President Obama and Congressional leaders held a marathon session yesterday behind closed doors in an attempt to hammer out a final health care bill. No announcements were made, but anxiety among Democrats is palpable. Though they discount the likelihood that Republicans will win the Massachusetts Senate race next week and thereby gain a 41st vote to block the health care bill, Democrats show continued concern that ObamaCare is becoming less popular with each passing day.
A new Quinnipiac University poll out this week finds that only 34% of Americans now support the health care bill. Among independents, support has plummeted to 26%. The White House has given up trying to claim it has won the public relations battle. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told MSNBC: “We have to do a better job” of explaining the bill. Anita Dunn, who until recently was the White House’s communications director, was even more blunt, admitting a “lack of success” in President Obama’s efforts to sell the bill.
“There isn’t a simple message that they’re putting out each week so they’re not commanding the message,” Lanny Davis, a former spinmeister for President Bill Clinton, told the Daily Caller. “That’s a remarkable failure. How is it possible for the minority party in the U.S. Senate to have more firepower in commanding the message than the White House?”
Despite the lack of public support, Democrats insist they’ve gone too far to turn back. Should they fail to pass a bill now, morale among the Democratic base would plummet and that could be even more damaging politically than an unpopular bill.
‘John Fund is a Wall Street Journal columnist’