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.

health insurance forms


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.

Table: Handling of Health Care

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.

Table: Public Option?

Marist Poll Methodology