Rounding up the post-passage health-care reform polls
Nate Silver looks at the post-passage polling on health-care reform. The USA Today/Gallup poll that showed a sharp jump looks to have been an outlier. The emerging picture is that the bill got a bit more popular, Obama's handling of the bill is getting a bit more respect, and congressional Democrats look a bit better.
More polling data is starting to pour in on health care reform and it generally contains decent, but not great, numbers for Democrats. Most of the polls show a bump of some kind in approval for health care reform -- but it's not as large as that implied by the USA Today/Gallup one-day poll that was released on Tuesday. If we take an average of the four polls that have been conducted entirely after the health care bill passed the House, rather (those from Gallup, Rasmussen, Quinnipiac and CBS), they average out to 43 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed. Those are numbers that I think Democrats would gladly take relative to where health care has been in the past, but it's not exactly as though the bill has become wildly popular -- nor is it likely to do so in advance of the midterms.
Of the polls that have come out so far, I would most recommend the one from Quinnipiac, who in essence did two separate large surveys just before and after the health care bill was passed. ... Quinnipiac found about a 4-5 point bump in support for the health care bill itself, although a larger bump (8 points) in Obama's handling of the issue. Obama's overall approval rating, on the other hand, was little changed. ... What's a bit more surprising is that Quinnipiac also found a decent-sized bump in approval of the Democrats in Congress: from a pathetically low 30 percent to a not-quite-as-awful 36 percent. And most of the bump came from independent voters, among whom approval increased from 19 percent to 33.
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