Rights and Powers: A Poll for Constitution Day

Lots of media are reporting that a new poll from the Associated Press and the National Constitution Center shows that 53 percent of Americans believe that “the government [should] give legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same sex.” Google “gay marriage poll,” and you get 284 news items. Good. It’s news. Even though it’s just about what other recent polls have found. And even though 48 percent also said they supported a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, suggesting that at least 1 percent of respondents are as confused about their position as Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann.

But the survey had much else in it, as well. In fact, here’s an interesting data point from the survey, released a day earlier than the gay-marriage results:

82 percent of respondents say “The Federal Government should not have the power to require all Americans to buy health insurance.”

That is, 82 percent of Americans oppose the central plank of President Obama’s health care policy, the one that’s roiling the courts right now and headed for the Supreme Court.

But Google “poll health care mandate,” and you get no national media results. It’s sorta like it didn’t happen. But it did, and Democratic campaign consultants have no doubt noticed it.

As usual, not everything in the poll was encouraging. 61 percent say they oppose “giving the President more power at the expense of the power of Congress and the courts,” but that’s down from 73 and 75 percent the past two years.