Opinion

The ACA Was Not a Significant Vote Factor This Election

Public Opinion Strategies’ Election Night Poll shows that the ACA was not as much of a vote factor in 2014 as it was in 2010.

Here is what we knew going into Election Day 2014:

— This was one of the top issues Congressional candidates were focusing on this cycle with one out of ten campaign commercials revolving around the ACA.

— Voters’ attitudes about the ACA were negative and established with stronger opposition to the law than support.

— However, roughly half of voters said they wanted the health care law fixed rather than totally eliminated or kept in place as is.

Here’s what happened Election Day 2014:

— Less than one-third of voters (32%) recalled seeing, reading, or hearing any campaign commercials on the topic of the health care law or Obamacare. This is drastically different than voter recall levels in 2010 where nearly seven in ten voters (69%) recalled campaign commercials on the ACA.

“And, in the last two or three weeks, do you remember seeing, reading, or hearing any of the candidates running for the U.S. Congress or U.S. Senate sponsor any campaign commercials on the topic of the health care law, also known as Obamacare? (If Yes:) Have you seen a lot of campaign commercials on this topic or just some?”

pos 1

— The 32% of voters who recalled seeing, reading, or hearing campaign commercials on the topic of the ACA this election report the commercials were overwhelmingly in opposition to the ACA. This is consistent with the 2010 election.

 And, were the campaign commercials you remember seeing, reading, or hearing in support of or in opposition to President Obama’s health care plan?”

pos 2

— Nearly six out of ten voters (59%) this election cycle said their Congressional vote was NOT a message about the ACA. This again differs from 2010 where a plurality of voters said their vote for Congress was a message opposing the ACA.

And thinking again about your vote for Congress…would you say your vote for U.S. Congress in this year’s election (will be/was) a vote to send…”

pos 3

 — The ACA was an important issue though for Republicans who voted, with a majority saying their vote was a message opposing the ACA.

2014 POS Election Data Vote Message Supporting ACA Vote Message Opposing ACA Vote Not Message About ACA
Republicans 1% 55% 44%
Independents 4% 28% 69%
Democrats 26% 2% 69%

— Furthermore, on an open-ended question, only 10% of voters this cycle mention the ACA (either in a positive or negative way) as an important issue in deciding how they voted for Congress.

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