Friday, August 21, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up (8/21)

An ABC News/Washington Post poll has been released today, adding to the bunch released yesterday.

Nate Silver of "Five Thirty Eight" (a reference to the total number of electoral votes in presidential elections) comments on the discrepancy in a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll between the 36% support for "Barack Obama's health care plan" in the abstract and the 53% support when a more detailed description of Obama's plan is provided:

The plan requires that health insurance companies cover people with pre-existing medical conditions. It also requires all but the smallest employers to provide health coverage for their employees, or pay a percentage of their payroll to help fund coverage for the uninsured. Families and individuals with lower- and middle-incomes would receive tax credits to help them afford insurance coverage. Some of the funding for this plan would come from raising taxes on wealthier Americans.

The Kaiser Family Foundation's report of its August poll, released yesterday, provides extensive trend data, comparing responses to the same item in August, July, June, April, and February of this year, and December and October of last year (not all items have all these data points). Despite the extensive media coverage of the August town meetings being held by members of Congress in their home states/districts, the percentage of Americans following these developments "very closely" has risen only modestly, to 33% from percentages in the mid-20s in previous months.

ADDENDUM (8/22):'s "Outliers" feature links to several articles pertaining to health care polling.

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