Jay Cost, over at RealClearPolitics:
It would be difficult for any strong partisan to admit that such an accomplishment [as Obamacare] was so deeply unpopular. Yet the polling is pretty unequivocal on the relationship between the Democrats’ fortunes and the health care bill. It was during the health care debate that the essential building block of the Democratic majority – Independent voters – began to crumble. It was evident in the generic ballot. It was evident in the President’s job approval numbers. It was evident in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
Reconstructing the Democrats’ meme, we can fairly say that the economy is a huge problem for the party. Of this, there can be no doubt. We can also say that the stalled recovery denied the Democrats a chance to win back the voters they lost over health care. But the process and passage of health care reform were crucial elements in the story. That’s when the party started losing the voters it needs to retain control of the government.
I agree. Democrats — and especially President Obama — lost the public’s trust during and because of the health care debate. The polls show a huge shift in July 2009, when the first committee votes were taken on Obamacare.
This was the first crack in the windshield, and it has now spread everywhere. Independent voters have stopped giving Democrats the benefit of the doubt on a variety of other major issues — the stimulus, the war in Afghanistan, education (!), taxes, you name it. Obamacare has precipitated a dramatic loss of faith in Obama.