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Voters Confident in
Clinton's Decisions
On Health Care

On the heels of Hillary Clinton's health care plan rollout, a new CBS News poll confirms the former first lady's advantage on what has become a top issue for the 2008 presidential campaign.

Among Democratic voters, Clinton has a wide lead on the issue. Seven in 10 say they would be confident in her decisions on health policy, while just 41 percent say the same of Edwards and 38 percent the same of Obama. Half say she would do a better job handling health care than any of her rivals.

Overall, more voters say they have confidence in Clinton's ability to make the right decisions about health care than have confidence in either Obama or Edwards, but about half express unease with each of the three top Democrats.

Most voters also think that her experience in trying to reform health care in the early 90s will be an asset rather than a liability. Two thirds of all voters - including 82 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of independents and 45 percent of Republicans - say that her past experience would help her in reforming health care rather than hurt her.

Few blame the former first lady for the Clinton administration's failure to reform the health care system. A majority, 52 percent, say the lack of reform resulted from factors beyond her control.

The health care issue is a key domestic issue in the race for the Democratic nomination. In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, 16 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents rated the issue their most important. The issue ranked second overall to the war in Iraq.

--Jennifer Agiesta

By Washington Post editors  |  September 18, 2007; 11:58 AM ET
 
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