Tide of Public Opinion Turning on 'bailout' Plan

Rasmussen’s latest survey has public opinion nearly evenly divided on the bailout:

As Congress prepares to vote on a proposed economic rescue plan, opposition to the measure has declined significantly. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey conducted Sunday found that 33% of Likely Voters now favor the plan while 32% are opposed and 35% are not sure.

For proponents of the legislation, that’s a significant improvement. On Friday, just 24% of voters had supported the plan while 50% were opposed. Supporters of the legislation argue the plan to buy up bad mortgage debt from private firms is the surest way to free up credit for all Americans.

Even more important, though, is that people who understand what’s being done with the $700 billion are heavily in favor:

Those who understand that taxpayers will eventually get much of the money back support the bailout by a 2-to-1 margin. Those who incorrectly believe the government will not be getting money back oppose the bailout by a 62% to 18% margin.

This is an opportunity for John McCain to get out in front of this issue. If he explains that House Republicans voted against a bad version of a necessary bill, and that the solution is not to not pass a bill, but to pass a better bill, then that might resonate with people and get this issue to stop suffocating his campaign.