Analysis Memo – November Poll

TO: Interested Parties

FR: Michael Ramlet and Kyle Dropp

DT: November 21, 2013

RE: Poll Results on the Politics of Healthcare Reform, Insurance Cancellations and Health Exchanges as Independents Shift Heading Into a Midterm Election Year


Six weeks since the October 1st launch, and six weeks before the start of 2014, the Affordable Care Act stands at an inflection point with major public opinion shifts among independent voters.  Fifty-eight percent of independent voters now trust Republicans more on handling healthcare.  Among all registered voters, President Obama receives a lot of the blame from more than 50 percent of respondents for the insurance cancellations, and over 60 percent say the president deserves a lot of the blame for the insurance exchange challenges.  Looking beyond the challenging launch, 65 percent of initial visitors say they intend to return and try the exchanges again. So far, over 75 percent of exchange visitors have come to the websites with the intention of looking to purchase a health plan.  Additionally, 24 percent of individuals who have not yet visited the exchanges say they intend to do so in the coming months.

This is the fourth monthly poll conducted by The Morning Consult; since July 2013, we have interviewed more than 8,000 registered voters across the country.  Today, we analyze the public opinion on healthcare reform with a focus on the health insurance exchange rollout and insurance cancellations.

This Morning Consult National Healthcare Tracking Poll was conducted from November 14-17, 2013, among a national sample of 2,008 registered voters.  The interviews were conducted online by Survey Sampling International, Inc.  The data are weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, region, annual household income, home ownership status and marital status.  Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.



–        Affordable Care Act (ACA) Has Net -12 Approval Rating:  Forty one percent of registered voters approve of the law compared with 53 percent who disapprove. Approve/Disapprove:

  • Republicans – 15/82 Democrats – 68/14 Independents – 28/63

–        Independents Trust Republican Party More on Healthcare: Loyalty prevails among partisans, but among independents, 42 percent trust the Democratic Party more when it comes to handling healthcare compared with 58 percent who trust the Republican Party more.  Trust Democratic Party/Republican Party:

  • Republicans – 7/93 Democrats – 92/8 Independents – 42/58

–        Majority Less Likely to Say President Obama is a Strong Leader: Fifty two percent of registered voters say they are less like to say President Obama is a strong leader as a result of ACA implementation.  More Likely/Less Likely/No Effect Either Way:

  • Republicans – 5/84/11 Democrats – 39/28/33 Independents – 11/56/33

–        Majority Less Likely to Trust President Obama: Fifty four percent of registered voters say they are less likely to trust President Obama as a result of ACA implementation: More Likely/Less likely/No Effect Either Way:

  • Democrats – 32/23/45 Republicans – 11/86/4 Independents – 8/64/27

–        Intra Party Shifts on How Congress Should Proceed with the ACA:  Since September, Democrats have shifted 11 points away from let the law take effect as is, Independents have moved 10 points away from let the law take effect as is, and Republicans are 10 points more likely to support repealing law.

Morning Consult November Tracking Poll 4



–        Cancelations Starting to Hit Home: One in five registered voters have or know someone who has received an insurance cancellation notice

–        Super Majority Say Obama Broke His Promise with Insurance Cancellations: Sixty-five percent are more likely to agree with a statement that cancellation notices show President Obama has broken his promise that Americans can keep their current insurance, while 35 percent say the notices will improve policies by requiring them to meet minimum standards. Improve insurance / broken promise:

  • Democrats – 58/42 Republicans – 10/90 Independents – 28/72

–        Cancellations Could Be A Voting Issue in 2014: Twelve percent of voters say these notices are the single most important issue in their 2014 vote, 57 percent say it’s one of the most important. Single Most Important / One of the Most Important:

  • Democrats – 9/46 Republicans – 14/74 Independents – 14/60

–        Public Divided on President Obama’s Administrative Fix: Forty-seven percent say President Obama’s announcement that insurers can offer plans that do not meet minimum standards for 2014 is a sign that he is willing to improve a flawed provision, while 53 percent say it is a sign that the broader law is flawed. Flawed provision/flawed law:

  • Democrats – 74/26 Republicans — 21/79 Independents – 38/62

–        President Obama Receives the Most Blame for Cancellations: Fully five in 10 blame President Obama a lot over the insurance cancellations, including 59 percent of independents. Blame a lot /some / none:

  • Democrats – 22/45/33  Republicans – 80/18/3 Independents – 59/30/11

–        Congressional Republicans Receive Limited Blame for Cancellations: Twenty nine percent blame Republicans in Congress a lot for the cancellations. Blame a lot / some / none:

  • Democrats – 28/46/26 Republicans – 6/32/61 Independents – 22/40/39

–        Congressional Democrats Blamed Less than Obama for Cancellations: Still nearly four in 10 voters blame Democrats in Congress a lot for the cancellations. Blame a lot / some/ none:

  • Democrats – 14/50/37 Republicans – 63/31/5 Independents – 44/41/15

–        Health Insurers Receive Some But Not Strongest Blame for Cancellations:  Thirty four percent of Independents blame insurance companies a lot. Blame a lot / some/ none:

  • Democrats – 45/42/13 Republicans – 16/58/26 Independents – 34/42/24

Morning Consult November Tracking Poll 3



–        Independents Especially Critical of the Insurance Exchange Launch: Over 80 percent of Independents say the exchanges have been working not to well or not well at all. Extremely/Very Well/Fairly Well/ Not Too Well/ Not Well at All:

  • Dem – 5/8/26/39/22 Rep – 4/5/11/15/66 Ind – 3/3/14/28/53

–        Six in 10 Blame Obama Administration for Launch Challenges: Six in 10 who say exchanges aren’t working well, and two in three independents blame the Obama Administration a lot for the performance of the exchanges. Blame a lot/some/none

  • Democrats – 28/49/23 Republicans – 88/10/1 Independents – 67/27/6

–        Congressional Democrats Less Connected to Launch Challenges: Among those who say exchanges have not been working well, 36 percent say Democrats in Congress deserve a lot of blame for performance of insurance exchanges. Blame a lot/some/none

  • Democrats – 14/52/35 Republicans – 54/36/10 Independents – 41/38/20

–        Congressional Republicans Receive Little Blame for Launch Challenges: Among those who say exchanges have not been working well, few (19 percent) say Republicans deserve a lot of blame for performance of insurance exchanges. Blame a lot/some/none

  • Democrats – 28/46/26 Republicans – 6/32/61 Independents – 22/40/39

–        Technology Firms Identified as a Major Contributor to Launch Challenges: Nearly two-thirds say the private technology firms that built the web site deserve a lot of blame for the site’s performance. Blame a lot/some/none:

  • Democrats – 66/29/4  Republicans – 64/30/6  Independents – 66/28/5


Morning Consult November Tracking Poll 2 


–        Seven in 10 Lack Confidence in White House Meeting November Exchange Promise:  Seven in 10 say they are not too confident or not at all confident the health insurance exchanges will work for the vast majority of Americans by November 30.
Not too confident/Not at all confident:

  • Democrats – 23/9 Republicans – 25/56 Independents – 29/37

–        Fewer Say They Will Consider Purchasing Insurance on Exchanges: Four in 10 say there’s at least a 50-50 chance they will purchase insurance through a health insurance exchange, down from 55 percent in late September 2013. % At least 50-50 chance in purchasing now in November vs. Previously in September:

  • Age 18-29 – 67/76 Age 30-44 – 51/66 Age 45-64 – 38/50



–        One in Five Have Visited State or Federal Exchange Websites: Nineteen percent of voters have visited a state or federal exchange, including 29 percent of the uninsured and 35 percent of individuals who purchase their own health insurance.  Exchange Visit Yes/No:

  • Age 18-29 – 21/79 Age 30-44 – 31/69 Age 45-64 – 16/84

–        Sizable Population Still Plan to Visit Exchanges for the First Time: Among those who have not visited the exchanges, 24 percent said they plan on visiting in the next few months. Have Not Yet Visited but Plan to Visit Yes/No:

  • Uninsured – 49/51   Individually Insured – 52/48 Employer-Based – 21/29

–        Vast Majority Visited Exchange Site with Intent to Purchase: Three in four visited the exchanges with the intent of purchasing insurance for themselves and their family.

–        Most Experienced Some Technical Difficulties: Sixty two percent of voters experienced technical difficulties on the exchanges.

–        Slim Majority of Visitors Rated It a Positive Experience: Fifty two percent who visited state/federal web sites report having a positive experience. 

–        Strong Majority Will Return to Exchanges Again: Sixty five percent of people who have already visited the exchange web sites say they will visit again in the coming months.

 Morning Consult November Tracking poll 1




Morning Consult