Artur Davis' numbers on our Alabama poll today may serve as a bit of a warning sign to other House Democrats who voted against the health care bill that they might be held accountable for it this fall anyway.
Davis is trailing Bradley Byrne 78-7 among voters opposed to the President's health care plan. Ron Sparks, who was vocal in his support for it, is actually doing slightly better though still trailing 72-9.
Most Alabama voters probably don't know that Davis voted against the bill and just assume that he supported it because he's a Democrat. He can certainly run ads this fall emphasizing his independence from the Democratic Congressional leadership and that he voted against the bill, but whether that would win over more Republicans and conservative leaning independents or cause more Democratic base voters to just sit at home is hard to say.
I'm not particularly surprised that Davis has little support among voters who joined him in opposition to the health care bill. Our polling in Bob Etheridge and Heath Shuler's Congressional districts the week prior to the vote indicated their constituents would hold them responsible for the passage of health care, by virtue of their party affiliation, regardless of how they personally voted on the bill. Davis is suffering from that sentiment right now and it'll be interesting to see if that continues to crop up in House race polling.
None of this is to say that Davis would have been better off politically voting for the bill. A majority of voters in Alabama were opposed to it and if he can survive the primary he may end up benefiting from not being on the wrong side of public opinion on that issue. The whole situation is just another reminder of how tough it is to be a Democrat- particularly a Congressional Democrat- running for office in 2010.