Physicians asked in a nationwide survey who they’d vote for selected Mitt Romney 55 percent to 36 percent for Barack Obama. The survey was conducted by Jackson & Coker, a division of Jackson Healthcare, the third largest healthcare staffing company in the US.
Five percent were undecided while the rest said they’d support “another candidate.” Whether that “other candidate” is Ralph Nader, Ron Paul or perennial candidate Harold Stassen (running even when he’s dead), no one knows.
The survey conducted in late September included 3,660 doctors nationwide in 50 states. The physicians broke down as 24 percent Democrat; 35 percent Republican; 26 percent Independent; 6 percent Libertarian; and 7 percent unaffiliated (Stassen).
Those doctors most likely to vote for the president were women and those employed by hospitals and health systems. Interestingly, specialists, primarily psychiatrists, pediatricians and addiction medicine physicians also were more likely to support Obama.
Male doctors and physicians with their own practices tended to gravitate to Romney including anesthesiologists, surgeons, radiologists and ophthalmologists.
Obama’s support among physicians has dropped dramatically since 2008. During his run for president that year, he attracted 40 percent of their vote compared to 44 percent for John McCain.
Physician turnout at the polls in 2012 is expected to be much higher compared to 2008.
Eight percent of those polled indicated they did not vote in 2008, yet only one percent said they wouldn’t vote this time around. Turnout among physicians is also likely to increase compared to 2008, as eight percent reported they didn’t vote in 2008, yet only one percent of doctors said they wouldn’t cast a ballot this November.
Sandy Garrett, president of Jackson & Coker, said “Doctors are highly motivated this year to have their voice heard, particularly after passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). No doubt the health care law has stirred many passions in the medical community.”
One interesting question in the survey asked how the doctors felt about the Affordable Care Act. An overwhelming 55 percent said they favored a “repeal and replace” approach while 40 percent decried “implement and improve” the law.
Another sign unfavorable to the Obama campaign was 15 percent of the doctors who said they would be switching their vote from Obama in 2008 to Romney in 2012.
The reasons are interesting:
• The Affordable Care Act itself was the number one reason, including the lack of tort reform.
• Obama’s leadership style in his understanding of the law.
• Thorough lack of follow-through on campaign promises regarding Obamacare..
• The economy and unemployment are no better off since its inception.
A summary of the results indicated that “Physicians say they want a President who will address their concerns about their ability to practice medicine,” according to Garrett. “They want a leader who engages doctors in finding a solution to healthcare reform.”
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