So sayeth a recent poll:
President Barack Obama has lost ground in the last month in getting Nevadans to embrace his health care reform package and, for the first time, opposition is above 50 percent and support is below 40 percent, a new poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal reveals.
The telephone poll of 625 registered voters found that 53 percent of Nevadans oppose the president’s attempt to provide a remedy for problems in the nation’s health care system. Support for the plan is at 39 percent.
That’s a 4 percentage point difference in both categories from an October poll that showed support at 43 percent and opposition at 49 percent, almost within that poll’s margin of error. Now the gap is at 14 points and opposition in Obama’s own Democratic Party is climbing, from 15 percent in October to 23 percent in the most recent poll.
But the numbers are not far off from an August poll that showed support at 40 percent and opposition at 50 percent.
Fueling discontent with the bill, the poll shows, is the growing belief by Nevadans that Obama’s reform package will raise taxes, result in rationing of health care, and cause major cuts to Medicare programs.
“When you look at the entire poll, it’s clear the voters of Nevada do not want this bill to pass,” said Brad Coker, managing partner of Washington, D.C.-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., which conducted the poll Monday through Wednesday. “When you break it all down, it appears that Nevadans would just as soon throw this bill out and start over.”
We all know who really is the loser in this news story. Right?
Coker said the poll results aren’t good news for U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., chief architect of the Obama supported plan. Only 39 percent of the poll respondents approve of Reid’s efforts to get a bill through the U.S. Senate at a time when he’s running for re-election.
Though 70 percent of Democrats support Reid’s efforts, Coker said that probably isn’t enough to outweigh the disapproval of 53 percent of independents and 87 percent of Republicans.
“Reid is going to be front and center carrying the flag for this reform that few people like and that’s not going to help him in his re-election,” Coker said. “You remember what happened historically to flag bearers in war. The flag bearer gets shot first.”
A sliver of hope is offered to counter this bad news for Reid. Your mileage may vary, but to my eyes, said sliver of hope doesn’t offer Reid much comfort.