Poll: In Election, Economic Concerns Trumped Views on Health Care Reform

BY Lea Winerman  November 9, 2010 at 11:42 AM EST

One week after the midterm elections, pollsters and pundits are continuing to mull over the factors that caused voters to give the GOP a sweep of the House. Now, a new poll released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that concerns over health care reform drove some voters’ decisions, but that the economy and other factors played a bigger role for most.

The Kaiser pollsters asked more than 1,000 voters an open-ended question about why they voted the way they did. They found that 29 percent of respondents named concerns about jobs and the economy among the top two factors that influenced their votes. 25 percent of people said they voted for a specific party, and 21 percent cited a specific candidate’s experience, personality or character as a top influence. Health care reform came in fourth — 17 percent of voters mentioned it.

Read the full poll results here.

The majority of those voters who cited health care reform as a top concern were against the new law. Fifty-six percent of them had a “very unfavorable” view of the law, compared to about a third of other voters.

But overall, the poll found respondents split on reform. Twenty-four percent wanted the entire law repealed, and 25 percent wanted parts of it rolled back. But 19 percent of respondents wanted the law to remain as it is, and 21 percent wanted to see expanded.