President Obama's favorabilities dropped the most substantially this week, propelled by another three-point drop in support from Democrats (down to 80%, the lowest of his presidency), as well as a big shift among Independents (from 66% last week to 62% this week).
Much of this is due to the left's anger at a confusing position taken by the White House and Democrats with talk of removing the public option from the health care bill. The independents also, due to non-clarity from the White House and Democrats on health care reform.
Again, we all knew that the GOP operatives would be out in full force against any health care reform, yet the Democrats have been on the slow turtle road in response and rebuke. When you let misinformation just sit out there with no response, people who do not know all the issues, will start to believe it. The Democrats have done a very poor job here, especially when the Republican Party has offered nothing in any form of health care reform, but has pounded so hard that all this negativity has not done much for them in the polling numbers either. The Republicans can bring down the Obama and Democrats numbers, but in the end they must offer something to the public as policy, thus far they are vacant on that front.
Lastly, Nate Sliver over at 538.com wrote a piece that most Americans don't know or understand what the public option is. At this stage, bad.
A new survey by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates for the AARP reveals widespread uncertainty about the nature of the "public option" -- a government-run health insurance policy that would be offered along with private policies in the newly-created health insurance exchanges. Just 37 percent of the poll's respondents correctly identified the public option from a list of three choices provided to them:
While there is all this anger that many Democrats are receiving due totally to misinformation at these town hall meetings, to have just 37% recognize what the public option is, totally lies at the feet of the Democrats and their poor messaging.
I do believe that once a bill is passed, with the public option and the Democrats can explain it, properly, the numbers will reverse. It is all this miscommunication from the White House and Democratic Leadership that sees us where we are at.
This is definitely an education for Obama White House to not have a Chief of Staff totally dis your supporters, to not stand by like "deer in headlights" hoping all the criticism of your plan will go away, and to have a counter attack ready in the future because if the Republicans are successful, this will happen again.