Friday, November 30, 2012

Despite Beltway Conventional Wisdom, Democrats Could Win Big In 2014... If They Actually Behave Like Democrats


In 2010, Beltway Democrats miscalculated badly. Many of them-- with the acquiescence and even the encouragement of the leadership-- decided the safer bet was to vote like a Republican rather than to embrace and explain a progressive vision for solving real problems that face the country. So Democratic voters didn't go to the polls and dozens of House Democrats-- mostly Blue Dogs and New Dems but a few good people as well-- lost their seats. Preventing another catastrophe like that should be a big focus of the House Dems. But they're off on a really bad foot already, having chosen failed DCCC head Steve Israel-- who is delusional enough to claim he was a victor-- to run the show again. The Senate campaign was far better run (by DSCC Chair Patty Murray), where the goal was to just win seats, unlike in the House, where the goal was to restock the House with Blue Dogs and New Dems.

There's every reason to believe that Blue Dogs, New Dems and their corporately-funded cohorts in the Senate learned nothing from the Great Blue Dog Apocalypse of 2010 and are about to turn off the Democratic base by undercutting Medicare and Medicaid as part of some phony-baloney Grand Bargain to "save us" from the trumped up "Fiscal Cliff" that the elites created just for the purpose of starting the process of disabling America's social safety net on behalf of the millionaires and billionaires who finance the careers of the politicians. And new polling from PPP, easily the most reliable polling firm from the last cycle, shows that in the case of New Hampshire, virtually the only thing that could defeat a popular moderate Senate freshman, Jeanne Shaheen, would be if she sells out working families.

Shaheen may face a rematch with the Republican kook she beat in 2008, John Sununu. The poll shows her with a comfortable lead, 53-42%, probably-- if it holds up-- enough to discourage Sununu from jumping in. If you look at her ProgressivePunch crucial vote score, you find her pretty much in the center of the caucus, equidistant from liberals like Jack Reed, Sherrod Brown, Al Franken, Sheldon Whitehouse and Bernie Sanders and conservatives like Ben Nelson, Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill, Max Baucus, Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor. Of the 52 Democrats in the Senate, her voting score is the 25th most progressive.
The poll gave strong indication that Granite Staters oppose cuts to Medicare and Medicaid benefits and support higher taxes for the rich.

If Shaheen supported cuts to Medicare or Medicaid, 46 percent said they would be less likely to vote for her, while 35 percent said it would not make a difference, 13 percent said they would be more likely to vote for her and 7 percent were not sure, according to the poll.

If Shaheen “led the national fight to raise taxes on the rich,” 48 percent said they would be more likely to vote for her, while 31 percent said they would be less likely to vote for her, 19 percent said it would not make a difference and 1 percent said they were not sure.

“New Hampshire voters spoke clearly in 2012,” said PCCC spokesman Neil Sroka, a former spokesman for U.S. Rep.-elect Ann Kuster. “Tax the rich, invest in jobs and don't even think about cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. If Senator Shaheen fights hard for this agenda, New Hampshire voters stand ready to support her in 2014.”

The poll also showed 48 percent of Granite Staters viewed President Barack Obama's key “mandate” in the election as “standing up for regular families -- even if it means fighting,” rather than compromising with Republicans, which was the view of 36 percent.

On another question, 49 percent viewed Obama's mandate as creating jobs rather than reducing the federal debt, which was the view of 22 percent.

Other results showed that to reduce the national debt:

66 percent favored raising taxes on those with incomes of more than $250,000 a year, while 29 percent were opposed.
75 percent opposed, and 13 percent favored, cutting Social Security benefits.
74 percent opposed, and 17 percent favored, cutting Medicare benefits.
66 percent opposed and 25 percent favored cutting Medicaid benefits.
53 percent supported and 40 percent opposed cutting military spending.
79 percent supported and 12 percent opposed ending agriculture subsidies to “agricorporations.”
Also, 49 percent supported and 34 percent opposed public financing of congressional elections.

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At 8:14 AM, Blogger John said...

The single most annoying aspect of Obama acting like a Repub was that it was for two solid years before a census year ... and midterm election.

His folly kept former supporters, ie Dem ticket voters, away from the polls thus handing control of many state houses to the GOP.

This, of course, included right to control the mandated, decennial congressional redistricting and the inevitable gerrymandering.

The major initial effect was getting Kucinich voted out of office. The long term effect will be to the advantage of the GOP until 2020. (insert "oh screw that shit!!!" emoticon here.)

John Puma

At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only Sheehan worth anything is Cindy Sheehan. Remember her?


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