Poll: Healthcare support too close to call

A Gallup poll released Tuesday shows that more adults favor healthcare reform legislation's passage than oppose it for the first time in three months but the margin is too narrow to call definitive.

Asked if they would advise their member of Congress to pass the overhaul this year or to oppose it, 49 percent of those surveyed urge their lawmaker to vote for it. 46 percent said they want their lawmaker to vote against it and 6 percent have no opinion. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percent.

altMore adults preferred that their lawmakers oppose the bill in November and December, when the House and Senate passed their version of the legislation respectively. In October, 51 percent urged its passage while 41 percent opposed it. 

January's numbers, remained statistically unchanged from December's, when 48 percent opposed the bill and 46 percent opp

Still, Gallup pollsters said that the poll should not signal a mandate for either side of the healthcare debate since a majority does not support its passage or failure.

"Public support for passing healthcare reform legislation this year is marginally higher than it was three months ago, but still doesn't rise to majority level," they wrote. "Thus, neither party in Washington can claim that advancing or, alternatively, defeating the legislation represents the will of the people on this important issue."

Gallup surveyed 1,023 adults nationally between Jan. 8-10.

Gallup pollsters also cautioned that those with stronger convictions still oppose the bill's passage. 37 percent responded they prefer to pass the bill and 41 percent said they do not prefer it passes when they were first asked.

Those who did not answer were pressed to answer one way or another: 12 percent leaned toward its passage and 5 percent leaned against. 

Democrats and Republicans predictably supported and opposed the bill in strong numbers, but 54 percent of Independents oppose it versus 39 percent who support it.