CNN Poll: Health care ruling changes views of Supreme Court

CNN Poll: Health care ruling changes views of Supreme Court

POSTED: Monday, July 2, 2012 - 8:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, July 2, 2012 - 8:14pm

(CNN) -- The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the national health care law may not have changed many minds regarding the controversial measure, but a new poll indicates it sure did change Americans views of the high court.

According to a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday, the public is divided on last week's ruling, with 50% saying they agree with the Supreme Court's decision and 49% saying they disagree. And there is the expected partisan divide, with more than eight in ten Democrats agreeing with the decision, more than eight in ten Republicans disagreeing, and independent voters divided, with 52% disagreeing and 47% agreeing.

The poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, entirely after the high court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

"Despite howls of protest from many Republican leaders, only about one in five Americans -- and only 35% of the Republican rank and file -- say they are angry about the decision," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "And despite victory laps by many Democratic leaders, only one in six Americans -- and only one in three Democrats nationwide -- say they feel enthusiastic about the court's ruling."

But what have changed are perceptions of the high court. "As recently as April, Republicans and Democrats had virtually identical positive opinions on the Supreme Court. But not any more," adds Holland. "That's the biggest change that the court decision has created."

The court's approval rating among Democrats jumped by 23 points; to 73%. Among Republicans, it fell by 21 points, to 31%. Approval of the Supreme Court among independents edged up five points, to 53%.

Not surprisingly, opinions of Chief Justice John Roberts are also divided along partisan lines, with a majority of Democrats holding a favorable view of him compared to only three in ten Republicans. But more than a third of all Americans are unsure how they view Roberts, probably a result of the low profile that he and his colleagues have kept for many years. Roberts sided with the liberals on the high court to uphold the law.

Overall, three in ten say the high court is too liberal, with 22% saying it's too conservative and 46% saying it's about right.

The Republican led House of Representatives has scheduled a July 11th vote to attempt to repeal the health care law. The survey indicates that 51% say Congress should repeal all provisions of the measure, with 47% saying no.

What about the individual mandate itself? Forty-eight percent favor it and 51% oppose the mandate. One thing that Americans do agree on is that the health insurance mandate is a tax, as ruled by the Supreme Court. Six in ten feel that way.

"But it is also worth noting that the number of Americans who favor all or most of the provisions in the bill has gone up a bit since last year, and despite roughly half looking to repeal all the provisions in the law, only one in eight say they oppose everything in the bill," says Holland.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from 28-July 1 with 1,517 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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