The poll reflects the challenges facing the White House as it is consumed by two issues, Afghanistan and health care. By a margin of 52 percent to 27 percent, Americans said Mr. Obama has better ideas about overhauling health care than Republicans. And the percentage of Americans who approve of how Mr. Obama has handled health care has gone from 40 percent in August to 47 percent, about equal to where it was earlier in the summer.(emphasis is mine)
On one of the most contentious issues in the health care debate — whether to establish a government-run health insurance plan as an alternative to private insurers — nearly two-thirds of the country continues to favor the proposal, which is backed by Mr. Obama but has drawn intense fire from most Republicans and some moderate Democrats.
The New York Times polled 1,042 Americans, conducted last Saturday through last Wednesday, and it has a margin of error of 3%.
In case you're curious about how this poll stacks up to others, a recent Research2000 poll found that nearly 60% of Americans support a public option.