Dave Winston Polling a Straw Man

Aug 21, 2013

According to the Washington Examiner's Byron York, prominent Republican pollster Dave Winston is out with "a new poll done for Republican members of Congress." Unfortunately, Winston polled a strategy that simply does not exist.

Nearly three weeks ago, Winston asked 1,000 registered voters if they favored or opposed the following: "Some members of Congress have proposed shutting down the government as a way to defund the president's health care law."

No members of Congress are advocating such a strategy. It is common knowledge that shutting down the government would not defund Obamacare, which is why those pushing to defund Obamacare are also pushing to fund the government. In short, Winston has conducted a poll based on a straw man argument that Republican leaders will now use to fight conservatives, thereby preserving Obamacare.

What does Heritage Action mean by defunding Obamacare?

Defunding Obamacare means attaching a legislative rider to a "must pass" bill (debt limit, annual spending bill, etc.) that 1) prohibits any funds from being spent on any activities to implement or enforce Obamacare; 2) rescinds any unspent balances that have already been appropriated for implementation; and 3) turns off the exchange subsidy and new Medicaid spending that are on auto-pilot.

Perhaps Winston and those who commissioned his services simply misunderstood the strategy, which has always been to actively defund Obamacare, not shut down the government.