Here is a fascinating opinion piece in the Washington Post by Pat Caddell and Douglas Schoen, pollsters to the past two Democratic presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. They suggest that the Democrats are not in touch with the public regarding health care reform. "Their blind persistence in the face of reality threatens to turn this political march of folly into an electoral rout in November." See my recent notes here and here that have related themes.
"The battle for public opinion has been lost. Comprehensive health care has been lost."
"Yes, most Americans believe, as we do, that real health-care reform is needed. And yes, certain proposals in the plan are supported by the public. However, a solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan."
"Health care is no longer a debate about the merits of specific initiatives. Since the spectacle of Christmas dealmaking to ensure passage of the Senate bill, the issue, in voters' minds, has become less about health care than about the government and a political majority that will neither hear nor heed the will of the people."
"For Democrats to begin turning around their political fortunes there has to be a frank acknowledgement that the comprehensive health-care initiative is a failure, regardless of whether it passes. There are enough Republican and Democratic proposals -- such as purchasing insurance across state lines, malpractice reform, incrementally increasing coverage, initiatives to hold down costs, covering preexisting conditions and ensuring portability -- that can win bipartisan support. It is not a question of starting over but of taking the best of both parties and presenting that as representative of what we need to do to achieve meaningful reform."