Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blunt, Burr, and the Bailout

One of the most interesting things to watch in the last few months of Campaign 2010 is whether Democrats can pick up any currently Republican held Senate seats. Two of their best opportunities to do that are in Missouri and North Carolina and those races have a common thread- the Republican candidate leads but may also run into trouble down the stretch answering for an unpopular vote on the bailout.

Our Missouri poll for Daily Kos released today found Roy Blunt leading Robin Carnahan by 7 points. But it also found that 61% of voters in the state were less likely to support a candidate who had voted for the bailout to only 26% who said that would have a positive impact on their vote.

It was a similar story on our most recent North Carolina poll. Richard Burr led Elaine Marshall by a couple points but at the same time 58% of voters said they were less likely to vote for someone who had supported the bailout to only 25% who said more likely.

The big question now is whether Democrats can take advantage of these unpopular votes. There are three main places I can see it helping:

-The Undecideds. In the Missouri race 74% of undecideds said a candidate supporting the bailout would have a negative impact on their vote to only 6% positive. It's a similar story in North Carolina where 57% of the undecideds say less likely to only 20% more likely. If Blunt and Burr can be turned into the bailout candidates in those races it may help bring the folks who haven't made up their minds yet into the Democratic column.

-Make Republicans Depressed. The most interesting thing about the bailout numbers in Missouri and North Carolina is the voters who react most negatively to it are the ones supporting Blunt and Burr who supported it in Congress. Among Blunt voters 88% are less likely to vote for someone who voted for the bailout to 5% more likely and among Burr voters it's 85% less likely and 7% more likely. I don't know how many of those voters can be converted into the Democratic column but relentless attack on the issue could leave GOP voters unhappy with their candidates and staying home, which might help with the Democrats' enthusiasm gap issues.

-Flip Independents. One of Robin Carnahan and Elaine Marshall's common problems is a deficit with independents. Carnahan trails Blunt by 5 with them while Marshall is down 19. But those same voters react extremely negatively to the bailout- 19/66 in North Carolina and 25/61 in Missouri. If Carnahan and Marshall can convince independent voters, who are madder at the system than anyone, that they are the alternatives to business as usual in Washington it could go a long way.

Missouri and North Carolina are going to be very tough races for Democrats. But they do have a good issue to work with.


PackMan97 said...

The problem is that Marshall is a loyal Democrat. There is no reason to think she'd be an outsider or would go against her party once she gets to Washington.

I certainly haven't seen her criticize the crooked Democrats in Raleigh, no reason she'd criticize them in Washington.

At the end of the day, I think folks will realize voting for Burr is a price they have to pay to shut down Pelosi, Reid and Obama.

Sometimes we have to do things we don't like for the greater good. Voting for Burr is going to be one of those times.

DBL said...

You're correct that the GOP base isn't enthusiastic for Bush-tainted pols like Blunt or Burr, but the question is whether it's them or the Democrats. Every time Scott Brown votes with the Democrats, I ask my more conservative friends about him.

"Yeah, well, he gave us the right vote on healthcare and he votes with us more than any Democrat would."

If you want to throw out the Democrats, you hold your nose and vote for Blunt or Burr.

Christian Liberty said...

voters who oppose the bailout also oppose the "stimulus", Obamacare, and Cap-and-tax. such voters will break sharply for the more conservative candidate, just like voters who disapprove of both parties in Congress.

Anonymous said...

The problem for Carnahan is that she's on record supporting TARP. The comments were caught at a Santa Fe fundraiser. So, if she uses this issue, Blunt could easily counter that she was 'for it before she was against it'.

Dustin Ingalls said...

PackMan, rarely is someone who casts himself as an outsider actually an outsider. It's all about creating an image and message, and driving it into voters' heads until they believe it.

Rasmus said...

Hey guys, want to check out my diary on the raw data of PPP's MO poll on DailyKos? Then at least someone would read it. I guess this is my least-well received diary ever.


Brandon K said...

Is your Missouri poll of likely voters? It only says "Missouri voters".

Anonymous said...

I hate to burst your bubble my friend, but with the current mood of voters being what it is, there is no way that a Democratic candidate, with anything less than a 5% LEAD (at this point) is going to be able to pull it out in November. Rest assured, the Independents are NOT going to "flip" to the Democratic side. The majority of undecideds, if anything, will vote Republican. And trying somehow to depress the Republican voters to not vote or to switch to the Democratic candidate - NOT A CHANCE! If anything it's only going to get worse for the Democrats between now and November. You can count on it!

Anonymous said...

I would agree with you that part of being a politician is about them compromising their principles, as necessary, to gain votes and win elections. The problem for Marshall is that voters already consider her views as 'extreme'. Take it for what you may, but Rasmussen has 39% of North Carolina voters feeling that way. As 'they' say, once a pickle, always a pickle - never again to be a cucumber.

Tom Jensen said...


I think that's the most detailed analysis of one of our polls I've ever seen.


It was likely voters.

Anonymous said...

Could you do an Alaska GOP primary poll soon? I would be interested in seeing if Joe Miller actually poses a threat to Lisa Murkowski.

Anonymous said...

Could you also do a poll of the Vermont gubernatorial election between Brian Dubie, the Democratic candidates, and Dennis Steele in the general election?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jensen - Make Conservatives Depressed? Flip Independents? Undecideds? This is your map to a Dem success? Oh boy.

Christian Liberty said...

One big reason to support Burr is his leadership in repealing Section 9006 of Obamacare, the odious 1099 reporting mandates that will senselessly burden small businesses.



Support S. 3578 and its sponsors, Richard Burr and Mike Johanns.

Christian Liberty said...

MO: undecideds are leaning toward Blunt.

Without leaners:
Blunt 51 - Carnahan 40
(first double-digit lead)

With leaners:
Blunt 54 - Carnahan 41

Independnets prefer Blunt by 16 points.

Blunt seen more favorably 21/-23 vs. 27/-37


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