If you are confused about the state of public opinion on health care reform, check out an exhaustive post at pollster.com by the respected nonpartisan observer Charles Franklin. Looking at every poll from virtually every available perspective, here’s what he concludes about recent trends:
[T[he big picture is that opposition ramped up significantly through June or July but has recently slowed or stopped. Support fell less precipitously but has been working back up for a month (despite or perhaps because of the circus coverage in August.) We could pick a chart to fight over the details, but we shouldn’t. It is the big picture of public opinion that is important here. Within a couple of points, opinion is evenly divided. The White House has gained a bit of momentum, but will be challenged to lower the opposition numbers, not just raise the support numbers.
All the data that Franklin analyzes was gathered before the President latest media blitz. It will take a while to assess its effectiveness, particularly since it is ongoing. But it does not look like the administration or congressional Democrats are bucking an adverse trend any longer. And it also appears the townhall meetings and the associated conservative hysteria may not have changed much of anything, and might have even backfired a bit.