Obama, Health Care Regain Ground In Public Opinion Polls
President Obama's approval rating climbed to 56 percent in the latest Associated Press-GfK poll, up from an August trough of 50 percent; disapproval dropped from 49 percent to 39 percent, Politico reports. Obama's handling of issues improved on every measure, including a 48 percent rating for health care, except the war in Afghanistan. The president's success, however, did not also extend to Congress, where Democrats were neck-and-neck with the GOP in public opinion, with 46 percent favoring Democrats and 44 percent favoring Republicans (Burns, 10/8).
The AP poll found a 40-40 split in opposition and support for health reform, compared to a 49 percent opposition a month ago (34 percent supported the overhaul in early September), according to HealthDay/U.S. News and World Report. Seniors, who had earlier been the staunchest skeptics of reform with 59 percent opposing the effort, thawed on the issue, with their disapproval dropping to 43 percent (10/7).
A Quinnipiac University poll, meanwhile, found that 64 percent of voters disapproved of Republicans in Congress and only 25 percent approved, Bloomberg reports. Only 25 percent approved of the party in general. By contrast, Democrats earned a 38 percent approval rating for the party. Despite concerns about Obama's handling of health care, he earned far higher marks than Republicans, with 47 percent saying they favored his efforts to 31 percent who preferred the GOP's handling (Salant, 10/8).