(NEW YORK) — Americans divide on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the federal health care law and on President Obama’s plans for the health care system alike, while favorable views of Mitt Romney’s approach to health care fall shorter, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.
Just 30 percent of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of Romney’s approach to health care, while 47 percent see it negatively, putting him underwater on the issue by a 17-point margin. Twenty-three percent are undecided, perhaps marking a lack of specifics by Romney on his plans — but giving him an opportunity to persuade.
The public at the same time divides by 45-48 percent, favorable-unfavorable, in views of Obama’s plans for the health care system. On one hand that’s clearly a weak score; on the other, it’s 15 percentage points better than Romney’s on the positive side, while essentially identical on the negative (with many fewer unsure — 7 percent).
There’s a similar split on the high court’s ruling last week: This poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that 43 percent of Americans see the law favorably overall, while 42 percent see it unfavorably. That’s a closer division than existed on the law itself before the ruling — 36-52 percent, positive-negative, in an ABC/Post poll early last week. The difference is apparent disproportionately among Democrats.
A challenge for Romney, in addition to his weaker support overall, is the fact that critics of the Supreme Court ruling don’t flock to him as an alternative. Among people who see the ruling unfavorably, Romney’s plans for the system get a tepid 45-36 percent positive rating. Among those who see the ruling favorably, by contrast, 86 percent also see Obama’s plans favorably.
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