Gallup Finds Dramatic Shift: Public Now Favors New Health Law
by Nathan Empsall, Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 12:43:44 AM EDT
Now that we turn from political process to legislative reality, the tide really is turning in the Democrats' favor. A new Gallup poll, the first since the House passed health insurance reform Sunday night, finds that Americans support the new law 49-42:
Nearly half of Americans give a thumbs-up to Congress' passage of a healthcare reform bill last weekend, with 49% calling it "a good thing." Republicans and Democrats have polar opposite reactions, with independents evenly split.
...Americans' emotional responses to the bill's passage are more positive than negative -- with 50% enthusiastic or pleased versus 42% angry or disappointed -- and are similar to their general reactions.
This 7 point favorable is quite the about-face from the 20 point opposition found by both Fox News and CNN before the bill actually passed. Gallup's own last poll on the measure, from 3/4-3/7 but with very different wording from this new question, found 3 point opposition.
What's particularly striking is the even support mong Independents. While Gallup reports don't include crosstabs, PPP's most recent approval poll shows Independents disapproving of Obama 50-44, opposing health care 49-40, and supporting Republicans on the generic ballot 44-26. This is a huge swing in Independent support for health care and it will be interesting to see how it registers in the President's approval rating and the generic ballot.
This confirms what progressive pundits have been saying for weeks: it was the process, not the policy, that voters opposed, and now that the mainstream media is actually covering the policy, the tide is turning. If Republicans truly want to run this fall on overturning the ban on not covering childrens' pre-existing conditions, then by all means, let them be our guests. Jim DeMint was right: This was Waterloo. If unemployment dips below 9%, this midterm might not be nearly so bad after all.