Exit Polls Find That The Health Law Remains Controversial

Looking beyond the final vote tallies, news outlets delve into exit poll findings in order to gain insights into how voters feel about the health law, the economy and other issues.

The Wall Street Journal: Economy's Fate A Central Concern Of Voters
Fears over the economy and unemployment were the central focus of voters who cast ballots in the presidential election Tuesday, with issues such as health care, the federal budget deficit and foreign policy rated far lower in importance. Exit polls showed that many voters see Mitt Romney as better positioned to fix the economy and President Barack Obama as having a better feel for the middle class and how to handle Medicare (King, 11/6).

Politico: Exit Polls 2012: Split On Obamacare
Voters are deeply divided on whether some or all of the Obama health care law should be repealed, according to early exit polls. Forty-five percent of voters said they think the 2010 law should be either fully or partially repealed, compared with 47 percent who want to see the law remain as-is or see it expanded further (Schultheis, 11/6).

CNN: Exit Polls: Obamacare Remains A Hot-Button Issue
President Obama's health care reform law -- Obamacare -- continues to be very controversial, exit polls indicated Tuesday. In Florida, the exit polls showed 49 percent of voters say the 2010 law should be repealed completely or in part. Forty-three percent said it should be expanded or kept as is. Florida voters also had the opportunity to vote on amending the state constitution to prohibit individuals and businesses from being compelled to participate in any health care system. Exit polls show that vote is very close. Exit polls in Ohio, show 52 percent said they think the president's health care reform law should be repealed completely or in part while 42 percent said it should be expanded or left as is. There's a similar split in other swing states. Iowa: 53 percent for change or repeal and 38 percent for leaving it or expanding it. New Hampshire: 50 percent for change or repeal and 47 percent for leaving it. Colorado: 55 percent-37 percent for repeal. Even in the president's home state of Illinois, 49 percent said they want Obamacare changed or repealed while 47 percent want it expanded or left as is (Kanel, 11/7).

Also in the news, The New York Times notes that the outcome could cause the GOP to revisit the "antigovernment focus" that stemmed from the opposition to the Affordable Care Act --

The New York Times: Republicans Face Struggle Over Party's Direction
The coming debate will be centered on whether the party should keep pursuing the antigovernment focus that grew out of resistance to the health care law and won them the House in 2010, or whether it should focus on a strategy that recognizes the demographic tide running strongly against it. … The first test of whether Republicans see any political need to be more conciliatory will come quickly in the lame duck session of Congress this month, when they will face pressure from the White House, Congressional Democrats and perhaps the Senate Republican leadership to strike a deal to avert the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the beginning of automatic across-the-board spending cuts (Hulse, 11/7).

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