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Health care aftermath: Obama gets no bounce, but Court takes a hit

Published: Monday, July 16 2012 3:01 p.m. MDT

11 year old Michelle Vazquez of Rose Park Elementary School talks with Chief Justice John G. Roberts. (photo courtesy of Dana Wilson, Director of Marketing S.J. Quinney College of Law)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A new Gallup poll released Monday finds that public attitudes toward the U.S. Supreme Court have shifted since the historic health care decision earlier this month. Republicans now view the Court and Chief Justice John Roberts negatively, while Democrats have reversed their position.

Most polls indicate that the public remains sharply divided on the law itself, with pluralities or majorities favoring repeal.

"Whereas Republicans were initially highly favorable toward Roberts in 2005, when he was considered a conservative justice appointed by a conservative Republican president," Gallup reports, "their opinions are now more negative than positive. Democrats, initially evenly split in their views of Roberts, now appear to be big fans, with a +35 net favorable over unfavorable rating."

Recent polling after the health care decision shows no real movement in the presidential race, reports Douglas Schoen at The Daily Beast.

"The fact that the heath care ruling does not seem to have significantly altered the polls suggests that the election is going to be decided on other issues: namely, jobs and the economy," according to Schoen. "And that isn’t particularly good news for Obama. In my Newsweek/Daily Beast poll, voters said, by a margin of 52 to 37, that Romney would do a better job than Obama of handling the economy. And last week’s disappointing jobs numbers will only make this situation worse for the president."

A national survey by Quinnipiac University released last Thursday finds the public sharply divided, but with a majority remaining opposed to the Affordable Care Act. The survey gives some indications that the president may suffer for it.

According to the Quinnipiac poll, 55 percent of voters believe the Affordable Care Act is a tax hike; 49 percent want it repealed against 43 who do not.

"President Barack Obama has worked mightily to avoid the 'T' word, but most American voters say the ACA is in effect a tax hike," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a press release. "The big question is whether the Republicans can sell the idea to voters that the president's Affordable Care Act breaks his promise not to raise taxes on those who make less than $250,000. That's why what voters believe on this issue matters."

Eric Schulzke writes on national politics for the Deseret News. He can be contacted at eschulzke@desnews.com.

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