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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 12:33 PM ET, 10/28/2011

Poll watch: Record low support for health reform, Obama economic ratings and the scariest polls

Today’s top polls: record low support for health care reform, ratings for President Obama and our scariest poll findings…

Support for health reform drops – Support for the health reform measure dropped this month to its lowest point since it became law almost two years ago, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s tracking poll (pdf) released Friday. Barely a third (34 percent) of respondents now hold a favorable view of the law, compared with 41 percent in September, while 51 percent now see health reform unfavorably.

Support dropped from 65 to 52 percent among Democrats, the bill’s strongest backers. Since September, fewer Democrats say their families will be better off as a result of the law and a 55 percent majority of Democrats now says it “won’t make a difference” to their family’s well-being.

Obama’s economic ideas more good than bad – A Fox News poll released Thursday finds that 52 percent of registered voters say his economic “ideas are good, but he hasn’t been able to get them implemented.” Fewer than four in ten (37 percent) took the opposite view, that Obama’s “ideas are bad and too many of them are being implemented.” 

Obama’s economic approval ratings lag behind his marks on other issues – 35 percent approved of his handling of the economy in a Post-ABC poll earlier this month, seven points below his overall rating of 42 percent.

Obama job ratings up (slightly) – Obama’s job approval rating has ticked up from around 40 percent earlier in October to 43 percent in Gallup polls since October 20. Gallup notes that Obama’s ratings still compare poorly with previous presidents at similar points.

Frightening poll findings – With Halloween only three days away, here are some of the scariest poll findings in recent years. Have more? Add them to the comments section!

1. More than four in 10 Americans believe in ghosts or dead spirits and 18 percent of Americans say they’ve been in the presence of a ghost, according to two polls conducted since 2009 by CBS News and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, respectively. And there’s a political angle to ghostly experiences: Roughly one in five Democrats and independents report having a ghostly experience, compared with about one in 10 Republicans.

2. Almost a quarter (24 percent) believes witches exist according to a Fox News poll in 2005. Many fewer, just 4 percent, believe in the existence of vampires.

3. Fully 52 percent of Americans agreed that medications for children with behavior problems will “turn kids into zombies,” according to the 2002 wave of the General Social Survey – one of the most highly respected surveys in social science research. While the question was certainly not meant to be interpreted literally, it can’t hurt to be prepared. Thankfully, the Centers for Disease Control issued emergency guidelines to follow in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

4. The vast majority of Americans don’t even dress up for Halloween – 76 percent said they don’t plan on wearing a costume on October 2010, according to the aforementioned CBS News poll. Almost four in 10 of younger adults (under age 35) planned to dress up for Halloween, compared to just 13 percent of 35 to 64 year olds and 7 percent of seniors.

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By  |  12:33 PM ET, 10/28/2011

Categories:  Barack Obama, Health care, Presidential Approval

 
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