SETTING THE CONTEXT
You STILL need to acknowledge the need for reform.
We’ve seen a small erosionin the public sentiment that there is a healthcare crisis. This is likely due to thehealthcare debate itself: the threat of a government takeover of healthcare has madesome Americans more appreciative of the healthcare they have right now.Even so, a clear majority of Americans believe healthcare in America still at least is
“seriously troubled and needs significant revisions.”
While Americans still perceive a genuine healthcare problem, they do not viewthe Democrats’ approach as the right solution.
Our language survey is consistentwith most national polls: half of all Americans (49%) now oppose the plan, whileonly 39% support it (and 12% remain undecided). This is almost a perfect reversal of where support for the President’s reform plan stood in the spring. Clearly, thelanguage of the opposition is resonating. But to identify the words, themes, andemotions that resonate most on the issue, our poll goes further.--
First, notice that
more than third
oppose thelegislation (34%).
They are primarily, but not exclusively,conservative voters.--
Importantly, 48% of self-identified independents oppose thelegislation
(30% strongly), compared to only 40% who support it.The untold story of the past six months is the collapse in supportamong independents and moderates. Republicans always hated theObama approach, while Democrats were always in his corner. But tosee Americans in the political center turn from cautiously supportive toincreasingly opposed is the most significant political consequence of the debate.--
Seniors, obviously a key constituency, are in firm opposition to thereform plan (57% oppose, 36% support).
Back in April, they wereevenly divided.
More precisely, it is men aged 60+ who are theangriest.
Fully 47% of men 55 or older are
oppose theplan (61% are at least somewhat opposed).
Suggestion: So far, most of the ads featuring concerned patients have beenwomen. It’s time to include men in these ads, too. Treatment of prostatecancer can be delayed just as much as for breast cancer when the government takes over care – and American men deserve to know about that.