As previously noted, every single poll about this nightmare from now to November and beyond will be fraught with meaning and hyped to the skies as the true barometer of public sentiment about The Boondoggle That Saved America.
That said, I’m more than happy to hype this one. Shazam:
The poll finds that 62 percent want Congressional Republicans to keep challenging the bill, while 33 percent say they should not do so. Nearly nine in ten Republicans and two in three independents want the GOP to keep challenging. Even 41 percent of Democrats support continued challenges.
Americans are split about the fact that the bill largely lacked bipartisan support. Fifty percent said they were disappointed that the bill did not have support from both parties, while 44 percent said that it doesn’t matter…
Despite a Congressional Budget Office analysis finding that the bill will ultimately lower the budget deficit by $143 billion over the first ten years and $1.2 trillion dollars in the second ten years, 57 percent of those surveyed, including most Republicans and independents, say the bill will increase the deficit. Just 18 percent say it will decrease the deficit.
The bill got a modest bounce after passage, from 37/48 to 42/46. As for the bombshell about people wanting the GOP to keep fighting, I can’t come up with a way to reconcile that with the numbers who support it. How can 42 percent approve while 62 percent — including 41 percent of Democrats! — want the GOP to keep challenging it? Is there some huge swath of centrist Dems that like the idea of health-care reform in principle but want Republicans to whittle it down a bit? If so, then yesterday’s Gallup poll was even screwier than thought. Only nine percent of Dems in that sample thought the bill was a bad thing, compared to 14 percent of Republicans who thought it was a good thing. And yet 41 percent of them want the O-Care wars to rage on? Does not compute.
Bottom line, though, on this early, early weathervane: The “repeal and replace” strategy is alive and well. In fact, to further reassure centrist Dems that we’re not going back to the status quo, the new GOP talking point is to promise full repeal while targeting the most unpopular provisions (like the mandate) first. That’s reminiscent of Cornyn’s now infamous “partial repeal” strategy, but the biggest problem with what Cornyn said was the poor messaging, not the idea that certain elements of O-Care might be replicated in a scaled-down GOP package. This is an improvement in that regard, at least.
We’ll be hearing plenty of screeching about the GOP’s fierce partisanship in trying to undo the big liberal achievement over the next few months, so in addition to mentally flagging this poll as evidence of where bipartisan sentiment lies, enjoy this clip of Gibbs comparing McCain to a six-year-old for vowing to be uncooperative. What’s the problem, Gibbsy? Madam Speaker says partisanship is just fine when there’s an important goal at stake.