Exclusive Poll: Americans Think Politics Will Influence Justices’ Health Care Votes

An overwhelming majority of Americans think that the Supreme Court justices’ political views will influence how they vote on the Obama health care reform cases, a Bloomberg News poll has found.

Respondents were asked “The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the constitutionality of the health care reform law signed by President Obama in 2010.  Do you expect the Court will make this decision based solely on legal merits, or do you expect politics will influence how some justices vote? ”

The poll found 75 percent of Americans think politics will influence the justice’s votes, while 17 percent think they will vote solely on the legal merits, and 8 percent aren’t sure.

Respondents who described themselves as politically independent were most skeptical of the justices’ ability to keep politics out of their decision making process; 80 percent of independents thought politics would influence the justices. Of Republicans, 74 percent thought politics would play a factor, while just 65 of Democrats thought politics would influence the outcome.

The poll also found that 37 percent of Americans think the health care reform law should be repealed, while 46 percent think “it may need small modifications, but we should see how it works,” and 11 percent think it should be left alone.

The poll was conducted Mar 8-11 for Bloomberg News by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, IA, and was based on interviews with 1,002 U.S. adults ages 18 or older. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Read more about the poll’s findings.

Updated March 14 at 8:28 p.m. to include link to Bloomberg News story.

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