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NBC poll: Public split on health bill

From NBC's Mark Murray
Here's our write-up on the latest NBC/WSJ poll:

As Congress prepares for a crucial and possibly decisive vote on the fate of President Barack Obama's health care plan, the American public is evenly divided about whether the legislation should be passed or rejected, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Americans are also split on which would be worse for their congressional representative's re-election chances β€” a vote for the overhaul bill or a vote against it.

And they're divided on Obama's overall job performance, as well as β€”for the first time in six years β€” whether the Democratic Party or the Republican Party better handles the economy.

But they overwhelmingly agree on this: The nation is on the wrong track, the economy has negatively affected the country, and Congress is broken.

"The memo is pretty simple β€” 'Americans to Congress: You stink,'" says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

"The public is disgusted and unhappy," Hart adds. "To me, this is an exceptionally important story."

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