Is the Worst Over for Obama?
By Ben Pershing
It's increasingly possible that we will look back and see that August 2009 was this election cycle's height of Republicans' optimism over their political fortunes, and the depth of Democrats' despair.
By the time the midterm elections reach a fever pitch next year, President Obama may well have passed health-care reform, his signature domestic initiative, if not with overwhelming public support then at least with the backing of a solid majority of voters. The now common criticism that he hasn't accomplished anything will have been blunted. And while a high joblessness rate may persist, the narrative will have taken hold that the economy has either recovered or is well on its way.
The scenario above represents Democrats' best-case scenario, and no element of it is assured. But the new Washington Post-ABC News poll makes it appear a bit more likely. The survey found "that support for a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers has rebounded from its summertime lows and wins clear majority support from the public." While ratings for Obama's handling of health care and the overall reform plans remained roughly the same, the president has regained the support of some Independents. The Fix points out that the poll also contained bad news for Republicans, giving the party low marks for its ability to make good decisions and handing Democrats a 12-point lead on the generic Congressional ballot. (George Stephanopoulos' headline: "New Poll: Public Option Up ... GOP Down.")
Posted at 8:30 AM ET on Oct 20, 2009
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