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Boehner says most Americans oppose health care bill

The statement

"A majority of Americans still oppose this health care bill."

U.S. Rep. John Boehner on Wednesday in a blog post during the State of the Union address

The ruling

In a live-blogging response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, wrote that "a majority of Americans still oppose this health care bill."

We looked at recent polls to see if Boehner was correct.

Using the Web site, we found 10 relevant polls taken in January 2010 that were nonpartisan and conducted by telephone — traditional benchmarks for highly credible polls. The exact wording of the questions varied from poll to poll, but all asked whether the respondent supports or opposes the health care plan being considered in Congress.

Five out of the 10 polls found that a clear majority of respondents opposed the health care bill.

From most recent to oldest, they were:

• CNN: 38 percent in favor and 58 percent opposed

• ABC News/Washington Post: 44 percent in favor and 51 percent opposed

• Fox News: 39 percent in favor and 51 percent opposed

• Quinnipiac University: 34 percent in favor and 54 percent opposed

• Another poll from CNN: 40 percent in favor and 57 percent opposed

Two other polls found a sizable plurality — but not a majority — of respondents opposing the health care bill:

• NBC News/Wall Street Journal: 31 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed

• Another poll from NBC News/Wall Street Journal: 33 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed

One showed a tie:

• Associated Press/GfK: 42 percent for each view

And two showed a narrow plurality in support of the health care bill, but within the poll's margin of error:

• Kaiser Family Foundation/Princeton Survey Research Associates: 42 percent in favor and 41 percent opposed

• Gallup: 49 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed

So, Boehner would have been on firm ground if he'd said that more Americans oppose the health care bill than support it.

That said, Boehner is not far off. In none of the 10 polls we looked at did supporters outnumber opponents by a percentage larger than the margin of error. So we'll knock down the minority leader for his imprecise language and rate his statement Mostly True.

PolitiFact staff writer Louis Jacobson. This ruling has been edited for print. For the full ruling — and others — go to

Boehner says most Americans oppose health care bill 01/28/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:22pm]
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