Poll: Majority say O-Care will affect midterm vote

A strong majority, 68 percent, say ObamaCare will affect their vote in November’s congressional elections, according to a new poll, but the public remains split on what Congress should do with the landmark health law.

The poll by Bankrate.com released Wednesday found 44 percent saying their view on the Affordable Care Act would be a major factor in their vote in House elections, with another 24 percent saying it would be a minor factor.

Twenty-five percent said ObamaCare wouldn’t factor at all into how they voted.

The poll, though, also found a divide on how Congress should handle healthcare reform after the elections.  Thirty percent want to repeal the law entirely with 12 percent wanting to keep it as is. Twenty-nine percent want minor changes, with 23 percent backing a major overhaul.

Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire, said the poll highlights that ObamaCare will be a key issue in the midterms but won’t cut in favor of either party.

"In these results, you've got 8 out of 10 Republicans saying, 'Either make major changes or repeal.’ 7 out of 10 Democrats saying, 'Either keep it or tweak it a little,' and independents, who are evenly divided among the options,” he said. “This seems to be an issue on which people's opinions have been settled for some time."

Of the 68 percent who said ObamaCare would have some influence on their vote, 32 percent said they would likely vote Republican, 26 percent Democratic and 35 percent said political affiliation doesn’t matter.

"What we're seeing here is the Affordable Care Act makes Republicans more likely to vote Republican, Democrats more likely to vote Democratic, and for independents, the majority says it will make no difference," said Scala.

However, the report did find Republicans are much more likely to vote for candidates based on their stance on ObamaCare than Democrats and independents. Three out of five Republicans say the law will have a major influence on their vote versus two out of five Democrats and independents.

Republicans are expected to retain control of the House, with only 17 seats considered tossups.