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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira: Public More Pleased Than Angry about HCR

In his latest ‘Public Opinion Snapshot’ at the Center for American Progress web pages, TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira examines the opinion data concerning health care reform, and finds the GOP meme that the public is “angy” about it overstated. As Teixeira explains:

Conservatives have been predicting for months that the health care reform bill passed in March would over time generate massive public opposition. So where is it?
Consider results of the most recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, the most thorough ongoing assessment of public opinion on the bill. The poll asked respondents whether they had a generally favorable or unfavorable opinion about the law. It elicited a 49 percent favorable to 40 percent unfavorable verdict…Doesn’t sound like massive opposition to me.

The constituency favoring quick repeal of the legislation is even smaller, according to Teixeira:

…The poll also asked a follow-up question of those with an unfavorable view to see if they wanted to give the bill a chance to work or have it repealed as soon as possible…Just over a quarter of the public has both an unfavorable view of the bill and wants to see it repealed as soon as possible. This looks even less like massive opposition.

So, how “angry” is the public about HCR?

…Certainly some angry people are out there–32 percent of the public does say that “angry” describes their feelings about the health reform law. But they are actually fewer in number than those that say they are pleased about the law.

Less than a third, after months of nonstop GOP fear-mongering and distortions about HCR legislation. As Teixeira puts it, “None of this is to say everyone loves the new law or even understands it. But the idea that the public is rising up in angry opposition to the law is clearly wrong.”

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