December 21st, 2009
03:01 PM ET
6 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. victim of the false prophet OBAMA

    the Democratic Socialist Party has now put the final nail in the coffin of once a great nation.

    December 21, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. red33,cedar rapids, ia

    I would sure love to see the people they 'poll' on these polls, since many people in our area are definitely against this monstrosity. The democrats are running this country like a dictatorship, with no bipartisanship whatever. The sad fact is they have NO common sense, and no concern for what they are doing to our great country with all this debt and entitlement expense. Apparently they are predominantly leaning towards socialism.

    December 21, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Shawn

    If this bill contained a PUBLIC OPTION, which is what the American people clearly want, a VAST majority would support its passage.

    The problem with this bill is that it's too conservative for a center-left nation.

    December 21, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. PJ

    If I did not know a thing about this bill I still have serious reason to reject it. Any bill that requires so much smoke and mirror tactics, bribes to Senators to get their vote, and then have be be voted on in the dead of night probably is not something we would want. The Senate has displayed wanton arrogance in passing something like this. They could learn a lesson from Japan during WWII. Japan scored a tremendous victory for their county with the heinous attack on Pearl Harbor, but that victory ultimately cost them the war. Why? They awakened a sleeping giant. I hope the Democrats know that the giant is now awake and will be coming after them next election.

    December 21, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Paul from Phoenix

    Here is my headline:

    6% jump still leaves big spread in health care bill's popularity.

    But that isn't as pro-Obama, is it CNN? Just more truthful.

    December 21, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Mark

    Why would congress vote for this bill when the majority of Americans are against it?

    Payback will come in the elections next fall, dems will lose big time and won't regain a majority in our lifetime.

    December 21, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Patrick

    This is the worst government I've seen in my 48 year lifetime. An arrogant congress that neither represents nor cares what their constituents, who pay their salaries with their tax dollars, think. Far worse is the socialist currently occupying the White House. This, of course, should come as no big surprise since this pinhead had a voting record that would make a communist in Cuba or Venezuela proud. His game plan along with the far left supporters like Reid & Pelosi is to take from those that actually work & give to those that don't. Thsi scountry is on a slow decline & the voters are responsible. Let's hope that wake up in 2010 & correct this sinking ship.

    December 21, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Enough

    Don't worry once people realize what a mess this is going to create, support will sink quickly. It is horrible and will do nothing to reduce our health care premiums. The Majority of Americans sitll do NOT want this disaster, even with this phony jump in approval......which is temporary.

    December 21, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. db

    The devil is in the headline, isn't it. You could just as easily have titled this "Majority of Americans still oppose health care bill."

    December 21, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Aunt Bea and Opie

    No public option and it is a sellout to the insurance companies.We should have expected it,the new boss is the same as the old boss.The banks run the country and both parties,its the greatest scam ever to fool the people.Partisanship just makes it easier for them to control us.Kiss the American dream goodbye.

    December 21, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Albert K. L.A., CA

    Once compulsory health care becomes law, the Republican fear bubble will pop and even more Americans will support it. . However, imagine compulsory education with no public school option, or compulsory Social Security taxes paid only to a Wall St. corporation. Those public options never resulted in a government takeover as Republicans claimed they would and neither would a health care public option. Something tells me a public option will gain support soon after this bill becomes law. Good work Dems.

    December 21, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Todd

    What the polls need to ask is WHY people oppose the bill. What you find when you talk to people who oppose it is almost entirely because they beleive things that are flat out false but that have ben repeated ad nauseum by republicons and their propagandists on fux and talk radio. All sorts of nonsense like death panels, and Medicare cuts and such. Al lies, and all relentless spread by the party of lies. Party of no is too kind. It is now just the party of lies.

    December 21, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. SG Baker

    Well, what else do you expect from Hanoi Jane's station. CNN is the lowest rated media outlet in the USA so they have to keep pushing the Ultra Left's agenda. More than 65 percent of the American Public is against this Social Medicine/Government Run system. Look at the nations that already have it on their books. How many of them are offering life enhancing medical solutions. Good luck to you and your Left Wing Loons. Time to bring back the 2nd Bill of Rights that the progressives want to institute. Next the Constitution will be discarded for another Socialist redistribution of wealth system.

    December 21, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. Dan, TX

    Since Americans only know what extremists say and don't know for themselves what is in the bill, this poll is obviously worthless to anyone with the smallest bit of common sense.

    The American people are too busy to know if this bill is good or bad. But rightly assume it must be bad because it came from Congress.

    It is time to change the Constitution and the form of Government that we have in this country. It is time for EVOLUTION of the American system of government. It is broken and we need a new constitutional convention and a new Constitution.

    December 21, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Reny

    I'm still waiting for the Republicans Health Care bill since they are so fond of tearing the Democrat's down.

    December 21, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. vdm

    Despite the fact that the majority of Americans do NOT want this health care reform, we are going to have it crammed down our throats by those who will do anything (see article on Senator Nelson) to advance THEIR agenda.

    I agree that our health care system is lacking, and I have great sympathy for those facing huge expenses because of lack of insurance coverage (I've been there). But if you think we have problems now, just wait until the government gets hold of our health care.

    I find the mandatory insurance requirement especially onerous. Can you show me where the Constitution gives the Federal Government the power to require US citizens to purchase health insurance from a private company?

    I am tired of all the Republican vs. Democrat finger-pointing, and I believe that it is a waste of energy. You can hurl insults and blame each other until the cows come home, but you are not addressing the serious problems that could very shortly make our country into a 3rd world nation.

    People, instead of picking at each other, contact your representatives and tell them what you think. If they won't listen, then get up off your butts and start looking for their replacements in the next election.

    December 21, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Buying a handbasket

    Many have resigned themselves to the inevitable...

    December 21, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    The sole purpose of this bill is to secure democratic re-election money from Pharma and the insurance companies. You don't need any more proof then the article in CNN Money about a surge in stock prices for the big 3 insurance companies after the bill moved on in the senate.

    Progressives were completely sold out in this bill and the WH did so a long time ago. Not only does it require all Americans to have healthcare, but it does so without any cost savings measures (like a public option or importing drugs). Although subsidies are made available to the poor to help them pay for health coverage (a good thing), this amounts to the government subsidizing of the health insurance industry.

    We need to understand as a people that corporations own and run this country and in very rare instances, they completely drive policy. Election reform is what this country needs more then anything right now. We need to take the money out of the hands of companies so they can't buy influence.

    December 21, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Wayne

    It'll pass. Things will get better. The conservatives will be first in line for the hand outs, and the loudest complainers.

    December 21, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. demmie2

    still, the majority oppose the bill jsut passed by our so-called representative senate

    December 21, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. Woonsocket

    So CNN, how the hell do they know what is in the bill ? Not even Hairy Reid has read it. This poll was crafted by CNN for only one reason, to support the Democrat mantra. CNN is just as corrupt as Hairy Reid and Barack Hussien Obama.

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact.

    December 21, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    It looks like some people are beginning to see through the republican and Fox lies. By next month, the republican party's popularity will be below 20%.

    December 21, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. RH

    Big insurance bought this bill. Only one thing can save America from Congress' corporate patrons: term limits.

    December 21, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. karine

    It is unbelievable that Americans are buying into these corrupt policies by corrupt politicians.
    Buying votes for millions of dollars one would not expect from a country such as yours.
    If this healthcare bill is that good , then it should stand and survive on it's own merits.
    You are allowing dimwit politicians to destroy your country and everything you were once so proud to stand for and the rest of the world admired you for.
    Integrity , honesty and freedom of choice and speech.

    December 21, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. GG

    Another opinion survey of people deliberately kept in the dark by the media masquerading as news......

    December 21, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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