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Why Bush Has To Compromise on Children's Health

A Commentary by Douglas Schoen

A recently released poll by Rasmussen provides compelling evidence why President Bush used his Saturday radio address to indicate he is prepared to compromise with Congress on funding the State's Children Health Insurance Program.

The Rasmussen data show a high level of awareness of the veto and strong opposition to it. Overall. 65% said they were aware of the veto and 57% disapproved of it. Only 31% supported the veto .

Also, the issue is clearly of substantial importance to the electorate with 70% concluding that it is very important to insure all children under 18.

Further, there was also majority support for raising tobacco taxes to pay for the program. In all, 54% support raising tobacco taxes while only 35% disagreed.

Given the President's already low ratings, he clearly does not have the political capital to maintain the position that he has already staked out. To be sure, he may well have enough votes in the House to sustain a veto. But the Rasmussen poll data is very clear: if President Bush does not show at least some flexibility, the Republicans could pay a substantial cost for his intransigence next year.

Douglas Schoen is a founding and former partner of Penn Schoen & Berland, and a Fox News Contributor.

Schoen was President Bill Clinton's research and strategic consultant during the 1996 reelection campaign.

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