December 10, 2009
12/10: Confidence in Obama Wanes Amid Health Care Debate
The president has lost support among registered voters nationwide in his quest to reform the health care system. A majority of voters — 53% — disapprove of how Mr. Obama is handling health care while 40% approve. When Marist last asked about health care in October, 49% disapproved of how the president was dealing with the issue, and 44% approved.
While Mr. Obama’s Democratic base is firm, he has lost the backing of some Republicans and Independents. 8% of GOP voters say they agree with the president’s tactics in the health care arena while 87% disagree. In October, 16% of Republicans approved of Mr. Obama’s approach on this issue while 80% did not. Looking at Independent voters, one-third of voters support the president’s plan while 60% do not. The proportion of Independents who disapprove of Mr. Obama’s handling of health care has grown. In October, 53% of Independents disapproved, and 39% approved. Democrats stand firm in their support. 70% of Democrats like the way Obama is dealing with health care while 22% do not. There has been little change among Democrats since Marist’s previous survey.
Public Option Gets Nod from Nearly Six In Ten Americans
58% of Americans say the hotly contested public option is a good thing to include in health care reform. 27%, however, disagree. Marist last asked Americans about the public option in October, and little has changed since that time when 60% supported its inclusion and 27% opposed it.
Looking at party, there has been some movement among Republicans. More members of the GOP are uncertain about the public option compared with Marist’s previous survey. Currently, 54% of Republicans think the public option is a bad thing, and 29% say it’s a good one. 17% are unsure. In October, 49% of Republicans opposed the public option, and 40% supported it. Just 11% were unsure.
Most Democrats, though, are in favor of the public option with 79% saying it’s a good inclusion in health care reform and 10% reporting it is bad. There is little change among Democrats on this question. 58% of Independents say health care reform should include the public option while one-third thinks it should be omitted. Similar proportions held these views in October.