Passing Health-Care Reform (Could) Will be Harmful to the Health of Congressional Democrats.
Gallup Says Independents Now Favor Republicans by Nine Points.
"In a Nutshell We Pay For Through the nose for Obama's Campaign Promises!"
Just look at how President Barack Obama's standing has fallen as he has pushed for reform. According to Fox News surveys, the number of independents who oppose health-care reform hit 57% at the end of September, up from 33% in July. Independents are generally a quarter of the vote in off-year congressional elections.
Among college graduates, opposition to health-care reform is now 50%, while only 33% support it, according to Gallup's Sept. 24 poll. College graduates are slightly more than a quarter of the off-year electorate.
Among seniors, opposition to ObamaCare hit 63% in last month's Economist/YouGov Poll. But the number from that poll that should spook Democrats is this: 47% of seniors said they "strongly" oppose health-care reform, just 27% "strongly" support it. Seniors are the biggest consumers of health care, and their family members will probably take their concerns seriously. Seniors will likely cast about 20% of the votes next year.
The trend behind these numbers is that voters are turning away from Democrats. In 2006, the year the GOP lost control of Congress, Democrats enjoyed a double-digit lead in several "generic ballot" polls—a measure of voters' party preference. Democrats held that lead until this year. Today, Gallup's generic ballot shows Democrats have a razor thin 46% to 44% edge. According to Gallop's numbers, independents now favor Republicans by nine points.
The numbers may get worse for Democrats if they pass a health-care bill. Why? Because Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) wants to frontload the reforms with distasteful things. Under his plan, tax hikes and Medicare and Medicaid cuts kick in immediately, while new benefits are delayed for two-and-a-half years. Voters likely won't warm to reforms that slam them next year while promising benefits down the road.
Congressional Democrats could also be the first to feel a backlash against rising federal spending. An early September Gallup poll found that 38% approve and 58% disapprove of Mr. Obama's handling of the deficit (from 49% approve, 44% disapprove in March). In September, a Fox News poll found that 61% of independents think the Obama administration wants to increase spending too much; just 29% thought the amount of spending Mr. Obama wants is "about right."
After a $787 billion stimulus package and other spending binges this year that have the administration planning to double the deficit in five years, many voters are worried about the amount of red ink being spilled.
Health Bill Would Cost $829B, Help Cover 94 pct,"While Leaving about 20 pct Not Fully Covered ."
"A celebration of the deficit effects masks who pays the bills," said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee. "This package includes hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes and fees. Most Americans with health insurance will see their premiums increase."