Yesterday, Andrew Malcolm noted that Barack Obama still wanted to argue over a B he received from a college professor when the latter paid a visit to the White House. Obama probably won’t like the grade that he receives in the Investors Business Daily/TIPP poll on health care, either. In a survey conducted last week, Obama gets a C- on his efforts to reform the American delivery of health care:
President Obama has yet to sell health care reform convincingly to Americans. The public is skeptical about whether an overhaul of the health system is in its best interests. One indicator of the skepticism is the poor grade Americans give the president for his handling of the issue.
In the latest IBD/TIPP Poll conducted Aug. 4 to 8, the president gets a C- for his handling of health care policy. Democrats give him a B-, Republicans give him a D and Independents a C-.
Though the president is still popular with high approval ratings, his handling of health care policy has hurt. The president scored a positive 57.6 in August on the IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index, slipping a bit from 58.1 in July. But 37% give him an A or B for his handling of health care policy, while 60% give him a C or below.
Independents, a constituency the president needs, who give Obama a GPA of 1.54 on the issue — a grade below C — are closer to Republicans who give him a failing GPA of 0.85 than to Democrats with a GPA of 2.67.
Overall, more people rate Obama below average (42.7%) than above average (37%) in the IBD/TIPP poll. The plurality gives Obama an F for his efforts (31.4%). The next highest plurality is Good or B (22%), followed by average or C (16.8%).
Looks like the constitutional law teacher might get flunked in Governing 101.
If so, he’s not alone. Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer get even lower marks in the latest Rasmussen polling on health care. A whole lot of (un)Americans found themselves singularly unimpressed with the arguments the pair made in a USA Today column last week:
Forty-five percent (45%) of voters nationwide think Pelosi and Hoyer are wrong when they say the passage of health care reform will mean more affordable coverage for all Americans. But 36% share the Democratic Congressional leaders’ view and believe health care will become more affordable if the plan passes. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided.
Just 27% of all voters agree with the senior House Democrats that if the health care reform being considered by Congress is passed, it will mean more patient choice. Forty-nine percent (49%) disagree and do not believe more patient choice is likely, and 24% are not sure.
Among voters who have health insurance, the majority (52%) says the plan, if passed, will not mean more patient choice, while 25% say it will.
These aren’t the un-Americans Hoyer and Pelosi were seeking, either. Independents scoffed at the arguments almost as much as Republicans did. On the question of whether ObamaCare would increase choice, independents said no by almost 4-1, 61%-17%. On whether ObamaCare would allow people to keep their current coverage, independents said no, 47%-34%. When asked whether the Pelosi/Hoyer effort would mean affordable coverage for all Americans, a majority of independents said no, 54%-24%.
Democrats face a big problem with independent voters. In looking at these crosstabs, the independent voter response is very close to the Republican response in almost every question on health care, and starting to resemble it on economics in other polling. The Democratic response is the exact opposite of both. It looks as though Democrats have begun a pattern of isolation and group-think that will lead to a big and unwelcome electoral surprise in 2010.
They’re about to get a failing grade, too.