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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

43

That's the percentage of Americans who say they approved of the way President Barack Obama has handled the health care debate as compared to 52 percent who disapproved, according to new data from Gallup.

What's fascinating about that number is that it is virtually unchanged from similar surveys in July and August done by Gallup. The July survey showed Obama's approval/disapproval on his handling of health care at 44 percent/50 percent and an August poll put it at 43 percent to 49 percent.

Those numbers suggest that for all the coverage of raucous town halls, conservative protests in Washington and Democratic dissent about what should be in the bill, the American peoples' views on how the White House is handling the health care legislation has remained almost entirely unchanged.

But, it also means that Obama's much-ballyhooed speech to Congress last week didn't have any lasting positive impact on how people see his Administration's handling of health care.

(Worth noting: Other polls show far more movement in the health care numbers. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey in late August showed just 44 percent approving of the job Obama had done on the issue while a CNN/ORC survey in September showed that number moving up to 51 percent.)

The Gallup numbers provide a worthwhile reminder that even while Washington is consumed with the daily back and forth over health care, the public at large is less invested in the tit for tat inside the Beltway.

And, they also suggest that for all the doom and gloom talk regarding how Americans view Obama's health care plan, there may well be room for the White House to pull out a victory on the legislation.

A signing ceremony in the Rose Garden -- and the resultant favorable media coverage -- could well be the last (only?) time some Americans pay close attention to the health care debate and give the president a chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 17, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Next: The Line: A Resurgent Republican Party

Comments

For the record, here's MORE than "a single positive word [Mr. Cillizza has written] about Obama since the election":

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/eye-on-2008/barack-obama-wins-the-presiden.html

"Barack Obama's victory tonight affirms a fundamental re-shaping of the electoral map that has dominated American politics for the better part of the last decade. The Illinois senator capitalized on a strong desire for a shakeup in the status quo and a deep dissatisfaction with the current president and direction of the country to score an historic win across the political landscape.

Obama's victory was both broad and deep; he won hotly contested states in every corner of the country from New Hampshire in the Northeast, and likely Virginia in the South to Ohio in the Midwest and New Mexico in the West.

...

Much will be said and written of this race in the days, weeks, months and years to come. But, what is clear tonight is that the man and the moment have met. Barack Obama is the next president of the United States."

Posted by: JakeD | September 18, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Eh. I don't find this post particularly slanted. I'm thankful it doesn't again conflate "approval with handling" and "support for." It is interesting that Gallop's number hasn't moved, though extrapolating the why and wherefore is a trick.

I'm starting to think this whole "Republican resurgence" thing is a little joke/game CC likes to play with. Like a tongue-in-cheek run down on the surging prospects of the Nationals.

Posted by: nodebris | September 18, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Not sure you are actually reading the post. The point of what I wrote is that despite the raucous town halls and predictions of doom and gloom for the President and his health care bill, polling shows that the American people haven't moved an inch on the issue since July.

Not sure how that is biased against the President -- but to each his own.

==

Thanks for not adding insult with "to each THEIR own" but when you have to take refuge in relatism babble your argument is already pretty washed up.

You haven't said a single positive word about Obama since the election. Instead you trot out all these boring lying Republican nonentitites and try to portray them as up-an-comers, in between reporting every manufactured controversy and racist proxy as real viable news.

Since your reporting during the campaign was top-notch I know you're not an idiot but if I had to base that judgment on the gibbering puff pieces you've written since that judgment would likely go the other way.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 18, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Wow cc. You are pitiful. You allow that wretch to puke all over your blog every day with the hate and insult. When you demonstrate a shred of integrity you feel the need to justify it to a single poster.

You have demonstrated a new low in the wuss olympics. She will throw you to the wolves as she did with the Hillary/ theater gig. Which loudmouth opinionated idiot do you think it was.

Your weakness is even lower than your writing skills.

Posted by: snowbama | September 17, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

It should benefit a lot more than the uninsured. We have a million people a year going bankrupt because of medical expenses and we have health insurance that operates with less scruples than a Mafia loan shark. A criminal enterprise able to legally shaft its members and we just put up with it.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 17, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

CNN say 51% approval, Gallup says 43% on health care. All that matters is that President Barack Obama's health care reform will pass and will be signed into law to benefit 46 million hard working Americans. That is the bottom line..that is what matters.

Posted by: ruraledcomm | September 17, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

That's right, because scrivener50 has never posted the same thing on any threads here ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 17, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh look ANOTHER drool case who posts his own thick-witted writing in every thread.

Funny, the liberal posters never do that, only the goopers

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 17, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse


Two morte important numbers- 10.3 and 9.7-


Today's NY Times-
Unemployment Hits 10.3% in New York City
By PATRICK McGEEHAN 43 minutes ago
Continuing layoffs on Wall Street drove the city’s jobless rate to a 16-year high in August.

Yep after 9 months of fledgling governance- it's hard to blame the RISING unemployment (9.7% national 9/1/09) on the prior administration....c'est vrai?
The pendulum is going to swing a lot faster than anyone imagined. There's a time for oratory and a time for sleeve rolling. I guess two years of senate experience with no executive experience is costing people their jobs. Well, for a job, even enlightened change lovers will vote for a Republican.

Posted by: thecannula | September 17, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

It's one thing to "be on the lookout for future [GOP] leaders" but it's quite another to puff snoozelords like Romney and Pawlenty or incompetent morons like Palin to leadership status.

And as we all know well Republicans are always trying to shape perceptions, and it used to work, but now it doesn't. Chris C can go along with puffing phony controversies and racist proxies into genuine debate points but nobody not already aligned with the GOP would even begin to take them seriously.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 17, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I love your column, CC, but I have to agree with a few others above who point out that a 43% approval rating on the president's *handling of health care* isn't in and of itself too shabby. Those on the right are upset that he's taking on the issue at all, and many, many folks on the left are upset he hasn't pushed harder for more far-reaching reform. You are right, though: all of the disapproval will quickly fade to the background if he does in fact sign a bill into law.

Posted by: ross6 | September 17, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

ChicagoIndependant:

Correct. But, if they admitted that, what would drindl and broadwayjoe have left to complain about?

Posted by: JakeD | September 17, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the reason the Rising has more republicans is because they have more of a need to be Rising than democrats? If I can remember correctly, the entire reason for the Rising series is because the Republicans don't really have a leader right now (unlike the Dems) so CC is on the look out for future leaders.

Posted by: ChicagoIndependant | September 17, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Why should we care if this is slanted?

I think the Republican Rising! thing is funny. We make jokes about it all day,
isn't that entertaining enough?

When I want to find out what is going on over on the Left side of American politics, I just go to other sites.

It is the post-modern era, we are not supposed to take the fair and balanced thing seriously. We organize our world against our expectations, the world does not organize itself in response to our expectations.

Nothing is fair and balanced, our brains are incapable of receiving information without filtering, organizing and editing it through our own wishes, fears, our pre-existing conditions, so to speak.

Anyway, I like to see what the Right is up to, how they think, how they pick their leaders. If I want to talk liberal politics, I'll call my mom Massachusetts.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 17, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Chicagoindependent:

Please review the election results and see which party controls Congress AND the White House. That explains why the focus is on those who would challenge the status quo.

Posted by: JakeD | September 17, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Chicagoindependent:

I agree this particular post isn't slanted. But if you haven't looked closely, CC is pushing Republicans and conservative themes more and more. Please review his "The Rising" series, and note that there is only one Dem in the bunch, since before the election. And look at the next entry, where he touts the Resurgent Republicans.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 17, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"The Times continues its slide into oblivion, with a 52% earnings drop this year alone. Dropping, too, are readers, advertisers, and the influence of what Thomas Lifson calls "the incredible, shrinking New York Times." And Maureen, the face of that slide, continues her descent into fury, her columns a series of yeah-but's.

Yeah but: When first dates never turned into second dates, she said it doesn't matter, writing a book about why men "aren't necessary." The Gray Lady knows best, and those men who date her once and then run screaming into the night -- one woman involved in procuring a date for Dowd remarked on her self-absorbed "utter social cluelessness" -- are simply jealous of her success.

And so, on the heels of fleeing males, comes the rage. Yeah but. So many dumb people, so little time to savage. Yeah but: Blue-eyed white men are racist predators; proponents of conventional marriage are mentally ill; and conventional moms are women-hating zombies; and so on. Hate is what makes the Dowd world go ‘round.

She has always had rage, as New York Magazine described the emotional state underlying her writing. But the decline of the Times and her influence has burst from the page, the embarrassingly crazed rants of a beltway King Canute desperately trying to hold back the tides.

The eyes tell the story . They are tired, lined, a bit puffy. Look at the spontaneous photographs, not the posed one put out by the newspaper. Maureen Dowd is weary, the kind of weariness that comes with the realization that...you're not wearing well in the long run. The nation no longer buys what you are selling. The Internet has opened the floodgates, freeing readers from the priorities and worldview of the elites.

Yeah but. She looks at Sarah Palin; she looks at Joe Wilson; she looks at the empty desks in the Times newsroom, the layoffs, the vanishing readers...

And the king of the new Camelot, the sultan of snark, has a sneaking thought: My kingdom for a new reader.

Stuart H. Schwartz is on the faculty at Liberty University in Virginia."

BRAVO!!!
A fine examlpe of the creative mind at work! A dark a portrayal as it paints the subject, it is at once quite a refreshing commentary! How grand are the waves of virtual ink crashing round the ivory towers of the elite! And as they crumble, let there be not a single splinter of perverbial driftwood left upon which they may cling as the angry tides of patriotism bring them down!

Posted by: runester | September 17, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Instead of "approve" or "disapprove" polls should at least differentiate between "too little" and "too much."

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 17, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Mark,

This is where the number 43 is misleading. (Listen up, CC!)

A majority of people are not happy, but they are in two distict camps. You are correct that the left wing won't be happy with any thing less than universal health care, and the right wing won't be happy with anything but the status quo.

So, the 43% is a group of independents and moderate democrats, who realize that progress is progress. That doesn't mean that 57% of Americans want the status quo.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 17, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Please, Mr. Cillizza, just keep doing exactly what you are doing and she will "be gone for good" (pinky swear, this time ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 17, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Mike in Midland, I agree with you. But I am pretty much a centrist, and as I read the complaints from the left and the right, here and elsewhere, my skepticism grew.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | September 17, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I've been getting my fix on with CC since 2007 and fail to see the right wing bias that seems to be getting more play in the comments section lately. Chris, I think you call it like it is, keep up the good work. (PS I support Obama)

This post a summary of a lack of movement in the polls, nothing more. Basically it could be taken as a good sign for Obama (as Chris points out) because even though the noise is increasing, Obama's numbers aren't changing (getting worse). As as CC points out, if a bill gets signed, pretty much any bill, it will be seen by the masses as a big win (even if it's similar to the Baucus version, rather than the house's).

Posted by: ChicagoIndependant | September 17, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Drindl,

Not sure you are actually reading the post. The point of what I wrote is that despite the raucous town halls and predictions of doom and gloom for the President and his health care bill, polling shows that the American people haven't moved an inch on the issue since July.

Not sure how that is biased against the President -- but to each his own.

Chris

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | September 17, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

If we get most of the insurance reforms (pre-existing conditions, cherry-picking, portability, annual limits) and de-fund Medicare Advantage, I'd call that progress. All of the bills increase Medicaid eligibility as well.

If we get any movement towards outcome-based vs. fee-for-service, that's a bonus.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 17, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

How the President "handled" the health care reform debate and whether or not people are in favor of it are 2 different things. Our media's obsession with the horse race always focuses on how politicians "handle" things, rather than if they what they are proposing is a good idea and/or popular. Health Care reform is popular. The Public Option is popular. But you'd never know it from the coverage.

I think his approval numbers for how he handled this will rise once a bill is passed, as long as it has the reforms he said it would have (i.e., not Baucus' bill).

Posted by: jetrain | September 17, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

This is the fabulous system some don't want to change:

Earlier this week, the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim reported on the fact that in seven states plus the District of Columbia, “getting beaten up by your spouse is a pre-existing condition.” The insurance industry figures that if “you are in a marriage with someone who has beaten you in the past, you’re more likely to get beaten again than the average person and are therefore more expensive to insure,” but what it really does is punish these victims for something that wasn’t their fault.

But that isn’t the only policy that health insurers have that primarily discriminate against women. First of all, most individual health insurance markets don’t cover maternity care. In fact, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 14 states have a requirement for such coverage, and the number of plans without maternity coverage continues to rise dramatically. Why? Anthem Blue Cross — which has been actively fighting health care reform — considers pregnancy optional and therefore not necessary to insure:

“The point of insurance is to insure against catastrophic care costs. That’s what you’re trying to aggregate and pool for such things as heart attacks and cancer,” said an Anthem Blue Cross spokesman. “Having a child is a matter of choice.

hen a woman isn’t currently pregnant, she often still cannot get coverage. Many insurers consider a Caesarean-section pregnancy a pre-existing condition and refuse to cover women who have had the procedure. From a 2008 New York Times story about a Colorado woman who had Golden Rule Insurance:

She was turned down because she had given birth by Caesarean section. Having the operation once increases the odds that it will be performed again, and if she became pregnant and needed another Caesarean, Golden Rule did not want to pay for it. A letter from the company explained that if she had been sterilized after the Caesarean, or if she were over 40 and had given birth two or more years before applying, she might have qualified.

Sterilization/death panels already exist in the private market.

http://thinkprogress.org/

Posted by: drindl | September 17, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

It is possible that no progress toward universal health care will be made, now. That will be a failure of the Ds.

It is possible that some movement will be made, but that no one on the left or the right would call it "progress". The Ds would avoid the appearance of failure while the Rs would be labeled the party of "No."

I think these are the current options.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | September 17, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

First there was ''Countrywide Chris'' Dodd (D-Conn.), whose combination of poor judgment and possible corruption qualifies him to be Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Then there was Tim ''TurboTax'' Geithner, whose false tax return filings qualify him to be Secretary of the Treasury. (Snip) For example, while Rangel was reporting net worth in the area of $1 million, he ''overlooked'' two accounts worth over $250,000

the culture of corruption - business is booming!!

Posted by: snowbama | September 17, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I hope they throw the book at this b*tch.

Posted by: drindl

CC - the sludge???

Posted by: snowbama | September 17, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

ACORN is not Obama's base. The rightwingers kept trying to paint it as an arm of the DNC. It is not. It is a non-profit. The plain fact is that a lot of non-profits exist to help the poor and disenfranchised. And a lot of the poor happen to vote Democratic.

If Obama signs a bill de-funding ACORN, he is not throwing poor people under the bus.

On this kind of thing, BTW, the House and Senate get in a race to pass a bill or resolution. Then it can take literally forever for them to reconcile the two bills. We shall see.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 17, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Yup. I'm thinking I'm going to boycott this column for a week or so and see if it improves.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CC - looks like it is time for you to start searching the want-ads. who will fill up your inbox without the loon hyper-complaining every hour?

Most amusing is the suggestion of cognitive activity.

Posted by: snowbama | September 17, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The Times continues its slide into oblivion, with a 52% earnings drop this year alone. Dropping, too, are readers, advertisers, and the influence of what Thomas Lifson calls "the incredible, shrinking New York Times." And Maureen, the face of that slide, continues her descent into fury, her columns a series of yeah-but's.

Yeah but: When first dates never turned into second dates, she said it doesn't matter, writing a book about why men "aren't necessary." The Gray Lady knows best, and those men who date her once and then run screaming into the night -- one woman involved in procuring a date for Dowd remarked on her self-absorbed "utter social cluelessness" -- are simply jealous of her success.

And so, on the heels of fleeing males, comes the rage. Yeah but. So many dumb people, so little time to savage. Yeah but: Blue-eyed white men are racist predators; proponents of conventional marriage are mentally ill; and conventional moms are women-hating zombies; and so on. Hate is what makes the Dowd world go ‘round.

She has always had rage, as New York Magazine described the emotional state underlying her writing. But the decline of the Times and her influence has burst from the page, the embarrassingly crazed rants of a beltway King Canute desperately trying to hold back the tides.

The eyes tell the story . They are tired, lined, a bit puffy. Look at the spontaneous photographs, not the posed one put out by the newspaper. Maureen Dowd is weary, the kind of weariness that comes with the realization that...you're not wearing well in the long run. The nation no longer buys what you are selling. The Internet has opened the floodgates, freeing readers from the priorities and worldview of the elites.

Yeah but. She looks at Sarah Palin; she looks at Joe Wilson; she looks at the empty desks in the Times newsroom, the layoffs, the vanishing readers...

And the king of the new Camelot, the sultan of snark, has a sneaking thought: My kingdom for a new reader.

Stuart H. Schwartz is on the faculty at Liberty University in Virginia.

Posted by: snowbama | September 17, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

It's funny how people want to blame those 'crazy right-wingers' for public opinion turning against this health care debate. Sure the bill is a fraud, and sure conservatives are angry about the bill, but democrats control 60% of the seats in both houses, if they can't get their side unified-that's their fault not ours. The funny part is the liberals in congress pushing for this bill are in safe-blue districts who won't have to deal with angry voters.

Posted by: TexasProud1 | September 17, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

It's funny how people want to blame those 'crazy right-wingers' for public opinion turning against this health care debate. Sure the bill is a fraud, and sure conservatives are angry about the bill, but democrats control 60% of the seats in both houses, if they can't get their side unified-that's their fault not ours. The funny part is the liberals in congress pushing for this bill are in safe-blue districts who won't have to deal with angry voters.

Posted by: TexasProud1 | September 17, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

scrivener50 wrote:
Empirical observation tells me that... those cultural icons to the left of the political spectrum often die earlier than those who hold right-leaning political views.

Say Lee Atwater vs Pete Seeger?

Scrivener...You need to get a life.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | September 17, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"Anti-BHO cherrypicked poll. Check

No positive mention of BHO. Check."

Yup. I'm thinking I'm going to boycott this column for a week or so and see if it improves. Otherwise, gone for good. I am tired of the blatant rightwing slant, but also of the mindless rightwing goons it brings here. any attempt at conversation is pointless, because they don't have the mental capacity for it.


Posted by: drindl | September 17, 2009 2:37 PM
__________
Re-think that, d. This space still resides not at the Washington Times, but at the Washington Post, which serves a multicultural community which supported BHO big-time. They assume what is in the Post is objective information and analysis. It's important you stay to continue to call out the widely recognized bias, see Columbia Journalism Review reference to this space as a Drudge "imitator."

Posted by: broadwayjoe | September 17, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The crowd of one? Have to include multiple personality syndrome in the diagnosis.

Posted by: drindl | September 17, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Clue: there were no leftists at the 'tax' [race] protest, and it was arranged and paid for by the republican party, Hate Radio and TV, and insurance companies -- and there were many posters of our president in whiteface.

Does that help you out?

Posted by: drindl | September 17, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Otherwise, gone for good
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

and a cheer went up from the crowd.

count on the loon returning soon enough, we had our hopes up before, only to be dashed by continued idiocy.

Posted by: snowbama | September 17, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"Anti-BHO cherrypicked poll. Check

No positive mention of BHO. Check."

Yup. I'm thinking I'm going to boycott this column for a week or so and see if it improves. Otherwise, gone for good. I am tired of the blatant rightwing slant, but also of the mindless rightwing goons it brings here. any attempt at conversation is pointless, because they don't have the mental capacity for it.

Posted by: drindl | September 17, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"Why ARE THE "Tea Parties" labeled conservative and or racist?"
_______________
For starters, the "baggers" were holding signs that said, "We are unarmed...this time" and demanded that BHO go "back to Kenya." And they knew nothing about taxes or, well, tea.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | September 17, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly, 43 is also the average IQ of rightwingnut Republicans.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 17, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"NEW YORK (CBS) The student who alleged she was gang raped by five men inside a Hofstra University dormitory bathroom on Sunday has admitted to making the entire story up, the Nassau County District Attorney's office confirmed on Wednesday night.

Charges against the four men arrested have since been dropped."

I hope they throw the book at this b*tch.

Posted by: drindl | September 17, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Late Breaking News!

Bill to Cut ACORN Funding Passes House


Can't wait to see Obimbo throw his base under the bus, again.

Lib leadership. funny huh?

Posted by: snowbama | September 17, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

BTW, the story that Drudge (this space's model according to the Columbia Journalism Review) was fronting the other day--gang rape of co-ed by five blacks--was (surprise!) a hoax.

Kinda reminds us of the Ashley Todd hoax Drudge pushed during the campaign that easily could have resulted in loss of life as well as BHO's defeat.

May want to pick a different role model? Just sayin'.

"NEW YORK (CBS) The student who alleged she was gang raped by five men inside a Hofstra University dormitory bathroom on Sunday has admitted to making the entire story up, the Nassau County District Attorney's office confirmed on Wednesday night.

Charges against the four men arrested have since been dropped."

http://wcbstv.com/breakingnewsalerts/hofstra.rape.case.2.1189029.html

Posted by: broadwayjoe | September 17, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I just polled my kids Kindergarten class. It turns out that 95% beleive in Santa Claus.

Posted by: snowbama | September 17, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I am one of those who think President Obama has done a disappointing job on health care reform -- not because I disapprove of his policy but he was not more forceful, earlier, in speaking up and speaking out in favor of it. So that counts me in the negative 43 percent? How absurd.

Posted by: wdfriedenberg | September 17, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

CNN's survey included 70 percent Dems...a complete sham to get the result they wanted.

Posted by: DaMan2 | September 17, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse


As we speak of health care, I must note the passing, apparently due to the effects of chemotherapy for leukemia, of Mary Travers, the stirring lead voice of "Peter, Paul and Mary," the most prominent politically activist folk singing group of the Sixties and Seventies. She was only 72.

I tried to suggest in an attempted post to nytimes.com that some conscientious epidemiologist conduct a study on the morbidity of liberal-progressive artists, authors and performers to determine if their mean age at death is significantly lower than that of the general population. I am not being facetious. Empirical observation tells me that such a study would reveal that those cultural icons to the left of the political spectrum often die earlier than those who hold right-leaning political views.

The question is, why? Is it a "boehmian" lifestyle, as their detractors might like to believe? Or could their "targeting" by a program such as discussed in the article linked below have something to do with the length of their years?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

I was not able to ask this question in the "comments" section of nytimes.com, and it's very possible NYT had nothing to do with the rejection of my comment, as I have written elsewhere:

http://nowpublic.com/world/how-u-s-spy-ops-censor-web-political-speech

So I ask the question here, and I also would like to know whether other "Fix" readers were as moved by the PP&M "message songs" as I was in my youth.

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 17, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"What's fascinating about" any coverage of the mood of the vox populi is that it is soooo wrong.

Why ARE THE "Tea Parties" labeled conservative and or racist? There was barely any coverage of the event by the MSM yet they are fast to stick a label on it and try to sell it as something it isn't.

Why are the Town Hall's raucous? Looked like Democracy in action to me. However, yelling at a congressman is like yelling at someone that doesn't speak your language, yelling doesn't make them understand any better.

And - "for all the doom and gloom talk regarding how Americans view Obama's health care plan, there may well be room for the White House to pull out a victory on the legislation."

Why is getting bad policy/legislation passed viewed by anyone, political hack/journalist/winger, as a good thing?

Posted by: mdsinc | September 17, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"The Gallup poll has one very clear trend. The president's approval rating for his handling of the federal deficit has gone way down."

As a politician, I would love it if my biggest vulnerability was on the deficit. As Reagan said, deficits don't matter politically. And voters have verified this over and over.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 17, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

A lot of good points here, if you ignore the usual static.

Posted by: nodebris | September 17, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! Harry "Dingy" Reid (D-NV) is also dissatisfied with Obamacare:

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/sep/16/harry-reid-health-care-bill-wont-work-nevada/

Posted by: JakeD | September 17, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

This suggests to me that a good deal of the unease with the health care plan isn't coverage or the public option, but how to pay for it.

Posted by: mikeinmidland


could it be the lying about it? the total lack of leadership? the assumption that voters are too stupid to figure out that more and better neccesarily is costly and that eliminating fraud and abuse is for charlatans who do not know what they are talking about?

At the foundation is the known fact that everything government touches gets messed up. 85% of the population doesn't want what they have messed up for some vague, empty, costly liberal promise.

Posted by: snowbama | September 17, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to disagree, joe, but CC is cherry-picking again. He posts the 43 as the important number, and in small print admits that other polls disagree.

The Gallup poll has one very clear trend. The president's approval rating for his handling of the federal deficit has gone way down.

This suggests to me that a good deal of the unease with the health care plan isn't coverage or the public option, but how to pay for it.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 17, 2009 1:43 PM
___________

You're right, MIM. My bad. I didn't read the post carefully and I did no independent canvassing of other recent polls--a MUST in regard to this space. Therefore, unfortunately...

Anti-BHO cherrypicked poll. Check

No positive mention of BHO. Check.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | September 17, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland writes
"This suggests to me that a good deal of the unease with the health care plan isn't coverage or the public option, but how to pay for it."


That's a reasonable interpretation, I think. I would add that while the President has repeatedly made the point that healthcare reform that includes slowing the rate of health care cost inflation is critical to addressing projected budget shortfalls, that message has apparently not been received by the electorate.

Posted by: bsimon1 | September 17, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Meh. Without the crosstabs on party/ideology identification, this number is just a number. What would be more interesting to know is why those who disapprove feel the way they do.

Posted by: mnteng | September 17, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

This cuts two ways. Virtually all of those on the right will be disatisfied with how Obama handles this.

A decent number on the left as well. Strong advocates of single payer. Those fed up with giving into Republicans who will *never* support a bill.

Given that, +43% isn't bad at all.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | September 17, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I hate this poll question. It's so ambiguous. I'm a huge proponent of health care reform. However, do I approve on how Obama has handled the process? Not really. I don't like how he's been removed from the process and, until recently, his lack of clarity as to what he wants. He just hadn't taken a strong leadership role.

Of course, this has changed recently, so I'm softening on this stance. If Obama keeps pushing and selling, we can end up with a strong reform bill.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 17, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

So essentially the election results have flipped after a good dose of reality. I guess lies on the campaign trail work, if your goal is simply to get into office.

but I hear Obama begins his campaign for emperor of the UN starting next week. Perhaps he will resign early to concentrate full time, as before.

Oh wait, I forget, he drew his Senate salary the whole time he did nothing. Kind of like now. Present.

Posted by: snowbama | September 17, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

scrivener50:

If Obama does NOTHING about all of these directed energy weapons pointed at your head, then will you finally agree he was a failure?

Posted by: JakeD | September 17, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

President Clinton - "All we gotta do is stand and deliver".

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/features/bill-clinton-interview-1009-6#ixzz0RO3oF8sL

Posted by: healthinsuranceripoff | September 17, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to disagree, joe, but CC is cherry-picking again. He posts the 43 as the important number, and in small print admits that other polls disagree.

The Gallup poll has one very clear trend. The president's approval rating for his handling of the federal deficit has gone way down.

This suggests to me that a good deal of the unease with the health care plan isn't coverage or the public option, but how to pay for it.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 17, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

IS OBAMA PLAYING THE OLD ALI 'ROPE-A-DOPE'... ONLY TO SCORE A K.O. WITH A ROUND-'HOUSE' PUNCH?

The Baucus Senate bill calls into question the White House strategy thus far...

...but it also clears the path for a House-driven approach helmed by Speaker Pelosi, arguably closer to the true goals of the administration.

But the hope of health care reform still amounts to a cruel joke to thousands of American citizens and families unjustly targeted by a multi-agency federal-local program that degrades their health as it destroys their livelihoods.

First, do no harm, Mr. President. Your team must first cue THIS ill:

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 17, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

CC, fair column. Thanks for the knowledge.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | September 17, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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