New Q-Poll: Obamacare Hurts Udall (For Now), Christie Gets Love

From the latest poll from Quinnipiac University out today, looking at approval of President Barack Obama, his signature health care reform law, and upcoming races for U.S. Senate in 2014 and for President in 2016:

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall gets a split 44 – 44 percent approval rating, but voters say 47 – 41 percent the Democratic incumbent does not deserve to be reelected. 

In the 2014 U.S. Senate race in Colorado, Sen. Udall gets 45 percent to 42 percent for Republican District Attorney Ken Buck. In other possible matchups:
Udall over State Sen. Randy Baumgardner 44 – 39 percent;
Udall tops State Sen. Owen Hill 45 – 39 percent;
Udall at 43 percent, with 40 percent for businessman Jaime McMillan;
Udall leads State Rep. Amy Stephens 45 – 38 percent;
Udall tops businessman Mark Aspiri 45 – 36 percent.

"Though running even or ahead of six possible Republican challengers, Sen. Mark Udall must be pulling for a quick fix of the Obamacare website and a change of heart by Coloradans who dislike the Affordable Care Act by a wide margin," [Q-pac assistant director Tim] Malloy said. 

Colorado voters disapprove 59 – 36 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, his worst approval rating in any state or national Quinnipiac University poll since he was elected. Even women disapprove by 52 – 41 percent, while men disapprove 66 – 31 percent. Disapproval is 98 – 2 percent among Republicans and 65 – 27 percent among independent voters, while Democrats approve 78 – 15 parent. 

The Durango Herald's Joe Hanel has a good summary up on today's poll:

The poll found the popularity of Democrats in general plummeted since the last time Quinnipiac surveyed Colorado voters in August. But Republicans don’t have much to cheer about. Their popularity ratings remain even lower.

Colorado voters have unfavorable views of the Democratic Party, with 39 percent approving and 54 percent disapproving; the Republican Party, 34 percent to 56 percent; and the GOP’s tea party faction, 34 percent to 48 percent.

First of all, there's no question that the disastrous rollout of the federal health insurance marketplace has severely impacted polling numbers for Democrats. The numbers for both Sen. Mark Udall and President Obama undeniably have taken a major hit, and Obamacare is the obvious explanation. The only ray of sunshine in this bad news for Democrats is that nearly a year remains before the next election. This week, the narrative on the rollout of Obamacare has begun to shift as news reports finally show appreciable numbers of signups through the marketplaces. Whatever the polls show today, once the story of Obamacare changes from dysfunction to hard-won success–you might say 'if,' but we believe it will happen–these numbers should turn around.

On the GOP side of the 2014 Senate race, we see, much like the numbers for Gov. John Hickenlooper yesterday, a total inability to capitalize on Democrats' self-inflicted wounds. Udall's lead over all GOP challengers is significant, but even more noteworthy is the failure of Rep. Amy Stephens to differentiate herself from a weak pack of Republican candidates. As the only woman in a field of generally underrecognized GOP contenders, we truthfully expected her to outperform in a head-to-head matchup against Udall. Instead, she's one of the weakest.

Lastly, and though it's far too early to meaningfully poll the 2016 presidential race, the evident popularity of Republican Gov. Chris Christie in Colorado shouldn't be overlooked. On a number of occasions, including Christie's cooperation with Obama on Hurricane Sandy relief efforts just before last year's elections, as well as Christie's very public chastisement of Colorado Republicans for their hypocritical disaster relief votes, he has distinguished himself as the kind of pragmatic statesman local independent voters love. There's a lesson in that for Republicans and Democrats in Colorado, but with our local GOP lurching ever rightward, we doubt they can follow the example.


32 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. The problem for Republicans in this poll is that Chris Christie might very well be too moderate for the GOP primary voters, or off-putting to the base in a general election if he does survive the primary.

    • Aristotle says:

      Christie will probably shift to the right, just like moderate 'pub POTUS hopefuls have been doing since George H. W. Bush.

      • BlueCat says:

        Funny thing is, Christie is already very far right. He just doesn't project enough hate to please the GOTP base. 

        • Aristotle says:

          The same could have been said about Mitt Romney. Well, maybe not the "far" right part, but I wonder if Christie could truly be that far right and not have teabaggy support already. He seems to popular with too many people.

          Anyway, I think the base will get behind him because he has the best chance of winning. Don't get me wrong – a repeat of the whole not-Romney phenomenon, where the GOP's looniest high profile politicians try to out-extreme one another, show they're "real conservatives" unlike Christie, and trade places being # 1 in the hearts of teabaggers everywhere, would be fun to see. But the establishment will win out in the end. If they don't get behind him for the purpose of getting a 'pub – any 'pub – into the White House, they'll instead finally bolt the party.

          But I don't see that happening because nobody is really getting an alternative right wing party organized now. The Left had the Greens in place in 2000 – they'd been there for years, Nader having already ran as their candidate in 1996. Some may stay home in frustration, but I think the lesson of 2012 may prompt them to vote Christie whether they like him or not.

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    It all comes down to two things

    1. Do they get the federal Obamacare website running ok in the next month or two.
    2. Do the Republicans in Congress hold the debt ceiling and budget hostage again in March.

    Obamacare working soon and the GOP threatens the economy, advantage Dems. Obamacare still a disaster and the GOP quickly passes the budget bills, advantage GOP.

    • ElliotFladen says:

      Why have a budget shutdown here?  Point has been made – Obamacare was not as advertised and if it fails, Dems should properly receive blame and not a mandate for single payor. 

      • horseshit GOP front group says:

        Can you guarantee Obamacare will always be "not as advertised" ?

        • ElliotFladen says:

          Yes, because if the law is changed it is no longer Obamacare. Maybe it will be Obamacare II, or maybe it will just be something else.  But I think Obamacare means the law passed in 2010.  Do you see something amiss in that analysis that I am not catching?

          • horseshit GOP front group says:

            I am saying that Obamacare won't be a clusterfuck forever, even if it is now.  At that point with the short attention span of the media and Americans in general, it'll be on to some other shiny object.

            It is a massive fuck up though, but that dosen't mean things like pre-existing conditions didn't need to go away.  They did.

            • ElliotFladen says:

              The problem is though that millions have lost, or will lose, their coverage based upon this law.  And although apologists say stuff like "their coverage wasn't good anyway", that is exactly what Obama promised wouldn't happen.  So on that basis alone the law was not as advertised.  And when you start factoring in lack of bending the cost curve….

              • ajb says:

                And you'd rather see people die than lose the political advantage. Got it.

                • horseshit GOP front group says:

                  You see this in states like Minnesota where the governor is refusing to adhere to Obama's executive order extending cancelled plans for one year.

                  1) Piss on an insured's leg

                  2) tell them its raining

                  3) tell them its all Obama's fault

                  I guess when Obama said " if you want to keep your plan, you can" he never envisioned assholes trying to sandbag the entire process regardless of the consequences, which is interesting, considering that's what they've been doing all along…

                  • ElliotFladen says:


                    The problem with your point is that the Obama administration KNEW that people would lose coverage under THEIR law, and LIED to the american people about it anyway.  So any subsequent purported "sandbagging" is frankly an irrelevant distraction from said knowledge/lie/result. 

                    • horseshit GOP front group says:

                      OK.  Nobody's trying to sandbag Obamacare.  I see.

                    • ElliotFladen says:

                      As I said below, plenty of people want to sandbag Obamacare, but that isn't the reason the law is having problems.  As you know, the GOP isn't very good at doing much to stop the law beyond digging themselves in a hole.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      Yes lots of people are trying to sandbag it so it was really lacking in foresight to make a blanket statement that now give the Rs something legit to harp on. Nobody could have under the old system or should have in regard to the new system made that simplistic promise. 

                      On the other side of the coin many aren't even trying to sign up until they hear it's working. The promise was that it would be OK by the end of November so surely many say why bother before that?

                      It's still way too early to know how this is going to shake out. One thing we do know. It may be dragging on Dems but it isn't giving any boost to Rs. The public isn't happy with pols in general right now and R pols least of all.

                • ElliotFladen says:


                  Nice try.  The problem you got though is you can't demonstrate that fewer people will die under Obamacare than not under it.  Helll, you can't even demonstrate that fewer people will have COVERAGE (which does not necessarily even mean treatment for an illneess) than without it.  

                  But hey, if you want to be a bomb thrower, who doesn't let lack of factual basis stop him from hurling rhetorical explosives, go right ahead.  We have a few of those on the right, so it makes sense that the left should have a few as well. 

                  • ElliotFladen says:

                    I meant insurance coverage (meaning under a plan), and not coverage for specific treatment. 

                  • horseshit GOP front group says:

                    I have to say I agree with you Elliot, in terms of Obamacare is never going to be as advertised.  Point taken.


                    There are vested business and political interests out there that are going to do everything in their power to undermine Obamacare.  They can do this by flat out refusing to set up a state exchance, disseminate all sorts of misinformation, or refuse to adhere to the executive order extending coverage on existing plans. 


                    People will needlessly suffer, but hey, at least they can say its not as advertised and have that political victory.  Bravo.

                    • ElliotFladen says:

                      And I agree that people have wanted to avoid setting up exchanges for the express purpose of crippling Obamacare.  I recall hearing that repeatedly during the debate on Amycare (SB200) and in its aftermath. 

                    • BlueCat says:

                      Agreement fest remark belongs here.

              • gaf says:

                lack of bending the cost curve….


                lack of bending the cost curve…

                False. The increases are slowing. For example (there are many other sources that document the slowing):



          • Miss Jane says:

            Well, I think the names will stay the same, the AFA and/or Obamacare,  just as Social Security has and as Medicare and Medicaid have. Those programs have changed quite a bit over time.

            And there was no way that the administration was going to blink on this before the exchange roll out started.  Their hands were pretty much tied.  They had what they had, and they had to stick with it.  It would have risked the existence of the program.  That was something they could not do.  This is that big of a deal.

            This is America, we will fix this unless the gop, and I will not call them conservatives because they are not, is intent on maintaining a chaotic state of affairs.  Then it will take longer and be messier.  Oh, joy.  This is the gilded age and the consequent push back all over again.   The more things change, the more they stay the same.

          • gaf says:

            Medicare has been changed many times. Still called Medicare. However, 70 years from now I hope they just call it "health care" and that this country has finally made the moral decision that everyone gets it.

      • roccoprahn says:

        Simply put, you have no idea if it"s "what it's advertised as."

        First of all, the system is working where republicans don't have a chance to sabotage it. You know that.

        Where there are glitches, if the professionals are allowed unfettered access to figuring out the problems, they're getting fixed. The rollout's been a mess.That's a given. But the misinformation run by the insurance providers is being countered by the information that the "catastrophy" plans the republicans are "saving" are pure crap. You know that and so do the republicans running that con in the House. They also know that the IT defieciency in the Federal Government is one of thier doing. Don't even try that with me.

        People that simply bite the bullet and start the admittedly laborious…..but worth the trouble…..process of getting enrolled are finding, most of the time, their insurance will be less in the ACA system.

        I realize that as a self styled "libertarian", your ideology clashes with the idea of trying to get all Americans insured. You see Health Insurance as something to be earned, not a right. OK, thre we can simply disagree. But it's the law, it's been upheald by the most right leaning SCOTUS in my lifetime, and it's movving forward. That said, agree or not, the best course is to make it the best thing that ever happened to us. That's what people invested in progress do. 

        The way the republicans approach this reminds me of something Chris Mathews said……..You've got a drowning man 200 feet out, in freezing water. Someone jumps in to save him, and is plainly struggling to reach him in the frigid water. Instead of offering any assistance, the "onlookers"…yes, the GOP, isstanding on the bank, laughing, mocking the rescuer and the victim, and gleefully hoping both will drown.

        You may not like my comparison to you and yours, but it is what it is. Your "libertarian" delusions of utopia are getting in the way of 380 million people.

        Don't like it, come up with a plan. Failing that, follow or get out of the way at the very least. 

        For what it's worth, had Single Payer won, we'd be home free now. But believe me, we'll have it in the next 10 years. Our economy depends on it. And it will be the greatest achievement since Medicare.

    • ElliotFladen says:

      Additionally, another relevant quote:
      "“Is he even more unpopular than George W. Bush? I think that’s already happened,” said one Democratic chief of staff."

      • BlueCat says:

        In political time what's next comes up pretty fast, as fast as issues go from hair on fire to old news.  So I wouldn't be counting on this being the terrific issue you think it is by next election. I wouldn't count it out either but things change pretty quickly.  And it's not like it's raising R approval either. Udall and other Dems in similar bluish purple states only have to do better than Rs who are polling pretty dismally.

        Also, the number of people actually losing real insurance in all but a technical way, meaning many of them are being offered new plans with no break that they can get for either no more of an increase than the privately insured usually get or for less with the subsidies is grossly inflated by the right with the mindless cooperation of the media. That should become increasingly apparent as the next election nears. As long as the site and the state sites, not to be confused with ACA itself, are doing a good job in time for people to get set well before the election their attention can easily be turned to other stuff which will surely come up. 

        As for disapproval, heck, I'm not feeling much approval for Obama's performance these days but that doesn't mean I won't vote for a Dem such as Udall or one like Romanoff in CD6,  neither of whom are exactly slavish Obama boosters.  See Udall's stands on rights v security issues and Romanoff  was in the HRC camp altogether and later defied the administration by running against their boy, Bennet.  

        As for 2016, if HRC runs she will not be tied too tightly to Obama policy. She ran against him before and hasn't been in the legislature accumulating a voting record on any of these issues since. The right won't be able to turn her into Obama redux except with those who'd never vote Dem in the first place. 

        We'll see whose analysis is more on the money first in 2014, next in 2016. Have a super nice day.

  3. Davie says:

    The main lesson from this poll for me is that everyone is pretty grumpy and fed up with the disfunction in Washington.  But as the poll clearly notes, the voters see the Republican alternatives as even worse.

    Unless the GOP gets a head and heart transplant to look and act more like Chris Christie, they can look forward to more years of losing even more seats in Congress, and seeing another Democrat in the White House in 2016.

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