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Talking about ratings and the job at hand in Washington DC after the town hall disturbances …

Public Support For Health Reform Increases in September, Summer Downturn Erased

MENLO PARK, CA — Public support for health reform ended its summer slide, reversed course and moved modestly upwards in September, according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans now believe that tackling health care reform is more important than ever — up from 53 percent in August. The proportion of Americans who think their families would be better off if health reform passes is up six percentage points (42% versus 36% in August), and the percentage who think that the country would be better off is up eight points (to 53% from 45% in August).


Kff - Kaiser Family Foundation poll

“Opinion in the coming months is hard to predict, but as the focus shifted from the town halls and hot button issues to the President, the Congress and the core issues in the legislation that affect people the most, the summer downturn in support was largely erased,” said Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman.

AP Poll: Health care overhaul has a pulse

WASHINGTON DC (AP) – The fever has broken. The patient is out of intensive care. But if you’re President Barack Obama, you can’t stop pacing the waiting room. Health care overhaul is still in guarded condition.

The latest Associated Press-GfK poll (pdf) has found that opposition to Obama’s health care remake dropped dramatically in just a matter of weeks. Still, Americans remain divided over complex legislation that Democrats are advancing in Congress.

The public is split 40-40 on supporting or opposing the health care legislation, the poll found. An even split is welcome news for Democrats, a sharp improvement from September, when 49 percent of Americans said they opposed the congressional proposals and just 34 percent supported them.

In a significant change, opposition among older Americans dropped 16 percentage points. Seniors have been concerned that Congress would stick them with the bill by cutting Medicare to pay for covering the uninsured. Among the most reliable voters, they were much more wary of the changes than the public as a whole. The gap has narrowed.

The poll found that 68 percent of Democrats support the congressional plans, up from 57 percent in early September. Opposition among independents plunged from 51 percent to 36 percent. However, only 29 percent of independents currently support the plans in Congress.

Among seniors, opposition fell from 59 percent in September to 43 percent now. Almost four in 10, 38 percent, now support it, compared with 31 percent in September.

Obama’s job approval rises amid concerns

NEW YORK (AP) – President Barack Obama’s approval ratings are starting to rise after declining ever since his inauguration, new poll figures show as the country’s mood begins to brighten. But concerns about the economy, health care and war persist, and support for the war in Afghanistan is falling.

An Associated Press-GfK poll says 56 percent of those surveyed in the past week approve of Obama’s job performance, up from 50 percent in September. It’s the first time since he took office in January that his rating has gone up.

People also feel better about his handling of the economy and his proposed health care overhaul.

But not about the war.

Support for the war in Afghanistan has declined and approval of Obama’s handling of it is holding steady — in contrast to his gains in other areas — as he considers a big troop increase there. Poll respondents narrowly oppose the increase.

Overall, 39 percent said they disapproved of Obama’s performance in office, down from 49 percent last month.

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

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