Gallup has a new poll out today suggesting that all the recent talk of death panels and socialized medicine has not noticeably dented Obama's popularity: his approval rate is sitting at 63 percent nationally, with the most enthusiastic locales being DC (92 percent) and Hawaii (75 percent.)
More interesting, though, is the fact that that the states down the bottom of the poll also seem to think Obama's doing an okay job. In Oklahoma, for instance, where Sen. Jim Inhofe thinks Obama is "un-American" and Rep. John Sullivan has concerns about the validity of his birth certificate, Obama gets the thumbs up from 53 percent of the population. In Kansas, where Obama is contemplating sending the remaining Guantanamo detainees to be held at Fort Leavenworth, potentially indefinitely, he's polling at 55 percent. In fact, there are only two states where his approval rating dips under 50 percent—Wyoming (46 percent) and Alaska (49 percent).
In other words, as the health care debate heats up, Obama is still in a pretty strong position. But will he take advantage of that, or play it safe?