This article was co-written by Glen Bolger and Jim Hobart.
As the health care debate moves from the Capitol in D.C. to high school gymnasiums across the country, Democrats still find themselves on the losing end of the message battle and their hopes for creating a government-controlled and taxpayer-funded system continue to dwindle. Two recently released polls, one conducted by Gallup for USA Today, and the other by the Pew Research Center, help illustrate why the Dem health care plan is on life support.
The two polls make clear that Americans are paying close attention to what has been happening in town halls across the country. In the Gallup poll, 69% of adults say they are closely following the news about the town hall meetings. The numbers are similar in the Pew poll, with 78% saying they have heard about the health care protests at town hall meetings, and half (49%) saying they have heard a lot about the protests. Americans clearly recognize the importance of this policy debate.
The second thing that jumps out from these two polls is that, contrary to the story being pushed by the liberal media, Americans agree with what the protestors are saying and how they are saying it. When respondents in the Gallup poll were asked if the protests against the proposed health care bill made them more or less sympathetic to the views of the protestors, 34% said they made them more sympathetic, just 21% say they have made them less sympathetic, and 36% say the protests have made no difference to them.
Even more tellingly, in the Pew poll, respondents who have heard about the protests were asked if they thought the way people were protesting at the meetings was appropriate or inappropriate. Fully 61% of adults said the protests were appropriate. Eighty percent (80%) of GOPers, 64% of Independents, and even 40% of Democrats say the protests are being conducted appropriately.
The data in these two surveys makes it abundantly clear that President Obama and the Dems in Congress have been unable to change the momentum of the heath care debate during the August recess. Americans continue to have major concerns about the health care proposals being floated in the House and Senate, and these worries are being voiced in town hall meetings throughout the nation. Voters are paying close attention to questions these anxious and concerned citizens are asking and, much to the chagrin of Democrats, they do not like the answers they are hearing.