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What a difference a victory makes. Now that healthcare reform has actually passed, public reaction has improved considerably. In a Gallup poll taken on Monday, 50% of the public is happy about its passage compared to 42% who aren’t. In a direct question about whether passage of the bill was “a good thing or a bad thing,” the response was 49%-40% calling it a good thing.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone: support for the bill was always higher than most polls showed because the “opposition” included a lot of lefties whose objection was that the bill didn’t go far enough. And of course, support for the bill also generally improved once people found out what was actually in it, something that happened a lot on Monday. My guess is that these numbers aren’t going to change a lot over the next few months, but if Democrats play their cards right they could still improve a bit, especially among independents. And that might make November a lot less messy than it could have been.

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