22 March 2010

Will there be a backlash?

For all the histrionics about the "unpopular" health care bill being "rammed" down our collective throats, it's worth noting that, even in the general state of being not too terribly well informed about the bill, the public is not all *that* opposed.

For example, consider CNN's recent poll.  The topline numbers don't look too great: 59% oppose, 39% support.  (BTW it's astonishing that only 2% had no opinion given how few people actually know what is in the final package.) But when you drill down a little bit, you find something interesting:
43% oppose it on the grounds that it is too liberal, while 13% oppose it on the grounds that it is not liberal enough. So another way of looking at the data is that 43% oppose it for being too liberal, 39% favor it, and 13% oppose it for not being liberal enough, with another 3% who oppose it for some indeterminate reasons.
So a not-unreasonable interpretation of this poll is that 52% are in favor of reforms in general, with about a quarter of those folks being angry & disappointed that this bill doesn't go far enough, while about 46% oppose it outright. 

The overall trend still is about 50-40 opposed in national data, and if you assume even 5% of general opposition form the left, these are not numbers which portend a vitriolic backlash at the polls, especially if, as some suggest, the reforms become more popular once they are passed, once the narrative moves away from the process, once the public becomes better informed about the bill's actual content, and once the reforms start to take effect.  The intensity of support/opposition should remain a concern for democrats, but I suspect that as this fight passes into the past, the enthusiasm gap (now strongly favoring the GOP) will also begin to come back closer to parity.

I'm concerned about November, but I am much more concerned about November due to the overall economy, not due to health care.

4 comments:

  1. Been reading you for a bit and wanted to share this entry with fb friends and as I copied the addresss I realized "all bleeding stops" is your address. Laughed out loud. Had a Dr I worked with explain that statement only she added "eventually" to it.

    Good to see it used!!

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  2. So a not-unreasonable interpretation of this poll is that 52% are in favor of reforms in general, with about a quarter of those folks being angry & disappointed that this bill doesn't go far enough, while about 46% oppose it outright.

    I disagree. The 46% who oppose the bill because it is too liberal or for some unknown reason are almost certainly in favor of reforms in general, just not these reforms. The same is true for the 13% who oppose it because it is not liberal enough. It is not necessarily the case that the 13% will find the bill any more palatable than the 46%.

    You might want to check out some sites like Reclusive Leftist or Blue Lyon for a somewhat different progressive view from that of, say, Ezra Klein. You might also find FDL's post about what's in the bill interesting as a compare and contrast with your recent such post.

    The good news is that the bill has now passed and everyone can stop making predictions - whether dire or rosy - about what it will do. We can just sit back and observe. I look forward to your posts on how the implementation is going.

    Congratulations.

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  3. "I'm concerned about November, but I am much more concerned about November due to the overall economy, not due to health care."

    And you do not see a relationship?

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

    Sad

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  4. And by the way, I think it fair to say that the left has lost any moral authority in complaining about the fiscally irresponsibility of others.

    It appears that some behaviors are universal yet easier to see in others than in oneself.

    Next time you are asked to adjudicate a conflict between two kids, let them know two wrongs make a right.

    Is it any wonder why war is fractal?

    Be well

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