Wednesday, March 22, 2017

There's A Referendum On Trump In The Atlanta Suburbs In 27 Days


Yesterday, Ryan Grim penned a piece for HuffPo, While Nobody's Watching, Paul Ryan Is Taking A Sledgehammer To Medcaid's Promise To Seniors. "While the debate over Obamacare repeal focuses on insurance subsidies," he wrote, "coverage equity and tax cuts, a far more radical attempt is quietly underway to end the Medicaid program as we know it. As currently structured, Medicaid guarantees a set of benefits to everybody who qualifies. Most people associate Medicaid with the poor and working class, but historically the program has spent as much or more money on elderly and disabled people who qualify, and use it to pay for things like nursing-home care that Medicare doesn’t cover. The new version of the program would upend this arrangement. It would devolve Medicaid to the states and reimburse them using a predetermined formula that, as the Congressional Budget Office and other experts have concluded, would not actually keep up with the cost of care. As the federal contribution toward Medicaid eroded over time, states could make up the difference on their own or-- more likely-- they could make cuts in who or what the program covers. The federal guarantee would be over, and with it, the Medicaid program as we know it. That’s not an accident. If House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) wanted Medicaid to keep up with the cost of providing coverage to those eligible, there would be an easy way to do it: leave the program as is. But Ryan has been salivating about targeting Medicaid most of his life, he said this week. When he’s speaking with conservative audiences, Ryan is upfront about the goal. 'We’ve been dreaming of this since I’ve been around-- since you and I were drinking at a keg,' he recently told keg-party buddy Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review."

On a meta level, this is obvious to anyone who has followed Ryan's political career. The part that should scare us in Grim's headline is the first part, though: "While Nobody's Watching." Whoever is doing Jon Ossoff's e-mail program should be taken out today-- not tomorrow-- and shot (metaphorically). I've never seen a worse e-mail program in my life-- and for such an outstanding candidate and cause, no less. They send half a dozen message-less annoying e-mails every single day. Like most people, I just gave up a few weeks ago and started deleting them without opening. Ossoff has a compelling message-- I've heard it from him and read it on his website-- but apparently the e-mail consultant is either too thick to have absorbed it or, worse, doesn't want to. Maybe the DCCC is secretly "helping." This does smell a LOT like them. But the people we need to BE watching what Ryan-- as well as Pence, Price, Mulvaney and the Trumpists-- are doing are the voters in the suburbs and small towns in Fulton, Cobb and DeKalb counties due north of Atlanta.

29,329 people in GA-06 are going to lose insurance coverage if TrumpCare is enacted. It's been a very red district ever since Nixon's Southern Strategy kicked in. In 2012 Romney beat Obama in the district 60.8% to 37.5%. Trump did much worse than Romney and Hillary did much better than Obama. He only managed to squeak by with a 48.3-46.8% win. Even Republicans in the district don't like him. In last year's Georgia Republican primary Trump won the state but lost the district. He came in first in Georgia (38.8%), followed by Rubio (24.4%) and Cruz (23.6%). This is how it went in our 3 counties:
Cobb Co.- Rubio- 34.6%, Trump- 31.0%, Cruz- 21.2%
Dekalb Co- Rubio- 41.2%, Trump- 25.2%, Cruz- 15.4%
Fulton Co.- Rubio- 41.6%, Trump- 26.6%,Cruz- 14.6%
GA-06 hasn't become more Trump-friendly in the interim and if Ossoff succeeds in making the special election into a referendum on Trump, he could well win Tom Price's congressional seat. (Round one is April 18 and if Ossoff doesn't win outright, the runoff will be June 20.) So far Ossoff is succeeding. The polls just keep getting better for him. While the multitude of Republicans running for the seat amounts to an incoherent jumble, Ossoff has emerged not just as the top Democrat in the race, but as the top candidate-- by far. This is how the race looks this week:
Jon Ossoff (D)- 40.9%
Karen Handel (R)- 16.1%
Bob Gray (R)- 15.6%
Judson Hill (R)- 9.2%
Dan Moody (R)- 5.1%
Ron Slotin (D)- 2.9%
David Abroms (R)- 1.7%
Bruce LeVell (Trumpist)- 0.6%

And this poll was done by a Republican firm for a right-wing website. Last month the poll showed Ossoff ahead as well, but with 32%. He's making real headway with the voters, while Handel has been trending downward-- drastically so-- as voters have gotten to know her better. In last month's poll she was at 25%. They also polled Trump's job approval in the district:

And they polled the TrumpCare mess. Look who voters in the district are blaming for it:

Goal ThermometerThe Handel and Gray campaigns are now attacking each other on TrumpCare-- savagely. He opposes it from the right-- and has been endorsed by Club for Growth-- while Handel is in lockstep with Paul Ryan, exactly who most GA-06 voters blame for the whole mess. The degree of viciousness between the Handel and Gray camps has increased so precipitously now that it will be hard for the most devoted followers of whomever loses to get behind the Republican who comes in behind Ossoff and has to face him in the June runoff. If you'd like to help Ossoff keep up the momentum and take this race all the way, please consider contributing to his campaign by tapping the ActBlue thermometer at the right. If Ossoff wins this one, dozens of nervous congressional Republicans will head for the hills on the rest of Trump's toxic and destructive legislative agenda. I think we can do this thing.

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