The Washington Post reports today (10/19/09)on its new poll on healthcare reform. The headline is straightforward enough: "Public Option Gains Support: Clear Majority Now Backs Plan." But it's not clear there's much news here.
The public option has 57 percent support in the new poll. In the last poll (one month ago–9/10-12/09), it got 55 percent support. As the story points out further down, support was at 62 percent before all the town halls. It's a reminder that while the media have given a whole lot of time to critics of public insurance options in general, the public remains surprisingly supportive of the concept.
But it's even more important to remember that the last time the Post wrote uptheirpoll results (9/14/09), they seemed eager to stress the unpopularity of the public option. Just look at the headline: "Reform Opposition Is High but Easing: More Support if Public Option Dropped."
Apparently the two-point swing in the poll means a lot; something supported by 57 percent of people is popular, while the same thing supported by a mere 55 percent should be jettisoned.