And with Congress’s disapproval ratings hovering at about 70% among independents, it’s probably time for the Democratic leadership to get worried.
As always, I caution myself and others that it’s an eternity until November, 2010. Anything can happen. But again, it’s amazing how quickly the GOP has risen from being a supposedly dead party, to one that can make significant gains in the upcoming midterm elections.
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows the slide: “Fewer than half of Americans, 45 percent, support reform as it’s been explained to date, while 50 percent are opposed – with many more ‘strongly’ opposed than strongly in favor, 40 percent vs. 27 percent. Support’s at just 36 percent among independents, the crucial political center,” per ABC polling director Gary Langer.
“Obama’s approval rating for handling health care has fallen steadily from 57 percent in April to 46 percent today, led by a steep a 17-point slide among independents. And expectations he can successfully accomplish reform have dropped further – from 68 percent shortly before he took office to 49 percent now.”
The Post’s Dan Balz and Jon Cohen: “In the survey, 52 percent of Americans said they favor the government’s creation of a new health insurance plan to compete with private insurers, while 46 percent are opposed. That is a big shift from late June, when 62 percent backed the notion and 33 percent opposed it.”
“The drop in support for the public option has been particularly steep among political independents, the closely watched group so critical to the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006 and Obama’s victory last year. Two months ago, independents supported the public option by a 2 to 1 ratio. Now, 50 percent are in favor, and 47 percent are opposed.”