The Wall Street Journal poll on October 11 showed the Republican and especially Tea Party strategy of shutting down the government to defund the Affordable Care Act was a failure and the Republicans were taking the brunt of the public’s ire. By October 16, when Republicans finally capitulated, they were down 6 points to Democrats on the generic congressional ballot test as captured by Real Clear Politics. It was assumed at that point that Republicans were beginning their 2014 campaigns in a very deep hole.
But, then came President Obama’s disastrous management of the Affordable Care Act start-up. In the two intervening months, the President and his team have lost 9 points of advantage as the Republicans are now 3 points up on the generic ballot test. Obama is pulling down the entire Democratic ticket, as measured in local polls, including in Colorado.
But, probably most devastating to Obama is the public turning against his legacy, Obamacare. What Republicans were unable to do in dozens of defunding votes and the shutdown, the roll-out accomplished. Half the public believes Obamacare is a bad idea and only a third believe it is a good idea (34%).