The Pure Logic Behind the Heritage Action Obamacare Push Poll

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 14 2013 6:37 PM

The Pure Logic Behind the Heritage Action Obamacare Push Poll

167685929
Silly right-wing think tanks, with their silly polls.

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Heritage Action for America is one of the stronger organizations campaigning for Republicans to refuse to fund Obamacare in the next CR. Most polling suggests that a "government shutdown" is unpopular, and that defunding Obamacare is almost as unpopular. The solution: a poll that asks mostly Republican voters about a possible shutdown in the most-message-friendly manner possible!

IN ORDER TO GET PRESIDENT OBAMA TO AGREE TO AT LEAST HAVE A "TIME OUT" ON IMPLEMENTING THE HEALTH CARE LAW AND ITS FULL EFFECTS, WOULD YOU APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE OF A TEMPORARY SLOWDOWN IN NON-ESSENTIAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS, WHICH STILL LEFT ALL ESSENTIAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES RUNNING?
Advertisement

Who could possibly be against that? In this poll respondents support the idea of a totally painless shutdown for a cause they support by a 2–1 margin, and by a smaller margin they support defunding the law somehow. And as Alex Seitz-Wald pointed out first, the districts targeted by the poll—denoted in the cross tabs as "60 percent Republican, 40 percent Democrat"—are actually incredibly skewed toward the GOP.

How skewed? Well, the four Democratic districts all voted heavily for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama; three of them, in Georgia, Utah, and North Carolina, were actually gerrymandered in 2011, making them harder for Democrats to hold on to.

What, then, is the point of this poll? I think that's obvious. No Republican is telling his base that he wants to keep Obamacare in place. The holdouts, typically those who think it'd be wiser to delay the mandates and kill the law later, are saying that a shutdown would hurt the party. Heritage Action is attempting to prove that a well-messaged Obamacare war would not only be a boon to them in their districts—it would scare a few Democrats in seats they should have lost already. That's much more useful than some national poll of the whole country, which mostly voted for Barack Obama.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Alabama’s Insane New Abortion Law Gives Fetuses Lawyers and Puts Teenage Girls on Trial

Tattoo Parlors Have Become a Great Investment

Natasha Lyonne Is Coming to the Live Culture Gabfest. Are You?

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The Secret Service’s Big Problems Were Reported Last Year. Nobody Cared.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM It Wasn’t a Secret A 2013 inspector general report detailed all of the Secret Service’s problems. Nobody cared.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 2 2014 11:16 AM Some McDonald's Monopoly Properties Matter More
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 2 2014 11:07 AM Mapping 1890 Manhattan's Crazy-Quilt of Immigrant Neighborhoods
  Double X
Doublex
Oct. 2 2014 11:34 AM Alabama’s Insane New Abortion Law Putting teenage girls on trial may finally be too much for the Supreme Court.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 11:35 AM Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar’s New Video Is Somehow Both Creepy and Joyful
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 2 2014 11:41 AM Dropbox Recruiting Video Features Puppets and Data Privacy
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 2 2014 9:49 AM In Medicine We Trust Should we worry that so many of the doctors treating Ebola in Africa are missionaries?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?