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Dem poll: Majority wants to see health law implemented

Overall, President Barack Obama’s health-care law remains unpopular (though a recent NBC/WSJ poll found that unpopularity subside). And the glitches with its website are still a problem.

But according to a Democratic poll, a majority of voters support the law’s implementation and improvement -- rather than its repeal.

This poll, from Democracy Corps and the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, found a 20-point difference between people who support putting the law into action (58 percent) and those who do not (38 percent). Meanwhile, the poll shows strong opposition to the law has dropped a net 10 points, to 24 percent, since 2010.

The survey’s biggest shift in favorability was among independents most likely to report seeing the benefits of the law.

“There’s clearly a correlation between beginning to see benefits under the law and support for the law,” says pollster Stan Greenberg. “The results here are not correlated with partisanship, but with experience with the law.” 

The people who are seeing these benefits first, and thus driving this shift, are primarily unmarried women, white non-college voters and seniors. Although many people in these groups report that it’s still too early to tell whether the health-care law will affect them, there’s been a significant increase in the number of people that are seeing the effects.

“These are the voters who deliver election victories and congressional opposition will have consequences,” says Page Gardner, President of the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund.

Greenberg predicts that support for the law will continue to grow as more groups have positive experiences with it.

“If you’re trying for an issue that fragments the Democrats or opens up the electorate, this wouldn’t do it,” he says. Rather, it could have harmful consequences for Republicans.

An Oct. 9 poll conducted for the same organizations found that nearly half of 2014 likely voters (47 percent) said that shutting down the government over defunding Obamacare would make them less likely to vote for their named Republican incumbents. Over one-third of respondents (35 percent) said it would make them much less likely to vote for them.  

The survey of 950 likely voters was conducted from Oct. 6-8, following the Oct. 1 enrollment start date for the health-care law. It has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.2 percentage points.