The flurry of commentary suggesting the Supreme Court would provoke a popular backlash were it to strike down the individual mandate does not appear to have affected the populace. In a new NYT/CBS poll over two-thirds of respondents said they wanted some or all of the health care reform law struck down. Specifically, 41 percent said they hoped the Court would strike down the entire law, and an additional 27 percent said the Court should only invalidate the individual mandate. By comparison, only one-in-four (24 percent) said they wanted the whole law left intact. This poll is largely consistent with prior surveys. So while legal elites might be aghast at a Court decision striking down the mandate, a majority of the public would be fine with it.
UPDATE: Ezra Klein on the poll: “Bottom line: If you’re Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts, and you want to rule against the individual mandate but you’re worried about a public backlash, this poll calms your fears.”