Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Last Call For Boehner's Big Backfire

The logic here is that House Speaker John Boehner doesn't want to impeach President Obama, but that the 100% politically motivated lawsuit to stop President Obama from taking executive action will motivate his base to vote in November without all the messy impeachment bits.

Turns out that as with nearly everything else, Orange Julius has miscalculated badly on that front.  Greg Sargent:

As I reported the other day, Dem leaders are planning an aggressive effort during the August recess and beyond to draw attention to the House GOP lawsuit against President Obama and turn it into a positive in the 2014 elections. The idea is to cast the GOP as extreme and committed to destructive governing — and contrast that with Dems’ concrete economic policy agenda, to lure disaffected swing voters and get out Dem voter groups to offset that hideous “midterm dropoff problem” Dems face. 
The new McClatchy-Marist poll finds that the lawsuit may help Dems do just that. Aaron Blake finds a gem in the poll — the lawsuit motivates Dem voters more than GOP ones:

Americans say 58 percent to 34 percent that the GOP should not sue Obama, and moderates agree 67-22. Moderates also say by a 50-25 margin that the lawsuit makes them more likely to back Democrats in 2014
What’s even worse for Republicans when it comes to both impeachment and the lawsuit is that they don’t even have the effect you might think on the GOP base. They do, however, motivate liberals…on the lawsuit matter, liberals are 9 points more motivated to back Democrats (72 percent) than conservatives are to back Republicans (63 percent).

Oops.  Nobody could have guessed that Orange Julius's latest political plan would be a loser, right?

The poll also finds that 88 percent of Democrats say the lawsuit would make them more likely to vote for their side, while 78 percent of Republicans say the same. What’s more, only tea party-aligned Republicans support the lawsuit, while even non-tea party Republicans tilt against it. So this effort may scratch the hard-right GOP base’s impeachment itch, but it could end up motivating Democrats more.

Thanks, John.  We knew you could find a way to screw up yet again and in the Democrats' favor.  Keep up the bad work!

Like A Kansas Tornado, Con't

Kansas GOP Gov. Sam Brownback is trapped in a storm of his own making, and the forecast doesn't look good at all for his political career.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R), trails Democratic challenger state Rep. Paul Davis by 10 percentage points, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll.

The poll, released Tuesday, found Davis, the state House minority leader, leading Brownback 51 percent to 41 percent. Another 3 percent said they preferred another candidate and 5 percent said they were undecided. The poll, by the Republican-leaning Rasmussen, is the latest in a series of signs showing Brownback in serious trouble in his re-election campaign. 
Brownback's little-known primary challenger, Jennifer Winn, did surprisingly well in the primary against the governor, despite her long odds. 
Before this Rasmussen poll, the TPM Polltracker average gave Davis a 6 point lead over Brownback.

A Republican incumbent losing by ten in a Rasmussen poll probably translates closer to 12 or 13 in reality. Brownback is in brutal amounts of trouble politically.

Oh, but Brownback's legal troubles, well that's a whole new tornado.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday said it would file charges against the state of Kansas, alleging that bond documents failed to disclose just how much of the state’s pension system was underfunded. 
The SEC said a series of bond offerings from 2009 and 2010, which raised $273 million for the state, did not disclose the unfunded liabilities owed by the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. The documents required by the SEC also failed to disclose the amount of debt service payments those unfunded liabilities would require. 
The commission blamed a lack of communication between the Kansas Development Finance Authority, which issues the bonds, and the Department of Administration, which provided the information required in the filings. 
“Kansas failed to adequately disclose its multibillion-dollar pension liability in bond offering documents, leaving investors with an incomplete picture of the state’s finances and its ability to repay the bonds amid competing strains on the state budget,” LeeAnn Ghazil Gaunt, who heads the SEC Enforcement Division’s Municipal Securities and Public Pensions Unit,said in a statement.

Which means if all this is correct, Kansas's economy is way, way deeper in the hole than previously thought. Brownback's massive tax cuts, combined with the state's billions in pension liabilities, means the state is going to be hemorrhaging cash, and Kansas taxpayers are going to be on the hook for a whole hell of a lot of money.

Maybe Brownback should give California Gov. Jerry Brown a call, so he can see how to actually manage a state's finances.

Make no mistake though: if you thought Kansas austerity was bad before, just wait.  Meanwhile, Brownback's caught in the rain with no umbrella in sight.

PS:  this is what happens when Republicans run your economy:  they destroy it and blame the Democrats that get elected afterwards for not fixing it fast enough.

The Latest Poll Arising Position In Kentucky

Public Policy Polling's latest poll here of the Bluegrass State finds Mitch The Turtle up four points over Alison Grimes, 44-40%, with Libertarian gadfly David Patterson getting a non-trivial 7% of the vote. (Without Patterson, it's a 47-42% McConnell lead.)

In early April we found Grimes leading McConnell 45/44. The main thing that's changed since then is McConnell seeing some consolidation in his base. At that point, in the middle of his primary fight with Matt Bevin, he had only a 49 point advantage with Republican voters at 69/20. Now in the two way contest he is up 67 points with GOP voters at 78/11, and when you include the Libertarian his advantage is 63 points at 72/9. That unification of Republicans accounts for most of the change we've seen over the last four months. 
This is the first time PPP has looked at approval and favorability ratings for McConnell and Grimes since December, and although he remains unpopular McConnell's seen improvement on that front as well. Then he had a 31/61 approval spread, but now it's improved to 37/54. That shift is also largely a function of movement among Republican voters- he's gone from having just a 47/41 approval rating with them up to 58/30 now. Grimes has seen her name recognition increase from 68% to 86% over that period of time but there's been little shift in her net favorability- she's gone from -6 at 31/37 to -4 at 41/45. 
Barack Obama's unpopularity in Kentucky continues to make the landscape difficult for Democrats- only 32% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 63% who disapprove. 38% of the voters who disapprove of McConnell also disapprove of Obama, and among that group McConnell is receiving 20% of the vote, which is how you get to 44% of the vote with only a 37% approval rating. 
All said the race remains close and McConnell remains unpopular- and among the undecided voters McConnell has just a 10% approval rating to 66% of voters who disapprove of him. So Grimes should at least have a chance with those folks.

Looking ahead to 2015 and the race for governor, Democratic frontrunner and Secretary of State Jack Conway leads all polled Republican challengers anywhere from 3-12 points, which is good because if this state elects Matt Bevin to replace Dinosaur Steve, I'm moving over the river to Ohio.  I'm not even joking.

But here's the kicker:

Finally we asked voters their opinions both about Kynect and the Affordable Care Act. Each finds 34% support, but while 51% of voters say they're opposed to the Affordable Care Act only 27% say they're opposed to Kynect. Even the Affordable Care Act numbers are a little bit better than you would expect for Kentucky given the conservatism of the state, suggesting that Kynect's success has helped some with the overall image of the ACA.

I'm surprised the number of ignorant, "I hate this because I hate Obama" voters here is only 24%.


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