Breaking down the new Rasmussen poll: O’care underwater, strong for support limited government


ObamaCare (1)The Maine Wire got a look at the cross-tabs behind the latest Rasmussen poll. To the extent polls tell us anything meaningful about voters’ attitudes, this poll is interesting.

In case you missed it, the top line message is that Sen. Susan Collins has a mammoth 36-point lead over Democratic challenger Shenna Bellows. But the details of the poll show even worse news for Bellows and some other interesting things about Mainers’ current political attitudes. Namely, a majority of Mainers dislike the Affordable Care Act and prefer a more limited government.

First, bad news for Bellows:

  • Bellows doesn’t have a majority of support from her own party. According to the poll numbers, just 45 percent of self-identified Democrats support her — 15 percent of Democrats are not sure who they’ll support.
  • Collins, who is often disparaged as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) has a whopping 77 percent support from likely voters who identify as conservatives.
  • Bellows supports hiking the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour as President Barack Obama has proposed. Collins does not. Yet 61 percent of voters with household incomes of less than $30,ooo say they’ll be voting for Collins.
  • Forty percent of likely voters have never heard of Bellows. Twenty-two percent view her somewhat or very unfavorable.
  • Bellows support is strong among those who hold “very favorable” views of the Affordable Care Act. Sixty-one percent of respondents with such a view of the health care law supported Bellows. Interestingly, though, those with “somewhat favorable” views of Obamacare supported Collins, 52 to 34 percent.

That’s the bad news for Bellows. But the poll also asked other questions which delivered very interesting insights into Mainers’ attitudes towards President Obama, Obamacare, the economy, and the proper role of government:

  • Underwater Obamacare: A majority of Maine’s likely voters don’t like Obamacare. According to the poll, just 39 percent of voters view the health care law somewhat or very favorably. Conversely, 54 percent of voters hold somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable views toward Obamacare. Mainers’ attitudes towards President Obama’s health care law may have an impact on the gubernatorial election considering Rep. Michael Michaud voted for it (and has voted to protect it several dozen times).
  • Young, Low-Income Mainers: Especially problematic for Maine Democrats, Mainers in the 18-39 age demographic are more likely to dislike Obamacare, with just 7 percent of that age bracket holding a very favorable view of the law. Also worth noting, 43 percent of poll respondents who reported household incomes of less than $30,000 held very unfavorable views of Obamacare. That means that the folks the law was supposed to help are most likely to not like it. Who really likes Obamacare? Mainers making more than $200,000, 33 percent of whom held very favorable views of the law.
  • Limited Government: The poll reveals that a majority of likely Maine voters agree with the central tenet of American conservatism – that is, limited government is good government. According to the poll, just 28 percent of respondents said they prefer a “more active government with more services and higher taxes.” On the other hand, 60 percent said they prefer a “smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes.” Among those who do not identify as Republicans or Democrats, 60 percent support limited government while 25 percent support more intervention. And, interestingly, 26 percent of self-identified liberals said they want smaller government and lower taxes. Conservatives, moderates and a few liberals all seem to agree that limited government is good government.
  • Obama: Despite Obamacare’s low approval rating, Obama himself remains above water — just barely. Fifty-two percent of likely Maine voters strongly or somewhat approve of Obama. Comparatively, 36 percent of voters strongly disapprove and 13 percent somewhat disapprove.
  • Angus: Sixty-two percent of likely voters held somewhat favorable or very favorable views of independent Sen. Angus King. Forty-four percent of self-identified Democrats view the former governor very favorably, while only 15 percent of Republicans are so fond.
  • The Economy: Fifty-seven percent of likely voters rated the U.S. economy “good” or “fair”, while 41 percent said it was poor. Democrats and liberals were far more likely to say the economy was in good shape than Republicans and conservatives. This finding is interesting considering Michaud’s strategy for winning the 2014 gubernatorial election has been to convince voter’s that Maine’s economy is in the gutter because of the current Blaine House resident.

Since there has been lots of talk about poll samples around Maine lately, here’s the party enrollment breakdown: 30 percent Republican, 35 percent Democrat and 35 percent Other.


  1. “Fifty-two percent of likely Maine voters strongly or somewhat approve of Obama.” This number illustrates well that daily newspapers still have some control of public opiinion in Maine.


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