Breaking down the WSJ/NBC poll (hint: it’s terrible news for Democrats)

Not only did Democrats got to bed on Tuesday night after a frustrating loss in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, they woke up Wednesday morning to reports of the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, which shows a trainwreck ahead for their party.

A special election doesn’t necessarily mean electoral victory for any party, and neither do polls released more than seven months away from election day. But the WSJ/NBC News poll shows that Democrats’ problems don’t end at a special election, no matter how hard they try to spin it.

— Obama’s approval at a new low: Just 41% of Americans approve of President Obama’s job performance, down from 43% in January. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove, which is up from 51% at the beginning of the year and matches his previous high in December. President Obama’s approval rating has not been above water since June (48/47).

— We’re headed in the wrong direction: Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) say that the United States is headed in the wrong direction, while 26% believe we’re “off the wrong track.” Compare that to 41/53 in October 2012, the month before President Obama won reelection, and 32/58 in November 2010, when Republicans won control of the House of Representatives. Needless to say, that’s not a position in which Democrats want to be.

NC Senate: Tillis, Brannon tied in Republican primary

The Republican primary race for the rights to take on Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) took a turn yesterday, with a new poll showing that state House Speaker Thom Tillis is now tied with a conservative challenger with strong grassroots support.

The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, found that Tillis’ support has dropped from 20% in February to 14% this month. What’s more, Tillis now trails Hagan, 45/43, in a preview of a potential November match up.

Tillis has had a rough time on the campaign trail in recent days. A radio interview recently surfaced in which the establishment favorite said, ”Obamacare is a great idea that can’t be paid for.”

“Only 15% of primary agree with Tillis’ sentiment that ‘Obamacare is a great idea,’” wrote Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, ”compared to 78% who say they disagree with it.”

Greg Brannon is now tied with Tillis, taking 14% of North Carolina Republican voters, according to the poll. The two are followed by Heather Grant (11%) Ted Alexander (7%), Mark Harris (7%), Alex Bradshaw (6%), Jim Snyder (4%), and Edward Kryn (1%). More than a third of GOP voters (36%) are undecided.

AR Senate: Democratic poll shows Pryor trailing by 9 points

Just days after accusing his Republican opponent of having a “sense of entitlement” because his military service, a new poll from a Democratic firm shows Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) trailing Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) by 9 points:

The poll released Monday by the Democratic firm Hickman Analytics Inc. shows that 51 percent of voters surveyed would choose Republican Rep. Tom Cotton to only 42 percent for Pryor. The Feb. 17-20 poll of 400 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Pryor is widely seen as the most vulnerable incumbent this year, and he’s trailed Cotton in polling since October. But this is the first poll in which Cotton has been able to pull in majority support.

Though Pryor has tried to distance himself from President Barack Obama and national Democrats, some political analysts had already given Republicans an edge to take this seat in the fall.

65% of Americans support Keystone XL construction

More than a month after the State Department released its report finding that the Keystone XL pipeline would have little impact on the environment, President Barack Obama continued to stall on a decision that could green-light the project. But a new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that nearly two-thirds of Americans support Keystone XL:

Americans support the idea of constructing the Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and the United States by a nearly 3 to 1 margin, with 65 percent saying it should be approved and 22 percent opposed, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The findings also show that the public thinks the massive project, which aims to ship 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta and the northern Great Plains to refineries on the Gulf Coast, will produce significant economic benefits. Eighty-five percent say the pipeline would create a significant number of jobs, with 62 percent saying they “strongly” believed that to be the case.

John McCain: the Least Popular Senator in the Country

This may not come as a surprise to you, but Public Policy Polling (PPP) has unveiled that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is the least popular Senator in the country.

According to the latest PPP Arizona poll, Sen. McCain is unanimously disliked among Republicans, Democrats and Independents. The poll indicated that only 30% of Arizonans approve of his job in the Senate while 54% disapprove.

Among conservatives and libertarians, McCain could face major issues if he decides to run for reelection in 2016. During President Obama’s push for stricter gun control measures in 2013, Sen. McCain offered his support to Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) gun control bill by voting for it and calling it a “common sense” law.

While many liberty-minded Republicans were standing with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) during his 13-hour long filibuster (a move praised by Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike), Sen. McCain used his influence to put the public against party colleagues like Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and referred to them as wacko birds, a term that was later used by several liberty-minded republicans and libertarians in social media drives to show neoconservatives that the childish criticism would not discourage them.

Obama’s Keystone XL decision could play a role in Senate races

Energy issues will play a role in four key states that could decide control of the Senate in the 2014 mid-term election, according to a new poll. Specifically, President Barack Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline will weigh on voters’ minds.

The poll, conducted by Hickman Analytics on behalf of Consumer Energy Alliance, found that more than three-quarters of likely voters in four states — Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, and North Carolina — “said they will consider a candidate’s position on energy issues, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline, before deciding whom they will support.”

More than two-thirds of likely voters in these four states support building the Keystone XL pipeline. Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Kay Hagan (D-NC) support construction of the oil pipeline. Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), however, does not.

Whether or not these Senate Democrats support Keystone XL may prove irrelevant depending on what action President Obama takes. The poll found that voters in these four states would be less likely to support a Democratic incumbent if the White House rejects the proposed oil pipeline:

Today in Liberty: Lois Lerner to appear before committee, Alan Grayson accused of domestic battery

“In government, the scum rises to the top.” — F.A. Hayek

— Disgraced IRS official to appear before Oversight committee: Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official at the center of the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, will appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this morning at 9:30. Though Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) said Lerner would testify, her lawyer has denied that claim. You can livestream the hearing here. Should be fun.

NC Senate: Hagan’s approval rating dips to 33%

Nearly a week after she filed paperwork to seek reelection, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) could not be in a worse position. The latest Elon University poll shows that North Carolina Democrat’s approval rating has fallen yet again:

Only one-third of North Carolina registered voters approve of U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s job performance, her lowest rating in a year, according to the latest Elon University Poll.
“Kay Hagan’s slight drop in approval rating would not necessarily be a concern by itself. However, this is the fourth straight fall in a year. And this last decline occurred when many elected counterparts saw increases in approval ratings. The trend suggests the Senator will face a tougher-than-expected reelection battle this November,” said Dr. Jason Husser, Assistant Director of the Elon University Poll.

Hagan, a Democrat, faces a tough re-election fight this year as the national GOP has identified North Carolina as a state to win. Television advertisements attacking her support of the Affordable Care Act have been running across the state since January. Fifty-two percent of respondents in Elon’s latest poll said they thought Obamacare would make health care worse, and only 30 percent said it would improve care.

Since the Elon University Poll in November, Hagan has lost support among two key constituencies. In November, 63 percent of Democrats favored her job performance, compared with 55 percent last month.  Thirty-three percent of women gave her a thumbs up in February versus 40 percent in November.

Americans disappointed by Obama’s brand of hope and change

President Barack Obama rode into the White House in 2009 off the rhetoric of “hope” and “change” and won reelection in 2012 on using a simple word, “Forward,” as his campaign slogan. But, after six years in office, Americans are realizing that what they were sold is about as real as unicorns and fairy dust.

Over at The Washington Times, Daniel Lambro points to numbers from the latest CBS News/New York Times poll shows that 60% of Americans say that they are disappointed in Obama’s presidency:

It’s one thing for President Obama to see his job approval polls slumping into the low 40s and his job disapproval scores climbing to 54 percent, according to the latest Gallup Poll surveys. It’s quite another thing entirely when his longtime allies and most ardent cheerleaders are criticizing the way he has governed, or not governed.

CBS News reported Wednesday that nearly 60 percent of Americans it polled “say they are disappointed” in his presidency. Notably, 40 percent of independents said they were “very disappointed” and a stunning one-fourth of the Democrats that were surveyed “express at least some disappointment.”

Lambro also points out that some Democrats who have backed President Obama’s agenda, including Obamacare, are trying to put distance between themselves and the White House. He uses Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) and an ad being run by the Democrat-backed House Majority PAC as an example:

Democrats less willing to compromise on hot topic issues

Republicans vs. Democrats

How is it that Republicans are always blamed for gridlock and partisanship when Democrats are less willing to compromise on some of the biggest issues being debated in the United States? You’ve heard the narrative that’s pushed by President Obama and Democratic lawmakers, taken almost unquestionably by the media.

The only catch is that’s not necessarily true. In a recent poll, CBS News and The New York Times asked Republicans and Democrats if they would consider voting for a candidate who didn’t share their views on issues like gay marriage and global warming. The results, well, contradict everything we’ve been told:

On the issue of global warming, 56 percent of Republican respondents said they would consider voting for a candidate that did not reflect their views on that issue. Only 44 percent of Democratic respondents said the same. On same-sex marriage, 47 percent of Republicans said that they would support a candidate whose views did not mirror their own. 43 percent of Democrats agreed.

On increasing the federal minimum wage, 59 percent of Republicans said they would consider supporting the candidate who does not reflect their views. 45 percent of Democrats would do the same. Finally, on the issue of abortion rights, Republicans again proved to be more flexible than Democrats. 42 percent of GOP voters said they would vote for a candidate who does not comport with their preferences on that issue. Only 36 percent of Democrats agreed.

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