There's a new poll from Quinnipiac University, and it's a rough one. It was conducted before the latest developments on health care reform, from December 1 to 6, and it's pretty much nothing but a big flashing warning sign from the electorate to Democrats on the way the health care reform effort is going.
Among the lowlights:
- The best news of the poll: President Obama's overall approval rating is 46% approve, 44% disapprove. (Unfortunately, that's also the lowest registered by Quinnipiac.)
- On health care, President Obama's rating is 38/56. Among Dems it is 67/27 and among liberals it is 64/28.
- Even though public isn't happy with Pres. Obama on health care, they still prefer him to GOP by 44 - 37 margin.
- Approval for Dems in Congress is 33%, with 56% disapproving, down from a high of 45/45 in March. That puts Dems on par with Republicans who clocked in at 30/58.
- Approval for health care reform bills before Congress is 38/52 (remember, this was before the deal). Among Dems it is 65/25 and among liberals 67/26.
- Approval remains strong for public option at 56/38. Among Dems, it is 81/14.
- Respondents were asked if they believed claims made by Pres. Obama that reform wouldn't increase the budget deficit. 74% did not believe the claim, including 53% of Democrats.
Even though solid majorities of Democrats support health care reform and approve of President Obama's handling of it, the fact that more than one-quarter of grassroots Democrats disapprove should be a wake-up call to Democrats in DC who are going to need to deal with the consequences of the 2010 election. Neither Congress nor the White House can afford to have such a large a portion of the Democratic base disapprove of their most important legislative achievement. Even worse, it's pathetic that Democrats have met Republicans on the bottom when it comes to Congressional approval.
It's also clear from this and other polling that the bill should move to the left. This poll once again showed strong support for a public option, and a total lack of interest in pursuing Republican health care policies.
Put another way: voters want what they voted for. If they don't get it, it would be mistake to count on getting their votes again.