Heritage Action, the activist wing of the conservative Heritage Foundation, is out with a new poll today that’s
getting some favorable coverage in the mainstream political press. According to Heritage, the survey shows that the GOP shouldn’t fear a government shutdown over Obamacare defunding. But there’s a catch.
The background here is that a group of conservative senators, including Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio, are trying to push Republican leaders to demand that Congress defund Obamacare in upcoming appropriations battles , even if it means forcing the government to shut down. Heritage supports the effort, so it took the poll to try to steel the spines of Republican leaders.
“Americans — including 57 percent of independents in ten critical congressional districts — favor defunding Obamacare,” said Michael Needham, the CEO of Heritage Action. “House Republicans should be much more concerned with the fallout of failing to defund Obamacare than with the imaginary fallout of doing so.”
What Needham fails to mention, however, is that even this push poll that dramatically oversamples Republicans (more on that in a minute) finds respondents are more likely to say that the Affordable Care Act should be kept than scrapped — and that a plurality would blame Republicans if the government were to shut down.
Only 44.5 percent “oppose the health care law and think it should be repealed,” while 52 percent either support the law as is or have some concerns, but say they think implementation should move forward. And asked whom they would blame if “there was an impasse between president Obama and Congress on whether to continue to fund the health care law, and that impasse resulted in a partial government shutdown,” the top response (28 percent) was Republicans in Congress. The next option, Obama, got 21 percent of respondents.
As for Heritage’s sample, which NBC calls voters from “10 relatively competitive congressional districts,” and Heritage says represents “the A
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