STRUGGLING TO CONNECT…. Karl Rove boasted the other day that Republicans are “winning the health-care debate.” Evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. Consider the new CBS News poll, for example.

While 47 percent of Americans approve of how President Obama is handling health care, 42 percent disapprove. The president received similar ratings in a CBS/New York Times poll two weeks ago. The president’s overall job approval rating is 56 percent in this poll, the same as it was in late September.

While public assessments of Mr. Obama on this issue are mixed, they are considerably better than the ratings of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Solid majorities of Americans disapprove of the way the Democrats (60 percent) and Republicans (67 percent) are handling health care.

While a 47% plurality support Obama’s handling of health care, just 17% say the same about congressional Republicans. A 52% majority believe Democrats are serious about reform; a 24% minority say the same about the GOP.

In my favorite tidbit, 54% of Republicans disapprove of how congressional Republicans are handling the debate over health care reform.

As for GOP efforts to demagogue Medicare savings, not only do more Americans in general believe Democrats are more reliable in caring for senior citizens, but those 65 and over agree with the mainstream.

And in the always interesting question on the public option, CBS News asked, “Would you favor or oppose the government offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan — something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get — that would compete with private health insurance plans?” It was two to one in favor — 62% support the public option, 31% oppose. Among independents, it was also two to one in favor.

I know Karl Rove believes he has his own version of math, but it looks like Republicans aren’t “winning the health-care debate.”

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.