Rasmussen has Obama's disapproval ratings at 51% for the first time since he took office.  But then, Rasmussen runs much more conservative than other polls.  But then again, Rasmussen surveys likely voters, who matter more to electoral problems than other types of polls.  Surveys of registered and likely voters both show more hostility to Obama than the "whoever picks up the phone" kind.  Conclusion:  Doubt Obama's numbers are really that low, but the fact that Rasmussen could get that result does not bode well; all his polls have dropped in recent weeks, and now put his ratings just about where George W. Bush's were at this stage of his presidency.

Waxman is reportedly considering a sort of House nuclear option to bypass the Blue Dogs on his committee and take health care to the floor.  This strikes me as posturing rather than a real threat; what would be the point of bringing it to the floor only to have the Blue Dogs vote against it?  The president and the Democratic leadership have far more to lose, politically, from the bad PR than the Blue Dogs do.

Obama's spokesman says he wants to wrap this up by the end of the year, and says the main thing in DC is to make progress.  Presumably, they're afraid to set any real deadline, for fear they'll slip it.

Something called "health care reform" still feels very likely--but a lot more evitable than it seemed a few weeks ago.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.