Only 36% of Likely Mass. Voters Support Obamacare; Only 48% Approve of Job Obama's Doing

By Terence P. Jeffrey | January 16, 2010 | 4:33 PM EST

President Barack Obama makes a statement about the earthquake in Haiti, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010, at the White House in Washington (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

( - Only 36 percent of the Massachusetts residents who say they are likely to vote in the special U.S. Senate election that will take place in that state on Tuesday say they support the national health-care plan being pushed by President Barack Obama and only 48 percent say they approve of the job Obama is doing as president.

A 51-percent majority of those likely to vote in Tuesday's special election say they oppose Obama's health-care plan.
The results are from a poll of 500 likely voters interviewed Jan. 11-13 by the Suffolk University Political Research Center for the WHDH Channel 7News/Suffolk University poll. The same poll said that those who said they were likely to vote in Tuesday's election favored Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown over Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, 50 percent to 46 percent.  Brown and Coakley are seeking the U.S. Senate seat formerly occupied by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
President Obama will appear with Coakley at a campaign event at Northeastern University in Boston on Sunday. Obama decided to make the campaign trip even as the 7News/Suffolk University poll showed that a majority of Massachusetts voters oppose his health-care plan and less than a majority approve of the job he is doing as president.
In addition to asking likely Massachusetts voters whether they intended to vote for Brown or Coakley, the poll asked: “Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president?” Forty-eight percent said they approved, and 43 percent said they disapproved.
Despite Massachusetts' reputation as a liberal state, President Obama’s job approval rating among likely voters there as measured by the 7News/Suffolk poll is actually slightly lower than his job approval rating nationally as measured by the Gallup poll. The latest Gallup numbers put Obama’s national job approval rating at 49%.
The 7News/Suffolk University poll also asked likely Massachusetts voters: “Do you support the proposed near universal national health care law?” Fifty-one percent said no, while only 36% said yes.  Also, 61 percent said the federal government could not afford the proposed health care plan. Only 32 percent said they believed the government could afford it. 
The poll also indicated that the two top issues on voters’ minds in Massachusetts are the economy/jobs and health care. Forty-four percent said that “economy/jobs” was the most important issue facing whichever candidate won the special Senate election. Thirty-eight percent said it was health care. After the economy/jobs and health care, the third issue on the Massachusetts voters’ minds was “war.” But only 5 percent said this was the most important issue that the winner of Tuesday’s election would face.
Although only 48 percent of likely Massachusetts voters approve of the job President Obama is doing, the 7News/Suffolk poll indicated that most Massachusetts voters still like Obama personally. Fifty-five percent say they have a “generally favorable” view of him as a person, while only 35 percent say they have a “generally unfavorable” view.