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Monday, September 14, 2009

Obama's Obamacare Speech Changed Nothing

Washington Post-ABC News poll has a dose of reality for Barack Obama and Democrats in the House and Senate. Obama's long winded healthcare speech didn't help the debate one iota and people are still where they were before he spoke.

Bottom line: right now, voters are almost exactly where they were before the speech.

Big question: will praise of Obama's speech from moderate Dems (Ben Nelson called it a "game-changer" and President's meeting with 17 Blue Dogs had a positive vibe) begin to impact public, or will more poll results like this shake the confidence of the Congressional centrists Obama needs?

Big question II: is dropping the public option the game-changer? Olympia Snowe says it’s the only way to get a bill through the Senate, and our poll shows a significant shift in support: from 46-48 to 50-42.

Here are the key numbers:

Split on Obama's handling of health care: 48-48 (46-50 August 17)
Support Obama's health care reforms: 46-48 (45-50 August 17)
President Obama's job approval is at 54 (57 August 17)
Deficit: 65% think health care reform will make it worse
Medicare: 56% of seniors think it will weaken Medicare

On the crucial "what's in it for me?" question, twice as many Americans (32-16) think it will make their own care worse, twice as many (40-20) think it will increase their costs, and more than three times as many (37-11) think it will hurt their coverage.

The Washington Post claims that while it wasn't the game changer Obama and other Democrats were hoping for, it "eased" the summer slide.

Hot Air points out the actual demographics of the poll, which tell another story.

...Unfortunately, even with a ridiculous 11-point spread between Democrats and Republicans in the latest poll sample, Obama still can’t get to 50% support on health care leadership, dropped another point from the last poll on the economy, and lost six points between overall approval and disapproval over the last month:

Morrissey concludes:

What does this poll mean? Given the fact that Obama continues to lose ground even in skewed samples of all adults, it means that he’s getting clobbered among likely voters. The speech didn’t even stop Obama’s slide. At best, it may have slowed his descent a little. That’s not nearly good enough, and it shows that the more Obama appears on TV to angrily repeat the same old slogans, the less people care what he has to say.

The Swamp highlights another tidbit and that is Obama's disapproval rating from seniors, one of the largest voting blocs, which is up to 57 percent with his approval rating among them at only 38 percent and remember this is with the poll surveying more Democrats than Republicans.

"Seniors trusted Obama more than they did the Republicans in Congress by a margin of 62 to 24 percent. Now, 44 percent side with the GOP, 39 percent with Obama.''

Most seniors surveyed approved of Obama's overall job performance consistently from the start of his administration through July, the Post and ABC found, but his approval rating among seniors has since dropped to 38 percent, with 57 percent disapproving.

I would like to see newer polls now that factor in the likely voters or all voter's reaction to the heavy news coverage the massive turnout for the March on Washington received.