Thursday, July 19, 2018

Will The GOP Culture Of Corruption Determine The November Midterms?


At this point, national polling doesn't tell us as much as district polling does

A nice theme has been developing over the past year or so: our political system is riven with corruption-- a culture of corruption-- and congressional Republicans are at the root of it. Sounds about right, although letting the Democrats off the hook is ludicrous. Sure the Republicans are more corrupt... but the Democrats are plenty corrupt. The Republicans just happen to be in power so they deserve more blame at the moment. What I liked about the GBA Strategies poll for the Center for American Progress is that it did what too few polls do: it concentrated on selected battle ground districts than just giving us nearly useless national or even state trends. You'll see what I mean in a moment but the graphic above shows the national generic polling numbers. It isn't that useful because it includes districts that are completely blue and completely read and are uncontested. They just muck up the numbers that are important if we're trying to guess what the results of the midterms will be in battleground districts.

First off, it's obvious that the cascade of scandals-- whether criminal or ethical (Trumpland is mired in both-- is starting to take a toll. The poll tested 48 red congressional districts and the overall result is that 54% of voters said the the Republicans are more corrupt. And when you test just independents, the result is even better for Democrats-- 60% pick the Republican Party as being more corrupt. My old pal, Jesse Lee, spokesman for the Center for American Progress, pointed out that "The fact that you have these recurring Cabinet scandals, the fact that it keeps happening over and over again, it registers. People understand it’s been taken to a new level. There’s no check on it anymore. Trump isn’t pushing back on Congress to keep it under control. Congress isn’t pushing back on Trump."

Part of that culture of corruption theme for the Democrats goes beyond just all the Executive Branch corruption to a tax plan which only helps the very wealthy, is bankrupting the country and is riddled with loopholes for the rich-- a tax plan which is the GOP's main campaign plank, and only "accomplishment." Among respondents, a gargantuan 75% responded that it was "serious" or "very serious" that 53 Republican Congressmembers "get an average tax cut of over $200,000 each from one of the loopholes GOP leaders let them slip into the tax bill at the last minute. A big majority of Americans see that as corrupt.

Among the 48 district-- remember, each with a Republican member of Congress at the moment-- "Democrats lead Republicans by 4 points on the generic congressional ballot, 46-42%. This is a noteworthy lead for Democrats given that Republican candidates dominated their opponents in the battleground by an average of 14 points over the last two cycles. Self-identified Democratic and Republican voters are about equally consolidated behind their parties’ candidates, but Democrats lead with Independent voters by 11 points (though many are still undecided).

Trump is an albatross in these battle ground districts. His disapproval number is 57%. "Meanwhile, voter assessments of the job Republicans in Congress are doing are even worse at 36-64%. It should be noted, however, that Democrats in Congress don’t fare much better than their Republican counterparts. Their job approval rating is only 3 points better than Republicans, 39-61%, which underscores the need for Democratic challengers to distinguish themselves from politicians in Washington."

"Trump’s team has drawn attention and voters want more oversight. Trump’s cabinet of high-profile personalities with questionable ethics have not worn well with voters. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, for example, has name recognition among 64% of voters and an extremely poor favorability ratio of 18-46% favorable/unfavorable. Similarly, recently exiled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has a name ID of 53% and an even worse favorability ratio of 13-41%. Even as both DeVos and Pruitt have drawn a lot of negative attention, these levels of name recognition are quite high given that officials who occupy these positions are usually unknown among voters outside D.C. Given what they have seen so far, it’s not surprising that nearly half of voters (49%) say the Trump administration is more corrupt than previous administrations, compared to only 26% who say it is less corrupt and 25 percent who say it is about the same. A majority of 56% say that Congressional Republicans are not doing enough oversight of the Trump administration, including 57% of Independents."

"Republicans are seen as the party of corruption. By an 8-point margin, most voters say that Republicans are more corrupt than Democrats, 54-46%. This gap (larger than the Democratic lead on the generic congressional ballot) is driven in major part by the 60 percent of Independents who find more fault with the Republican Party, and the 27% of moderate Republican voters who agree with them... The following examples of administration and congressional corruption generate the most concerns among voters [in the battleground districts]:
Politicians in Congress set a schedule where they are in session only 3 days per week, so they can spend most of their time meeting with special interests to raise money for their campaigns.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt spent more than $100,000 of taxpayer money on first-class and charter flights, personalized fountain pens, and clothing, and gave out $96,000 in raises to friends he put on his staff.
Republicans in Congress took millions from drug companies and voted to give them and their investors a $50 billion tax windfall but did nothing to prevent them from continuing to raise the price of prescription drugs.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin used a military aircraft to travel to Kentucky with his wife to watch the solar eclipse, costing taxpayers $33,000.
53 Republicans in Congress will get an average tax cut of over $200 thousand each from a single loophole they added to the tax bill at the last minute.
Trump promised to hold Wall Street accountable but after they gave over $14 million to his inauguration alone, his administration abandoned a rule that prevented financial advisers from cheating their clients. Americans could lose $17 billion each year in retirement savings.
Republicans voted to take away healthcare from 30 million Americans but the bill they passed protected their own health care coverage.
Beltway consultants, think-tanks and polling firms take the DCCC as an oracle so they usually just include their corrupt Blue Dog and New Dem candidates in polls like this. But among the 48 districts serveyed there were 4 where progressive Blue America-backed candidates are included:
CA-45: Katie Porter vs Mimi Walters
ME-02: Jared Golden vs Bruce Poliquin
NE-02: Kara Eastman vs Don Bacon
WA-05: Lisa Brown vs Cathy McMorris Rodgers
We asked Golden's campaign how Jared felt this dynamic is playing out in rural Maine. "It's no surprise that voters in Maine's 2nd District are disillusioned with Bruce Poliquin. Instead of having the back of the people he was elected to represent, Poliquin voted for huge tax breaks for both he and his Wall Street buddies, including a last minute gimmick that funneled $200 million to Republican members of Congress. While supporting give-aways to the wealthy, Poliquin voted to take away the health care benefits of 30 million Americans, many of those living in northern Maine" said Bobby Reynolds, Communication Director for the Golden Campaign. "Jared is a Marine combat veteran and knows his first duty is to those he has sworn to protect and represent. Bruce Poliquin tows the party line, casts votes that hurt Mainers, then runs and hides when the heat is on. The good people of Maine's 2nd Congressional District deserve a better representative and Jared Golden is that guy."

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At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sure will, but not in the way this post expects. The GOP will do all it can to prevent an electoral transfer of power by means fair or foul. The "democrats" are not equipped to handle that stacked deck.

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It hasn't been the gop corruption that determines much of anything since probably Reagan. You're projecting again.

The Nazis have committed election fraud and treason more than their corruption. They gain power bwo colossally stupid and evil voters. then they consolidate bwo lege and normalization of new memes. Luckily, when the 'craps get opportunities when voters get briefly sick of the Nazis, THEIR corruption prevents them from fixing any of it.

So when the Nazis inevitably regain power (same colossally stupid and evil voters), they never have to retake any territory. They can take up from where they left off... sometimes (Clinton, obamation) they get advanced by the brief democrap dalliance with power.

So you're question is a load of shit. The nazis' incompetence and naked evil will determine the midterms... and the corruption of the democraps will determine the next or the next one after that.

I keep reminding you of 2006, 2008 and 2010. I don't know why I have to. The 'craps are using the same playbook down to the cleansing Pelosi declaration that impeachment is off the table. It's only been a dozen years.

Why do you need me for this? You should be writing incessantly about it so the voters see the same debacle taking shape.

Oh yeah. that's not your job... is it?


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