by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
John McLaughlin summarizes his most recent polling data for National Review Online.
In this presidential year, enough Democrats could be motivated to come out to outnumber Republicans. And in spite of the fact that some disapprove of the job that the president is doing, they are still willing to vote decisively for Democrats for Congress and probably the Senate, too.
Unlike 2010 and 2014, which were clearly referendums on President Obama, and 2012, which was a polarized battle to drive up turnout on each side, 2016 might not be a referendum on President Obama’s policies. It could be a choice between two different visions of the future. That would be bad for Republicans.
In light of the recent decision by the Supreme Court to uphold Obamacare’s individual mandate and subsidies, it’s important to note that the majority of voters still disapprove of Obamacare, 50 percent, and only 46 percent approve.
In fact, those voters who disapprove of Obama’s job performance and who do not vote Republican disapprove of Obamacare 72 percent, compared with only 23 percent who approve. Independents disapprove of Obamacare 54 percent to 39 percent. It’s very clear that the Republicans would benefit from a sharper contrast with the Obama Democrats on this issue.
The majority of American voters still favor a smaller government with fewer services over a larger government with many services — 56 percent to 31 percent. This trend has grown since January.
Even 39 percent of Democrats favor a smaller government, and independents favor smaller government 63 percent to 26 percent; undecided voters for Congress favor smaller government 53 percent to 22 percent. A focus on the size of government should benefit Republicans.
Of course, as John Hood recently reminded us, it’s still very early in the election cycle to pay attention to much detail from public opinion polls.