Pollster: Obamacare Will Pay Off for Democrats

Americans would rather improve the president's health care plan than repeal it.

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A new college ratings system proposed by President Obama in August is scheduled to launch in spring 2015.
A new college ratings system proposed by President Obama in August is scheduled to launch in spring 2015.

 Despite the glitches and the serious setbacks associated with the rollout of Obamacare, President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act will prove to be an asset for Democrats in the long run, says prominent Democratic pollster Geoff Garin.

Garin told me his research into the electorate of Virginia, where he advised winning Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, has wide application to the country.

"The whole focus on Obamacare as a negative for Democrats in 2013 was deeply exaggerated," Garin told me. "That's not what we found in our work in Virginia," where McAuliffe was elected on Nov. 5.

[READ: Obama: 'Sorry' for Obamacare Cancellations]

And New Jersey voters, who re-elected Republican Gov. Chris Christie, were evenly divided on Obamacare; it wasn't an overwhelmingly negative reaction as some Republicans suggest, Garin adds.

Despite the well publicized problems with the rollout of the website for Obamacare, Americans want to "improve it, not repeal it," the pollster says. He argues that the Republicans in Congress, who have fought the health care law at every turn, don't have a better alternative to improve the health care system, and voters know it.

Garin has advised many congressional and gubernatorial campaigns over the years, and was a senior strategist for Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008.

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  • Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," for usnews.com, and "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at kwalsh@usnews.com and followed on Facebook and Twitter.