According to the Field Poll of voters, Californians uniquely remain highly supportive by a 53% to 38% margin of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Nationwide polling indicates that by a large margin, Americans strongly oppose Obamacare by 54% to 36%. But with one out of nine voters in the United States living in California, the Golden State is almost single-handedly preventing Obamacare’s repeal.
Many conservatives around the United States try to dismiss California as historically liberal. In 1992, Democrat Bill Clinton appeared to solidly beat Republican George H.W. Bush by 43% to 38%, but it was Republican Ross Perot’s Reform Party that siphoned off 21% of the vote that gave the Democrats their first big California win.
What turned California to a deep-blue liberal state was the 1994 bankruptcy of deep-red conservative Orange County. As the “Most Republican County in America,” the OC appeared to favor small government and conservative values. But under the facade, the OC had granted the highest salaries and richest pension benefits to public employees of any county in the state. That bought labor peace and rich campaign contributions for OC politicians. To avoid raising taxes, the OC engaged in risky leverage and derivatives speculation. When the house of cards crashed, The California Republican Party was dismissed by voters as hypocritical and incompetent.
By 2012, the Republican National Party and Mitt Romney who has a home in the area, did not even campaign in California. Although the conservative Tea Party movement had started the process of giving new credibility to Republicans in 2010, California Republican Party tried to look more moderate by distancing themselves from “those Tea Party people” in 2012. Barack Obama won his reelection by a stunning 60% to 37%.
On July 26th, the trail of tears for California Republicans took another nasty jolt when a Joint FBI, IRS, U.S. Attorney and Orange County District Attorney Task Force confirmed a majority of Orange County’s all-Republican Supervisors are now investigating reports of political campaign corruption.
The Field Poll determined that California voter views on Obamacare are highly partisan and reflect deep demographic differences regarding implementing the Obamacare legislation:
- Democrats favor by 77% to 15%;
- Republicans oppose by 75% to 17%;
- Liberal favor by 90% to 4%;
- Conservative oppose by 83% to 15%;
- Independent voters favor by 54% to 37%;
- Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area favor by two to one;
- All other areas of the state moderately oppose;
- Non-Hispanics oppose 49% to 44%;
- Latinos favor by 71% to 26%;
- Other minorities favor by 78% to 19%;
- Californians under age 30 favor 63% to 27%;
- Seniors favor by 47% to 43.
Despite 50% of the state’s voters reporting that they are now paying more for health care and describing health care costs as being difficult to afford, the only broad agreement by California voters regarding the potential negative impacts of the “Affordable Care Act” is that 57% believe it’s likely that seniors enrolled in traditional Medicare will see their health benefits reduced and 54% think people with health insurance will be forced to change their plans and doctors.
According to Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Obamacare is a "train wreck." The IRS staff charged with developing the “Data Hub” to track Obamacare participation and calculate eligibility for government subsidies acknowledging the system will not be ready on time. Despite these concerns, on October 1st Obamacare “navigators” from community organizing groups around the United States will start assisting people understand the details of the new law and begin signing-up certain uninsured residents for insurance coverage.
A recent CBS poll confirms that 54% of Americans disapprove of the healthcare law and only 36% percent now approve. Despite a record number of Americans who believe the legislation will hurt them, the Field Poll demonstrates overwhelming support in the most populous state in the nation is helping prevent the repeal of Obamacare.