Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Notes and Remarks of a Health Reform Poll Watcher

Poll watching has its beartraps, pitfalls, and shortfalls. Polls vary. They depend on sample size used, questions asked, the media connection employed, and audience composition.

Still, if one averages multiple national polls over time, one can get a sense of where the public is headed. How the public reacts to the passage of the health reform bill is a case in point. The bad news for President and the Democrats is that a week after passage of the “historic” bill, the gap between those “against” over those “for” is widening. Although the public likes “pieces” of the bill, the public is dubious about it as a whole.

In any event, here are the lastest poll figures.

Average , “for”, 40.7%, “against”, 50.8%, spread “against”versus” for”, +10.1%

• Rassmussen Reports, against, +12%
• USA Today, against, +3%
• Washington Post, against, +4%
• Quinnipiac, against, +9%
• CBS News, against, +4%
• Bloomberg, against, +12%
• CNN/Opinion Research, against, +20%
• Democrat Corps(D) against, +12%
• Fox News, against, +20%
• PPP (D), against, +4%
• NBC/WSJ, against +12%
• Pew Research, against +10%

Source: Real Clear Politics average of health care polls

Not a favorable poll in the bunch. The public may grow to love the bill, to become instantly addicted, as President Obama explains the glories of its benefits of its particulars, as he and his followers hope. On the other hand, those opposing something tend to have more passion than those favoring something.

Either way, President Obama has his work cut out to explain why this is such a fine bill and not the “monstrosity” its critics describe. Obama’s silken rhetoric may prevail, but maybe not. It depends on the state of the economy. We will know in November.

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