"Poll Finds Support Slumping for Health Law," blares the top headline on page A4 of Thursday's edition of the Wall Street Journal. "Americans' unease with President Barack Obama's health-care law has intensified," staff writers Patrick O'Connor and Louise Radnofsky noted, and that "just as the administration is gearing up to persuade people to sign up for some of its major provisions" according to a poll commissioned by the Journal and NBC News.
Among other things the poll found "the number calling [ObamaCare] a bad idea reached a high of 49%... with 43% 'strongly' holding that view" and double the number of poll respondents (38 percent to 19 percent) believing they will prove "worse off" under ObamaCare's implementation rather than "better off." Sure enough, however, NBC News elected to leave out those damning statistics from Thursday's edition of the Today morning show program.
What's more, NBC News chief White House correspondent and host of MSNBC's Daily Rundown elected to leave out the health care numbers until tomorrow's edition of the 9 a.m. political news program, even as Todd devoted significant time during an item in the "First Read" segment to note positive poll numbers for Obama's pushes for immigration reform and more gun control:
[I]n our new poll, we have this finding: a slight majority, 52 percent, say they still favor a proposed pathway to allow undocumented immigrants to become U.S. citizens. Now this is a drop from our April poll when 64 percent said they supported this pathway. But a note of caution, the wording in our question changed.
In April we asked, "There is a proposal to create a pathway to citizenship that would allow foreigners who have jobs [emphasis Todd's] but are staying illegally in the United States the opportunity to eventually become legal American citizens."
In our new poll, we excluded the words "who have jobs." Our pollsters believe it's significant that a majority still backs the pathway even after the language changes.
Also, more importantly, when told that the proposed pathway to citizenship includes requirements to pay fines, back taxes, and pass a background check, the percentage favoring it jumps to 65 percent, including a majority of Republicans, 58 percent.
Now, this is all down 11 points from where the number was two months ago. But again, there was a language change. That said, when we asked the basic question about whether folks would be upset or not if immigration reform passes, the public was split right down the middle, 47-47. A majority of Republicans said they would not be upset if it didn't pass, 53 percent.
And more Americans say they'd be upset if Congress failed to pass background checks on gun sales this session rather than immigration. But, intensity matters, and there's just more intensity on the issue of guns than on immigration.
While 21 percent said they would be very upset if Congress doesn't pass immigration legislation, compare that to the 34 percent who said they would be very upset if Congress doesn't pass a background check law.
Bottom line, the immigration debate isn't as highly charged as the gun debate, that we know.
One more thing. While Washington haggles over the details of a comprehensive immigration bill, immigration policy is being made in states.
On Wednesday, Colorado became the eighth state to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. That follows a decision by Florida governor Rick Scott on Tuesday to veto a measure that would have allowed pretty much the same thing in Florida. Young immigrants who are living in the U.S. illegally, so called Dreamers, to apply for a temporary driver's license in his state.
What's interesting there, is that he vetoed a bill that was passed with overwhelming Republican support in both the State House and the State Senate.
We're going to have even more new poll numbers for you tomorrow, including what's going on on the issue of health care.
It remains to be seen how exactly Todd will cover, and accordingly spin, the ObamaCare poll numbers tomorrow. But it's pretty obvious that Todd and his producers had the relevant information this morning and could have gone to air with it.
It's hard to imagine a veteran White House journalist sitting on something like this for a day if the president in question were a Republican and Democrats were eagerly pushing for repeal of his signature legislative accomplishment.