Monday, March 8, 2010

Lincoln and Lieberman

The fact that Joe Lieberman and Blanche Lincoln have the highest disapproval numbers of any Senators we've looked at in the last six months should be a warning to any House Democrats who supported health care in November and are thinking about opposing it now.

Although there are plenty of other reasons for the unpopularity of Lieberman and Lincoln, the most recent drops in their numbers are a result of aggravating everyone with their machinations on health care. They ticked off Democrats by watering down the bill and they ticked off Republicans by voting for it anyway. Their 'have it both ways' approach had the ultimate effect of making everyone mad at them.

The health care bill is certainly not popular and there are some Democrats who would probably be better off from an electoral standpoint if they'd voted against it in the first place. But they're going to be better off politically if they stick with their first votes- the Republicans are already mad at them and they're going to be mad at them even if they change their minds. They don't need to get their own party's voters unhappy with them as well. House Democrats who take the wishy washy approach may end up with Lieberman/Lincoln sorts of approval numbers.


Christian Liberty said...

About 84 Democrats represent districts that voted for Bush and/or McCain (some of their districts gave McCain an even greater vote share than Bush), but only 39 Democrats voted against the House bill. There are likely more Democrats that would benefit politically by switching votes from yes to no rather than the reverse.

"People who voted 'yes' would love a second bite at the apple to vote 'no' this time, because they went home and got an unpleasant experience" because of their votes, said Rep. Jason Altmire, a moderate Democrat from Pennsylvania. "On the other hand," he added, "I don't know anybody who voted 'no' who regrets it."

Anonymous said...

You're living in an alternate reality (again).

Joe Lieberman's unpopularity has little to do with health care. He's been walking a fine line ever since he endorsed John McCain. He has no base.

Blanche Lincoln is a liberal Senator in a very conservative state. That's why her negatives are similar to other Democrats but exaggerated.

House Democrats who voted for the House bill could gain moderate credibility if they oppose the Senate bill, with its Cornhusker Kickback, Louisiana Purchase, abortion funding, and overall Rahm-it-through go-it-alone approach against strong bipartisan opposition.

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