I still think a substantive health care deal is more likely than not. But boy, are these poll numbers from the New York Times/CBS unpromising. Opinion on little things like whether the government should guarantee health care for everyone has moved against the Democrats. But what's really remarkable is the people saying that they're worried about their own health insurance--it's actually improved slightly. I never would have guessed that three months of talking about recission would improve peoples' opinions of the insurance industry.
Liberal analysts are saying that opinion appears to be frozen, but I don't think that's quite true. As I've said before, vague things poll better than specific things. And the Democratic plans are not yet fully specific. Once they are, they will have a price tag and other definite drawbacks that the Republicans can talk up, while the Democrats have already fired all their best ammo.
I still think the Democrats will do it. But only if they move quickly. If it stretches beyond early November, I'd put the odds at less than 25%, unless they manage some surprise upset in the elections they look set to lose.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.