Articles and Analysis


US: Health Care, National Survey (CNN 3/25-28)

Topics: poll

CNN / Opinion Research Corporation
3/25-28/10; 1,009 adults, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)
Update: More


Obama Job Approval
51% Approve, 48% Disapprove (chart)
Economy: 44 / 55 (chart)
Foreign Affairs: 51 / 44 (chart)
Health Care: 45 / 54 (chart)

Suppose the 2012 presidential election were being held today. If Barack Obama runs for reelection, are you more likely to vote for Obama, the Democrat, or for the Republican party's candidate for President?
Registered voters: 48% Republican, 47% Obama
All Respondents: 48% Obama, 47% Republican

Which of the following statements best describes your views about the health care bill that Congress passed this week:
15% You approve of the bill becoming law and have no reservations about it
27% You approve of the bill becoming law but you think it did not go far enough
31% You disapprove of the bill becoming law but you support a few of its proposals
25% You disapprove of the bill becoming law and oppose all of its proposals

Thinking about the health care bill that Congress passed this week, which of the following statements best describes your view of what Congress should do in the future?
23% Congress should leave the bill as it is
27% Congress should make additional changes to increase the government's involvement in the nation's health care system
47% Congress should repeal most of the major provisions in that bill and replace them with a completely different set of proposals

From what you know of that legislation, do you think you and your family would, in general, be better off, worse off or about the same if it becomes law?
225 Better, 39% Worse, 37% Same



56% disapproval but only 47% repeal? Sounds about right. People don't like the thing overall but like some provisions like ending pre-existing condition exclusions and would be worried that ripping the whole thing out would hurt those proposals.

That final piece though is pretty shocking. Only 25% of the public thinks the bill makes things better for them. Ouch.

Basically public opinion is weighted against this legislation, though not overwhelmingly, and I doubt opinions change over the next eight months since they haven't really changed in the PREVIOUS eight months.



Just to add up the numbers... 50% are against repeal and half of them think the bill is too conservative!

I'm also glad to see that 225% of the country thinks they will be better off under the bill! (Ok, I know that the author didn't hit the shift key when trying to type %, but let me have some fun, OK?) ;-)



59% of the country thinks that their situation will either stay the same or improve under this bill--that was the entire purpose of its design (If you like what you have, you can keep it). The bill was designed not to offend those who were happy with their insurance situation (i.e. those who've never had to make a serious claim on their policies), while improving access for others and security for those who are happy.

The poll numbers reflect that strategy... In retrospect, maybe more should have been done for the "happy" folk, but people fear change (even if it benefits them), which is why the bill was designed to be as mild and unassuming as possible. It doesn't affect people in large group plans or those who work for self insured businesses, other than lowering rates thanks to reinsurance policies and a reduction of the uninsured lowering bills for everyone.



I'd also like to add, that at least some of the disapproval comes from the left (that the bill doesn't go far enough). That is clearly evident in the first paragraph, and also is supported by CNN's last poll.



LordMike, that last statement makes no sense. The exact same percentage of folks who said it "doesn't go far enough" want changes to add gov't involvement. Obviously the 23% who want to leave it as is comes from the 15% who support it "without reservation" and from those who oppose it but favor some proposals.

The only people on the left who aren't at least somewhat favorable to this bill are the FDLers and they are a very small group. Even the Kossacks got behind this thing.



In CNN's last release (last week--can't tell if it's the same poll or a different one), they broke down the disapproval... 12% of the overall sample disapproved of the legislation 'cos it didn't go far enough. That's a significant chunk.

Not sure where you are parsing your numbers... you are adding and subtracting numbers from different questions.



The 25% makes it better figure sounds about right. Those are the uninsured or those with individual policies. For everyone else, they honestly do perceive it as making no difference.



Yu libs cannot even get a good bounce from CNN. O trails a geneirc republican by 1 and thats iwith registered voters...tack on a few more points for the GOp in likely voter scenarios.

So this is it? I come back from vacation for this? No bounce, majoiryt still disapprove of HCR. with new taxes coming and higher premiums......man, its going to be realy ugly for Dems. I was told on this very site in fact, once HCR was passed public support would wing to it in large numbers.....yet here we are, still it remains unpopular...and will get worse once the new taxes hit and layoffs begin due to new taxes on business.



I think the interesting thing is that CNN did not ask a straight up "repeal" question. There's "keep as it is" (23%) or "expand it" (27%) and "repeal & replace" (47%).

It'd be nice to know what percent is for no bill at all - who supports no changes whatsoever? That way we could figure out how to properly understand the first two healthcare-related questions in this poll.

Even still, at least half like it, so that's saying something. Presumably a good chunk of the "repeal & replace" crowd like parts of it.

Bush got a second term running a wildly unpopular war, without even close to 50% approval of that war, so Obama is likely safe still. People will grumble at first, but this bill was smart.



Polls that don't offer partisan break downs are useless.


Field Marshal:

Ouch, Obama behind a generic Rep! The 22% who believe they are better off are the hard core lefties who have been duped by Obama and their dem leaders about the lies in the bill.


Cyril Washbrook:

The message I'm seeing is that despite Obama ostensibly being in the doldrums, with a still-sagging economy, having supposedly "rammed through" deeply unpopular health care legislation, and coming under fire for his handling of the budget deficit... he's still level with an idealised Republican and - based on the full corpus of polling - clearly ahead of any actual Republican who can be named.


Grant Walmer:

Depending on how one parsed the poll, they could get either a net positive approval rating for health care reform, or a net negative. Because of the strange wording, will it not be included in the poll of polls? I get the feeling that a lot of pollsters will ask questions like the one CNN has done, to gauge public opinion of the legislation now that its passed.



This is bad news for Democrats. 56% disapprove of the bill while 42% approve.



@Field Marshal

"Ouch, Obama behind a generic Rep!"

The HCR victory must have really hurt. Guys, show some pride! Grasping on to polls pitting Obama against amorphous candidates for an election that is 2.5 years away is pathetic.

My memory is a bit hazy so can someone remind me of the glorious presidential victories of John Dewey, Ed Muske, Gary Hart, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis? These guys were doing very well against the incumbent presidents a year or more before the election.

I feel sad seeing you guys like this. I was watching Hannity tonight and my heart began weeping for Dick Morris and Hannity. Their bitterness and frustration was oozing through their pores. It reminded me of the days following the 2004 election. Many of my liberal friends felt helpless. They didn't know whether to lash out or cry.

Console yourselves with the knowledge that no party rules forever. You will be the betting favorites in 2016. In the post-WWII era, a party has held the presidency for more than 2 consecutive terms only once (1988). As for 2012, save yourselves the heartache and resign your minds to a 2008-type defeat. These early polls are only teasing you and leading you on.



Given that this is a CNN poll with a track record of a moderate left bias in their polls, it is funny to see the libs latch onto whatever scrap they can to try to spin this in their favor.

When you have a poll that shows a substantial majority disapproving of a new bill and a plurality - if not a majority, when you take out the liberal slant, there is big trouble for the party that passed that bill.

I'm not sure they has ever been a bill disliked this much passed an a completely partisan basis. It may still be early but the libs have been saying for months now that the approval would "shoot up" when if this thing got passed.

It is disappointing that CNN chose to keep their respondent affiliation and other demographics secret. We have no idea how much they manipulated these numbers.

That question response selection, "47% Congress should repeal most of the major provisions in that bill and replace them with a completely different set of proposals" was too exclusionary. One choice was to increase government involvement. There should have also been a choice to keep it and reduce government involvement. "Completely different set of proposals" was too vague. The response probably would have been higher if people understood the choice their were given.



For everyone that doesn't like the bill, pollsters should ask what it is they don't like. It's obvious that approval falls along party lines, but what would be interesting to know is what do Republicans NOT like about it. What part of the bill or it's financials from the CBO are not liked?



Clinton was losing to "generic Republican" by 15% at the same point in his presidency. How did that work out for Republicans? At Obama's low point (because as every polisci follower knows, now you pivot to popular, middle of the road stuff from now until re-election), he has 47%. Looks pretty solid for re-election at this point, especially since one day "generic Republican" gets replaced by a real Republican, and all the flaws that come with him/her rather than everyone's idealized candidate.


Post a comment

Please be patient while your comment posts - sometimes it takes a minute or two. To check your comment, please wait 60 seconds and click your browser's refresh button. Note that comments with three or more hyperlinks will be held for approval.