Voters within competitive U.S. House and Senate districts give President Barack Obama a putrid approval rating and prefer a generic Republican candidate to a Democratic one, according to a Politico poll that served to remind of Democrats' fundamental disadvantages in this year's midterm elections.
The Politico poll surveyed 867 voters from a number of competitive House districts and 16 states with competitive Senate races. Among these voters, Obama is not popular — and neither is the healthcare overhaul he has championed after its first open enrollment period.
Some key points from the poll:
- Obama's approval rating sits at only 40%, lower than the national Real Clear Politics average of about 44%.
- 55% still think the country is on the "wrong track."
- 41% said if the election were held today, they would vote for the Republican candidate in their district. Only 34% said they would vote for the Democratic candidate.
- Almost half of voters in the competitive districts want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a higher percentage than nationally. A plurality, however — 51% — said the law should be kept as is or fixed.
- 89% of respondents said healthcare would be "very important" in determining who they vote for in November.
Voters align with Democrats' positions on some other issues — immigration reform, background checks on gun purchases, and income equality, for example. But voters said those issues will not be nearly as important as healthcare in determining their vote.
Poll after poll this election season has displayed the Republican advantage. A Pew Research/USA Today poll released earlier this month showed Republicans heading into the midterm elections at their strongest point in about two decades. Overall, Democrats are plagued by the still-sluggish economy, the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act , and the undesirable views of President Obama.
Republicans are almost certain to keep control of the House of Representatives. The key question is whether they can swing the six seats they need to regain control of the Senate.
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