The Democrats made a strategic choice to pass health reform even though they knew it did not have majority support. They assumed passage would generate a positive initial response from the media—which it did. They also hoped that, with time, voters would see reform in a more favorable light, and that health care would not pose an issue in the midterm elections. Were the Democrats right? If our polling is correct, they were not.
In January, a majority in each of the 11 states opposed health reform. Not surprisingly, public opinion was more favorable in the more liberal states. Voters in Connecticut opposed reform by a margin of 55% to 45%, whereas voters in Louisiana opposed reform 63% to 37%. In key battleground states like Colorado and Ohio, voters opposed reform 58% to 42%.
By the end of May, opposition had generally declined, although the declines were small and not statistically significant. Notably, health reform's biggest gains have come in the most liberal states, where election outcomes are less in doubt. Opinion about reform in Connecticut is now evenly split at 50/50; opinion in Louisiana went more negative, to 64% against and 36% for. In battleground states, opposition to reform has hardly budged. Voters in Colorado and Ohio still oppose reform 56% to 44% and 57% to 43%, respectively. (Wall Street Journal Article)