"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
Only five months to go until the mid-term elections, and another solid month in the books for the Republicans. In fact, one could characterize May as MORE THAN SOLID. As the Obama administration continues its downward spiral at home and abroad, the GOP appears to be getting its act together in preparation for what could be a repeat of the mood (if not the actual gains) they experienced in 1994 at Bill Clinton’s first mid-term election.
*In their article posted earlier this week at National Review Online, John and Jim McLaughlin provide a comparison of this year’s run-up to November with the national elections in 1994, and summarize the results of their national monthly online poll. Here are the highlights:
“In 1994, we saw the Republican majority coming in a confidential survey that we did in September of that year for RNC chairman Haley Barbour and House Republican leadership member Bill McCollum. We were able to predict that, if the Republicans didn’t compromise on Hillarycare, it would be what we called a “tsunami.” Never before had we seen a Republican lead on the generic ballot for Congress — let alone a seven-point lead. Never. (NOTE: Ya hear that, PN?) But that was the Republican generic-ballot lead in our September 1994 national poll.
Prior to this month it looked like this November would be similar to 1998. So far this year, our 2014 National Monthly McLaughlinOnline Poll has remained relatively constant. Since January a majority of likely voters gave the president a net negative overall job rating. However, the Democrats were able to maintain a plurality lead in the generic ballot for Congress — until this month.
From January through April. Democrats held a slight, one- or two-point edge. Each month, one in six voters were undecided. Most of these undecided voters disapproved of the job the president is doing, but they couldn’t bring themselves to say they’d vote Republican for Congress. In fact, among those who disapproved of the job the president was doing, four in ten voters were actually saying they’d vote Democratic for Congress.
But this month, they appear to be breaking for Republicans. Even though the decisive plurality of voters in our national polls is Democratic, Republicans now lead on the generic ballot for Congress, 43 percent to 41 percent. Not a great lead and a long way from a trend, but the gravity of the president’s negative job rating, the parallel opposition to Obamacare, and the strong desire to put a check on the lame-duck president is beginning to create political momentum that could put Democrats under another tsunami.
Just look at the monthly changes from April to May:
--In April, the president had a net negative job approval, 47 percent to 52 (-5). In May it worsened by six points to 44–55 (-11).
--In April, Obamacare had a net negative approval rating, 45–51 (-6). In May, it worsened by seven points, to 42–55 (-13). Obamacare remains the Democrats’ millstone, and the VA scandal has given Americans a real-life look into the reality of government health-care rationing.
--In April, 47 percent of voters preferred that their representative in Congress be a Republican who is a check on the president, versus 43 percent who preferred a Democrat who will help the president pass his agenda. In May, the Republican check and balance gained a net nine points, lifting it to a majority position, 51–38.
--For the first time this year, our monthly generic ballot for Congress went Republican. In April it was 41 percent Republican to 43 percent Democratic. In May, it’s now 43–41 in favor of the GOP.
Can it get worse for the Democrats — a strong double-digit House gain for Republicans and a Republican Senate tsunami? A further analysis of the undecided vote says YES.
One in six voters, 16 percent, are still undecided for Congress, but those voters disapprove of the job the president is doing 30 percent to 67. They disapprove of Obamacare 29–62. They want a Republican congressman to be a check on President Obama 42 percent to 17.
The Republicans could take six in ten of these undecided voters and have a national majority vote for Congress of about 52 percent.”
*In the primary elections held around the country in May, there were no real surprises – except that (but for Texas) the Republicans appear to be the party getting their act (and their message) together while the Democrats continue to try to distance themselves from President Obama and his “signature” health care legislation.
In particular, nearly all of the GOP appears to have gotten the memo that the continuing (if symbolic) votes in the House and calls for repeal of ObamaCare – at this particular point in time – are a loser. As pointed out in yesterday’s Washington Post article by Juliet Eilperin and Robert Costa:
“Republican candidates have begun to retreat in recent weeks from their all-out assault on the Affordable Care Act in favor of a more piecemeal approach, suggesting they would preserve some aspects of the law while jettisoning others.
The changing tactics signal that the health-care law — while still unpopular with voters overall — may no longer be the lone rallying cry for Republicans seeking to defeat Democrats in this year’s midterm elections.
The moves also come as senior House Republicans have decided to postpone a floor vote on their own health-reform proposal, making it less likely that a GOP alternative will be on offer before the November elections, according to lawmakers familiar with the deliberations. The delay will give them more time to work on the bill and weigh the consequences of putting a detailed policy before the voters in the fall, lawmakers said.”
NOTE: See especially the graphic insert at this link which shows the WaPo current projection for the Senate to change hands this November with a GOP majority of 52-48.
IMHO - to abandon their foolish statement-making about ObamaCare by voting or calling for its repeal is a no-brainer. The Republicans don’t need to obfuscate the winning message of this campaign (i.e., “Fire Harry Reid”) with silly rhetoric or symbolic actions which only serve to cast them in a more unfavorable light and dilute their message.
*Heck – the GOP is even moving to embrace the Doper Vote – as outlined by Evan Halper’s article posted yesterday at LATimes.com
titled: “Why Republicans are slowly embracing marijuana.” Here are the highlights:
“Afterr years of voting down almost every proposal championed by pot legalization advocates, the House made a surprising move this week, approving a measure that would prohibit the Drug Enforcement Administration from busting state-licensed medical marijuana operations.
The action in the GOP-dominated House reflected a continued shift in thinking on the issue for lawmakers in that party. In the end, 49 Republicans supported the bill. It was more than a dozen more GOP votes in support than when the measure was first proposed in 2002. It was also co-sponsored by a Republican, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach).
“Some people are suffering, and if a doctor feels he needs to prescribe something to alleviate that suffering, it is immoral for this government to get in the way,” Rohrabacher said during the floor debate. “And that is what is happening.” The measure passed with just one vote to spare, 219-189.
Marijuana is a political conundrum for the GOP, traditionally the stridently anti-drug, law and order party. More than half the voters in the country now live in states where medical marijuana is legal, in many cases as a result of ballot measures. The most recent poll by the Pew Research Center found most Americans think pot should be legal, a major shift from just a decade ago when voters opposed legalization by a 2-to-1 margin.
The rise of the tea party, meanwhile, has given an unforeseen boost to the legalization movement. (NOTE: Jimmy – they must be listening to ya!) Some of its more prominent members see the marijuana component of the War on Drugs as an overreach by the federal government, and a violation of the rights of more than two dozen states that have legalized cannabis or specific components of it for medical use.
Pro-marijuana groups have lately taken to boosting the campaigns of such Republicans, even those running against Democrats. A notable case is in the Sacramento region, where the Marijuana Policy Project recently announced it was endorsing Igor Birman, a tea partier seeking to knock out Democrat Ami Berra in a swing congressional district.
“Igor is among the growing number of Republicans with common sense views on marijuana," said a statement this week from Dan Riffle, a lobbyist with the Marijuana Policy Project."
Pro-marijuana groups actually supporting Republican candidates - who would've thunk it? And when the GOP starts “embracing” dope, you know that the times truly they are a changin’. It also demonstrates that (unfortunately) they are taking a page from the Democratic Party election strategy playbook: Pandering to gain a constituency is Job 1.
*On the economic front, there’s more bad news for the Democrats (which can only help the GOP in November): A new poll conducted by the Harris organization on behalf of Express Employment Professionals revealed that:
47% of Unemployed Have “Completely Given Up” Looking For A Job
From The Weekly Standard article:
““This survey shows that millions of Americans are at risk of falling into the trap of prolonged unemployment, and it should give policymakers a greater sense of urgency to focus on the singular goal of creating jobs," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express and a former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, in a release.”
"A greater sense of urgency to focus on the singular goal of creating jobs.” Wouldn’t we ALL be better off if Mr. Obama had a greater sense of urgency to focus on the “singular goal of creating jobs” in 2009, as opposed to creating the monumental disaster of ObamaCare?
*Finally, it just seems that Mr. Obama can’t stop making campaign-related promises. But perhaps this one won’t come back to bite him (and by extension – help the Republicans). The Daily Beast reported these comments by the President in an interview yesterday on Live With Kelly and Michael:
“He told Ripa that if Michelle Obama ever told him she’d like to run for office herself, “I would say, ‘Where did you take my wife?’ Had there been an alien body-snatching going on? One thing I can promise you: Michelle will not run for office.”
Hmmmmm…..I wonder if “will not” is the same as “never?” But I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Obama on this one. My read of Mrs. Obama is that she has little use for the snake oil aspects of politics, and would be out of her element in her own national campaign for elected office. Her honesty would do her in every time.
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