WASHINGTON (CNN) – Hours before President Barack Obama holds a prime time news conference to push for health care reform, a new CNN Poll of Polls indicates that less than half the country approves of how he's handling the issue.
According to the CNN Poll of Polls, 47 percent approve of how the president's dealing with health care reform, with 44 percent disapproving.
The CNN Poll of Polls on health care was compiled and released on Wednesday. It's an average of the three most recent national surveys to ask about Obama's performance on health care: USA Today/Gallup (July 17-19); ABC/Washington Post (July 15-18) and CBS News (July 9-12).
The ABC News/Washington Post poll, which was released Monday, indicates Obama still has a large advantage over Republicans on the issue. Fifty-four percent of those questioned say they trust Obama to do a better job handling health care than Republicans in Congress, with 34 percent putting more faith in congressional Republicans than the president.
CNN Radio: Obama losing ground on health care
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll taken in June showed that roughly half the country is confused by the major points in Obama's health care proposals, said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That poll also showed that Americans who understand Obama's proposals support them, while a majority of Americans who are confused by the issue oppose Obama's plan," said Holland. "That may be one reason why Obama is making a prime-time push for his proposals, and doing so in a question-and-answer format."
A separate CNN Poll of Polls puts the president's overall approval rating at 56 percent, with 40 percent disapproving. In early June, Obama's average approval rating was 62 percent. It stood at 61 percent by mid-June, and stayed at that level through the rest of the month.
"Obama remains more popular than most of his policies, including health care," Holland says. "The question is whether he can turn some of that personal popularity into political capital in order to get what he wants out of Congress."
The CNN Poll of Polls on Obama's overall approval was also compiled and released on Wednesday. It's an average of the three most recent national surveys: AP/GfK (July 16-20); USA Today/Gallup (July 17-19); and ABC/Washington Post (July 15-18).