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FL Poll: ObamaCare hurting Sen. Nelson, Obama, Dems

Florida voters dislike the new health reform law so much that President Obama and the state’s top Democrat, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, are paying a hefty political price, according to a new survey and analysis by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.

Only 34 percent of Florida voters support the new law while 54 percent are opposed – well outside of the 4 percent error-margin for the poll of 625 registered voters.

Opposition is even stronger among the two crucial voting blocs in Florida: voters older than 65 and voters with no party affiliation. Seniors disfavor the bill by a 65-25 percent margin, while independent voters oppose the law 62-34.

The poll also shows that, by a 15 percentage-point margin, more Floridians have a negative view of Obama than a positive one. And they oppose his so-called “cap-and-trade” global warming legislation as well as the new healthcare law.

The “eye-popping” numbers in the poll concerned health care, seniors and Sen. Nelson, Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker said. He said elder voters were once a reliable base of support for Sen. Nelson, but no more.

“The only saving grace for Bill Nelson is that his election is in 2012 and some of the anger might die down by then,” Coker said. “But he probably can’t escape the damage completely.”

The percentage of voters who have an unfavorable opinion of Nelson -- 34 percent -- is just 2 percentage points higher than those who have an unfavorable view of him. Since his 2006 re-election, Nelson’s popularity has nose-dived 18 percentage points, the poll shows.

Because Florida is such a crucial swing state with so many seniors, Nelson’s troubles are a shot across the bow for Democrats everywhere, Coker said. The poll shows Nelson would lose to Republicans in theoretical match-ups against former Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov. Charlie Crist and his current U.S. Senate opponent Marco Rubio.

“If Bill Nelson’s getting hurt by this, you can imagine what damage there is to other Democrats across the country,” Coker said.

A spokesman and top advisor to Nelson, Dan McLaughlin, acknowledged that times have been tough for Democrats. But he said Nelson has been unfairly punished by the very group he sought to help, seniors.
Nelson successfully amended an early version of the health bill to soften cuts to Medicare Advantage, a privatized Medicare program. But the effort was denigrated by Republicans as a special deal, backroom deal for Florida that was nicknamed “Gator Aid.”

“If there’s a dip in the polls, it’s due to this inaccurate and unfair bashing for sticking up for these seniors,” McLaughlin said.

Since Nelson will be appearing on the same ballot as Obama in two years, Coker said, it’ll be interesting to watch whether the senator distance himself from the increasingly unpopular president.

For months, Nelson has been a hold out against Obama’s so-called “cap-and-trade” legislation designed to reduce carbon emissions to halt the effects of climate change. Nelson is particularly opposed to an effort to change the bill to open up the waters off Florida to oil drilling.

But the entire premise of the legislation might be misguided in the public mind, according to the poll. Only 35 percent believe global warming is proven, while 57 percent say it isn’t an established fact. By a 34-50 percent spread, voters oppose the cap and trade legislation. And five times as many voters believe the legislation will raise the cost of fuel.

One reason the cap-and-trade legislation is failing is because voters are losing faith in Obama in Florida, a victim of their dislike over health reform.

The big winner in all of the anger, Coker said, could be Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican who’s running for governor. McCollum on Tuesday sued the federal government to block the healthcare bill, claiming it violated constitutional principles over federal powers.

Coker said a poll on the governor’s race will be released next week. Coker said McCollum’s Democratic rival, state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, has been wise to avoid healthcare on the campaign trail and focus on jobs.

“She’s fortunate she didn’t have to vote for healthcare,” Coker said.  “The story is: here’s an unpopular piece of legislation and their senator voted for it,” Coker said. “Unlike other  votes people didn’t like, this didn’t go unnoticed.”


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You wanted him, you wanted change, WHATS THE MATTER?? Could you not see this coming, are to stupid or ignorant or is the color of his skin the only thing you look at???
Well now we WILL ALL pay your stupid,ignorant consequences,till 2012. ONE TERM WONDER, JUST LIKE PEANUT BOY.
Hell maybe they can get together after we boot his a_ _ out and travel the world trying to solve the problems of the world.
A Peanut Farmer and a Law Professor(???) that failed on bringing this great country together, great couple - DORKS...

Roger Dapson

The primary problem is not health care. It is the Democrats blatantly violated the basic principles of a republic by refusing to represent the will of the citizens.

Dogs get whipped immediately for shitting on the carpet. Whipping the Democrats down to puddles is an appropriate response. How many repeat performances are they allowed before they must all be publicly hanged for treason?

Melissa B

As a cancer survivor I feel my opinion on healthcare is especially relevant. Seeing how I've been through the system and I know what it's like to fight for coverage, and for my life. I've had a full-time job my entire life. I am a productive member of society. I always work, but my small employer does not offer health insurance. Would the anti-Obama crowd have me go bankrupt for paying medical bills? Do you want another neighbor's home to be vacant and see another foreclosure? No?
Well then, think twice about your health before you go accusing our President of causing harm. He's helped me already and I am very grateful.
I support Obama and I support health care reform.


Yes, I agree we need to make some changes to health care insurance. But that is not what this man is doing to this country. He is changing the foundation on which this country was built. If he wants to live in a country like Canada then he needs to move to Canada and leave the Constitution alone. He ain't God.

Rick J

Let's face it, Obama is a Socialist who hates people who make something of themselves. He is only interested in taking from those who earn it and giving it to those who don't deserve it. While I am sorry for the person who has cancer, you have no right to expect me and others, through taxes and subsidies, to pay for your medical expenses. Perhaps you should go back to school so you can get a better job. That's what I did. My family sacrificed both money and family time so I could educate myself so I could get a better job. I have Diabetes and I don't expect anyone to pay my medical expenses. Why take money that I earned from me and my children to subsidise someone else who is too dumb/uneducated to earn it ? What the liberals want to do is to make everyone dependent on big goverment so they can continue to grow goverment and take complete control of our lives.

Mary LaPage

We have NO IDEA where they get these poll numbers from!
None we know has been consulted in any poll.
This is crazy..these senoirs will find out within the next couple of years just how much this health care bill will help them!
And ,Senator Nelson, have you noticed he is one of the few politicians who is talking straight talk about this BP disaster...to both BP and the President!
Read...Think...Stop just giving knee-jerk reactions to everything.
Mary L

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