Rasmussen and Schoen: Why Obama Can’t Move the Health-Care Numbers

For every voter who strongly favors the plan, two are strongly opposed.

Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen
The Wall Street Journal
3/9/2010

One of the more amazing aspects of the health-care debate is how steady public opinion has remained. Despite repeated and intense sales efforts by the president and his allies in Congress, most Americans consistently oppose the plan that has become the centerpiece of this legislative season.

In 15 consecutive Rasmussen Reports polls conducted over the past four months, the percentage of Americans that oppose the plan has stayed between 52% and 58%. The number in favor has held steady between 38% and 44%.

The dynamics of the numbers have remained constant as well. Democratic voters strongly support the plan while Republicans and unaffiliated voters oppose it. Senior citizens—the people who use the health-care system more than anybody else and who vote more than anybody else in midterm elections—are more opposed to the plan than younger voters. For every person who strongly favors it, two are strongly opposed.

Why can’t the president move the numbers? One reason may be that he keeps talking about details of the proposal while voters are looking at the issue in a broader context. Polling conducted earlier this week shows that 57% of voters believe that passage of the legislation would hurt the economy, while only 25% believe it would help. That makes sense in a nation where most voters believe that increases in government spending are bad for the economy.

The article continues at WSJ.

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