Health-Care Protesters Winning Sympathy: Poll

34% 'more sympathetic' to protesters, 21% less
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 13, 2009 10:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – Town-hall protesters have succeeded in making some Americans “more sympathetic” to their health care views, a USA Today/Gallup poll finds. Of 1,000 adults surveyed, 34% say they’re now more sympathetic of the protesters’ stance, while 21% say they’re less. Among independents, that grows to a 2-to-1 ratio: 35% are more sympathetic, 16% less, USA Today notes.

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“Polls of this nature, however, are notoriously slippery,” notes Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight. “If there were some protest in favor of a policy that I supported, I'd probably tell a pollster that the protest had in fact made me more sympathetic to the cause, even though my mind on the issue was already 100% made up.” Obama adviser David Axelrod is also dismissive of the findings, citing “a media fetish" about the protests.
(Read more health care reform stories.)

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