Monday, April 29, 2013

NRA Shills In The Senate In Trouble-- At Least On Paper


Mark Begich will probably only win reelection if Alaska Republicans nominate Joe Miller
The Republican case for why the unpopular vote against background checks-- basically no one agrees with their position except hard-core Republican primary voters-- won't hurt them in 2014 is twofold: the House didn't vote on it at all, and in the Senate the GOP has only two vulnerable incumbents (the two closet cases, Lindsey Graham in South Carolina and Miss McConnell in Kentucky) and taking the NRA position won't hurt either of them in those states. So, yes, senators who voted no on Manchin-Toomey are taking a beating in polling, but most of them aren't up for reelection in 2014. Ironically, the most damage from the fallout over the Senate vote is likely to be among conservative Democrats who shamelessly shill for the NRA!

Jeff Flake (R-AZ) would get killed if he had to run in 2014... but he doesn't have to face the voters again 'til 2018. None of the Republicans who are losing ground with voters according to the PPP survey have to face voters while the vote is fresh in anyone's mind. Mark Begich (D-AK), on the other hand, may be in trouble.
New PPP polls in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Ohio find serious backlash against the 5 Senators who voted against background checks in those states. Each of them has seen their approval numbers decline, and voters say they're less likely to support them the next time they're up for reelection. That's no surprise given that we continue to find overwhelming, bipartisan support for background checks in these states.

Here's the state by state rundown:

After just 3 months in office Jeff Flake has already become one of the most unpopular Senators in the country. Just 32% of voters approve of him to 51% who disapprove and that -19 net approval rating makes him the most unpopular sitting Senator we've polled on, taking that label from Mitch McConnell.

70% of Arizona voters support background checks to only 26% who are opposed to them. That includes 92/6 favor from Democrats, 71/24 from independents, and 50/44 from Republicans. 52% of voters say they're less likely to support Flake in a future election because of this vote, compared to only 19% who say they're more likely to. Additionally voters say by a 21 point margin, 45/24, that they trust senior colleague John McCain more than Flake when it comes to gun issues.

When we polled Alaska in February Lisa Murkowski was one of the most popular Senators in the country with a 54% approval rating and only 33% of voters disapproving of her. She's seen a precipitous decline in the wake of her background checks vote though. Her approval is down a net 16 points from that +21 standing to +5 with 46% of voters approving and 41% now disapproving of her. Murkowski has lost most of her appeal to Democrats in the wake of her vote, with her numbers with them going from 59/25 to 44/44. And the vote hasn't increased her credibility with Republican either- she was at 51/38 with them in February and she's at 50/39 now.

Mark Begich is down following his no vote as well. He was at 49/39 in February and now he's at 41/37. His popularity has declined with Democrats (from 76/17 to 59/24) and with independents (from 54/32 to 43/35), and there has been no corresponding improvement with Republicans. He had a 24% approval rating with them two months ago and he has a 24% approval rating with them now.

60% of Alaska voters support background checks to just 35% opposed, including a 62/33 spread with independents. 39% of voters say they're less likely to vote for each of Begich and Murkowski in their next elections based on this vote, while only 22% and 26% say they're more likely to vote for Begich and Murkowski respectively because of this.

We saw serious improvement in Rob Portman's poll numbers in the second half of 2012 following his consideration as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, but he's taken a nose dive in 2013. Portman's approval has dropped a net 18 points over the last 6 months from +10 (35/25) in October to now -8 (26/34) in April. Portman's popularity decline has come across the board with Democrats (from 15/39 to 8/50), Republicans (62/11 to 46/19), and independents (28/23 to 24/32) alike.

72% of Ohio voters support background checks, including 87% of Democrats, 73% of independents, and 56% of Republicans. 36% of voters in the state say they're less likely to support Portman in a future election because of this vote to only 19% who consider it to be a reason to support him.

And in Nevada Dean Heller has seen a more modest decline in his approval numbers, from 47/42 right before the election to 44/41 now. However with the independent voters who were critical to his narrow victory in November, his approval has dropped from 52/37 then to now 42/42.

70% of voters in the state support background checks compared to just 24% who are opposed to them. That includes 87% of Democrats, 65% of independents, and 54% of Republicans. 46% say they're less likely to support Heller the next time he's up for reelection compared to only 25% who are more likely to because of this vote, and as we saw last fall Heller has very little margin for error.

Taken together these results make it pretty clear that this issue could be a serious liability for the Senators who opposed overwhelmingly popular background checks in the Senate vote earlier this month.
Begich could lose his seat-- especially if a remotely mainstream Republican (i.e., not Joe Miller)-- runs against him. It's a classic example of a Democrat abandoning his own base's values to curry favor with his enemies... only to have his enemies laugh in his face. Democrats and independents are looking at Begich as a spineless coward and Republicans may like that one vote he took out of fear but they'll vote against him anyway. He deserves to lose his seat and, unless Miller gets the nomination, he probably will. Mark Pryor (D-AR)-- the talking snake guy with the IQ problem-- probably faces the same problem, although I haven't seen any polling yet to back that up.

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At 11:12 PM, Anonymous me said...

Why doesn't someone ask the obvious question?

"Senator, why did you vote to allow lunatics to buy machine guns?"

At 11:15 PM, Anonymous me said...

a classic example of a Democrat abandoning his own base's values to curry favor with his enemies... only to have his enemies laugh in his face

He must have been taking lessons from Obama.

At 4:40 AM, Anonymous UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA - IDUEHE said...

extra ordinary

At 6:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spammers should be shot.


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