Does The Public Distrust Majority Rule? A New Poll Says No

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Recent polling suggests that a small majority of Americans don’t want Democrats to invoke the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process to fix and finish health care reform. But is it the majority-rule vote they oppose? Or is it the underlying health care bill?

A new poll by the firm Research 2000–commissioned by the advocacy groups Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, and Credo–suggests it’s the latter. After describing what reconciliation is, the survey asked “If the Senate passes a health care reform bill that you consider to be beneficial to your family, would you object to the Senate’s use of ‘reconciliation’ rules to pass that bill with a majority vote, or not?”

Unsurprisingly, people are all for a majority-rule vote when they approve of the underlying legislation. The subtext here, of course, is that the public option is wildly popular–more popular than the rest of health care reform–and progressives are pushing Congress to include it in the reconciliation package they pass as part of the final push on health care reform.

Here are the results in the states of a handful of key senators:

  • NV – Reid: 55% favor reconciliation to 36% oppose (Independents 64% favor to 23% oppose)
  • IL – Durbin: 67% to 26% (Independents 81% to 17%)
  • WA – Murray/Cantwell: 65% to 25% (Independents 76% to 15%)
  • MO – McCaskill: 58% to 35% (Independents 73% to 20%)
  • IA – Harkin: 66% to 29% (Independents 83% to 14%)
  • ND – Dorgan/Conrad: 53% to 36% (Independents 66% to 20%)
  • VA – Webb/Warner: 60% to 32% (Independents 74% to 17%)

And in all of those states, voters who say their senators should push to pass a public option during the reconciliation outnumber those who say they shouldn’t.

  • NV – Reid: 52% yes to 41% no. (Independents 58% yes to 33% no)
  • IL – Durbin: 42% to 7% (Independents 44% to 6%)
  • WA – Murray/Cantwell: 44% to 9% (Independents 48% to 7%)
  • MO – McCaskill: 37% yes to 15% (Independents 38% to 12%)
  • IA – Harkin: 39% yes to 12% (Independents 40% to 12%)
  • ND – Dorgan/Conrad 34% to 21% (Independents 33% to 20%)
  • VA – Webb/Warner: 43% to 14% (Independents 45% to 11%)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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