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Obamacare views will skew votes this fall: poll

Most Americans say their view of Obamacare will play a role in how they vote in upcoming congressional elections—but don't count on that guaranteeing that a particular political party is slam dunk winner this fall.

A new Bankrate.com poll released Wednesday revealed that Obamacare-motivated voters are not necessarily heavily Republican or Democratic. It also revealed sharply decreasing support for outright repeal of the still-controversial health-care reform law.

Nearly 7 in 10 adultssome 68 percentwho responded to the Bankrate poll said their opinion of the Affordable Care Act will factor into their decision of which candidate to vote for in elections for the U.S. House of Representatives in November.

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Most of those people, 44 percent of all respondents, said the health-care law would be a major factor in their decision, while 24 percent said it would play a minor role.

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Out of the people who said it would play any kind of a role, 32 percent of the respondents said Obamacare will make them more likely to vote for Republicans, whose party is overwhelmingly opposed to the law. According to the poll, 26 percent of the respondents said they will be more likely to vote for a Democratic congressional candidate because of how they view the law.

The poll surveyed 1,003 adults, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent.

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"Perhaps surprisingly, these results indicated that the messy launch of Obamacare won't be detrimental for Democrats or as much of a slam dunk for Republicans in future elections as some analysts previously suggested," said Doug Whiteman, an insurance analyst for Bankrate.com.

"I think there's been an assumption that Obamacare will be a decisive political issue this fall," Whiteman said, but "our results were kind of all over the place."

However, the poll found that self-identified independents were more likely to be driven to voting for Republicans because of the health-care law than toward pulling the lever for Democrats. About 25 percent of independents who said the law was an election issue for them said they are likely to vote for a GOP candidate, compared with about 12 percent who said they'd be likely to vote for a Democrat.

All 435 seats in the current Republican-controlled House of Representatives will be up for grabs in the fall.

The health insurance marketplace HealthCare.gov was a technological disaster when it launched in October, as were a number of state-run health exchanges.

The failure of those troubled exchanges to enroll more than a relatively few people in Obamacare plans for nearly two months lead to widespread speculation that Democrats would get pummeled in the mid-term 2014 elections, because the health reform law was crafted by a Democratic president and passed by what was then a Democratic-dominated House and Senate.

But after aggressive repair effort largely fixed HealthCare.gov by the winter, enrollment efforts dramatically rebounded, ending with 8 million selecting an Obamacare plan by mid-April.

While Republican leaders have remained critical of the law and its mandate that nearly all Americans obtain health insurance or pay a fine, there was a pullback in rhetoric about repealing the law after the close of open enrollment. And some Democratic candidates have been using Obamacare as a talking point in their races.

When Bankrate.com last asked people whether Obamacare should be repealed or kept as-is, 45 percent of respondents said it should be junked. But in the new poll, just 30 percent of respondents said the new Congress should repeal the new law.

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A total of 52 percent of people want the next Congress to make either minor or major changes to the law. Just 12 percent of the people said the law should remain the same as it is now.

This was the first time that Bankrate in its poll asked people whether they believed the law should be kept, but modified. Beforehand, the question was whether it should be repealed or kept as-is, Whiteman said.

"I think it's interesting that when you give "change" as a choice, that comes out on the top," Whiteman said.

Whiteman also noted that the number of people who told the poll that their health insurance situation had improved was double from when that question was asked almost a year ago.

In August 2013, 8 percent of respondents said they had seen improvement in their health insurance situation. By this June, that had doubled to 16 percent, he noted.

—By CNBC's Dan Mangan

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