"But a dark national view of how everybody in Washington is conducting the public's business appears to be preventing Republicans from benefiting from concerns about the direction of the country or the Democrat-led government's handling of the economy, as the minority party often does.
In fact, disapproval of the Republican Party actually has ticked upward, along with the public's general pessimism. Asked which political party should control Congress after next year's midterm elections, Democrats now hold a clear edge over the GOP, 46% to 38%, a month after the Republicans were nearly as popular. In September, the Democratic edge was 43% to 40%."
RE: Healthcare Reform:
"His health-care plan continues to face a plurality of opposition -- 42% say it is a bad idea, against 38% who say it is a good idea. But a key flash point in the health-care debate is showing steadily increasing support.
A government-run insurance plan that competes with private insurance plans -- the so-called public option -- is now backed by 48%, compared with 42% who oppose it. In September, 48% opposed it while 46% supported it. In the rough month of August, when noisy town-hall meetings were tarnishing the president's health-care push, 47% opposed the public option and only 43% favored it."
"On Afghanistan, the public is signaling it can support a presidential decision to send more troops, but only so far. Some 47% said they would either strongly or somewhat support sending more troops into the eight-year-old fight, with 43% saying they somewhat or strongly opposed such a move. Last month, 51% said they opposed sending more troops, compared with 44% who approved of such a move.
But asked specifically about sending an additional 40,000 troops, which the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has requested, 49% said that would be unacceptable. Just 43% called that acceptable. A majority of Americans are amenable to a much smaller 10,000-troop increase, but a majority of women don't support even that."
"Indeed, for all the conservative clamor over Mr. Obama's actions on the economy, 63% of respondents said the government has either done the right amount of intervention or needs to do more. Among loosely aligned voters in the middle of the electorate, a clear plurality, 42%, said government has done too little to fix the economy."