Statistician Nate Silver–he of FiveThirtyEight.com–examined health care polling and found that there is a strong correlation between support for President Obama, the poverty rate and support for the public option.
Using logistic regression analysis, Silver extrapolated where the population of every Congressional district in America stands on the public option. This is what he found:
— The public option is estimated to have plurality support in 291 of the 435 Congressional Districts nationwide, or almost exactly two-thirds.
— The public option is estimated to have plurality support in 235 of 257 Democratic-held districts.
— The public option is estimated to have plurality support in 34 of 52 Blue Dog – held districts, and has overall popularity of 51 percent in these districts versus 39 percent opposed.
Here’s that same analysis in map form–blue represents districts with plurality support for the public option while red represents districts with plurality opposition:
That’s a lot of blue–in fact, there are more than enough blue districts there to win a Presidential election.
Republicans can pretend that health care reform is unpopular all they want, but that doesn’t make it true. And, considering the GOP’s track record between 2001 and 2009, I don’t know why anyone should defer to them on health care (or anything else).
The Blue Dogs and the Baucus caucus need to wake up and realize that people support health care reform with a public option. The entire reason we’re grappling with this issue is because the American people are hurting; we know that our health care crisis is only going to get worse without major reform and we know that we won’t get major reform without a vibrant, competitive public option.