Probably neither. The most important factor in President Obama’s polling numbers appears to be the economy; 84% of Americans, in a recent poll, ranked that as the number one most important issue in the country right now (poll results dated February 10). Health care is ranked at 60%, and environment doesn’t even crack the top third. The rise and fall (mostly fall) of Obama’s political fortunes since his inauguration probably have a lot to do with both health care and economic issues, but because politics is such a complex thicket to wade through it’s dangerous to ascribe one particular factor as “the” cause of a polling decline. Press coverage has a great deal to do with it as well. Obama has made (in my opinion) some arguably positive steps on environmental issues, but those don’t get much play, and understandably so, if polling data tells us that economic issues are most important to the politically-conscious public (and hence, the audience for the media who reports on political issues).
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