December 21st, 2009
03:01 PM ET
10 months ago

CNN Poll: 6 point jump in support for health care bill


Washington (CNN) - Support for the health care reform bill that Democrats are pushing through the Senate has risen six points since early December, according to a new national poll, and although a majority of Americans still oppose its passage, only four in ten agree with Senate Republicans that the bill is too liberal.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Monday, also indicates that President Barack Obama's approval rating has experienced a similar six-point rise.

According to the poll, 42 percent of Americans, based on what they've read or heard about the bill, support Senate Democrat's legislation. That's up from 36 percent in a poll conducted December 2-3. Nonetheless, a majority of people questioned in the survey, 56 percent, oppose the bill.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Wednesday through Sunday, as Senate Democrats were negotiating a final health care bill, but before a crucial party-line vote early Monday morning to end debate, a huge hurdle to eventual passage of the legislation that the Democrats successfully were able to jump.

"Virtually all the increase in support for the Senate health care bill has come from Democrats, with a 10-point increase since early December," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Support is also up 10 points among younger Americans, compared to only two points among people 50 and older."

The survey also indicates the public's divided on whether the Senate bill will help most Americans, with 38 percent saying if the bill becomes law things will change for the worse, 34 percent feeling that the bill will change things for the better and 26 percent saying things will not change.

But less than 1 in 4 think the bill will make their own health care coverage better, 15 points lower than the 37 percent who say their health care will get worse if the bill becomes law. Nearly 4 in 10 say there will be no change in their or their immediate family's coverage.

According the to poll, 54 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama's doing as president, up 6 points from early December, with 44 percent disapproving, down 6 points.
"Obama's approval rating is up ten points among younger Americans, but only two points among older Americans," Holland says. "Since the same pattern occurs in the figures for the Senate health care bill, it's possible that the two are related. Obama's support is also up mostly among liberals, to 81 percent."

But the survey also indicates Obama may not be living up to expectations. Nearly half of those polled, 48 percent, feeling that Obama's fallen short. The 48 percent who say the president's fallen short of their expectations is up 20 points from May.

"There is less confidence in Obama at the end of his first calendar year in office," says Holland. "In the spring, 64 percent thought his policies would succeed. That's down 12 points. And the number who say they want his policies to fail has doubled, to 22 percent, in that time."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 16-20, with 1,160 adult Americans questioned by phone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Full results (pdf)

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

– Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    You must have polled the obstructionists that have their golden health care plans.

    December 21, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. TOTUS

    I guess the scandalous and corrupt payoffs to Dodd, Landrieu and Nelson an dother Dems on the take really motivate everyone to jump up and down with joy for the deliberate destruction of our political process and the country as a whole...

    December 21, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. CommonSense09

    Sweet! Thank you, Obama, for caring about the American People. Something the GOP knows NOTHING about.

    December 21, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Dale

    The extremists on both ends of the spectrum hate the health care bill. The leftists say it doesn't go far enough to socialize medicine. The righties say poor people should just be allowed to die when they get sick. Like most topics, the extremists are wrong and the moderates are correct. The bill is a good compromise and I fully support it.

    December 21, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. annie s

    I support the bill. I had hoped for more, but a start in the right direction is better than what we've been handed for the past 60 years. Americans, I'm sorry to say, have bought into the fear mongering and hysteria of the Republicans, who do a much better job than the Democrats of speaking with one voice (even if that voice lies). I'm with Teddy Kennedy. When reform is finally enacted, people won't oppose it, they'll just as what took us so long.

    December 21, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. SC mom

    I am 100% against this Health Care business. It's SOCIALISM, being shoved down our throats, voting in the middle of the night.... next vote on Christmas eve! All negatives. Its messy, totally unfair, biased, and not what Obama promised on the campaign trail i.e., lowering all RX prices.

    Then again, what has Obama done RIGHT??? Every promise of his
    he's broken. It DEFINITELY REFLECTS POORLY on him and his quasi-leadership qualities. Why would he even want his name attached to this?

    December 21, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. vegage

    Finally american people are understanding what is in going on here. Republicans are just trying to kill something that will do good to americans and to the economy.

    December 21, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. MsDp

    When the American People get rid of their fears and replace fears with faith, they will all support health care reform. I have read the bill, read the management's admendment, and it will produce better results for all of us. Please America, take the time and read the bill with an open mind. Even though there is no public option, there are several benefits for us all. I am supporting the Senate Bill. I hope you will too. Remember, Rome was not built in one day, God did not create heaven and earth in one day. Something new to build on is much better than starting from scratch. Even Our beloved Senator Ted Kennedy stated that he wished he would have accepted an agreement to began the building blocks for health care reform long ago. So please, let us all embrase this bill and began the change.

    December 21, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    The fact remains, nobody is listening to the people. The President, the Democratic Congress and Senate, and the Lame Stream Media are all ignoring the will of the people. They'll take notice of the results at the ballot box in November 2010.

    December 21, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Disgusted Democrat

    Yeah right......the majority of Democrats I know are against this bill......who the heck are they polling......the politicians how voted for this piece of trash?

    December 21, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. GOP Orange Curtain victim, CA

    Too bad Lieberman had to oppose expanding Medicare to people 55-64, despite the fact he said he supported it before he got his big $ deal from the lobbyists

    December 21, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Sadie

    When the people of this country stop listening to the scare and fear tactics of the GOP they will see that this Health Care Reform is following in the foots steps of Christ.......Christ came to heal the sick and not withhold healing from the poor and the sick........the way the Republicans want to do........and they call themselves the Party with morals and values.........for who? Themselves and the weathly and they do not want to provide the rest of us with the same Health Care that they enjoy and take for granted

    December 21, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. Ben in Texas

    For weeks, Repugnants have been telling us here that "nobody wants this bill" because it's "too liberal". I think these poll numbers explain very well why the overall support for the senate bill has been low: It's not liberal enough!

    We were promised a real reform in health insurance, and without single-payer, or at least the public option, we're not getting real reform and thus many do not support the bill. Only 40% say the bill is too liberal, and that corresponds to all the Repugnants and some of the independents. The people who elected this congress and president have not changed in their support for actual, meaningful, health insurance reform.

    It's a pity that less-than-we-bargained-for reform will end this process, and it may be another 15 years before it is attempted again. How many people will die unnecessarily as a result? We could have had single payer health care like our military and the rest of the civilized world.

    December 21, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Some republican guy

    Who cares what polls say. All those statistics and stuff are just science. Where has science ever gotten us??? The only science that's useful is chemistry so you can run a meth lab!!! They say the earth is warming up, well then how do you explain all of the snow that the east coast got this weekend??? My grandbabies are outside right now making a snow man. Everbody knows that the earth is being cooled by Jesus rays!!! Have a nice day!

    December 21, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Bharat Patel

    I strongly support Democrat Helth Care plan. I wish after this bill pass and signed by President, Democrat should start procedure to confinscate helth insurance plan of all republican member of congress and senate. Because those ediots dose not want to give anything better to american peopls who paying taxes for their very best health insurance.

    December 21, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Okey

    The more people hear the truth of the bill the more they move away from the mis-information engineered by the GOP.

    It is mind buggling how seemingly educated people will allow themselves to be manipulated by the mis-information and GOP propaganda.

    It is amusing how many GOP senators announce the number of pages in the bill but also claim they have never seen it. They tell us how bad the bill is, yet they have not seen it. They claim the Democrats are going to spring it on them in the last minute and the public swallow that crap. How could you have not seen it and know the number of pages. If you have never seen it, that what are you belly-aching about?

    December 21, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. chuck

    It's about time. Repubs should be ashamed of themselves. I hope they voted of out office

    December 21, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. The Voice

    The fear mongering from big health insurance and the Republicans has taken its toll, but not all Americans are being fooled.

    It will take some time before they realize that health reform is good for the people. Again the "people"!

    December 21, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    This poll missed the point again, what makes this Bill wrong is the cost (2.5 Trillon over ten years). The tax increase this is bringing will destroy the middle class while improving the life of the very wealthy again. This is a health insurance bailout, this will result in higher out of pocket costs for the American people, while improving insurance companies profits.
    This Bill must not pass.

    December 21, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. SocialismBad

    Interesting how you can take a poll on a bill THAT NOBODY COULD READ, including the #2 Democrat in the Senate! The behind closed doors sweet deals for certain states at the expense of others tells you all you need to know about this putrid train wreck.

    It was a rotten attempt at "reform" and now it smells even worse. Keep trying to buy votes and smear lipstick and wigs on this pig Democrats. The American people aren't stupid and will hold you ALL accountable next November.

    December 21, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Red by Choice

    So let me get this straight. Our president and the Democratic Congress are forcing through a bill that the majority of Americans oppose? The Dim's are buying off the Senator from Nebraska, attacking Leiberman's wife, threatening to take out any dissenting Democrats, etc. Change you can believe in? Representative government? New ideas? Hell, no!

    December 21, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. unemployed by Obama and cannot find work

    show me the CONSTITUTIONALITY of forced heath care purchase and show me what you are going to do if I dont buy it. Seems the Socialist Democratic Obama nation has started its move to be the dictator of your health, life and well being. Ha, I dont trust the government for a second with my health or well being. All Lies and misleadership, shame there isnt any integrity in DC anymore.

    December 21, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. Obama 2.0

    Heres the deal, after much research I voted for Obama. I am a hard core Independent, and don't care about "party/clicks." I will say that while the Dems can screw up a wet dream the GOP is broken and does not work. Now they want to drag out in a mean spirited way what is inevitable in the passing of the HC bill in the Senate. Drag it into Christmas Eve. America has watched, and it has been ugly. These politicians will get their rewards for their deeds good or bad. We, Americans will dicern truth from deciet and they will be judged acordingly.

    Merry Christmas :)

    December 21, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Something is better than nothing. I still don't see how we're going to give the insurance companies competition without a public option. This bill isn't perfect, but there are some good things in it such as no more pre-existing conditions.

    December 21, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. mjm

    42%! why didn't you say so? Pass this asap!

    I wonder how many people would support this if they actually had a time to read and review the bill.

    If the people really understood this....they would say hell no!

    December 21, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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