12/18/2009

Why Senator Ben Nelson might vote against the health care bill

The polls show that Nelson would bear a big cost if he supports the health care bill.

In the survey (500 LVs, 12/14-15, MoE +/- 4.5%), respondents were asked: "In general, do you favor or oppose President Obama's plan to expand health care coverage to most Americans even if this plan increases the role of the federal government in health care and increases the cost of the deficit." Two-thirds responded that they oppose it, compared to 26 percent who favor it.

But it should be noted that the wording of the question differs significantly from the question other firms ask, and Democrats and the White House contend that their plan would actually reduce the deficit. On another question, 39 percent say they favor "major changes" in the current health care system, and another 8 percent say a new system should replace the current one; 46 percent say only minor changes are needed.

The real warning for Nelson, who holds what may be the 60th vote for Democrats, comes in this result: 61 percent say that if Nelson votes for the current plan, they are less likely to support him for re-election in 2012; 26 percent say it would make them more likely to support him. . . .

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