Public Support For Health Care's Public Option

by Conor Clarke

I am not an expert on polling and don't want to say too much about the substance of this new Rasmussen health-care poll -- which finds relatively lackluster support for a bill that lacks a public option -- except to observe that it's not exactly airtight for the polling company to compare a snapshot opinion of a hypothetical bill that lacks a public plan to a completely separate tracking question about the bill as it currently stands. But if that comparison tells us something meaningful, it should certainly affect the political calculus regarding whether or not the public plan remains in the bill.

Anyway, what I do think is interesting is how quickly some folks on the left are willing to feast on this poll as a vindication of the public plan. Here, for example, is Think Progress on the subject. But it's a poll from Rasmussen! And Rasmussen is a conservative polling company! And, indeed, it took about thirty seconds to dig up a couple of other Think Progress posts attacking previous Rasmussen polls as unfair and leading and biased in favor of conservatives. But now the shoe is on the other foot, a different ox is getting gored, pick your metaphor, etc.