More Health Care Polling: Gallup Sees the Bump Disappear

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Yesterday I posted a run-down of health care polling since the House held its big reform vote two Sundays ago, and I found that the bill isn't suddenly popular, but that there are a few encouraging signs for Democrats (it's not getting less popular, and Obama's numbers are improving).

Here's another poll to add into the mix: Gallup has found that the initial opinion bump has mostly disappeared.

Gallup conducted a poll the day after the House voted, finding that the public supported the House's vote by a 49%-40% margin. Health reform had become more popular, Gallup found, since its March 4-7 survey found 45% support/48% opposition.

In a poll released yesterday, Gallup saw the bump disappear: 47% said Congress had done a "good thing" by passing health care, while 50% said it had done a "bad thing."

That poll was conducted March 26-28, beginning five days after the House voted.

Democrats (81% "good thing"/15% "bad thing") and Republicans (11% "good thing"/86% "bad thing") are nearly mirror opposites in their leanings. Independents broke 54% to 43% against the bill.

So here's the trajectory of respondents' approve/disapprove differential, according to Gallup:

March 4-7:     -1
March 22:      +9
March 26-28: -3

Gallup's March 4-7 survey included 1,014 nationwide adults; its day-after-the-vote poll included 1,005 nationwide adults; its March 26-28 poll included 1,033 nationwide adults. Margin of error for each was +/-4%.

Though health care has been debated heavily for almost a year, Democrats are now at a new point of beginning: they now have to sell these reforms as something that's already taken effect, and they have to test their hypothesis that voters will respect significant action and warm to the reform package once new policies actually take effect.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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