Let me preface this by saying that I have nothing against Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling: he’s a Democratic pollster, sure, but he doesn’t bury polls that are unhelpful to his side. Which is smart of him – it makes him more credible when he tells me things that I don’t particularly want to hear – but there’s nothing wrong with having a credible pragmatic reason for being virtuous. It’s sort of an added free bonus.
That being said, he really should have stuck a DOOM in here somewhere:
In both Bob Etheridge and Heath Shuler’s districts we asked whether voters would be more or less likely to vote for their representative if they supported the bill, then whether they would be more or less likely to vote for their representative if the bill passed regardless of how their actual representative voted.
In Etheridge’s district 47% of voters said they’d be less likely to vote for him this fall if he supported the bill. And 47% said they’d be less likely to vote for him this fall if the Democrats in Congress passed the bill, regardless of how Etheridge himself voted.
It’s a pretty similar story in Shuler’s district. 51% of voters said they’d be less likely to vote for him this fall if he was a ‘yes’ vote.’ But 46% also said they’d be less likely to vote for Shuler this fall if the bill passed, whether it did so with his support or not.
Etheridge voted for the health care debacle and Shuler voted against it; and according to PPP, it didn’t matter in the slightest. Jensen hits on the reason why a bit by admitting that voters are ‘likely to take it out on Democratic members of Congress regardless of how they actually voted.’ What he’s not saying is why they’re taking it out on Democratic members of Congress. I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that the public is well aware that the Democrats in the 111th Congress have been rationing out ‘no’ votes for its unpopular legislation – particularly in health care (Rasmussen found that 50% of voters nationally are more likely to vote against someone who voted for the Democrats’ health care debacle). Under normal circumstances, that merely makes people roll their eyes a bit; but in our current situation it merely ties individual Democrats to the national Democratic party. This is not a good year for a Democratic incumbent in a Republican district to be tied to the national Democratic party.
Shorter Moe Lane: People actually have started noticing that Democratic politicians lie. All of them.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.