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Thursday, October 21, 2010 11:49 AM

Obamacare Career Ending Votes; Republican Chance to Win Senate; Expect House Blowout; Stimulus Appetite Greatly Diminished

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The public is still angered over Obamacare so much so that Dems Find Careers Threatened by Obamacare Votes

Seven months ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi spent a busy week rounding up votes to pass the Senate version of the Democrats' health care legislation.

It wasn't easy. She had to get Democrats who had voted no in November to switch to yes in March. And she had to get Democrats who had refused to vote for the bill in November without an anti-abortion amendment to vote for a bill in March that lacked that language.

What about the districts of the House Democrats who cast the key votes that made Obamacare law? So how are they doing?

Take Betsy Markey of Colorado 4, who in 2008 beat a Republican who seemed fixated on the same-sex marriage issue. Markey cast a late-in-the-roll-call no in November, then publicly switched to yes in the week before the March 21 roll call. She's currently trailing Republican Cory Gardiner by an average of 44 to 39 percent in three polls.

Consider John Boccieri of Ohio 16, who switched from no to yes in a TV press conference in which he said the bill would do great things for his constituents. Boccieri's district was represented by Republicans for 58 years until he was elected in 2008. It looks like it will be again next year. In three polls, Republican Jim Renacci leads Boccieri by an average of 46 percent to 36 percent.

Then there is Suzanne Kosmas, a longtime real estate agent who beat a Republican with an ethics issue in 2008. She announced her switch from no to yes late in the week before the roll call. She's now running behind Republican Sandy Adams by an average of 47 percent to 40 percent in three recent polls.

To put these numbers in perspective, it's highly unusual for an incumbent House member to trail a challenger in any poll or to run significantly below 50 percent. But these three Democrats are running 5 to 10 points behind Republican challengers, and none tops 40 percent.
The article notes that Bart Stupak of Michigan 1 opposed the original bill over an abortion clause along with 5 others known as the "Stupak Five".

Bart switched his vote when Obama promised to take care of the abortion issue by presidential decree. Since then, Bart has graciously bowed out of the election and four of the other "Stupak Five" appear headed for losses.

Republicans Have Chance to Win Senate

Rasmussen Reports says the Senate Balance of Power: Dems 48 GOP 47 Toss-Ups 5
Current projections suggest that the Democrats would hold 48 seats after Election Day while the Republicans would hold 47. Five states are in the Toss-Up category (California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, and Washington). All five Toss-Ups are seats currently held by Democrats.

Republicans have the edge in four Democratic-held Senate seats--Arkansas, Indiana, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania.

At the moment, no Republican-held seats appear headed for the Democratic column.
In the "edge" category I think only Pennsylvania is in play.

Real Clear Politics Battle For the Senate has a different take with Kentucky, Washington, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania in the tossup category.

Of the Rasmusen tossups, I think Illinois, Nevada, and Colorado go to the Republicans. If the rest of those tossups go Democratic (accepting the Rasmussen starting point) we have a 50-50 tie.

However, I am not sure if that is the right starting point. Thus a range of 48-51 for the Republicans seems about right, with a smaller chance 52-53 or 47.

To pick a number I will go for 50-50.

One thing is sure, this Senate will have a vastly different makeup and the Republicans (or Democrats) can filibuster any legislation they want.

Most Voters Oppose the Reelection of Anyone Who Voted for the Health Care Law, Auto Bailouts, Stimulus Plan

Rasmussen poll says Most Voters Oppose the Reelection of Anyone Who Voted for the Health Care Law, Auto Bailouts, Stimulus Plan
Incumbents, beware: The major votes you’ve cast in Congress over the past couple years appear likely to come back to haunt you this Election Day.

Forty-three percent (43%) of all Likely Voters say someone who voted for the health care law deserves to be reelected. Fifty percent (50%) oppose their reelection.

Thirty-six percent (36%) say if their local representative voted for the taxpayer bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler, he or she deserves to be returned to Congress. Fifty-three percent (53%) say that person does not deserve reelection.

Similarly, 41% say their representative in Congress should be reelected if he or she voted for the stimulus plan. But 50% don’t see it that way and say the individual should not be reelected.

The partisan divide is predictable since virtually no congressional Republicans voted for any of these measures. So Democratic voters overwhelmingly think those in Congress who voted for them should be reelected, while Republicans feel just as strongly that they should not be reelected.

But, tellingly, voters not affiliated with either party also feel strongly that supporters of the health care law, the auto bailouts and the stimulus should not be returned to Congress.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that most Likely Voters think their representative in Congress does not deserve reelection if he or she voted for the national health care law, the auto bailouts or the $787-billion economic stimulus plan.

Those votes also appear to be driving factors in the GOP’s consistent lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot.
Independents are the key to this election and independents have abandoned Obama and the Democrats in droves.

House Blowout

By now it should be clear that Democrats are going to get pounded in House elections. Real Clear Politics shows the Battle for the House to be 180 Democrat, 214 Republican, and 41 Tossups.

The current makeup is 255 Democrat, 178 Republican, and 2 vacancies.

My prediction GOP +50. That would make it 228 Republican, 207 Democrat, an enormous change from the current setup.

If so, Obama will not be able to pass much of anything. From what we have seen so far, that would be a good thing.

Once again, I want to point out I am not a Republican, but rather an independent with strongly Libertarian views.

Lame Duck Session Push

In the lame duck session, there may be one more push for cap-and-trade, but probably not. However, there will likely be another Democratic push for forced collective bargaining and open union voting.

Hopefully the Republicans block those expected attempts because more public unions and public union power is is the last thing the country needs.

Appetite for Stimulus Greatly Diminished

I am hoping we see some real fiscal conservative take over as happened in the UK, (see Keynesian Nonsense Falls Out of Favor in UK - Thank God!), but I would certainly not count on that.

Nonetheless, the new Congressional makeup suggests the appetite for stimulus, bailouts, and large projects will be greatly reduced.

If so, that would not be a good thing, but a great thing. The US needs to get its fiscal act together, and there is no better time than now.

Since some are bound to say it simply does not matter who wins the election. However, I strongly disagree. For details please see Gold Market on U.S. Elections: So What?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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