By Carten Cordell | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
“I don’t think it is likely to change public perceptions of the president’s law,” said Scott Rasmussen, founder of political polling giant Rasmussen Reports. “The political rhetoric has been hot and heavy, and support has not budged in the last two years.”
Rasmussen said he sees Obamacare as a sideline issue, especially in Virginia’s U.S. senate race.
Acknowledging that the law may “end up helping Mitt Romney a little bit,” Rasmussen said the U.S. senate race will likely following the presidential. “If Mitt Romney wins Virginia’s electoral votes, I believe George Allen will win the Senate race. If Barack Obama wins, I think Tim Kaine will win the Senate race,” he said.
The Supreme Court’s decision “really just kind of solidified the political status quo,” said Geoff Skelley, political analyst for the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “We know that Democrats are going to … defend the whole bill. Republicans are going to talk about the mandate.”
As if on cue, the Allen campaign in an email called Obamacare “a key issue throughout this race,” and referenced the GOP nominee’s website where a series of press releases attack the policy.
The Kaine campaign could not be reached for comment by deadline.
Rasmussen figures health care is not Allen’s strongest weapon.
“I suspect the Democrats will try to avoid talking about it too much, and the Republicans will try to bring it up a lot,” Rasmussen said. “If the Republicans talk only about the health-care law, they’ll be in trouble. If they talk about the health-care law and the way it affected the economy, it could be a very powerful issue.”
Jobs and the economy continue to be the central issue of the campaign, he said, and with the case now decided by the highest court, there’s little left to debate.
“The week after the law was passed, 54 percent (of the public) wanted it repealed. The day before the court ruled, 54 percent wanted it repealed,” Rasmussen said. “Nothing has changed.”