By Justin Sink
Americans believe that passing the Affordable Care Act was the greatest achievement of the Obama presidency, but also the administration's biggest misstep, according to a new poll released Monday by Gallup.
According to the survey, 22 percent of Americans believe that ObamaCare is the president's crowning achievement — more than double any other item. Ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and capturing terrorist leader Osama bin Laden were tied in second place, both picked by 7 percent of the public.
But when asked what the president's biggest failure was, a sizable plurality also selected ObamaCare, underscoring the political potency, and divided opinion, of the law.
Some 36 percent of respondents chose the Affordable Care Act as the biggest failure of his administration, vastly outpacing the 9 percent who criticized the president for not working better with congressional Republicans.
Of those surveyed, 5 percent said the president's biggest flaw was a lack of communication, while 4 percent said the president hadn't displayed enough leadership. No other controversy garnered more than 3 percent, and only 1 percent of those surveyed said Obama's handling of the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, was his biggest failure.
That's the same number who said that the president's greatest accomplishment was not getting impeached or assassinated.
According to Gallup, it's not unusual for their surveys to show the president's biggest success and failure on the same topic.
"Not surprisingly, Americans who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party are highly likely to cite Obamacare as the president's greatest achievement, while those who identify with or lean toward the GOP infrequently mention it, or anything else, as an achievement," said Gallup's Frank Newport.
Republicans are most likely to name the capture of bin Laden as Obama's top accomplishment, trailed by bringing the troops home. But four in 10 say that the president has done nothing of merit during his five years in office.
Meanwhile, nearly four in 10 Democrats say the Affordable Care Act is the president's biggest achievement. But 14 percent of the president's own party says he has no greatest achievement.