Thirty-seven percent of registered voters say it wouldn’t make much of a difference whether a congressional candidate supports or opposes the Affordable Care Act. But the poll shows a close divide among other voters: 30 percent of registered voters say a candidate’s support for the health law would make them more likely to support a candidate; 31 percent say it would make them more likely to oppose a candidate.
The even split is similar to the last time a Post-ABC News poll asked this question in July 2010: Then, 39 percent of voters said a congressional candidate’s support for the health law would make them more supportive of the candidate, and 37 percent said it would make them less supportive. But indifference was lower in 2010, when just 21 percent of registered voters said a candidate’s opinion on the health law would make no difference.
The results provide an early indication that the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the constitutionality of the health law has probably done little to ease the close divide among voters about health-care reform. But the growing indifference among voters on the issue also suggests that it will be much less of a factor in this year’s congressional elections — a potentially positive signal for congressional Democrats eager to avoid defending the law during another election cycle.
According to 2010 exit poll results, 48 percent of voters said Congress should repeal the health law and 86 percent of those voters supported Republican presidential candidates. Democrats won big majorities in the 2010 midterm elections among voters who wanted to keep the law or expand it.
The poll found that 45 percent of registered voters approved of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the health law; 44 percent disapproved of the ruling and 11 percent had no opinion.
In response to the court's ruling, the House is scheduled to vote Wednesday to repeal the health law. Just 20 percent of all registered voters want to do away with the entire law, while 16 percent support scrapping parts of the legislation, according to the poll. The rest of the law's opponents prefer to wait and see.
The poll was conducted July 5-8, 2012, among a random national sample of 1,003 adults. The poll’s margin of error among registered voters is plus or minus 4 percentage points. View the complete Washington Post polling archive here.
Polling analyst Scott Clement and staff writer Paul Kane contributed to this report.
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