A plurality of Americans currently oppose healthcare reform legislation now being considered by Congress, according to the latest Gallup poll. 

49 percent of individuals polled said they would recommend that their member of Congress vote against the bill or lean that way and 44 percent say they want their member of Congress to vote for the bill or lean that way. The results of the survey are similar to a Gallup poll taken earlier this month, but both a a reversal from October, when 51 percent of respondents said they backed the bill and 41 percent opposed it. 


President Barack Obama also received his worst marks to date on his handling of the reform package favored by the White House. 40 percent of respondents approved of his handling of the legislation and 53 percent disapprove. The numbers are slightly more negative than polling results gathered from July to September. 

The House passed its version of the legislation on the first Saturday in November and the Senate passed its motion to proceed with debate on the bill just over a week ago. 

Gallup's report on the poll notes that since they started surveying people about healthcare reform earlier this year "there has never been a strong public mandate in favor of passing a law this year," but noted "opinion on the issue is far from settled."

When first asked about their stance on the bill, 22 percent responded that they had no opinion though 15 percent then provided a preference when then asked if they lean one way or the other. 

Gallup conducted its poll from Nov. 20-22, the weekend the Senate passed its first procedural motion on the bill. Gallup surveyed 1,017 individuals on land-line and cellular telephones. The margin of error is 4 percent.