Polls can affect president's hold on party - USATODAY.com: "Barack Obama, who completed six months in office Monday, has a 55% approval rating in the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, putting him 10th among the dozen presidents who have served since World War II at this point in their tenures."
I realize these poll numbers can change. But in a way that's the point. He has brought down his own approval numbers by over-reaching, especially on health care. I believe that if he took on the issue of reducing health care costs first, and got a bill passed on that, he would shoot up in the polls. Then he could address the question of universal coverage. But he is stubbornly insisting that everything has to be done at once, and right now.