Republicans

Gallup shows GOP leading in 7 out of 9 electoral issues

Earlier this week, I told you about a poll from Rasmussen showing Republicans leading Democrats on 10 major issues ranging from the economy to health care and national security to Social Security.

Gallup came out with a similar poll yesterday showing the GOP leading in seven out of nine issues important to voters. Democrats are statistically tied with Republicans on health care and corruption in government. The only issue they are running away on is the environment.

Here is a look at the poll:

Voters rank the economy and jobs as the most important issues, which the GOP has to hammer home in the coming months to do what they need to do to win. Other issues, such as Afghanistan, the environment and immigration are not as important to voters, according to the Gallup survey.

Gallup: GOP takes 10 point lead in generic congressional ballot

As Democrats run away from Speaker Nancy Pelosi like rats from the Titanic, the latest generic congressional ballot from Gallup shows Republicans taking an “unprecendented” 10 point lead over Democrats, 51% to 41%.

And the enthusiasm gap is continuing to grow between Republicans and Democrats, though a problem for the GOP is that independent voters don’t seem to be very interested in the mid-terms:

Were still nine weeks away from election day, the margin is going to fluctuate between now and then, but there is little doubt that Republicans are poised to pick up dozens of seats, potentially enough to take back the House of Representatives. But I would not be surprised to see candidates like a B.J. Lawson, for example, be competitive in what has been considered a “safe Democratic” seat.

Yesterday, as teaser to polling that will be released today, Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, released numbers from Ohio showing that voters in the Buckeye State miss George W. Bush(!):

[B]y a 50-42 margin voters there say they’d rather have George W. Bush in the White House right now than Barack Obama.

Voters trust GOP more than Democrats on 10 major issues

Rasmussen released a poll at the end of last week showing where both political parties stand with voters on 10 issues. The survey shows Republicans leading with voters on all 10, including issues that have been traditionally owned by Democrats such as Education, Healthcare and Social Security.

Not only do voters trust the GOP on each of the 10 issues below, the crosstabs show that  independent voters, which are the key to the mid-term election, swing overwhelmingly to the GOP on each issue as well.

None of this is good news if you’re a Democrat in a swing district.

Issue Democrats Republicans
Education 40% 41%
Healthcare 40% 48%
Iraq 40% 43%
Economy 39% 47%
Social Security 38% 44%
Ethics 38% 40%
National Security 37% 49%
Afghanistan 36% 43%
Taxes 36% 52%
Immigration 35% 44%

GOP plans to investigate Obama Administration

Should Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives this fall, Politico reports that we should expect investigations into the Obama Administration on a wide range of issues:

If President Barack Obama needed any more incentive to go all out for Democrats this fall, here it is: Republicans are planning a wave of committee investigations targeting the White House and Democratic allies if they win back the majority.

Everything from the microscopic — the New Black Panther party — to the massive –- think bailouts — is on the GOP to-do list, according to a half-dozen Republican aides interviewed by POLITICO.

Republican staffers say there won’t be any self-destructive witch hunts, but they clearly are relishing the prospect of extracting information from an administration that touts transparency.

And a handful of aggressive would-be committee chairmen — led by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas) — are quietly gearing up for a possible season of subpoenas not seen since the Clinton wars of the late 1990s.

Issa would like Obama’s cooperation, says Kurt Bardella, spokesman for the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. But it’s not essential.

“How acrimonious things get really depend on how willing the administration is in accepting our findings [and] responding to our questions,” adds Bardella, who refers to his boss as “questioner-in-chief.”

Why I Don’t Believe The Republicans Are Serious About Small Government

Nick Gillespie counts the ways:

1. All this mosque madness. Sweet fancy Zardoz! Whatever else you can say about the Cordoba Initiative (not to be confused with the Chrysler Cordoba – and one wonders just what sort of Muslim triumphalism its seats of rich Corinthian leather were meant to symbolize), if this is where the leading lights of the GOP are flying like moths to a flame before the big election, you know they are ready to bullshit rather than cut spending. Gingrich, Palin, the Mighty Mitch McConnell, John Boehner: Don’t you got something better to do?

2. Speaking of Boehner, what’s the hell is going on with this 14th Amendment re-looking? The man who would be Speaker supports that. Yet the “anchor baby” argument against a long tradition (read: court-verified legal right) of birthright citizenship is crap on a stick. But more important, in nobody’s universe other than the fevered, no-humidity nightmares of Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce and World’s Toughest Sheriff Joe Arpaio can this issue be worth talking about. Word to the wise: When a Republican like Sen. Lindsay Graham is leading the charge on anything, slowly sneak out the back door when the forward movement begins).

Taking A Look At Gary Johnson

Conor Friedersdorf has a nice write-up about former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, and argues that he deserves to be in the top tier of Republican contenders for 2012:

Tell a savvy politico that you’d love to see former Governor Johnson win the Republican nomination and they’ll tell you the same thing, usually in a condescending tone: he doesn’t have a chance. It’s a dynamic I might accept if the GOP field were filled with excellent options. As things are, however, there’s talk of Mitt Romney reappearing in a guise that has yet to be determined, a new xenophobic version of Newt Gingrich advancing the notion that Saudi Arabia and its treatment of religious freedom should inform attitudes toward religious freedom in America, and Sarah Palin, whose crowning achievement as governor of Alaska was… well, never mind that, she’s a cultural phenom and really connects with the base!!

Here’s the thing about politicians and their initial rise to national attention: it’s often a phenomenon driven by elites. Sometimes promising young leaders are given a speaking slot at a political convention, like Barack Obama. Other times it’s taste-makers in coastal media who launch a pol from obscurity: take Bill Kristol’s role in the rise of Sarah Palin, who he championed after meeting her on a luxury cruise to Alaska. There isn’t anything wrong with elites alerting the wider public to a deserving candidate. What I object to are the judgments about who is worthy of that boost.

Gallup: GOP has 6 point lead in generic ballot

The latest weekly generic congressional ballot from Gallup shows Republicans maintaining their lead over Democrats as well as holding a 16 point advantage in voter enthusiasm.

According to this chart from FiveThirtyEight, a +6 advantage for Republicans translates into around a 50 seat pick-up, which would mean they’d take control of the House of Representatives.

Here is a look at voter enthusiasm:

What’s good for Republicans is bad for Republicans

Republicans are looking to take over the House and even the possibly the Senate this election cycle, trying to capitalize on a range of issues the Democrats are seen as wrong on.  One of those issues is Immigration.

Republicans have seen a growing amount of Hispanic support in recent elections, an estimated 40% - 44% voted for President Bush in 2004, but the publicity of the Arizona law threatens to turn that around.  While as many as 55% of Americans support the Arizona law, 71% Hispanics do not.

If this perception that holds that Republicans are hostile towards immigrants, it could take as many as three generations for Hispanics to return to the Republican party in large numbers.

Guess Who The Republicans Need In 2010 And Beyond? Libertarians

The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder points out that the Republicans may be ignoring a very important constituency:

Economic libertarianism is the message du jour, and Pawlenty’s budget-cutting in Minnesota may get some attention. But really, neither he nor the other sober wing candidates have figured out exactly what the non-Palin wing of the party wants. There’s no way to court social conservatives with Palin or Mike Huckabee in the race. So who’s left to help you win primaries and caucuses?

Libertarians.

To the Republican Party, they are — they could be —  what the anti-war left was to Democrats in 2003: the out-of-the-establishment power center that can drive the narrative of the race. How do you get the attention of libertarians without losing conservatives? You could shift positions on the war in Afghanistan, or try to fashion a more realist foreign policy. That seems to be a non-starter; the consultants for these candidates are fairly covnentional and risk-averse.  Endorse medical marijuana? Legalize gambling? Something else?

The problem for the GOP is that they’ve never quite figured out what that “something else” is, and they’ve spent so much time supporting candidates, and backing policies, that are anathema to libertarians that it’s hard to beleive them when they say they’ve changed this time.

In my time, I’ve lived through two occasions when the GOP claimed to be the party of small government.

Republicans embrace “Party of No” label

As we close in on the mid-terms, Republicans seem content on staying where they’re at, embracing the “Party of No” label, riding the wave of voter discontent that could cost Democrats the majority in the House:

After the highly partisan debates on the economic stimulus and health care that dominated the first 15 months of the Obama administration, Democratic leaders, conscious that many members of their party have become wary of being tagged by Republicans as big spenders, intentionally decided to push less controversial measures.

But the barrage of “no” votes from the GOP has not abated. Emboldened by sagging approval ratings of the Democratic-controlled Congress, Republicans almost unanimously opposed a bill to overhaul the financial regulatory system that President Obama signed into law; they are against a measure to increase the disclosure of campaign spending by corporations; and they’ve largely eliminated the chance of passing a series of measures Democrats say could help the economy.

Their opposition turned unemployment benefits, usually an issue with little political controversy, into an intense clash between the parties.

Republicans say polls suggest that they can oppose all of these initiatives by casting them into a broader critique of Democrats increasing the size of government and the budget deficit, even if their bills are individually popular with the public.

“We’re very comfortable where we’re at; we have very few members who feel endangered,” said Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), a veteran Republican and a deputy whip in the House. “We feel like we are reflecting a broader mood of dissatisfaction. Right now, the American people want us saying no.”


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