I'd Hate to Meet That 25%
Because that's the percentage of people who are apparently satisfied with the Republican Party's "Don't get sick and die quickly" ideas regarding health care.
A new Quinnipiac University poll of 2630 voters arrived at some hardly surprising but still informative conclusions. Predictably, President Obama's approval rating remained steady at around 50%, essentially where it was at in late July-early August last summer.
However, that doesn't mean the Republican Party's childish antics this year has let Democrats and Obama off the hook. According to the data of the poll, only a third of the respondents had a favorable opinion of the congressional Democrats while just 38% approved of the party's performance in the abstract. Compare that to the slightly more anemic 25% approval rating given to both congressional Republicans and the GOP as a whole.
But the Chief Executive didn't emerge unscathed. While Mr. Obama's approval rating held steady at 50%, just over half of the voters polled disapproved of the way Obama was handling health care. Only 40% support his health care plan, while it's opposed by 47%
In a way, the poll results, while they show a strong public dissatisfaction with Congress in general and the performance of both parties in the health care reform debate in particular, also demonstrate that Americans as a whole are not buying into the Republican meme that health care could be the president's Waterloo. Americans in general are intelligent enough to know that health care reform is just one major dish on the president's plate and that they're able to somewhat separate Mr. Obama from health care.
Republicans (and now, the Obama administration, it seems) are notoriously contemptuous of public opinion polls that show them in bad odor with voters. Yet, the Quinnipiac poll shows that while Americans are able to separate people from issues, it proves with a 1.9% margin of error that we are deeply dissatisfied with both parties and that the Democrats only look better than the Republicans by conspicuous relief.
Americans are growing increasingly skeptical over health care, the "winnability" in Afghanistan, the glacial withdrawal of US forces in Iraq, the efficacy of the Wall St. bailout and a whole host of other issues. It's only a matter of time before the voters' cynicism results in the emergence of a legitimate third party, one that isn't primarily beholden to corporate interests.