Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2011, at 8:44 AM
That headline is a little different than the CNN headline :
CNN Poll: Time doesn't change views on health care law
Both headlines are true. There's never been a point when most people approved of the health care law in CNN's poll -- the closest they came was in December 2010, when 43 percent approved of it and 54 percent opposed it. The overall approval number has fallen to 37 percent, its lowest level, leaving it almost unchanged from the number at the time of passage.
But look at the internals on this question:
Do you oppose that legislation because you think its approach toward health care is too liberal, or because you think it is not liberal enough?
Overall, 46 percent of people oppose the law because it's "too liberal," but 13 percent oppose it because it's "not liberal enough." So 50 percent of voters are either fine with the law or want a more liberal bill, to 46 percent who want it gone because it's too socialistic.*
There's room here for Democrats to defend the law in 2012. Their biggest problem is that 48 percent of people over 65 oppose the law because it's too liberal, and 46 percent either oppose it or want a more liberal law. These are the people who vote at the highest rate and think they have the most to lose if the law's not repealed.
*I originally wrote 43, not 46, and have fixed that.
Thank you, Kevin Drum.