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Health Care and Obama's Job Approval

The voters are sour on health care reform--and increasingly sour on Obama, as well

10:02 AM, Jan 13, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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The White House can't be happy with a new set of polls evaluating President Obama's job performance. The CNN poll showed the public evenly divided on the question of whether Obama's presidency has been a success (so far!). The poll also showed that 46 percent of the public feels that Obama is too liberal. Meanwhile, the CBS poll has Obama's approval rating at 46 percent--dangerous territory if the midterms were held today.

Health Care and Obama's Job Approval

Elizabeth Cromwell

The most interesting poll, however, is the new Quinnipiac survey showing support for Obama's handling of health care at a dismal 35 percent. Obama's job approval is split down the middle at 45 percent in the Quinnipiac poll. Independents judge Obama's first year a failure by a margin of 47 to 40 percent.

Now look at the graph of Obama's approval rating. Obama's numbers began to slide as soon as he swore the Oath of Office; the real plunge came during the summer, when the nation debated health care reform and Democrats responded to townhall protests with a combination of dismissal and derision.

The behavior of the national Democratic party has fueled GOP victories in New Jersey and Virginia, sparked a Republican rally in the generic ballot, and contributed to Scott Brown's competitive standing with Martha Coakley in Massachusetts. The House minority leadership believes it has a chance of winning the lower chamber. Democrats can keep bringing up the unusual New York special election all they want; nevertheless, the substance and style of the Obama administration has sparked a broad-based reaction (on both right and left) against his policies.

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