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AR: Approval Ratings (TBQ 10/12-15)


Talk Business Quarterly / The Political Firm (R) / The Markham Group (D)
10/12-15/09; 600 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Talk Business Quarterly: story, toplines)

Arkansas

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 40 / 56
Mike Beebe: 71 / 15
Blanche Lincoln: 42 / 46

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 39 / 59
Gov. Beebe: 79 / 13
Blanche Lincoln: 45 / 45

If the 2010 election was held today, and you had to make a choice, would you vote to re-elect Blanche Lincoln as your United States Senator no matter who ran against her?
25% Yes, 61% No

 

Comments
RaleighNC:

Errrr...Blanche Lincoln...your state is telling how they feel about "health care" run by the Feds. Are you paying attention?

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Farleftandproud:

That is the kiss of political death Sen. Lincoln if you don't support the Public option.

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Field Marshal:

I guess the left wing of your party wont vote for you because you dont support a public option, yet the Reps wont vote for you because you are a Dem when the Dems are growing more and more out of favor. That's lose-lose for you Ms Lincoln and looks to be a probably Reps pickup in 2010.

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Wong:

Lincoln will not survive a primary challenge if she does not support the public option. She won't even have to worry about the general.

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platanoman:

talk business quarterly?

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Cyril Washbrook:

@Wong: if she gets knocked out in the primary by a more liberal candidate, the Democrats will be smashed in Arkansas. What the netroots need to understand is that ideological recriminations are what took the Republican Party to the depths to which it is now, and ideological recriminations will severely hamper the Democratic Party's progress too.

I suspect - and hope - that a liberal challenge to Lincoln would fail. Look at the internals of this poll: the Democrats have clear a party ID advantage, but there are four times as many self-described conservatives as there are liberals. A staunchly liberal Democrat probably wouldn't get within 20 points of a Republican in Arkansas. Even the most conservative Democrat is a more reliable Democratic vote than the most liberal Republican, let alone the conservative ideologue whom the GOP is likely to put up in Arkansas. I know which one I'd prefer if I were a liberal Democrat (I'm an independent).

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Bigmike:

Cyril has it right. A far left lib would get creamed in the general election.

The Dem party has been entrenched here forever. I believe the only GOP Senator since reconstruction was Tim Hutchinson and what did he serve. I think it was 2 terms, but I don't remember for sure. But this is NOT a liberal state.

Blanche has a year to straighten things out, and stranger things have happened. But if the election were today she would be toast against any credible competition. And supporting any left wing agenda will not help her.

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LordMike:

"And supporting any left wing agenda will not help her."

And opposing the #1 issue amongst Democrats, even in AR (87% of whom support the public option) is going to mean the hemorrhaging of her base vote and be the end of her political career.

If she votes with the Republicans, the GOP and conservatives in AR will say, "That's nice.. thank you, but I'm still voting republican"

She has more to lose by alienating her base.

In addition there are rumors that labor will back a green party third party candidate if she keeps veering right. That would suck up any remaining votes for her and she would be finished, which is fine for most Dems, 'cos a Democrat who votes like a Republican is of little value. In fact, they can hurt more than they help.

Interesting that they don't poll Mark Pryor's numbers. The last polling I've seen has shown Pryor to have significantly higher approval than Blanche, and he's onboard the Democratic agenda.

So, maybe... just maybe... it's Blanche's rightward tilt that is hurting her. No one likes a phony, and she's one of the biggest ones, yet.

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Cyril Washbrook:

LordMike, most Democrats in Arkansas are moderate or conservative Democrats. Look at the internals of this poll. 60% of Arkansans see themselves as either conservative or very conservative. A grand total of 15% describe themselves as liberal or very liberal. Yet the party ID figures are 39-34 in favour of the Democrats. What does that tell you about the ideological leanings of Arkansan Democrats? Even if those figures are only half reliable, the picture is crystal clear. And it's nothing we didn't already know.

Staunch liberals are a tiny group in Arkansas. If they succeed in putting up another staunch liberal as the Democratic candidate, then they should prepare for an equally tiny vote when their preferred choice is put up against a staunch conservative. If you put any store in metrics like Progressive Punch, Lincoln and her colleague Mark Pryor have supported the liberal position on 70-80% of votes. If, instead of that, you want a Republican who supports liberal causes on 0-5% votes, then go for it. The liberal netroots are seriously in need of a reality check. I can understand why they might prefer Sestak to Specter, and I think that's a primary that liberals can definitely pursue. But trying to unseat Lincoln - whose approval ratings certainly aren't at rock-bottom at this stage - and replace her with a strongly liberal candidate would be myopic, selfish and self-defeating.

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Bigmike:

LordMike

Are you just making up numbers. Just browsing thru, the closest question I saw to a public option question was #10 and the results say that 18% support it. Not that it matters what kind of bogus numbers you want to post. Blanche knows the scoop and if she comes out for the public option she may as well announce her retirement.

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LordMike:

That's not a public option question, that's a single payer question. No wonder it got such low numbers.

According to a September 10th R2K poll of the state, 81% of AR democrats supported a public option, and 55% favored it overall.

If Blanche suddenly turned conservative, she would still lose 'cos Republicans wouldn't vote for her, and her base would flee... Her best best is to highlight her AG committee chairmanship and make sure not to be an obstructionist. She can vote no on everything, but she shouldn't block and up or down vote and she just might make it.

I mean if D's are as toxic as you think they are, then nothing she can do will change that fact. Might as well go out doing the right thing instead of being a weasely turncoat to her party (which turns off independents even more... history has shown that a congresscritter that runs away from an unpopular president actually does worse than if they stood their ground... look at 1994 and 2006 for examples).

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LordMike:

I'd like to add that in that poll Mark Pryor had a 50/36 fav/unfav rating while Blanche got 43/49. Now Mr. Pryor isn't pretending to be a conservative obstrucitonist, yet his numbers are higher. Why do razorbacks hate Blanche so much? It ain't 'cos she's a "libr'l", 'cos she's not even close!

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Cyril Washbrook:

LordMike, correlation is not causation, and in any case, even the correlative effect is non-existent. Voting metrics show that as a matter of fact, Lincoln and Pryor are extraordinarily similar ideologically. For example, Progressive Punch has Pryor as the 50th most liberal senator, while Lincoln is the 51st. That's borne out by his position on critical "liberal" issues, such as supporting the Military Commissions Act 2006, supporting the Patriot Act, voting three times against withdrawing troops from Iraq, supporting heavy restrictions on abortion and proclaiming that there must be no new restrictions on gun ownership. I don't know which Mark Pryor you've been following, but I find the revision of history on the part of the netroots - such as claiming that Lincoln votes like a Republican - to be mindboggling.

Moreover, even if we ignored the fact that Pryor and Lincoln have nearly identical ratings on the ideolgoical scale, the fact is that Pryor's just been re-elected with an overwhelming majority and won't face the people again until 2014. There's very little pressure on him at all ideologically speaking, so he can afford to shift a little further left than the electorate. In fact, I'm surprised that you aren't angrily ripping into Pryor: he's voted with critical liberal causes on "only" 60% of occasions this year, which is much lower than his overall record. Why is he doing that, despite the fact that he's not facing re-election?

Regardless, the bottom line is that Lincoln doesn't have that luxury, as I pointed out in my previous post which you haven't responded to. Whether you accept it or not, voting for a public option is not a desirable path for someone who wants to be re-elected. She's confronting an election which contains four times as many conservatives as liberals and where her electoral future depends on being seen as an Arkansan Democrat, not a Democrat. Liberal activists threaten Lincoln at their own peril.

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openid.aol.com/Rahmsputin:

@Cyril

Whether you accept it or not, voting for a public option is not a desirable path for someone who wants to be re-elected.

You guys are immediately assuming that people who identify as "conservative" are necessarily economic libertarians. As a lifelong southerner, I assure you that people here identify as liberal/conservative along social and values issues, but on economic issues, many "conservatives" range from indifference to Roosevelt-style populist.

The public option is an issue that really only carries much weight with the bases of the respective parties. GOP'ers are going to vote against Blanche anyway, so it's smart for her to vote for something that will consolidate the Dems. As Arkansas polls show, independents like the public option, and while I don't think they would necessarily punish her for opposing one, they're not going to reward her for it either. The smart move with indies is to get a bill that CBO scores as a deficit cutter, and a PO will help with that.

And as someone noted above, the question in this poll refers to a UK-style Beveridge system by referring to a "government-run health care system" as opposed to a highly restrictive insurance plan available to about 10% of the population. I could get the opposite results by asking:

"Some say we should get rid of government programs like Medicare or Medicaid. Do you think the government should help provide insurance to those who need it or do you think everyone should have to purchase private insurance for themselves?"

Of course, that's a misleading question too since it conflates the public option with a lot of other things, but I'm sure you get my point (even if you don't want to admit it).

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openid.aol.com/Rahmsputin:

And, of course, even if Lincoln votes against the bill, she will support cloture, so this is all kind of a moot point.

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openid.aol.com/Rahmsputin:

the closest question I saw to a public option question was #10

The "closest question you saw," of course, is not "an actual question about." I can ask a question about invading Pakistan, and that might be the closest question to asking about increasing the troop presence in Afghanistan... but "closeness" is not enough in something as sensitive as polling.

But I like how any numbers that you preemptively dismiss any contradictory numbers from other polling firms as "bogus numbers." It's a shame this ridiculous attitude is so rampant on this site.

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