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Not that public opinion on healthcare makes a damned bit of difference in D.C., but strong majorities still like the public option, according to two new polls, one from CBS/NYT [pdf], and the other from CNN.

CBS/NYT:

As the Senate continues its debate over health care reform, the state of public opinion remains much the same as it has been: Americans support a public option, but few still believe the reforms under debate would actually help them personally.

About six in ten Americans continue to express support for the so-called "public option" –- which the Senate appears to have sidelined for now. Views on this haven’t changed recently. As was the case last month, Democrats favor it and Republicans are opposed.  

VIEWS ON PUBLIC OPTION
      Now  11/2009
Favor   59%  61%
Oppose  29   28

Last summer, in poll questions that did not include the phrase "public option," views were much the same, with six in ten consistently in
favor.

Greg Sargent on the CNN poll:

Here’s something that adds a bit of perspective to the Senate’s decision to compromise by dropping the public option: The new CNN poll’s internals show that the public option is more popular than the current Senate health care compromise bill by a whopping 17 point difference.

The poll finds that only 36% favor the Senate compromise, versus 61% who oppose it.

By contrast, the poll finds that 53% favor the public option, versus 46% who oppose it.

Thirty-six percent for the Senate bill. Fifty-three percent for the public option.

It would be hard to find a clearer expression of how badly the need for a supermajority in the Senate is perverting democracy.

That echoes the Q poll that Jed reported on earlier today, and every damned poll we've seen as long as they've been polling on it. The public option remains the one thing in healthcare reform that the American people really like. Figures.

Update: Error corrected in quote from Sargent--see his update. The substance of the story remains unchanged.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 02:12 PM PST.

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