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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

Gallup polll

64

In new Gallup polling on health care, roughly two-thirds of all Americans say that how their Member of Congress votes on President Barack Obama's attempt to overhaul the health care system will be a "major factor" in their vote in next year's midterm elections.

Another one in five called the health care vote a minor factor while just 13 percent said how their member of Congress voted on the bill would not play a role in deciding their vote.

Not surprisingly, those who believe their member should vote against health care reform are more likely to call it a major factor (82 percent) in their decision-making in the next election than those who want their member to back health reform (62 percent).

Still, any time two-thirds of the public makes clear that a single vote will have a real impact on how they decide to vote, you can bet Members of Congress will stand up and take notice. Combine that piece of polling data with the often raucous reception members received at health-care themed town halls over the August recess and you can bet there are a lot of nervous elected officials returning to Capitol Hill today.

Context is ever important in politics and it's always possible that what today looks like a mountain could well be a molehill come November 2010.

Recent history suggests that single votes -- no matter how seemingly meaningful and/or controversial at the time -- rarely cost large numbers of Members their seats.

Elected officials no doubt, however, still have a lingering memory of then Rep. Marjorie Margolis-Mezvinsky's 1993 vote for President Bill Clinton's budget after months of opposition to the plan -- a vote widely seen as the nail in her political coffin. (She went on to lose to Jon Fox in the 1994 Republican wave election.)

The energy demonstrated over the health care fight -- on both sides -- over the last month suggests that the issue will continue to resonate for voters no matter the outcome of the eventual vote later this fall. With those sorts of political stakes, vulnerable and targeted Members will be treading very carefully over the coming months to try and sync up their views on the issue with those of their constituents.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 8, 2009; 11:04 AM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Comments

Do AR-15s have to be registered?
I have lost track of gun laws.
Or is it state by state, city by city?

Mike, what weapon was supporting that "waitress" there on the trunk of Midland's finest?

Posted by: shrink2 | September 8, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Of course, you also promised to never post here again if "chrisfox8" was banned, so I won't hold my breath.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to quote you:

"I'm looking for another discussion board myself, koolkat. Know any good ones?"

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 11:55 AM

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/morning-fix/morning-fix-kennedys-no-go.html

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

drindl:

I thought that you were looking for a new blog to comment on? Don't waste any time here, PLEASE!!!!

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

It looks like the Fix has been linked to a Nutbar Convention:

"People will vote out anyone they don't agree with. Never before, at least in my life-time have I been so concerned with my freedoms. I see a radical, socialist government who take pleasure in dictating what and how my life should be run. Our voices don't make a differences. Frankly so many of us are trying to communicate but their phones are turned off. There will be a revolution and I'm all for it."

"So many are trying to communicate but their phones have been turned off." where is Scrivener? This pore lady needs a fellow paranoid friend. This sad nation is full of crackpots.My apologies, scriv, you, while paranoid, are at least not confoundingly stupid.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I do not think the gummint is listening to my phone calls, but I do know that for a while it could have if it wanted to.

Unlike some commenters here, I am not solely concerned with my own rights. Let me put it in a way you might understand: If my rights were a hunting rifle, then those (presumed) terrorists' rights would be an unregistered AR-15. Terrorists don't "deserve" rights, and nobody really needs an assault weapon. But I have to protect them in order to protect myself. Get it now?

Or put another way: Matthew 25:40.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

No, "lostinthemiddle" I am simply reminding the Lurkers of my previous prediction.
____________________________

So then you say: "I have predicted". However, you don't get to take credit for predicting something until that which you have predicted actually occurs. Not that that should keep you from patting yourself on the back if thats what you need to feel better about yourself. No need to let reality intrude on your self-gratification.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 8, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I also answered your abortifacient question on the No-Go-Joe Kennedy thread.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh please, mikeinmidland, your Freedom of Speech and Assembly were NOT taken away by the Bush Administration -- unless you are saying you were imprisoned at GTMO -- stop crying about a couple "innocent" foreigners caught up in the wide net cast after 9/11.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Thankfully, the GOP have "Mo"!!!

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/house/cook-rothenberg-see-environmen.html

Let's hope they can use it in time to stop pResident Obama ("elected" but not legally sworn in ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse


MOMLEE: Perhaps now you can understand how some of us felt for the last 8 years. Rights like Freedom of Speech and Assembly were taken away by the Bush administration by such tactics as "warrantless wiretapping" and "suspension of habeus corpus." You didn't mind because the SAID they were looking for terrorists.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

All the Republicans who support the "Hate Your Neighbor" policies of the far right Conservative idiots should be dumped from any elected office. They've turned America into a hate filled society. The right wing low-life's would rather have their kids listened to the fat Anti-Christ ghouls that seem to bribe their way on to the radios & TVs than listen to the "ELECTED" President of our country.

Posted by: wasaUFO | September 8, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

People will vote out anyone they don't agree with. Never before, at least in my life-time have I been so concerned with my freedoms. I see a radical, socialist government who take pleasure in dictating what and how my life should be run. Our voices don't make a differences. Frankly so many of us are trying to communicate but their phones are turned off. There will be a revolution and I'm all for it.

Posted by: MOMLEE | September 8, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

This guy won't complete his term. He's getting more bonkers as time passes:

"In an interview with The Daily Beast, embattled South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford said that "everybody is assigned their own secret-agent mission in life" while reflecting on his political and personal missteps.

"At times the tricky part, the hard part, is finding out what that secret-agent mission is," Sanford said. "Some of us do it early, some of us do it later in life." He also describes himself as a "wounded soldier" who "took [himself] off the battlefield."

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

carabis -- the wingers will fight that tooth and nail. Might lower the insurance companies's profits -- and we cna't let that happen.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

What these polling numbers mean is that very nearly every member of Congress is desperately looking for a way out: not vote on major reform.

My prediction: not vote on comprehensive legislation, but a yes vote on doing something to insurance companies like making them take all comers and/or prohibiting them from dropping customers (and that includes if they forget to mention their childhood chicken pox just after they submit a claim for an emergency appendectomy.)

Posted by: caribis | September 8, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Not true, Bubbette1. The Democrats allowed Independent voters to cast a ballot in their primary last time around (the GOP didn't ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

If you live in California you are much better off registering as a Democrat. Under the voters laws here if you register as an Independent you basically cannot vote in the primary. If you register as a Democrat you can vote against the Democratic front runner in the primary (vote for the least savory candidate to try and get rid of the incumbent or the union shill), and then vote your conscious in the general election.

The Democrats and Republicans have used the voter laws in their favor to shut down the propspect of a viable third party in this Country, those laws can also be used against them.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | September 8, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh look, elected officials actually paying attention to what their constituents want.

How novel.

Posted by: Crucialitis | September 8, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the advice.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Jake, put the coffee cup down and pace yourself. We have 14 months to go until the midterms, so you have plenty of time be wrong.

Take your time wooing the Fix, boo kitten: you don't have to win his heart in one day.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 8, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

They are worse than cowards, Margaret. They are liars and slimers.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The key number will be how many people miss getting H1N1 vaccination because of delays-Dow Jones reports Novartis will miss its deadline for delivery of first 18 million batch of H1N1 vaccine to Netherlands, and US HHS spent $600 million plus with Novartis for antigen and adjuvant (which is not even approved for licensure in US) NVAC meets Sep 15-16 to discuss US Strategy for vaccination, implementation, and results, and if delays are on the table, it should be an interesting webcast.

Posted by: mesondk | September 8, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, it looks like margaretmeyers, Cornell1984, scrivener50, angriestdogintheworld, mikeinmidland, ModerateVoter, Blarg, sverigegrabb, and lostinthemiddle all have gotten on drindl's "ignore" list too ; )

Weren't you "looking for another blog" drindl?

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

My 13 year old says stuff is "scary" when he doesn't want to think about it too hard. I suppose this is why a member of Congress would use this now -- he/she doesn't want to think, he/she just wants to dodge the issue quick.

Much easier to make up stuff and shout or say words like "scary" and shrug your shoulders. Cowards.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 8, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

All JakeD, CC.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

My Blue Dog has called Obamacare "scary" and has promised to vote against it, but he won't get reelected because his opponent is running on the fact that he voted FOR Nancy Pelosi as Leader.

I think the stimulus I would predict the wave turns into a tsunami.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | September 8, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

My Blue Dog has called Obamacare "scary" and has promised to vote against it, but he won't get reelected because his opponent is running on the fact that he voted FOR Nancy Pelosi as Leader.

I think the stimulus I would predict the wave turns into a tsunami.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | September 8, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Lurkers (not sure why our gracious host went with the Gallup poll when WaPo has its own):

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/09/08/the_word_on_barack_obama.html#comments

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I am a registered member of the American Independent Party here in California, not GOP or Texas.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Attention Roz Mazer, John Brennan, Jim Jones, Eric Holder, Robert Gates, Janet Napolitano, John Panetta, Robert Mueller:

HOW U.S. SPY OPS CENSOR WEB POLITICAL SPEECH

• Note the last (most recent) comment to this article

http://groups.poynter.org/members/blog_view.asp?id=190108&post=77511


VENAL POLITICAL BLOG-SPAMMING TO WA-PO, POLITICO, DAILYKOS: SPAWN OF TAXPAYER-FUNDED 'PSY OP'?

nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 8, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Cazzilla, your losing us by going AWOL for weeks and leaving us with your mini me... Jake. You need competition, someone who is not quite as Texas repuglican, someone we can relate too.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | September 8, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

Oh, now you CAN read and do statistics at the same time?

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

To CC's theme, the number 64 can only be said to be important because it shows interest.

To CC's credit, he did not choose the number 39.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how the polls would change if the economy was included. For example: How your elected rep voted on various economic issues such as the stimlus.

Posted by: ModerateVoter | September 8, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Lurkers (I know YOU can understand statistics at least):

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,026 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2009. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.
-----

Which means that 39-37 is a statistical tie. It does not show which way they want their congressman to vote.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Lurkers (I know YOU can read at least):

"A new Gallup Poll finds 39% of Americans saying they would direct their member of Congress to vote against a healthcare reform bill this fall while 37% want their member to vote in favor."

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

All this poll does is to show that Americans are interested in the health-care bill.

It does not show which way they want their congressman to vote.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 8, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Blarg (you need to keep reading past the headline):

"Not surprisingly, those who believe their member should vote against health care reform are more likely to call it a major factor (82 percent) in their decision-making in the next election than those who want their member to back health reform (62 percent).

Still, any time two-thirds of the public makes clear that a single vote will have a real impact on how they decide to vote, you can bet Members of Congress will stand up and take notice. Combine that piece of polling data with the often raucous reception members received at health-care themed town halls over the August recess and you can bet there are a lot of nervous elected officials returning to Capitol Hill today."

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow, two posts in one day. I could get used to this.

This poll is useless without more information. Think about Conservative Carl, who's represented by Congressman Liberal Lou. Lou is in favor of Obama's healthcare plan. Carl is against it. Carl says that he'll vote against Lou because he doesn't like Lou's stance on healthcare. But Carl also doesn't like Lou's stance on anything else. He was going to vote against Lou anyway! In reality, Lou's position on healthcare doesn't affect Carl's vote at all.

The correct question for this poll is more like "Will your Congressman's position on healthcare make you change your vote?" But there's no way to get accurate results on a poll like that. Carl's going to say yes because he doesn't like Lou's position on healthcare, even if he'd already made up his mind against Lou.

Basically, this kind of poll is useless. Unfortunately, pundits will use it as evidence that healthcare reform is dead, and some Congressman may panic over it. Too bad.

Posted by: Blarg | September 8, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

No, "lostinthemiddle" I am simply reminding the Lurkers of my previous prediction. Back on topic, roughly two-thirds of all Americans say that how their Member of Congress votes on Obama's un-Constitutional attempt to overhaul the health care system will be a "major factor" in their vote in next year's midterm elections. Like I said, it should be an interesting mid-term election.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

Firstly, nice to see you're back!

What the electorate says in September doesn't necessarily compute with what happens in November of the following year.

Give them a good, easily understood bill that truly is a positive change from the shameless, life-or-death stranglehold which the health insurance industry (is EVERYTHING an 'industry' in the US?) has over the nation's health and financial stability, and you might well see a complete reversal of those numbers.

But if the Dems. are too weak-kneed to pass real reform, they deserve to get voted out.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | September 8, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

As I predicted, at least Rep. Cao (R-LA) will win re-election.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 11:36 AM |

__________________________

"As I predicted" should precede something that has already happened. If it hasn't happened yet, then you just predict it.
_____________________
_____________________

"Elected officials no doubt, however, still have a lingering memory of then Rep. Marjorie Margolis-Mezvinsky's 1993 vote for President Bill Clinton's budget after months of opposition to the plan -- a vote widely seen as the nail in her political coffin."
___________________________

On the other hand, she got a future daughter-in-law in the deal.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 8, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

As I predicted, at least Rep. Cao (R-LA) will win re-election.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

COVERT USE OF MICROWAVE/LASER RADIATION 'DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS' ON U.S. CITIZENS MAKES HEALTH CARE REFORM A CRUEL JOKE

Access to health care doesn't help untold thousands of unjustly targeted Americans recover from the devastating physiological effects of being silently irradiated by microwave and laser radiation "directed energy weapons"...

...the weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum, a silent "final solution" that may have the nation's political leadership in its ideological cross-hairs.

This technology is capable of altering moods, emotions, inducing fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, confusion, life-altering injury, disease and a slow-kill death.

And key elements of the Obama administration -- chief among them the defense/security/intel establishment -- are proliferating these technologies by various modalities -- from hand-held weaponry to satellite and terrestrial cell tower based delivery systems.

American citizens and families targeted by this covert torture matrix also are subject to financial sabotage that decimates their livelihoods and financial resources...

...and relentless "community stalking" -- harassment, surreptitious home entries and vandalism by government-enabled vigilantes affiliated with federally funded community policing and anti-terrorism organizations.

Warrantless, covert placement of GPS tracking devices and misuse of cell phone technology to hunt down the unjustly targeted enables this grassroots terrorism.

But the Obama administration continues to allow these warrantless intrusions into the lives of unjustly targeted American families.

By its naivete -- its unquestioning rubber-stamp approval of the deployment of these destructive technologies and programs -- the Obama administration is presiding over the destruction of democracy, the rule of law, and personal liberty.

The bureaucratic saboteurs and Dr. Strangeloves behind these multi-agency crimes against humanity and the Constitution must be removed from power, immediately, before this silent genocide claims more victims -- endangering the Obama presidency while making a mockery of the rule of law.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
http://nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 8, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

It should be an interesting mid-term election.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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