Support for health care reform sees sharp drop in Wisconsin

Support for health care reform in Wisconsin has dropped in recent months, according to the new Marquette University Law School Poll, released Monday.

Only 35 percent had a favorable view of health care reform, while 56 percent have an unfavorable view (eight percent responded “don’t know”), a significant drop from the October poll.

“(The decline is) quite sharp,” said Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll. “October was 44 percent favorable, 48 percent unfavorable. January is 35 percent favorable, 56 percent unfavorable. It was a net minus-four in October, and it’s a net minus-21 today. It’s a net 17 point shift. That’s a substantial fall.”

In past polls, Franklin said more have disapproved than approved of the law, with disapproval consistently in the high 40s and approval in the low 40s, but new data shows the gap is widening.

“(For) folks in Wisconsin, their confidence in this law, which was shaky to begin with, is now clearly negative.”

Franklin said polling data in Wisconsin on this issue is “consistent with what we’ve seen with national data.”

Also in the new poll, a large majority of Wisconsinites – 84 percent – consider health care reform to be an important issue.

The poll asked, “How important an issue is health care reform when it comes to deciding how to vote?” 50 percent said it is “very important,” 34 percent said “somewhat important,” eight percent said “not very important” and seven percent said “not important at all.”

This poll interviewed 802 registered Wisconsin voters by both landline and cell phone Jan. 20-23, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points for the full sample. The entire questionnaire, full results and breakdowns by demographic groups are available at

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