December 21st, 2009
03:01 PM ET
7 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. Chris D.

    Former President Bill Clinton said it right months ago........When this bill passes, support will grow.
    I'm proud of the Senate!!!!!!
    Now we need to reduce these unemployment numbers, and the DEMS will win handidly in Nov. 2010.....I'm ready for the battle.

    December 21, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. Tonye

    My only opposition is that it does not go far enough. Yet, I understand that the alternative of doing nothing won't help. It is a little progress but not a clear victory.

    December 21, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. mrgaston

    Great example we (the US) are towards the rest of the world and especially terrorists. The US government is in such a turmoil that the Islamic nations are using this to their advantage. “Who wants an American democracy”, in the state it is in now. We are losing face.

    December 21, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. GOP - Grand Obstructionist Party

    Considering all the misinformation being spread by the circus act who call themselves conservative Republicans, I'm not shocked numbers are still low.

    I'd imagine if this will were discussed in reality numbers would be much higher but perception is what matters in D.C., not reality.

    December 21, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. gerry

    And it's going to increase more as people get to know the truth and

    discard the Repulics lies

    December 21, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. phoenix86

    Umm, 6 point jump. I guess those 6 percent won't mind being unemployed next year, as the economy begins to once again decline due to increased deficits and more burdens placed on employers.

    Have fun.

    December 21, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Dennis Perry

    This poll must be drawn the Cambridge campus of freshman sociology students, non voters, dole recipients and assorted cool aid drinkers. .

    December 21, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. mrgaston

    Christmas is supposed to celebrate the birth of Jesus. This is the first time in my life that I do not feel in the mood for Christmas. Why? So much hatred, so much negativity, so much anger, and so on. Everybody wake up. Also the terrorists are having ball with the US being in a big turmoil.

    December 21, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Peter s

    If Jesus comes today! the Republicans will opppose what he says!! Pathetic bunch of opportunists owned body and soul by the insurance companies!

    December 21, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. valwayne

    Senators votes paid for, a corrupt bill that will cost us trillions and trillions of dollars and ration health care, especially for the elderly. A vote out of sight just after midnight Sunday so it was hidden from the American people. When have we ever seen this level of corruption in our country?

    December 21, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. Sue

    Right.Just keep fooling yourselves with your liberal fairy tales,it makes things all the easier.After November a lame duck narcissist in the White House and by January 2013 he will be back, with his cronies, in the Cook County cesspool that spawned him.

    December 21, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. mrgaston

    We are at war ourselves (government and the people). How do we expect to bring democracy to other nations? Not this way. If we want other nations to become a democracy than we need to start with ourselves. The terrorists are using this turmoil to their advantage.

    December 21, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. HELEN ATLANTA GA

    Give the man a chance......you have to put all the corect ingredients in the cake ...then bake it .....then eat it.....and if everything is right.....the cake will taste really good....but you got to wait for it to come out of the oven....HELLO?

    December 21, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. Bev

    Only the loony left would believe a poll/poll results from CNN.

    Obama and the Democrats will see what the majority in the country "really" think during the 2010 elections---when many Democrats are sent to the unemployment lines.

    The 2010 elections are going to make history---as never in the history of our country -–will we see as many Democrats sent to the unemployment lines during one election.

    December 21, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
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