Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Last Call For A Possible Tea Kay Oh

In just a month, PPP has found that NC Dem Sen. Kay Hagan has gone from a healthy lead over her possible GOP challengers in 2014 to tied or behind them.

The North Carolina Senate race has tightened up quite a bit in the last couple months, with early attacks ads on Kay Hagan and the unpopular rollout of Obamacare taking a toll on her poll numbers. Hagan is now basically tied with her Republican challengers, leading Heather Grant 43/40, Thom Tillis 44/42, and Mark Harris 43/41 while trailing Greg Brannon 44/43.

Over the last two months Hagan's approval rating is pretty consistent. It was 43% in September and it's at 44% now. But her disapproval has spiked from 39% all the way up t0 49% over that period of time. It's no coincidence that the decline in Hagan's approval numbers tracks pretty closely with a big decline in President Obama's popularity over that same period of time. He's gone from having voters in the state pretty evenly divided about him in September at 48/49 to disapproving pretty strongly at 43/53.

It seems likely that the difficulties with the rollout of Obamacare are helping to make life more difficult for Hagan. It's always been unpopular in North Carolina and currently 38% of voters say they approve of it to 48% who disapprove, numbers pretty consistent with what we've found over the years. But what's really hurting Democrats is its being back in the news- 69% of voters say its rollout has been unsuccessful so far to only 25% who deem it a success. 49% say the rollout has been 'very unsuccessful.' Republicans (87%) and independents (75%) are pretty unanimous in their sentiment that the Obamacare launch hasn't gone well but even among Democrats only 41% give it positive ratings to 52% who think it's been problematic. 

It's hard not to say at this point that the Obamacare rollout hasn't hurt Democrats.  It has, and Hagan's numbers are pretty indicative that  the constant "both sides do it" Village message, that Obamacare is just as bad the GOP government shutdown, has taken hold.

Luckily, you can always count on the GOP to overplay their hand.  I expect another government shutdown this winter, and when it does, people are going to be reminded that the real problem in Washington isn't the guys trying to get health care to millions, but the guys trying to take that away.

Having said that, there's zero point in Hagan trying to run away from Obamacare now, and it's a message Alison Lundergan Grimes should keep in mind too.

It's Not Over Until It's Over, Cranley

Cincinnat Mayor-elect John Cranley to streetcar supporters:  "The conversation about the streetcar is over."

Over the last two days, Enquirer readers have sent more than 500 emails to Mayor-elect John Cranley using the Enquirer’s ‘talk to your government’ tool.  The vast majority contained the same plea: Save the streetcar.

Cranley’s reaction to those emails: “The conversation about the streetcar is over.”

Cranley said he welcomes any advice or input on how to make Cincinnati a bike-friendly city with better mass transit.

“I think, big picture, this was not and never was a question about whether diverse mass transit options, walkable neighborhoods, and non-car commuting options are are critical to our future. They are,” Cranley told the Enquirer.

The conversation about the streetcar is over.  What I would like to do is ask that these folks talk about what we can do that will move us towards the goals I share with them.”

And the city’s continued work on the streetcar? Cranley declared it “very offensive.”

Cranley's going to find out damn quickly that even compared to other mid-sized cities, Mayor doesn't make you king.  Going out of his way to antagonize and dismiss the people who don't agree with him is going to make his job that much harder.

And let's remember, the Cincinnati Enquirer endorsed Cranley three weeks ago because of his ability to cut deals and reach across party lines: 

The city needs his political agility. Surround Cranley with opposing points of view, and he’ll wheel and deal until he builds a coalition.

During his nine years on council, he not only reached across party lines, he drove to fellow council members’ homes and sat in their kitchens courting their votes. The next day, on a different issue, he’d find new allies and build an entirely different coalition.

He doesn't look like a dealmaker to me, he does however look like an arrogant douchebag.

Low Tide With The Fish

While everyone's suddenly so very worried about President Obama's approval rating, congressional Republicans might want to pay attention to the fact they have an approval rating somewhere around that of genital fungus.  Gallup's latest numbers:

Americans' approval of the way Congress is handling its job has dropped to 9%, the lowest in Gallup's 39-year history of asking the question. The previous low point was 10%, registered twice in 2012.

2008-2013 trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?
These results are from a Gallup poll conducted Nov. 7-10.

Congress approval fell to 11% in October, during the U.S. government shutdown. Although the shutdown is now history, Americans' views of Congress have not recovered, but instead have edged lower. By contrast, Americans' confidence in the economy has begun to improve in the last several weeks. The continuing depression in Americans' views of Congress has occurred even though the troubles with the rollout of President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act are now dominating U.S. political news.

It's like people outside the Beltway aren't completely obsessed with the "problems plaguing the Obamacare website" and instead have bigger issues on their mind...and see those issues improving thanks to the President.

Meanwhile, America has given up on Congress, and anti-incumbent fervor is at an all time high.  You'd think Republicans would realize that the entire House (which they control) and only one-third of the Senate is up for re-election next November.  If "throw the bums out" is the message voters want to send, the bums getting tossed would be the GOP.

No wonder they're too busy concern trolling the President.


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