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Majority of Americans Approve of President Obama's Handling of Afghanistan and National Security But Disapprove of Handling of Economic Issues, Per Franklin & Marshall College Poll With Hearst Television

75% Say the U.S. Healthcare System Needs Reform

LANCASTER, Pa., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --More than half (57%) of registered American voters approve of the way President Obama is handling the situation in Afghanistan, and half (52%) also approve of the way he is handling national security issues. Fewer (45%) registered respondents approve of the way the president is dealing with the country's economic problems.

Also, more Americans now say they would vote for the Republican candidate (39%) than the Democratic candidate (35%) if the midterm House elections were held today. In September 2009, the Democrats led the Republicans, 43 percent to 30 percent, on this question.

These and other findings resulted from the February 2010 Franklin & Marshall College National Poll, produced at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA in partnership with Hearst Television Inc.  

Among the other findings:

  • Only one in three (35%) citizens believes the United States is currently headed in the right direction. Most cite the economy and personal finances (64%) as the most important problems their families currently face, with healthcare-related issues a distant second (11%).
  • More than one in three (37%) Americans say the current healthcare system meets their needs very well, and another two in five (41%) say it meets their needs pretty well, leaving about one in five (21%) who feel the system is not serving their personal needs. These figures remain largely unchanged since September 2009.
  • The cost of healthcare and availability of health insurance coverage were significant problems for many adults during the past year. Nearly one in four (23%) adults report skipping a recommended test or medical treatment because of the cost, and one in five (21%) did not fill a medical prescription because of the cost. About one in five (19%) respondents say they were without health insurance coverage at some point during the previous 12 months.
  • Three in four (75%) Americans believe the country's healthcare system is in need of reform (compared to 79% in September 2009), and half (47%) of these respondents believe the system is in need of major reform. This equates to about one in three (35%) Americans who feel the nation's healthcare system needs major reform–about the same proportion as in September (37%).
  • A majority (59%) of Americans believes the bills being considered by the House and Senate would make major changes to the country's healthcare system. Americans are evenly split about whether they are satisfied (45%) or dissatisfied (45%) that healthcare reform has not yet passed.

The survey findings presented in this release are based on the results of interviews conducted February 2-8, 2010. The interviews were conducted at the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College under the direction of the poll's Director, G. Terry Madonna, PhD, Head Methodologist Berwood Yost, and Project Manager Jennifer Harding. The data included in this release represent the responses of 920 adults in the United States, and 767 of them are registered to vote. Telephone numbers for the survey were generated using random digit dialing, and respondents were randomly selected from within each household. Survey results were weighted (age, education, race, region, and gender) using an iterative weighting algorithm. The sample error for this survey is +/- 3.2 percentage points. The sample error for registered adults is +/- 3.5 percentage points. This Franklin & Marshall College Poll was produced in partnership with Hearst Television Inc. It may be used in whole or in part, provided any use is attributed to Franklin & Marshall College.

This is the fifth national poll in a series produced at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., with Hearst Television; the partnership, whose first poll was in June 2008, was forged out of a longstanding regional relationship between Franklin & Marshall and Hearst station WGAL-TV, the NBC affiliate serving the Lancaster/Harrisburg TV market. 

This is also the second Franklin & Marshall College Poll to focus on health-care policy, an area of academic strength for the College.  

Contributors to the poll included Senior Associate Dean of the Faculty, Vice Provost for Planning and Institutional Research and Professor of Economics Alan Caniglia, Professor of Economics Sean Flaherty and The Honorable and Mrs. John C. Kunkel Professor of Government Joseph Karlesky.

Complete results can be found at  Readers can also follow poll director Dr. Madonna on Twitter at

Hearst Television Inc., formerly known as Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., is a leading local media company comprising 29 television stations and two radio stations. The Company's television stations reach approximately 18% of U.S. TV households, making it one of America's largest television station groups.  It also owns more than three dozen websites and multicasts more than two dozen digital channels providing news, weather and entertainment programming.  Hearst Television is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst Corporation.  The Company's Web address is

SOURCE Hearst Television Inc.



SOURCE Hearst Television Inc.
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