Obama Touches 3rd Rail - Poll shocker: Scott Brown surges ahead in Senate race

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Sudbury Saturda...
Obama Touches 3rd Rail - Poll shocker: Scott Brown surges ahead in Senate race

 

Poll shocker: Scott Brown surges ahead in Senate race

 

Riding a wave of opposition to Democratic health-care reform, GOP upstart Scott Brown is leading in the U.S. Senate race, raising the odds of a historic upset that would reverberate all the way to the White House, a new poll shows.

Although Brown's 4-point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley is within the Suffolk University/7News survey's margin of error, the underdog's position at the top of the results stunned even pollster David Paleologos.

"It's a Brown-out," said Paleologos, director of Suffolk's Political Research Center. "It's a massive change in the political landscape."

The poll shows Brown, a state senator from Wrentham, besting Coakley, the state's attorney general, by 50 percent to 46 percent, the first major survey to show Brown in the lead.

Obama, repeating a mistake made by Hilary Bill Clinton, has touched politics third rail with health care. Barack, I guess, assumed that his silver tongue, charisma and charm would sell a proposal poisonous to the vast majority of Americans.

There's a line from "New York, New York", "If I can make it there I'll make it anywhere". The flipside is "if I fail in Massachusetts I'm truly drowing".

I sure hope Obama hasn't wrecked a promising presidency over this ideologically driven issue.

Michelle

Actually, the vast majority of Americans want universal health care.  It's the health insurance lobby that doesn't, and Obama's been bought and sold by them, and so has the rest of Washington.

Unionist

Sudbury Saturday Night wrote:

I sure hope Obama hasn't wrecked a promising presidency over this ideologically driven issue.

Well, since he promised a wrecking presidency, I think he's right on rail track.

 

Sven Sven's picture

Michelle wrote:

Actually, the vast majority of Americans want universal health care.

The vast majority of Americans do not want government-provided healthcare.  The vast majority of Americans have health insurance coverage and they are concerned that a government take-over of healthcare (either a single-payor system or a de facto single-payor via deep regulation of the industry) will ruin what they have.  Poll after poll shows that.  And, that's exactly why so many Democrats are nervous about the current legislative proposals.

Now, whether or not that majority is correct in their thinking is an entirely different matter.  But to assert that the vast majority of Americans want universal health care is simply wrong.

ETA: With regard to this thread, Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said that if Brown wins the senate seat in Massachusetts (he would be the first Republican to do so in nearly 40 years), that would "kill the health bill."

Stay tuned...

Fidel

[url=http://rawstory.com/2010/01/public-health-care-bill-far-enough-poll/]Public says health care bill doesn’t go ‘far enough’[/url]

wage zombie

Sven wrote:

The vast majority of Americans do not want government-provided healthcare.  The vast majority of Americans have health insurance coverage and they are concerned that a government take-over of healthcare (either a single-payor system or a de facto single-payor via deep regulation of the industry) will ruin what they have.  Poll after poll shows that.

Citation please.

Unionist

Hi Sven! Happy New Year.

Re your polls: Too bad none of them asked about universal single-payer health care.

 

Sven Sven's picture

wage zombie wrote:

Sven wrote:

The vast majority of Americans do not want government-provided healthcare.  The vast majority of Americans have health insurance coverage and they are concerned that a government take-over of healthcare (either a single-payor system or a de facto single-payor via deep regulation of the industry) will ruin what they have.  Poll after poll shows that.

Citation please.

[url=Healthcare">http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health... legislation polling[/url]

As an aside, a similar averaging of polling is shown here for [url=Obama">http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approv...'s approval rating[/url].  Ever since he was elected, I've been looking at the two lines on the graph shown on that page slowly moving toward intersection.

Back to Massachusetts: There's probably not a "bluer" state in America than Massachusetts.  Even if Brown doesn't win, the fact that there's actually a close race there is an indication of how much trouble the Democrats are in (oh, and by the way, it's not a concern among Americans that the Democrats don't lean far enough to the Left)...

ETA: The title to this thread is more than a bit hyperbolic.  Brown hasn't "surged ahead" in the polls.  Is basically a statistical tie.

Sven Sven's picture

Unionist wrote:

Hi Sven! Happy New Year.

Re your polls: Too bad none of them asked about universal single-payer health care.

Why?  Do you think a majority of Americans want single-payor healthcare?

KenS

Dumb question: why is there a senate race in Massuchusetts?

John Kerry is still there. The other Senator was ______ ? And she/he ________ ?

Sven Sven's picture

KenS wrote:

Dumb question: why is there a senate race in Massuchusetts?

John Kerry is still there. The other Senator was ______ ? And she/he ________ ?

Senator Kennedy died and this is a special election for the seat he held.

KenS

An amusing irony of North American politics:

For the left, Obama the bought and sold betrayer.

For the right, Obama the Godsend when they were down: a socialist / black man who revitalizes teabaggerism.

KenS

Right. Kennedy, I think I've heard of him and what happened to him.

See what proroguing does to our brains?

Sven Sven's picture

I still think that in a state with only 11% of the electorate registered as Republicans, the Democrat is going to win.  That said, just the fact that the race is razor close does not bode well for the Dems.  If Brown does somehow manage to win, the Dems' filibuster-proof majority in the Senate is dead.

Sven Sven's picture

KenS wrote:

An amusing irony of North American politics:

For the left, Obama the bought and sold betrayer.

For the right, Obama the Godsend when they were down: a socialist / black man who revitalizes teabaggerism.

Being a black man has little to do with Obama's cratering polls.  He ran as a moderate (in American terms) and a significant portion of the electorate believed he was going to govern as a moderate.  They are disappointed that he's as left (again, in American terms) as he is.  That is why his polls are cratering.

Sven Sven's picture

KenS wrote:

Right. Kennedy, I think I've heard of him and what happened to him.

See what proroguing does to our brains?

Tongue out

KenS

The majority of Americans already have good health care for themselves.

At least if you include all those people in denial that the plans they have are likely to shaft them when a serious and long running expensive illness comes into their lives, or in denial of what happens if the corporate entity paying for the plan goes bankrupt or simply dumps the plan.

But we are talking perceptions here.... so that doesn't change that the vast majority think they have the medical care they need.

For them its a social and political question of what about everyone else. Its not difficult for anyone to guess where fall the basic divisons around that... or to guess that there is bound to be a lot of volatility and action around the big group of those folks in the middle who feel that there should be some form of universal health care, but when the details get discussed in the context of all the button pshers out there.....

KenS

Sven wrote:

Being a black man has little to do with Obama's cratering polls.  He ran as a moderate (in American terms) and a significant portion of the electorate believed he was going to govern as a moderate.  They are disappointed that he's as left (again, in American terms) as he is.  That is why his polls are cratering.

Racism and red-baiting has everything to do with it Sven.

Are you going to tell me that most citizens rationaly calculate about politics anywhere- let alone in the US, home of talk radio politics?

You don't have to be a red fanged racist or a commie hater yourself to be prey to the hysteria whipped up by racist red baiting tea baggers.

The US political scene has been an unfolding tragicomedy of this for decades now. And so far, it seems only to get ever worse. With so far at least, it looking like the brief time that the objects of tea baggers ministrations liked Obama, being unfortunately just a brief showing that they still have a 'better side' in there somewhere.

Unionist

Sven wrote:

 

Why?  Do you think a majority of Americans want single-payor healthcare?

Yes, an overwhelming majority. Why, you think "Americans" are different from Canadians when it comes to wanting basic necessities looked after for all? I'm presuming, of course, that someone explains to them how the single-payer system works before polling them. And that doesn't mean:

Quote:
Do you want a single-payer system, meaning some civil servant gets to decide whether your children live or die, even if you personally can afford to heal them? Check one box:

1. NO

2. NEVER

KenS

And Sven, Obama IS governing as a moderate, even in [crippled] American terms of what 'moderate' means.

Its hysterical fantasy that he is hustling in some agenda that wasn't in the election platform.

George Victor

KenS wrote:

The majority of Americans already have good health care for themselves.

At least if you include all those people in denial that the plans they have are likely to shaft them when a serious and long running expensive illness comes into their lives, or in denial of what happens if the corporate entity paying for the plan goes bankrupt or simply dumps the plan.

But we are talking perceptions here.... so that doesn't change that the vast majority think they have the medical care they need.

For them its a social and political question of what about everyone else. Its not difficult for anyone to guess where fall the basic divisons around that... or to guess that there is bound to be a lot of volatility and action around the big group of those folks in the middle who feel that there should be some form of universal health care, but when the details get discussed in the context of all the button pshers out there.....

That's a little too complex for me, Ken.   First, I believe that racism exists in America (and Canada, etc.), and it plays a role in opposition to anything that Obama is for - the corollary in racist free progressive left circles are the people in opposition to anything that a Democratic president dependent on a healthy market for investments tries to get past the uglies.

Second, there is the thought that you and Sven have toyed with...Americans who have and can afford coverage, don't want their boat rocked. At least I take it that that is is what you're hinting at.  And little Mass. has lots of those folks, I believe.

There are also the many in Boston and elsewhere who want no government involvement, some Democrats as well as Republicans and the Libertarian element, the wealthy ones and the followers of Sarah... who can't be too numerous in Boston. But even there in better-read Boston, not much is getting through to the average voter about what can be accomplished in a public system of healthcare. The "education" programs financed by the health industry there ensure that. It's not just that the "vast majority THNK they hae the medical care they need," Ken.  They have been taught to think that. Our failure to fully appreciate the effect of propaganda on what advertisers and the purely propagandistic see as the tabula rasa of the great unread - even with really nasty precedents going back a few millenia - always amazes me.

Unionist

KenS wrote:

Its hysterical fantasy that he is hustling in some agenda that wasn't in the election platform.

Agreed. He has been extraordinarily faithful to his campaign pledges (with minor hiccups like Guantanamo, but I and most babblers never believed that one in the first place). My only concern is that he will continue on the same path.

 

NorthReport

If he does unfortunately Palin will have a good shot at the presidency. I'm beginning to wonder at this point - does it really matter any more who wins, as it is the backroom lobbyists who dictate policy anyways, regardless of who or which party wins.

wage zombie

Double post.

wage zombie

Sven wrote:

Back to Massachusetts: There's probably not a "bluer" state in America than Massachusetts.  Even if Brown doesn't win, the fact that there's actually a close race there is an indication of how much trouble the Democrats are in (oh, and by the way, it's not a concern among Americans that the Democrats don't lean far enough to the Left)...

There are a few other things going on in Massachusetts.  First, it's a special election.  So turnout will be very low.  There's no way that we'd see polls tied for this race if it were during a regular election.  The other thing is that MA Dems have been lazy and have taken this one for granted.  While I agree that Americans are generally dissatisfied with the Dems so far (I'd say that dissatisfaction is attached more to Dems than Obama specifically, and the dissatisfaction is largely an issue with the Dem base more than other demographics), there are other issues at play in MA as well.

Sven wrote:

Why?  Do you think a majority of Americans want single-payor healthcare?

http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html

George Victor wrote:

Second, there is the thought that you and Sven have toyed with...Americans who have and can afford coverage, don't want their boat rocked. At least I take it that that is is what you're hinting at.  And little Mass. has lots of those folks, I believe.

Massachusetts enacted health care reform in 2006, and their reform was quite similar to what the Dems are discussing now (ie. no less progressive).  Whatever's happening in the special election in Massachusetts right now, it's not directly about health care.  It may be about the Dems keeling again and again in the health care debate, but it's not directly about health care.

wage zombie
500_Apples

It would be awesome if the Democrats lost.

I'd like to see Joseph Lieberman, Max Baucus, Christopher Dodd and co all removed eventually.

George Victor

wz:

"Massachusetts enacted health care reform in 2006, and their reform was quite similar to what the Dems are discussing now (ie. no less progressive).  Whatever's happening in the special election in Massachusetts right now, it's not directly about health care.  It may be about the Dems keeling again and again in the health care debate, but it's not directly about health care."

 

What I read, wz (wish I could put my finger on it) said the the brown beaners do not want a federal plan overiding their own and wasting their $. Any account of events in Mass. that does not centre on their own relative progressiveness is surely from a Republican pen.

abnormal

GV, my understanding is that the Mass. plan has already run into serious financial problems and the state has the longest wait times in the country.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123811121310853037.html

http://www.pnhp.org/mass_report/mass_report_Final.pdf

 

George Victor

Your first reference would weem to be Republican ,Ab.:

"The Institute for America's Future -- which is providing the intellectual horsepower (we use the term loosely) for reforms like those in Massachusetts -- argues that the cost overruns prove the state must cap how much insurers are allowed to charge consumers and regulate their profits. If Mr. Patrick doesn't get there first, that is. He reportedly told insurers and hospitals at a closed meeting this month that if they didn't take steps to hold down the rate of medical inflation, he would."

 

The second one (gimme a sec) Sorry, that "sec" became a couple of hours with the entry of the Yorkshire pud into the oven.

The second link concludes "The nation must not use

...Massachusetts' health reform as a model. If we truly want to provide comprehensive health care for all of us at a price we can afford, we must adopt a single payer plan."....I have never had so much difficulty in trying to copy comething.

Question. ...Why would anyone (particularly a Canadian) use these two links, from the winter of 2009 , as examples of the "failure" of the Massachusetts plan? 

abnormal

GV, what makes you think I'm Canadian?  (I am but that has nothing to do with things.)  The Mass plan is a US plan so why would I look to sources outside the US - fact is it's an enconomic disaster and, as I said, Mass has he longest wait times in the country.

I'm not going to argue about whether or not the US should have universal health care - all I'm saying is that anything that mimics the Mass plan is not the way to go.

George Victor

Surely, there are better sources than those you have chosen to use? And are you adopting the U.S. criterion of wait time?  Why not something like....did you have to sell your house to finance that hysterectomy...if you had a house to sell?

Sudbury Saturda...

NorthReport wrote:

If he does unfortunately Palin will have a good shot at the presidency. I'm beginning to wonder at this point - does it really matter any more who wins, as it is the backroom lobbyists who dictate policy anyways, regardless of who or which party wins.

Palin's done like dinner, IMHO.

Stockholm

The main factor in the Massachusetts senate race from what I've read is that the Democratic candidate turned out to be a total dud and in American politics - everything is personality based. Massachusetts maybe a democratic state at the presidential, but they elected a string of Republican governors from 1990 to 2006. 

Alaska is just about the most Republican state in the US and they elected a Democratic senator last year.

Polunatic2

No matter what happens, the republican spinmiesters will declare that Obama's mortally wounded and has lost his mandate to govern. 

Doug

I wouldn't say it's just the candidate. Yes, Martha Coakley is unexciting and has run a horrible campaign but it's more than that.

 

Democrats don't have a whole lot of ammunition to use against the Republicans. There is the whole teabag-crazy thing that'll be useful in the national campaign later this year, but the Republican in this race has been careful to insulate himself from it and appear moderate. Here's what Obama had to say while campaigning in Massachusetts for Coakley:

 

When the vote comes on financial regulatory reform and the choice is between standing with Wall St or standing up for common sense reforms that will protect consumers and protect our economy from future crises, who's going to be in your side? Now we learned the answer to that one this week. Now keep in mind, Democrats in Congress voted for tax cuts for middle class families and businesses. Now what we're proposing is that tax payers get their money back from the rescue we had to engage in in the beginning of this year because of the bad regulatory practices of the previous administration. And so we asked Martha's opponent what's he gonna do? And he decided to park his truck on Wall Street.

 

The trouble with that, as everyone well knows, is that Obama's been parked in the very next spot over. Why not vote for the people that are honest about it?

abnormal

Coakley is worse than "unexiting".  Her role in the Fells Acre Day Care debacle says a lot about her.

As to Obama's performance at her rally - all I can say is it sounded like his teleprompter wasn't functioning properly.

Sven Sven's picture

Looks like Brown is now the favorite to win tomorrow.  Wow.  If that happens, it would be akin to a Kucinich-like Democrat winning a Senate seat in Texas.

More significantly, it signals that independent voters are leaving the Dems in droves (as only about 11% of Massachusetts voters are registered Republicans).  November's elections, unless there is a dramatic turn of events between now and then, look to be very ugly for the Democrats, which is absolutely stunning given that people were prognosticating a year ago that Obama was ushering in a generation-long shift in the political landscape.

Star Spangled C...

It will be an absolute shock if the GOP wins. I still think the Dems hold on but even the fact that there's so much uncertainty is shocking. THis seat has been Democrat since JFK first won it!

Ken Burch

500_Apples wrote:

It would be awesome if the Democrats lost.

I'd like to see Joseph Lieberman, Max Baucus, Christopher Dodd and co all removed eventually.

Dodd has already announced he's not running for re-election.

And Lieberman is actually an independent.

Sven Sven's picture

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

It will be an absolute shock if the GOP wins. I still think the Dems hold on but even the fact that there's so much uncertainty is shocking. THis seat has been Democrat since JFK first won it!

The latest pre-election polls show Brown ahead by a few points.  Coupled with a highly motivated opposition, my guess is it looks like Brown, unbelievably, is going to win this thing...

Sven Sven's picture

Looks like the Democrat is in a [url=">http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31621.html][u]"freefall"[/url] (down 9 points).

Looks like even Obamessiah didn't move the needle in her favor (he came out to campaign for her over the weekend and is doing a TV ad for her which is running state-wide).

Yikes.

Sven Sven's picture

As that Politico story notes, Brown is "crushing" Coakley by 41 points (!) among independents.

Is this a canary in the mine shaft?

Ken Burch

Why are you so fixated with keeping Americans stuck with the miserably unjust status quo on healthcare?

Nobody but the wealthy benefit from people being forced to pay for healthcare services out of pocket.

None but the rich benefit from insurance companies being exempt from antitrust law.

You're defending the few against the many here, Sven.

 

Stockholm

I suspect that as usual half the population will claim that this is because Obama is too liberal and the other half will say its because he's a sell-out and is too centrist etc...

I think that people get very hyperbolic in how they interpret these things. There were a couple of special elections for congressional seats in 2002 and 2003 where Democrats were elected in heavily Republican areas and then in 2004 Bush was re-elected. Similarly, in the UK its been a pattern for generations and a party wins power (be it Labour or the Tories) and within months they promptly start losing seemingly supersafe seats in one byelection after another and get trounced in every local election imaginable and then they win re-election in national elections. Just a month and a half ago a Democrat won a special election to the US House of Representatives in a district that had been GOP since the 1850s!

I'd rather that a Democrat win in MA, but ultimately the only thing that really matters is that Obama will be President for at least the next three years and probably seven in view of the uninspiring dunces running for the GOP nomination in 2012 - its hard to see him losing in 2012 (to who? Mike Huckabee? Sarah Palin?) and that even in a worse case scenario, the Democrats will still control congress after November even if by a narrower margin. That's lots of time for Obama to bring in all kinds of reforms that the GOP knows will be irreversible. Some form of health care will be passed - probably the senate bill and once its there - it will be impossible to ever get rid of. I know that all those angry white men in the "Tea Party" are scared shitless and filled with resentment that the narrow conservative America they always thought would last forveer is slipping through their fingers. Even if the GOP makes a comeback at some point, this is still a great opportunity to pack the courts with people who are as liberal as possible and pack every agency and decision making body with liberal-minded people and reverse as much damage as possible from the Bush years. Even if Obama only lasts one term, he will still do a lot of stuff that wilol be irreversible (that's one of the reasons why the tea baggers are so freaked out by him - along with the fact that he's black and a large segment of Americans still can't get their minds around having an African-American president and it makes them sick to their stomachs)

When all is said and done Obama and the Democrats are in power and the Publican are not and that's all that matters and so far Obama has a very robust approval rating of 50-55% in the most recent polls (Harper can only dream of numbers like that).

Sven Sven's picture

If "the many" supported Obama and his policies, then Coakley, in the bluest of blue states, should win convincingly tomorrow, right Ken?

Stockholm

I'm not sure why any "wealthy" Americans care at all whether health care reform passes or not. If you're rich you'll always be able to fly a lear jet to the Mayo clinic and get the best health care money can buy and that won't change one iota.

But you know the old saying "Thye only way a Republican can enjoy a meal is is they know that someone else is going hungry". Similarly, a lot of smug rightwingers in the US just can't stand the idea that maybe, just maybe , the rest of population will have access to health care and they won't get to feel superior anymore. It remind me a bit of straight people who oppose same sex marriage because it robs them of being able to stick their noses in the air and say "WE can get married and THEY can't!".

Tough!

Sven Sven's picture

Stockholm wrote:

...ultimately the only thing that really matters is that Obama will be President for at least the next three years and probably seven...

If he were a king, then I would agree.  But, he's not (he has an annoying thing called "Congress" to deal with).  With a Brown win, Obama would lose his filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and I'll bet dimes to dollars that he is going to see huge losses ten months from now in the House and Senate elections.  With such losses, he would be forced to work with Congress in a bi-partisan manner (just like Clinton before him).

Ken Burch

If she loses, it's because she's run, by all accounts, a horrifically bad campaign. 
Why are you STOKED about preventing any change in the unjust healthcare status quo?

You're taking a pretty inhumane position in wanting things to stay just as they are. 

And even you should recognize that it would be a tragedy it the teabaggers took over American politics.  That would be the end of any hope of a decent future for the U.S.  It would mean the intolerant and the insanely militarist would rule forever.  Why on earth would you want that?

Doesn't the thought of a thousand year Palinreich terrify you?

Stockholm

Sven wrote:

If "the many" supported Obama and his policies, then Coakley, in the bluest of blue states, should win convincingly tomorrow, right Ken?

If "the many" opposed Obama and his policies, then the Republican, in the reddest of red districts, should have won convincingly in the special election in NY in November, right?

Its funny how every time Tories get trounced in byelections here in Canada, the usual rightwing bloggers reassure us that byelections mean "ABSOLUTELY NOTHING". OK, I get it, they mean nothing when your side loses and they mean a lot when your side wins.

I'll happily take the Presidency of the United States in exchange for losing a piddling special election. Imagine if McCain had won the presidency - the Dems would be winning special elections in Idaho by now - but the GOP would laugh all the way to the bank knowing thyat when all was said and done, they had the power.

wage zombie

How come Bush was never forced to work with Congress that way?  His majorities weren't any bigged than Bush's.

And again, this is a special election.  Turnout will be really low.  That's why this race is competitive.

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