Listening to two briefings -- one by a Democratic pollster who had just conducted a survey for a group favoring health care reform, the other by a Republican pollster more skeptical of the reform plans -- I felt as if I were hearing a pair of reports by the National Transportation Safety Board on the same plane crash. But in sorting through the problems facing President Obama and congressional Democrats, focusing too narrowly on their disastrous handling of health care would be a mistake.
Obama and Capitol Hill leaders don't need to worry too much about their modest drop in support from Democratic voters or the predictable drop on the Republican side. But top Democrats should be very frightened about the sharp drop in support among independents, because it could ultimately threaten their party's hold on the House and shrink their majority in the Senate.
Lowering the deficit is key to winning them over.
Yet I'm sure if the Republicans act loony enough, the party of Obama will have nothing to worry about.