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Congressional Republicans Wake Up To Post-Shutdown Poll Headaches, Will It Matter In 2014?

Capitol Building Dusk

With the shutdown/debt ceiling crisis now several days behind us, and attention moving on other matters, pundits are beginning to debate what the long term impact of the entire debacle will turn out to be, especially for Congressional Republicans who had been on the losing end of the polls both before and during the whole crisis. Over the weekend, many Republican Senators and Congressmen spoke confidently, asserting that they’d be able to put the matter behind them electorally and would be in an excellent position when the 2014 elections roll around in just over a year. If the new poll from CNN and ORC International is any indication, though, things are still quite bad for the GOP at the moment:

Just over half the public says that it’s bad for the country that the GOP controls the House of Representatives, according to a new national poll conducted after the end of the partial government shutdown.

And the CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that more than six in 10 Americans say that Speaker of the House John Boehner should be replaced.

The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, just after the end of the 16-day partial federal government shutdown that was caused in part by a push by House conservatives to try and dismantle the health care law, which is President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

According to the survey, 54% say it’s a bad thing that the GOP controls the House, up 11 points from last December, soon after the 2012 elections when the Republicans kept control of the chamber. Only 38% say it’s a good thing the GOP controls the House, a 13-point dive from the end of last year.

This is the first time since the Republicans won back control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections that a majority say their control of the chamber is bad for the country.

(…)

According to the poll, only 30% of the public says Boehner, who became Speaker in January 2011, should continue in that role.

The survey indicates that the approval rating for Congress remains near an all-time low. Only 12% of those questioned say they approve of the job Congress is doing, just two points higher than the historic low in CNN polling. And 86% give federal lawmakers a thumbs-down, also near the all-time high.

Forty-four percent say they approve of the job the President is doing with 52% saying they disapprove.

There was similar bad news for House Republicans in a new poll from Public Policy Polling:

A new round of Democratic polling shows Republican lawmakers vulnerable and hurting from the shutdown, with incumbent Republicans trailing generic Democrats in 15 of 25 new districts polled.

The polling, conducted by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling for progressive group MoveOn.org, shows a generic Democratic candidate leading Republican Reps. Ed Royce (Calif.), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Scott Tipton (Colo.), John Mica (Fla.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Peter Roskam (Ill.), Justin Amash (Mich.), Scott Garrett (N.J.), Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.), Steve Stivers (Ohio), Jim Renacci (Ohio), Joe Pitts (Pa.), Robert Hurt (Va.) and Tom Petri (Wisc.), prior to respondents receiving any information about the shutdown.

And six GOP incumbents — Reps. Dave Camp (Mich.), Leonard Lance (N.J.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Michael Turner (Ohio), Rob Wittman (Va.) and Reid Ribble (Wisc.) — all take a hit when respondents are told they supported a shutdown, with a generic Democrat either leading or tying each one.

Democrats only need to pick up 17 seats to take back the majority, and previous PPP polling has shown a similar result for the party, prompting speculation that if the 2014 elections were held today, Democrats would take back the House.

Another PPP poll conducted just as the shutdown was winding down seemed to show similarly concerning news for the GOP when it came to those Senate races it must win in order to regain control of the Senate in 2014:

-In Georgia voters oppose the shutdown 61/31, and it’s just another factor helping make this seat competitive for Democrats next year. Michelle Nunn is knotted with a generic Republican opponent at 42%.

The shutdown will be particularly problematic for the GOP if it nominates one of the House members seeking a promotion to the Senate- 47% of voters say they’re less likely to vote Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, or Jack Kingston for the Senate because of their support for the shutdown to only 32% who think it’s a positive. After being informed that her most likely opponents were among those House Republicans who favored the shutdown, Nunn improves to a 48/42 lead lead on the generic ballot.

In a pair of key open seat Senate races Democrats are well positioned because voters are mad about the shutdown, and appreciative of the Democratic House members looking to move up who opposed the shutdown:

-In Michigan’s open seat race Democrat Gary Peters leads Republican Terri Lynn Land 43/36. Voters are opposed to the shutdown by a 65/27 margin, and when voters are informed that Peters stood against the shutdown in the House his lead expands to 50/36.

-It’s a similar story in Iowa’s open seat race- there Democrat Bruce Braley leads a generic Republican opponent 45/41. Voters are against the shutdown 64/27, and when voters are informed of Braley’s opposition his lead goes up to 7 points at 46/39.

In a pair of red states where Republican House members are challenging incumbent Democratic Senators, their support of the shutdown is proving to be a liability:

-In Louisiana Mary Landrieu leads Republican challenger Bill Cassidy 48/41 for reelection. Voters oppose the shutdown 60/30, and 47% say they’re less likely to vote for Cassidy for the Senate next year because he supported it compared to only 32% who are more likely to. Landrieu’s lead grows to 52/42 when voters are informed of Cassidy’s position on the shutdown.-In Arkansas Mark Pryor leads Republican challenger Tom Cotton 44/41. Voters there oppose the shutdown 59/32. When informed that Cotton supported it, 45% of voters say they’re less likely to support him for a move up to the Senate next year compared to just 33% who say they’re more likely to.

Obviously, these aren’t very good numbers and, if they are a representation of what we’re going to see going forward, then Republicans quite obviously have something to worry about in the midterms. However, there are several caveats to keep in mind when looking at these polls that suggest that it’s far to early for Democrats to start high-fiving themselves.

The most obvious one, of course, is that we’re more than a year away from the elections themselves and polling today doesn’t necessarily tell us much of anything about what’s likely to happen in November 2014. Polling in the fall of 2009 gave no real indication that we’d be looking at a GOP wave election that would shift control of the House just a year later. Similarly, polls a year ahead of the 2012 elections, and indeed as late as January and February of 2012 suggested that President Obama could be vulnerable come November 2012, an election he obviously went on to win. For that reason alone, these data points today don’t really tell us much of anything unless they continue into the future. Talk to me six months from now and we’ll see where things are.

A second caveat is directed specifically at PPP’s House seat polling. Putting an incumbent Congressman up against a generic Democrat generally doesn’t tell us much of anything about how things might go in those particular Districts over the course of the next year. Incumbents don’t run against “generic” opponents they run against actual opponents and the course of a particular campaign, there are a myriad of factors that are likely to effect the outcome of the race, including the identity of the candidate, what kind of campaign her or she runs, what kind of resources the two candidates have access to, and what kind of campaign the incumbent runs. As we’ve seen in the past, it’s pretty hard to unseat House incumbents in general, even in “wave” years the reelection rates of members of the House rarely dips below 90%, so it would be foolish to discount the advantages of incumbency even in the current political climate. Finally, it’s worth noting that polling individual Congressional Districts is quite often a difficult thing since you’re dealing with a much smaller sample size than in a statewide or nationwide election. This is especially this far removed from Election Day when it’s virtually impossible to identify an accurate likely voter model for an election that won’t take place for more than a year.

There are also issues with PPP’s Senate polling. For one thing, their selection of races is rather selective and not really representative of where the battleground is likely to be in 2014. Nobody at this point expects either Iowa or Michigan to be competitive for the GOP, which is one of the reasons you haven’t seen prominent Republicans in either state stepping up to run for either open seat. Including either of them in a group poll like this is thus essentially useless. Instead of those two states, PPP ought to be looking at Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia, three red states with open seats being vacated by Democrats. Most polling I’ve seen in those states has the potential Republican nominees leading the declared Democratic candidates, and it would be interesting to see if the shutdown has had any impact on those races. Additionally, it’s not really a surprise that Arkansas and Louisiana are close, that was also true in the pre-shutdown polling.Both Pryor and Landrieu have proven themselves to be skilled politicians who have managed to hold onto their seats despite the fact that they represent states where the Republican tide has almost completely overtaken state politics. Yes, it’s important that the shutdown could hurt the Republican candidates there, but the numbers haven’t really shifted very much, especially when you take into account all the polling in those states and not just PPP’s.

None of this is to suggest that the GOP has nothing to worry about from these bad numbers. Clearly, they do. They latched their party onto a doomed strategy that caused a government shutdown that was wildly unpopular and they are now paying a political price for it. The question is how long it will continue, and what impact it will have going forward. It’s simply too early to know the answers to those questions, but one thing that’s clear is that the GOP cannot afford to let itself get in the same position in January when the deadlines that were set on Wednesday begin to expire. If that happens, then most of the caveats I note above probably won’t apply.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    If the Tea Party carries out its threat to primary every sane Republican incumbent with Akin/O’Donnell/Mourdock/Angle clones, then the Democratic Party can probably relax.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  2. al-Ameda says:

    To me, it is far to early to tell.

    If the GOP had jumped off the cliff and caused a default, then I might say that the GOP would be in big trouble, but they pulled up short and probably saved those seats that some pollsters now see as vulnerable.

    However, I will say this: if the GOP wants to pick this up again and go Ground Hog Day on the budget and the Debt Ceiling again in 3 to 4 months, then all bets are off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    In January and again in February it’s all going to depend on Boehner. He is not going to be able to get anything passed without Democratic votes. How long will he avoid ditching the Hastert “rule” this time? If he waits too long the party will once again be damaged, McConnell can say there won’t be a shutdown all he wants but the ball is in Boehner’s court.
    @CSK: You’re right – it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  4. CSK says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Cruz has already said he will repeat his previous actions. He’s also assured his followers that if the Republicans lose in 2014 and 2016, it won’t be his fault.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. jib10 says:

    I think it was the ancient Greeks who said character is fate. So it is way too early and there is too much that can happen for this specific shutdown to impact the 2014 elections. But the GOP is the GOP, the character flaws are all still there. What caused the GOP to self destruct in 2013 will cause it to continue to self destruct through 2014.

    However, this probably just means the Dems keep the senate and the GOP loses seats but still keeps the house and in the big picture nothing really changes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  6. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz doubles down on the crazy:

    “The single most damaging thing that has happened to Republicans for 2014 is all of the Senate Republicans coming out attacking the House Republicans, attacking those pushing the effort to defund Obamacare and lining themselves up opposite the American people,” the Texas Republican told CNN in an interview that aired Monday on “New Day”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  7. PJ says:

    How long until Cruztown is founded?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. john personna says:

    We had similar postmortems, “what’s wrong with the Republicans,” after the Romney loss. The sane acknowledged them, but the irrational refused them, and continued on. I remember at the time, some OTB commenters saying “Republicans will have to lose even bigger to take the lesson.”

    Is this big enough, or just one in a series of small defeats, until “the big one” that drives reinvention?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  9. john personna says:

    IOW, it is hardly a real “win” for the Republicans to carry on this style of dysfunction and extreme campaign style.

    It is just a loud way to lose in the face of new values and demographics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. john personna says:

    BTW, Bruce Barlett reinforces my fears that this dysfunction takes eyes off detailed budget review, and better design of government programs:

    The result has been less and less oversight of federal spending, with programs that should be axed continuing indefinitely while urgent national priorities are starved for resources. Instead of going through the budget line by line and making necessary adjustments, programs have been cut across the board via “sequestration,” which cuts vital programs as well as those we could easily live without.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  11. C. Clavin says:

    Look…there’s a pretty clear trend to the polling. The operative question is: What event changes the trend-line? What causes a party at the nadir…to change their status quo.
    And how often do you get to use “nadir”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. steve s says:

    If the Tea Party carries out its threat to primary every sane Republican incumbent with Akin/O’Donnell/Mourdock/Angle clones, then the Democratic Party can probably relax.

    If the Tea Party starts primarying everyone as RINO as Mitch F*cking McConnell, we can probably break out the vodka and the weed, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  13. PJ says:

    What is the GOP going to run on in 2014?
    “Vote for us to have us try to stop Obamacare! Again! And again!”
    “Vote for us so that we can hold the US economy hostage again in 2015?”

    It’s rather obvious what the Democrats should run on.
    Elect the grownups who aren’t trying to destroy the US economy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  14. Tyrell says:

    Well, that is a way off and lots of things can go one way or the other.
    Health care: will they get it right or will it continue to misfire?
    Iran, Korea, Syria: smoldering and could blaze up anytime
    Economy: still lame, can it improve much in one year? Inflation set to take off? How about some of the large cities – more Detroits?
    Federal Reserve: what will happen there?
    Immigration: no one wants to dive in
    Spying: could be deeper than we have been told
    Then the unpredictables
    With the current dissatisfaction with both parties, this is a golden opportunity for a third party movement, but it won’t be allowed to happen.
    “Machines are going to fail, he who has the ability to survive” (“Deliverance”, Drew – Burt Reynolds)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  15. C. Clavin says:

    @ Steve…
    Budweiser and weed?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. michael reynolds says:

    I think these polls mean very little. We’re not running “Generic Democrat,” we’ll have to run an actual human being. Right now irritation is high with all of Washington, in addition to the particular and well-deserved contempt for the Tea Party, so we need to see what’s left after folks calm down.

    It’s damnably hard to unseat a sitting Congressman. My guess is we hold the Senate and they keep the House with a slightly diminished majority. But who knows?

    Long term the GOP has a problem that runs deeper than this idiocy: The GOP has run out of ideas. Worse yet, they’ve run out of easy distractions. Abortion has lost steam, and that was their strongest card. Rather wonderfully, it was supplanted by gay-bashing, and that issue is dead or dying. Now the GOP needs a new hate-object, some new issue to gin up the rage fuel their base lives on.

    There’s always still race but that’s gone as far as its going. That’s a receding tide. Ditto immigration. Ditto Muslim-hating. The GOP minus someone to focus hatred on is just a bunch of swinish rich people, their toadies and a handful of warmongers. The TP, which I think is just the Jesus wing re-branded, is the heart and soul of the GOP. Crazy and stupid, but the heart and soul of the party. They have to be fed some hate. Who’s left to hate? Sooner or later it’s going to occur to these geniuses that Barack Obama is not running again. He’s transitioning to past-tense.

    A shortage of usable hate-objects to incite the cretins, an absolute absence of ideas, their warmongering discredited, the worship of money increasingly distasteful, especially to the young. Yep, the GOP is out of gas.

    Of course the Democrats are also out of ideas – a discovery which will await the rise of an opposition political party devoted to making a practical difference in the world rather than blowing their own brains out because there’s a black man in the White House.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  17. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    Different take on the question:

    I forget, how many house seats are so safe that people will vote for Satan if he runs in the correct party? 75-80%??

    You were talking about possibility of change? To quote SP, “how’s that…workin’ for ya’?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. anjin-san says:

    The TP, which I think is just the Jesus wing re-branded, is the heart and soul of the GOP. Crazy and stupid, but the heart and soul of the party. They have to be fed some hate. Who’s left to hate?

    I’m just not getting the whole “hating in Jesus name, Amen” thing.

    Did they skip these?

    Deuteronomy 15:11 – For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

    Luke 14:13
    But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,

    Mark 10:21
    And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.

    Malachi 2:10
    “Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  19. Ron Beasley says:

    @anjin-san: Like X 100. Good Job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. bill says:

    @anjin-san: the examples are nice, notice that they’re based on real charity- not gov’t forced “charity” (aka- handouts via tax funded bureaucratic disasters that never end).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  21. David M says:

    @bill:

    Yes, because those problems didn’t exist before the government created programs to deal with them. Or would the problems go away if we eliminated the government programs?

    1. End welfare, food stamps, medicaid, etc
    2. ???
    3. No more poverty

    Care to expand on step number 2?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  22. C. Clavin says:

    @ David M….
    No…bill is talking about health care subsidies through employer-provided insurance and housing subsidies through mortgage interest tax breaks and fossil fuel subsidies…you know…Government Charity.
    Oh…wait…you mean he only is against charity that goes to those “other” people???? I see….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  23. superdestroyer says:

    When every demographic trend is against a political party, does short term polling really matter. Considering that the Repubicans are irrelevant to policy now and have zero chance of becoming relevant in the future, it seems that the discussion has become when will main stream American consider the Republicans no longer relevant and not worth thinking about. Does it comes in after the 2014 elections, after the 2016 elections or at some later point.

    All of the discussions on how much conservative politics is hated in the U.S. would make more sense if most people were discussing what happens after conservatives are eliminated from the political sphere in the U.S. and all political fights are between different factions of the Democratic Party. At least someone should be thinking about whether the former Republican supporters will just drop out of politics or move over to voting in Democratic primaries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The question is how long it will continue, and what impact it will have going forward.

    Can they lock Ted Cruz up in a rubber room and keep him there till after Nov 2014? No? Boy are they fwcked.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  25. Todd says:

    @superdestroyer:

    It’s not Republicans that are becoming irrelevant, it’s Conservatives.

    … discussing what happens after conservatives are eliminated from the political sphere in the U.S. and all political fights are between different factions of the Democratic Party.

    For an example of this, look at a State like Hawaii. For the House and Senate seats, the primary essentially is the election. (pretty much the same thing also just happened in the NYC mayor’s race). At the local level, there is still a chance for Republicans to be elected to offices such as governor or mayor … they’re no Conservatives though … in fact in many other areas of the country they probably wouldn’t even be Republicans.

    All that being said, for the time being at least, there are still also some locations where the exact opposite situation takes place. Here in Texas, my Republican represenative is only likely to lose his seat in a primary. I seriously doubt anybody with a (D) next to their name on the ballot would have much chance of getting elected in the general; no matter which positions they might take on the issues. And hey, Ted Cruz won a low turn-out run-off primary to get his Senate seat … once the Erick Erickson crowd rallied their troops to get him past that hurdle, the general election was never in doubt. Once Texas turns purple though, then I do think even the non-crazy part of the Republican party will have zero chance on a national level.

    … as someone who is going to become an old white guy as this change occurs, I sure hope that once we get to the point where we (white folks) are a minority, that those in charge don’t treat all of us as badly as some of us (cough “conservatives”) have treated all of them for pretty much the entire history of our country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  26. KM says:

    Todd: I sure hope that once we get to the point where we (white folks) are a minority, that those in charge don’t treat all of us as badly as some of us (cough “conservatives”) have treated all of them for pretty much the entire history of our country.

    What’s interesting is that seems to be an deep unconscious fear that rapidly becoming conscious for these types of people. Progress of a hater’s demise:

    -When their power was never in doubt, they strutted and kicked and beat and forced their way onto those they feel inferior. Violence, cruelty and malice was the norm. The Other was EVIL, no questions asked. These are the “good old days” longed for.
    -When challenges arose, they shifted slightly to insults and buying and maligned their way to unfair laws and circumstances to punish those “inferiors” who would rise up. The Other must be kept down, the uppity things.
    -When they began to realize not everyone thinks the way they do (even in their own “peer” group), paranoia and persecution complexes begin – they’re being unfairly kept down somehow now that their say isn’t the only say. Things are becoming unnatural, whispers become grumbles out loud. They do everything they can to hold onto what little advantage they have left, refusing to go gracefully or change to suit the times. The Others are now a threat but still beatable.
    -When they are NOT the majority, it suddenly occurs that the power to make other miserable now belongs to another – maybe someone they previously tormented. The worry is now full blown panic. Karma’s a bitch, ya know. Judgement will be upon them for their actions. The Others are invaders, coming to destroy them and all they love. Barbarians at the gate.

    My mother always said when you point a finger, four point back at you. You expect others to treat you the way you treat them at an unconscious level – a kind-hearted person can’t understand a violent sociopath, someone who gossips expects others to gossip with them or even about them. If you were willing to persecute and legally suppress people, you have to think your nemesis will do that to you. If you hate and lash out, if you demonize and regard others as subhuman in some way – you think the Other does the same thing. It’s the way of your world.

    Lucky for them (for the world in fact), not everyone thinks like them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  27. fred says:

    So where is the outrage today that Verizon pre-paid phone holders cannot use their phones and Verizon says they are working on the glitch but can’t tell phone holders when phones will be back up. How long has Verizon been in business compared to Obama website

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  28. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    they’re based on real charity-

    I don’t think “charity” means what you think it means.

    char·i·ty noun \ˈcher-ə-tē, ˈcha-rə-\
    : the act of giving money, food, or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc.; also : something (such as money or food) that is given to people who are poor, sick, etc.

    : an organization that helps people who are poor, sick, etc.

    : the organizations that help people in need

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/charity

    bill – perhaps you can show us where Jesus lays out the bureaucratic rules that detail how charity is to be dispensed, and where he says that charity is not “real” when it is delivered via the government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  29. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    bill – perhaps you can show us where Jesus lays out the bureaucratic rules that detail how charity is to be dispensed, and where he says that charity is not “real” when it is delivered via the government.

    Jesus said, and I believe this is in Matthew 6:66, that “Charity should be given only on a tax-deductible basis, lest the donor have his treasury depleted through an excess of acts of good works, kindness, and charity.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  30. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    handouts via tax funded bureaucratic disasters that never end

    Charity is, essentially, a handout. Someone is in need, you give them the thing(s) they need. Where does Jesus say “Give, but do it with resentment in your heart” or “Tell the lazy bum he can have some food, but he had better be working tomorrow”?

    I know the Fauxes of the world have told you charity is nobel when a (Christian) church does it, and it is a nasty “handout” when the government does it. Apparently you are thinking exactly what you have been told to think.

    A few words about “bureaucratic disasters” – I have a relative who is severely disabled. If you have not been there, it’s hard to imagine what that is like. My wife and I have spent over 100K on his care, an amount of money that is far beyond the reach of a lot of Americans. We spend about 20 hours a week taking care of him. It’s not enough. Not even close.

    He is alive today, an living a halfway decent life, due to a combination of our care, and county, state, and federal assistance. Much of his care comes from a community mental health clinic. We are lucky, we live in a high wealth area, so we have one that has (barely) enough funding.

    Yes, there is bureaucracy, but it’s not egregiously worse than what you might encounter in a private healthcare setting. The staff works very hard, I don’t see them sitting on their butts texting and staring off into space, something you do see a lot of in the private sector these days. (Like at Safeway yesterday)

    Conservatives keep saying that government must run on Christian principles. Sadly, that does not seem to include the concepts of charity, compassion, and brotherhood. It does seem to mean cherry picking the Bible to oppress people they don’t like.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  31. Snarky Bastard says:

    Polling in the fall of 2009 gave no real indication that we’d be looking at a GOP wave election that would shift control of the House just a year later. Similarly, polls a year ahead of the 2012 elections, and indeed as late as January and February of 2012 suggested that President Obama could be vulnerable come November 2012, an election he obviously went on to win. For that reason alone, these data points today don’t really tell us much of anything unless they continue into the future. Talk to me six months from now and we’ll see where things are.

    Bull — Nate Silver and Charlie Cook at Netroots Nation (August 2009) were both projecting Republican majorities in the House for 2010. Nate IIRC was projecting a possibility of Dems losing 50+ seats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  32. Tyrell says:

    @fred: News this morning: guess who the government has working on the Health care computer problem? Verizon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. anjin-san says:

    @ Tyrell

    the Health care computer problem

    They are not having a “computer problem” – they are having website issues.

    If you are going to be critical, you might want to take five or ten minutes to get a basic understanding of where the problems actually lie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  34. grumpy realist says:

    @fred: It’s quite easy to screw up just as much in a private sector project as in a gov’t managed project. LORD do I have examples of that….which is why we had a piece of prototype equipment delivered from the US to interface with *our* prototype equipment and discovered that we had a three-prong plug that was supposed to fit in a two-prong hole….

    (Although in the Obamacare website case, it really does look like they rolled out something before they debugged it properly. I’m sure a lot of us will be doing project management dissection all over this, trying to figure out how they effed up so much. Heh. Hell, I could have done a better job….)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. anjin-san says:

    I wonder if the bottom feeders here are noticing that Democrats are acknowledging that the Obamacare web rollout was hosed. Meanwhile, that teas are declaring their train wreck government shutdown/default strategy to be a brilliant idea.

    Both sides don’t do it. Only one is delusional.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  36. superdestroyer says:

    @KM:

    In case you have not noticed, progressives have been in front of the Supreme Court several times in the last ten years arguing that it perfectly OK for the government to treat whites differently than non-whites. Even last week, progressives were in front of the Supreme Court arguing that conservatives cannot ban affirmative action because it takes away the ability of non-whites to petition the government for special rights.

    If you really want to see what scares middle class whites, you need look no further than Detroit, Camden, East St Louis, or even Baltimore. Do you really think that as whites become a minority in the U.S. that blacks and Latinos will give up affirmative action, set asides, and quotas? Do really think there are going to be Historically White Universities in the future so that white kids can go to college and not be a small minority? Somehow I doubt it.

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  37. superdestroyer says:

    @Todd:

    The difference in your scenario is that there is nothing Repubiicans can go to covert Hawaii to being a red or even a purple state. However, all Democrats know that all they need to do to change Texas to a blue state is to just change the demographics of Texas. Do can see that in the Texas Democratic Party’s refusal to try to appeal to middle class whites since there is no long term reason for the Democratic Party to change.

    As you have noted, Hawaii is a good example of what politics will be in the future: different ethnic groups fighting over government programs and entitlements, high taxes, expansive government, poor public schools, all the children of the political leadership attending private schools, and little interest in changing the situation.

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  38. JohnMcC says:

    Darn, I have been wasting my sympathies on people living in Haiti, Somalia, Ethiopia and such. I should have been more alert to the desperate conditions of those poor Hawaians.

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  39. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    If you really want to see what scares middle class whites, you need look no further than Detroit, Camden, East St Louis, or even Baltimore.

    I am a middle class white voter, and I worry more about the 40% of the country that does not value education generally, or science specifically, ignores reality-based news, is obsessed with gun ownership, and believes that a government’s place in in the bedroom or controlling women’s health care choices.

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