Poll: Healthcare somewhat helps Dems

March 29, 2010 at 10:19 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 29 (UPI) -- The Democratic Party may be on the mend after passage of healthcare reform, but it hasn't gotten a booster shot from the U.S. public, a new poll indicates.

Results suggest U.S. President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have benefited from the bill's passage, but the public's overall opinion of the Democratic Party hasn't changed and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may have slid in popularity, The Washington Post poll released Monday indicated.

The poll indicated approval of Obama's handling of healthcare reform rose 5 percentage points to 48 percent after the bill's passage.

Opinions on Pelosi, while still negative, improved slightly after the healthcare bill passed Congress. Forty-two percent of respondents said they approved of the way the California Democrat handles her job while 46 percent said they disapprove, a change of 2 percentage points for both figures from January.

Senate leader Reid's overall approval rating ticked downward from 35 percent in January to 29 percent in the latest poll, the Post said.

Despite the uptick on healthcare, the poll indicated Obama hasn't made gains beyond his core supporters in overall approval rating or on several central attributes. About two-thirds of respondents said they consider Obama a strong leader, and 56 percent said he "understands the problems of people like you," both about the same as in January.

Neither major party saw much movement in ratings in the latest poll. Half of respondents hold positive views of the Democratic Party, 40 percent viewed the Republican Party favorably.

Results are based on a national telephone sample conducted March 23-26 among 1,000 adults. The margin of error is 3 percentage points. The poll was conducted by TNS of Horsham, Pa., for the Post.

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