battle of that war, and the result is nearly 17 million Americans are in a better health care situation today because Democrats said this was important and it was the right thing to do, consequences to their political futures be damned.

Democrats were right, and there should be some small reward for that.

**Some states are extending the first enrollment period beyond March 31st.

Romney-Ryan 2016?

One of the better newsletters out there is from HuffPollster, which isn’t from Huffington Post so much as it is from Pollster, which HP bought a while back. I understand that most people won’t be interested in a polling newsletter but I feel there’s always at least one thing that should grab most people as interesting. I’m going back through some old newsletters (most of March) and here are a few of those things I’ve picked out for you.

Gay marriage opponents don’t know they are a minority
From Wonkbog (Washington Post), 41% of Americans oppose same-sex marriage but nearly two-thirds of them wrongly think they are in a majority. From the newsletter itself, public opinion on same-sex marriage as tracked by the Post has reversed itself from 55-37% opposition in 2003 to 59-34% support this month.

Read More →

Are 64% of Republicans birthers?

It turns out that the answer is probably not, but not yes or no, either. Fairleigh Dickinson University released a poll and some analysis on popular conspiracy theories yesterday and the aftermath today was ugly. Salon, Think Progress, and presumably other sites jumped the gun by declaring that more than two-in-three Republicans are birthers, but the poll never asked that question.

In fact it didn’t ask any questions at all, it made statements and then asked people how they felt about them. Two statements about voter fraud in 2008 and 2012 were alright, as far as the way they were worded, so I won’t talk about them here. The other two were worded quite poorly.

Read More →

The Long Night

Everything that needs to be said has already been said. So here are poll closing times for some important states:

7:00pm EST: Florida (except Western panhandle), New Hampshire, Virginia.

7:30pm EST: North Carolina, Ohio.

8:00pm EST: Florida Western panhandle, Pennsylvania.

9:00pm EST: Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin

10:00pm EST: Iowa, Nevada.

The final analysis and projection of all battleground states:

Read More →

One Day: No Surrender, No Retreat

There are 38 hours and 29 minutes until the election, as I write this.

It’s a bit early in the day to do detailed polling, with more polls due to drop before the evening. But here’s what today looks like as of right now:

ec battleground(Updated below with a new version of this graphic with North Carolina spelled correctly, and more recent polling data.)

Something to note is that these numbers are going to start moving more than they have been until now, because Ipsos is polling almost all of these states daily. Every day I will remove one Ipsos poll from the average just to add another. I looked at the poll data and these are dedicated state polls, not breakouts of national polls, so I’m leaving them in. But consider things to be just a bit more noisy now because of that.

Read More →

Two Days: And So It Begins

For those whom the election matters the least:

There are 57 hours and 17 minutes until the 2012 election, as I write these words at 6:42p EST.

The most important data I’m working with is a daily average of the last five polls taken in eight swing states. Today I’m introducing another dimension: margin of error. But first, here’s how things have changed in the last 24 hours.

Barack Obama increased his lead in Colorado from 1 point yesterday to 2.2 points today, in Ohio from 2.4 points to 3, and Nevada from 3.6 points to 4. His lead slipped in Iowa from 3.2 points to 2.4, New Hampshire from 3.6 to 3.2, and Virginia from 2 points to 1.6. Mitt Romney took back the lead in Florida to 0.6 points, from a 0.2 point deficit, largely on the back of an outlier poll from Mason Dixon showing Romney up by 6 points.

Read More →

3 Days: It’s time to say it, Mitt Romney is in deep shit.

There are 3 full days until the election, or 3 days, 11 hours, 18 minutes, and about 10 seconds as I type this sentence around 4:41pm EST.

And Mitt Romney is in deep shit.

It’s come to that. That is, believe it or not, still non-partisan analysis. Something people tend not to take into account is that an average lead of X points in a given state two weeks out is probably twice as robust when it’s only 3-4 days out from the election. I don’t know exactly how to calculate this, but Nate Silver has said that a lead of 2.6 points with about six days left “should convert to a victory about 80 percent of the time”. With a little over half that time left, that 80% figure surely has increased. By how much, I’m not sure. But Silver’s model puts Obama at 80.5% to win Ohio this afternoon, and his average lead is around 2.4 points. The loss of 0.2 points probably kept his chances of winning the state from moving much higher.

But the time factor can’t be expressed in strong enough terms. It takes time to moves polls and there’s precious little time left for Mitt Romney to make up ground in Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, and protect his crumbling lead in Florida.

Read More →

7 Days: The Breaking Point

I’m going to spend today doing nothing but taking the 12 electoral college projections I regularly track and pushing them to absolute results with no tossups. This is the 2012 Presidential election pushed to the breaking point.

The only state I don’t feel comfortable calling myself is Virginia, and here’s why:

Virginia pollsNate Silver is the best man in the game and has Barack Obama a 51.4% chance to win. At this point, it’s probably not polls driving that 1.4% so much as other variables like state unemployment, voter registration, and things like that. I won’t argue with it. But I also won’t argue with anyone that wants to hand the state to Mitt Romney, either. And since I have to give it to someone, I’m using Silver’s projections as my mental tie breaker. The rest I’m calling myself.

All projects will have Mitt Romney easily winning Indiana even though Obama won it in 2008. That was more of a fluke than anything. Indiana is not even a North Carolina that is still red, but destined to be a purple perennial tossup, with NC perhaps eventually ending up light blue eventually.

Read More →

10 Days: Five of seven battleground states move toward Obama… barely.

The trackers are mixed today and so there’s not much of a story there. Romney gained with PPP, Gallup, and UPI/CVOTER, Obama gained with RAND, Ipsos/Reuters, and IBD/TIPP, and neither Rasmussen or ABC/Washington Post moved at all. The average movement across eight national trackers was a whopping 0.13 points towards Barack Obama.

There were no non-tracking national polls today. At all. None.

Read More →

11 Days: Looking at the numbers, Obama’s convention performance may be what got him a second term.

Some tracking polls with two days of debate in their survey data show Obama gaining, but it’s still pretty early to say much more than that as far as what it means.

– RAND has a static, non-random group of about 3,500 voters that it polls once per day in groups of 500 or so, such that a given group is only polled once per week. Their experimental poll has Obama up by 3.8 points yesterday, and 4.1 points today.

– Rasmussen has Romney down a point from yesterday, to +3.

– PPP, like RAND, has Obama gaining day-to-day, up by 1 point today, from a tie yesterday, and Romney +2 on Tuesday.

Read More →