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July 10, 2012 11:03 AM Shifting Views of Health Care Reform?

By John Sides

I predicted that the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act—no matter the ruling—was more likely to polarize opinion than to change many minds.  Some early evidence supported that contention.  See my post and also Mark Blumenthal.

However, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds support for health care reform has increased since an early April poll.  In the recent poll, 47% support “the federal law making changes to the health care system” and 47% oppose it.  In the earlier poll, the split was 39% support and 53% oppose.

The major shift seems to be among independents (from 35% to 48% support).  (NB: At those links, you need to use the Post’s handy widget to generate the results by party identification.)   Support among Democrats (up 5 points from the earlier poll) and Republicans (+3) is much more stable.

However, I assume those results lump together independents who lean towards a party and “pure” independents.  If the results are being driven mainly by independents who lean Democratic, then the Post trend might reflect partisan polarization as well.  Hopefully we’ll have some more new polls soon, and we can see whether a consistent trend is developing.

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

John Sides is an associate professor of political science at George Washington University.