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Health Care Repeal Splits Nation — 46% For, 40% Against: Gallup

House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. David Dreier, R-CA, talks with previous chair Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-NY, during hearing on health care law repeal bill, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. i i

House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. David Dreier, R-CA, talks with previous chair Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-NY, during hearing on health care law repeal bill, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. Harry Hamburg/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

itoggle caption Harry Hamburg/ASSOCIATED PRESS
House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. David Dreier, R-CA, talks with previous chair Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-NY, during hearing on health care law repeal bill, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011.

House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. David Dreier, R-CA, talks with previous chair Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-NY, during hearing on health care law repeal bill, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011.

Harry Hamburg/ASSOCIATED PRESS

To repeal or not to repeal the health care law. On that question, the nation is apparently fairly split, with a slight edge going to those on the side of repeal.

A new Gallup Poll of 1,025 adults surveyed on Jan. 4 and Jan 5 found 46 percent favoring repeal of the legislation, 40 percent supporting keeping it and 14 percent with no opinion. The margin or error was +/- 4 percentage points.

Where you stand on the question, however, apparently has nearly everything to do with party affiliation. For instance, 78 percent of Republicans back repeal while 64 percent of Democrats want it to remain the law of the land.

Independents are pretty much split, too, with 43 percent wanting repeal and 39 percent wanting the law left intact.

The poll gives both congressional Republicans and Democrats both on Capitol Hill and the Obama Administration support for their positions.

Republicans can argue that a majority of the American people want a repeal. Democrats can argue that nearly as many people want the law maintained as repealed.

Meanwhile, you can expect both sides to intensify their messaging strategies to shift public opinion in their direction, especially with the pro and con sides being separated by just a few percentage points.

USA Today has a report on the Gallup poll and the politics of the GOP's health care law repeal effort.

An excerpt:

Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, calls the repeal effort "dramatic political signaling" by Republicans that they plan to use the health care issue to keep Tea Party supporters satisfied and their political base united.

The more significant battles will come later, he says. The repeal vote is likely to be followed by months of efforts to chip away some provisions of the law and to deny other provisions the federal funding they need to be implemented.

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