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November 19, 2009

Quinippiac: Public Disapproves of ObamaCare 51-35; Disapproves of Obama's Handling of Issue, 53-41

Not the 60% or thereabouts we need to ensure the Democrats back down. But still.

[V]oters disapprove 51 - 35 percent of the health care overhaul passed by the House of Representatives which he has endorsed, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

Voters disapprove 53 - 41percent of President Obama's handling of health care.

The first finding they report is that voters like Obama personally, but disapprove of his policies. 74% "like" him, 47% "like" most of his policies. Obama's vaunted charm and presence seems to be having the same effect at home as it does abroad, i.e., none at all. I can "like" someone while refusing to support policies detrimental to my interests.

Gallup, meanwhile, attempts to spin a finding that hurts Obama as somehow "ambiguous."

As Congress debates a possible major expansion of health insurance in the United States, Gallup finds 38% of Americans rating healthcare coverage in this country as excellent or good, the highest (by eight percentage points) in the nine-year history of this question, and 12 points above last year's level.

Most of the change since last year involves a shift in Americans' ratings of healthcare coverage from "only fair" to "excellent" or "good." Since last year, the percentage rating healthcare coverage as only fair has declined by 10 points, while the percentage rating it poor has changed little.

Seems to take a lot of the wind out of Obama's sails, eh? If people now realize they've got it pretty good, seems a pretty good sign they don't need the massive changes Obama is proposing.

Gallup suddenly comes down with a case of the stupids and pretends it forgot what the question asked. They asked if people appreciated their health care now, as they have been asking for nine years. But given a finding that hurts Obama, they wonder: Gee, maybe we really asked how health care would be in the future, after Obama's changes take effect.

It is unclear based on the overall data whether this shift could be due to a greater appreciation for the current system among those who think it is threatened by the proposed changes, or perhaps an anticipation of better days ahead from those who support the changes.

Um, by the terms of the question itself, dear, it is not "unclear" at all. Pollsters often ask about people's belief about how things will be in the future. They did not do so here.

Gallup's headline for this references "Greater Optimism" on health care, optimism being a forward-looking word that implies a belief about the future.

The correct word, which they did not choose, is Satisfaction. The question asks not about optimism for the future but satisfaction in the present.

What is the point of polling people at all if Gallup is going to disregard the answers people provide, and even set aside the questions they themselves ask?

Hey, as long as we're making stuff up, maybe most of those people saying health care is poor are really talking about the future under ObamaCare, too.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff.

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posted by Ace at 02:00 PM

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