Why Post Poll Matters —and Why It Doesn't

New survey shows more support for public option
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2009 12:12 PM CDT
Demonstrators protest in front Blue Cross offices in downtown San Francisco last month.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – A new Washington Post/ABC poll showing an uptick in support for the public option—it stands at 57%—has pundits weighing in on the impact:

  • George Stephanopoulos, ABC: It's likely "those numbers aren't strong enough—at least not yet—to shake enough swing senators off their opposition to the public option. Especially when the public is still divided—45-48—on the overall merits of reform."
  • Matthew Cooper, Atlantic: "Certainly all the attention paid to teabaggers and other Obama haters wasn't entirely misplaced. There were and are real expressions of anger. Still, Obama's slow-and-steady approach seems to be paying off."

  •  Greg Sargent, Plumline: The poll "challenges the conventional wisdom that people want bipartisan health care compromise at all costs ... A majority wants a Dem-only bill rather than a bipartisan one if the Dem-only one includes a public insurance option and the bipartisan one doesn’t."
  • AllahPundit, Hot Air: "My first clue that the (poll) had big problems in its sampling came from question 38 of the raw data released by ABC last night, the generic Congressional ballot. Most polls have that within the margin of error. ... The WaPo/ABC survey has Democrats winning that matchup by twelve points. ... That tends to discredit much of what the Post reports this morning."