Santorum, Romney Lead Obama in Key States Due to Obamacare

Politics   Steven Ertelt   Feb 27, 2012   |   12:16PM   

Thanks to the massive unpopularity of the Obamacare law that includes abortion funding, rationing concerns and now a mandate that forces religious employers to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions, Obama is losing to the top two GOP candidates in key states.

In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a majority of Americans calls passage of Obamacare a “bad thing” and support repealing it should Republicans win control of the Senate from Democrats in November and the White House.

The Gallup survey queried voters in Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Michigan, which casts votes tomorrow, was also included.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum tops Obama 50%-45% in the 12 swings states and, nationwide, leads Obama 49-46 percent. Meanwhile, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney edges Obama 48%-46% in the swing states and ties the pro-abortion president at 47 percent nationwide.

Gallup shows Romney doesn’t do as well against Obama in part because he signed a government-run health care plan in Massachusetts. Some 27 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they are less likely to support him because of it while only 7 percent are more like to support him because of it.

Looking more specifically at Obamacare, 53 percent of Americans in the swing states call it a bad thing compared with 38 percent who say it is a good thing. Nationwide the margin is 50-42 percent against the law. More Americans have also said it has hurt their family than say it has helped and, in the long run, more voters say it will hurt their family than say it will help.

Those Americans who strongly favor repealing Obamacare outnumber those who strongly favor keeping it. Nationwide, 75 percent of Americans say the mandate to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional while 76 percent in swing states say so. Even a majority of Democrats, and a majority of those who think the healthcare law is a good thing, believe that provision is unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court next month will hear legal challenges to the healthcare law, which are focused on the law’s requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance or pay a fine.

As Gallup notes, “a Republican president would have a clear mandate from his own party’s supporters to attempt to overturn the law, as all of the Republican candidates have vowed to do if elected.”

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About Romney, Jim Geraghty of National Review suggests a way he could help himself and stop Obamacare at the same time if he winds up becoming the Republican nominee.

He says Romney could say:  “I have thought long and hard about whether government should require citizens to purchase health insurance, and heard many voices discussing the mandates enacted on my watch in Massachusetts and nationally under President Obama… While I believe that states have the right under their constitutions to enact individual mandates, and the “free-rider” problem they aim to address is a serious one, my review and analysis in the past year has driven me to conclude that they are a bad idea, because they fundamentally change the relationship between the government and the people – from free citizens to obedient subjects. The best of intentions can drive us to make bad decisions. The mark of a leader is reevaluating your decisions based on their results. I’m a man who can do that; the man in the Oval Office is not. As president, I’ll repeal Obamacare – and urge every governor to avoid the same mistake.”

Meanwhile, the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 26% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-two percent (42%) strongly disapprove.

“Matchups between President Obama and GOP hopefuls shift along with the president’s Job Approval ratings. As a result, with the president’s overall approval ratings down six points since Valentine’s Day, the general election polling is looking weaker for the incumbent.  It remains to be seen, of course, if this is merely statistical noise or a lasting change signaling that the president’s recent bounce in the polls has come to an end,” the polling firm notes.

“For the first time since late December 2011, Mitt Romney leads the president in a hypothetical 2012 matchup. Romney earns 45% of the vote, while the president attracts support from 43%. Romney holds a nine-point advantage among unaffiliated voters,” Rasmussen says. “For the first time ever, Texas Congressman Ron Paul also leads the president. In that matchup, 43% prefer Paul and 41% Obama. Ten percent (10%) would vote for some other option, a figure that includes 17% of Republicans.”

“If former Senator Rick Santorum is the Republican nominee, the president leads by two, 45% to 43%. With former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as his opponent, the president enjoys a 10-point lead, 49% to 39%,” it continues.

The swing states poll of 1,137 registered voters was taken Feb. 14-21. In addition, a national survey of 881 registered voters was taken Feb. 20-21. The margin of error for each is +/-4 percentage points.