Public opinion

One of the right-wing talking points on health care is that the bill is unpopular.

Actual polling results from CNN:

42% approve of the bill; another 13% don’t think it’s liberal enough.  Only 39% oppose it as too liberal.

Does that sound to you like something that’s going to generate a Republican groundswell in 2010?  Me neither.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

5 thoughts on “Public opinion”

  1. It could, depending.

    Keep in mind that opinion, and intensity of opinion, are practically orthogonal. It's quite possible for a law most people poll as liking to be political poison, if only the people who dislike it really care enough about it to base their vote on it. It's also worth keeping in mind that you can get polls in favor of just about anything, if you only mention the positive points about it.

    So, it depends.

  2. I'm not much for betting, but my prediction is that this bill, assuming it passes, will be hard on the Demonrat party in the short run, and good for it in the long run. Not because in the long run people will like it, but because the Demonrat party is much more the party of big government than the Republicans, and this bill will permanently enhance the power of government over the private sector, making government that much more important. And opening up so many more opportunities for Mark's style of using federal power for the political ends of the Demonrat party.

  3. Wait a second, 42% support the bill, 39% oppose the bill, with 13% being the only ones who understood the kind of opportunity that was passed up. Three percentage points separate those who support it and those who oppose it, and this doesn't sound like a groundswell?

    If the 13% who are disaffected decide to stay home, that's going to lead Dems to hold on? How?

  4. Progressives are p'd off with Obama.

    The people who turned out for Obama in droves, the non-voting independents and marginals, have seen their own lives get demonstrably worse in the last 2 years. The country is in a mess. Huge bailouts of rich bankers and AIG executives.

    They are *angry* or they are disillusioned.

    You add disenchanted Progressives who don't campaign or vote, plus the bunch in the middle who are confused as to why it has gotten so bad, don't like complex-liberal-academic answers about irrational bubbles etc.

    Add those together and you have the makings of an electoral rout.

    Progressives better get their socks on, because this bill is probably the last piece of truly progressive legislation the Obama Administration will succeed in enacting. The next 2 (or 6) years are going to be Clinton-lite.

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