October 2, 2012 — A new survey of physicians shows that if the U.S. presidential election were held today, 55 percent would vote for Mitt Romney and 36 percent would support President Barack Obama, according to a survey conducted by Jackson & Coker, a division of Jackson Healthcare, the third largest healthcare staffing company in the United States.

The physician survey showed that 5 percent of doctors said they were undecided and the rest said they would support another candidate or were not planning to vote.

The late September survey included 3,660 doctors nationwide in all 50 states. The physicians identified themselves as 24 percent Democrat; 35 percent Republican; 26 percent Independent; 6 percent Libertarian; and 7 percent unaffiliated.

Among doctors more likely to support Obama were women as well as physicians employed by hospitals and health systems. Specialists, primarily psychiatrists, pediatricians and addiction medicine physicians also were more likely to support Obama. Male doctors and those with their own practice or who had a stake in their own practice as well as anesthesiologists, surgeons, radiologists and ophthalmologists were more likely to support Romney.

The president’s support has waned among physicians since 2008, when he drew 40 percent of their vote compared to 44 percent for John McCain.

Turnout among physicians is also likely to increase compared to 2008, as 8 percent reported they did not vote in 2008, yet only 1 percent of doctors said they would not cast a ballot in the upcoming November election.

“Doctors are highly motivated this year to have their voice heard, particularly after passage of the Affordable Care Act,” said Sandy Garrett, president of Jackson & Coker. “No doubt, the healthcare law has stirred many passions in the medical community.”

When asked how they felt about the Affordable Care Act, 55 percent said to “repeal and replace” the new law while 40 percent said to “implement and improve” the ACA.

Fifteen percent of doctors reported they were switching their votes from Obama in 2008 to Romney in 2012. Among the top reasons why physicians said they were switching their votes:

  • The Affordable Care Act, which drew the most responses – and its lack of addressing tort reform
  • Leadership style
  • Lack of follow through on campaign promises
  • The economy/unemployment/not better off

“Physicians say they want a president who will address their concerns about their ability to practice medicine,” Garrett added. “They want a leader who engages doctors in finding a solution to healthcare reform.”

The survey was conducted online Sept. 11-28. A total of 3,660 respondents completed the survey. The error range for this survey at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 1.6 percent.

For more information: http://www.jacksoncoker.com/Documents/JCElectionSurveyAnalysis928.pdf

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