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No On Healthcare Is Of Little Help To Vulnerable Dems

March 31, 2010
tags: 2010 House, healthcare, MS-01, polling, Travis Childers
by Brett

As I have done before, I decided to look at a couple polls outside of Mississippi and tried to draw conclusions on what- if anything- this could mean in the Magnolia State, especially the First District.

I actually want to call your attention to three separate polls from Public Policy Polling, although they are all related and drive home the same point. What the polls have shown is that if voters in specific districts or on a statewide basis dislike the new healthcare legislation, they are just as likely to oppose the Democratic candidate whether he voted for or against the measure.

Here is what I mean. NC-02 is represented by Bob Etheridge and the district carries a Cook PVI of R+2 (so marginally Republican). When voters were asked, 47 percent said they would be less likely to vote for the Democrat this fall if he supports the healthcare bill. But at the same time, 47 percent said they would be less likely to vote for him if the Democrats pass the bill, regardless of his vote.

Same story in NC-11. It is represented by Heath Schuler and is a little more Republican leaning at R+6. 51 percent of voters would be less likely to vote for Schuler if he supported the bill. And 46 percent would be less likely to support the Democrat regardless of his final vote if the bill passed (both questions were asked before the bills passage).

PPP is also out with new polling from Alabama showing a similar story on healthcare. Rep. Arthur Davis (D) is running for governor and was the only member of the Black Caucus to oppose the healthcare bill. Among voters who oppose healthcare reform, Davis is trailing 78-7. He is facing a primary opponent who supports healthcare reform; and that candidate is losing to healthcare opponents by a similar 72-9 mark. While voters might assume Davis voted for the bill since he has a D next to his name that number might change, but right now his no vote is not helping him with healthcare opponents.

So what does this all mean? Voting no is not necessarily helping Democrats in competitive elections at this point. Travis Childers, of course, opposed the bill, but we are seeing this might not be enough to satisfy angry voters.

Here is some quick math on the election. I am estimating 160,000 voters this fall (133,000 in 2002, 144,000 in 2006). I am also using rough estimates to put opposition to the bill at 65-35 in the district. That would mean about 104,000 of those voters oppose the bill; while 56,000 support it. Of those 56,000, Childers will win most of them but let’s give him 54,000 of those votes (96 percent). That would mean he needs to win approximately 25 percent of the healthcare opponents. That would be about 26,000 votes and put him right around 80,000 total votes.

Can Childers do that? He obviously had plenty of crossover appeal before but didn’t have the healthcare cloud hanging over his head in 2008. Also, there are a lot of variables at play. Healthcare opponents are more motivated to vote right now. Advantage Republicans. African-American vote was down significantly in 2009 gubernatorial elections compared to 2008. Advantage Republicans. The bills supporters may decide not to bother voting for someone who opposed the bill. Advantage Republicans.

Bottom line: Childers is going to need to win at least 25-30 percent of the vote from healthcare reform opponents in all likelihood to win re-election this fall.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    March 31, 2010 4:18 pm

    Good stuff. I like when you break down the numbers. Very informative.

  2. mspolitics82 permalink
    April 1, 2010 12:36 am

    I agree, Chris…but, unlike so many, I believe this exact scenario is happening down here in the 4th District with Gene Taylor. It’s really something how you are hearing people talk so negatively about Taylor, and he voted NO on the final passage of the healthcare bill. In addition to this sentiment that you are discussing that is also going on in other states, what’s hurting Gene Taylor also is the Tegerdine campaign that has been so active in bringing Taylor’s voting schemes into the forefront. It’s clear, especially on the healthcare vote in the House in Nov., how Taylor thinks he can “hide” his support of the Dem. party on the “in between votes”, but wants the SUNSHINE to filter down on his FINAL vote.

    Good article, BRETT.

  3. CaptDeacon permalink
    April 2, 2010 8:18 am

    The ObamaCare issue is large because….well….it is the biggest entitlement restructuring of America in nearly 50 years. The people who get up everyday to go work, produce, and make America great are being drained of their success the sector of the population that does not; whatever the reason. So, it’s a hot issue and coincidently Gene Taylor has decided, for whatever reason, that this is the year he will be more arrogant and more insistent on representing Washington to the people of district 4 than representing us IN Washington. Anyone who has attended his Townhalls has seen this and we are now FED UP! So, I am going to vote for the candidate who seems best motivated to turn this ship of state around back to where the Founders intended it to be and that candidate is Joe Tegerdine. His platform and his passion are all about America and representing district 4 IN Washington. That is why I support Joe Tegerdine.

  4. Raiseya permalink
    April 2, 2010 9:51 pm

    Good. I hope Childers loses to a fiscally conservative candidate. I just do not think that any Dem really is on board with fiscal conservatism.

    I was shocked the other day to discover that Gene cast the deciding vote in moving OCare out of committee and onto the floor of the House. Without that vote, there would be no Obamacare.

    Thanks Gene.

    I support Joe Tegerdine to replace Gene this November. Remember in November!

    • April 2, 2010 9:56 pm

      Can you back the statement about Taylor and healthcare up with some links? I am not saying you are wrong but I had never heard that and I would think we would have heard more about that at this point.

      • Raiseya permalink
        April 3, 2010 9:24 pm

        Brett, you have a fair point and I am hunting for the place I found this. I can already see that I should have done more to verify the information, or false information if that is the case. If I cannot substantiate it, I apologize and retract it. It was not my intent to spread false information about anyone. I continue to look for the site where I saw this claim. I will update here if I find a valid link source.

        Thus far all I have found is this: House roll call vote #886, A motion to recommit the HC bill, was voted as NO by Gene along with 243 other democrats and 3 GOPers. This would have sent the bill back to committee. So his vote was to allow a final vote, which occurred in vote #887, and in which he voted against passage. Clearly, this was not a deciding vote, but was not consistent with full opposition to the House bill.

        http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll886.xml

        OK, I did further research on Gene Taylor’s committee assignments and the tri-committee involved in moving HR-3200 to the floor. Mr. Taylor is not a member of any of the 3 committees involved in moving this bill to the floor in July, 2009.

        I fully retract my claim and apologize. Thank you Brett for asking for a source.

      • Raiseya permalink
        April 3, 2010 9:37 pm

        Just a short update to the above. I read about this ‘vote’ at the following link:

        http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20100331/OPINION03/3310311

        There are no substantiating links in that post, and one commenter points out that Gene was not on the involved committees. Again, I apologize for not casting a more critical eye to this false claim. My bad.

  5. Fred Wise permalink
    April 2, 2010 10:39 pm

    Taylor Fit #1 – Wheres the Conservative?

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