But only a little. The country seems evenly split. But the debate clearly turned a corner in August when the townhalls were at their splenetic height. The GOP might have galvanized their base - but at the expense of turning off the center:
45% approve of Obama’s handling of health care, while 46% disapprove, which is up from his 41% - 47% score last month. By comparison, just 21% approve of the Republican Party’s handling of the issue.
So the GOP may lose on the substance and also be regarded as irresponsible by much of the American middle. If the reforms prove popular (and why would they not in the next few years when the package is mainly sugar?), Obama could have the last laugh.
Think of this possible scenario in the fall of 2010: healthcare has passed, the economy is rebounding a little more briskly than some now expect, and troops are returning from Iraq. The pattern is somewhat Reagan-like in its chronology.