A subtle shift

A SUBTLE SHIFT… The latest Fox News poll shows 53% of Americans opposing health care reform, with only 33% supporting it. This was clearly welcome news at the National Review.

That said, it’s worth taking a step back. One angle to consider is the fact that the Fox News poll, as Nate Silver explained, arrived at its result after a series of dubious questions that sounded an awful lot like GOP talking points.

Another angle worth noting is that the Fox News poll appears to be an outlier. This week’s Gallup poll shows support for reform growing and opposition shrinking. Indeed, for the first time in a while, Gallup has supporters outnumbering opponents.

A new Associated Press poll finds the public split on the merits of reform, but opposition to the proposals has dropped from 49% to 40% over the last month.

The same AP poll shows increased support for the president, too.

President Barack Obama’s approval ratings are starting to rise after declining ever since his inauguration, new poll figures show as the country’s mood begins to brighten. But concerns about the economy, health care and war persist, and support for the war in Afghanistan is falling.

An Associated Press-GfK poll says 56 percent of those surveyed in the past week approve of Obama’s job performance, up from 50 percent in September. It’s the first time since he took office in January that his rating has gone up.

People also feel better about his handling of the economy and his proposed health care overhaul…. Fifty percent of those surveyed said they approved of the president’s handling of the economy, up from 44 percent in September. And 48 percent said they approved of his handling of health care, up six points and about equal to the 47 percent who said they disapproved.

I wouldn’t put too much stock in the Fox News poll. The larger trends look encouraging on public support for reform.