Obama’s Approval Ratings Argue for Rapid Action on Health Care

Mark Blumenthal has a useful piece up at National Journal separating fact from fiction with regard to Barack Obama’s poll numbers:

The bottom line is that Obama remains quite popular, but his popularity is shrinking and as best one can tell the culprit is the bad economy. I think this underscores the fact that if Democratic legislative leaders are serious about reforming health care they’ll want to get as much as possible of the work done before leaving on their August recess. The unemployment rate is almost certain to be higher in four or five months than it is today and that’s very likely to weaken Obama’s ability to be an effective advocate. Conversely, the smart Republican play is to keep trying to convince Max Baucus that they’re one more week of work away from a bipartisan bill and then keep yanking the football away.


If there’s an “Obama plan” on the table in August, a lot of Republican members will be hearing mostly good things about it from their constituents. If it takes until October, they may hear different things.