The Dish tends to cite only polls of polls as truly reliable, but the latest from Quinnipiac is very interesting. Essentially, the public opposes Obama's health insurance reform by 47 - 40 percent. But when you break this down into its component parts, you find very high support for much of what it does. On mandates, the public was against them 51 to 44 percent in the same Quinnipiac poll in July; now they favor mandates by 51 - 44 percent. That's a big swing in a few months. The public option, meanwhile, is hugely popular: supported by a majority of 61 to 34 percent. So the most popular part of the bill is the one least likely to get passed; and the one aspect the GOP is adamant about.
What the public doesn't believe is that this will save money. And I can't blame them. The CBO scoring is a big help for the Dems in this respect, but Americans are not fools, and in my view, if Obama doesn't devote his full energies to addressing spending once healthcare is passed, he will suffer.
But the politics of all this is just as interesting. As the poll of polls shows, Obama's approval on this has actually been improving (that amazing speech helped). In a dreadful climate, this president enjoys pretty solid 50 percent support and, if anything, it's drifting upwards. Now look at the results for the Republicans:
Republicans get their lowest grades since Obama was elected on several measures:
* Voters disapprove 64 - 25 percent of the way Republicans in Congress are doing their job, with 42 percent of Republican voters disapproving;
* Only 29 percent think Republicans on Capitol Hill are acting in good faith;
* Voters trust Obama more than Republicans 47 - 31 percent to handle health care;
* Voters 53 - 25 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party.
Then public doesn't want a Democrats-only health insurance bill, but they don't like the GOP and love the public option. I think the Dems would be fools not to get a public option in the bill and brag about it. And Karl Rove, once again, is completely wrong about everything.
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