10/14: Obama’s Handling of Health Care…Not What the Doctor Ordered?

Just less than half — 49% — of the U.S. electorate disapproves of how President Barack Obama is handling health care.  44% approve.  When Marist last asked this question in August, voters divided. 43% of registered voters approved of Mr. Obama’s handling of health care while 45% did not.

stethoscope and records


Since that previous poll, opinion remains split along party lines. 68% of Democrats approve of the president’s actions while 80% of Republicans disapprove.  Two months ago, 74% of Democrats and 76% of Republicans held these respective views.  Little has changed among Independent voters.  A majority of this group — 53% — do not like how Mr. Obama is handling the issue.  A similar proportion of Independents — 52% — was not satisfied with the president’s handling of health care two months ago.

Table: Handling of Health Care

Majority of Voters Approve of Public Option

The proposed public option in health care reform has come under a great deal of debate.  Do Americans think a public option is a good thing or a bad thing?  60% think it would prove beneficial while 27% think it would be detrimental.  Similar proportions of registered voters agree.

Not surprisingly, 75% of Democrats believe the option is a good thing, and 12% do not.  Looking at Republicans, 40% believe it to be a benefit, and 49% think there’s a better way to go.  A majority of Independents — 57% — say a public option would be a good thing.  30% disagree.  Interestingly, voters who identify themselves as ideologically conservative divide.  43% are for the public option, and 44% are against it.

Table: Public Option?

Marist Poll Methodology

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10/14: Voters Divide Over Handling of Economy…Obama Slips Among Independent Voters

Complete October 14, 2009 USA Release & Tables