Swing Districts Oppose Health ReformTake into account the fact that, if Rick Boucher were to switch his vote from NAY to YEA, he'd experience all the above in spades. The same Rick Boucher who is already in deep doo-doo over his support - then non-support - then support of the radical global warming cap-and-trade bill that has the coalfield counties of Virginia in a fury.
Sobering poll news for 35 key House members.
By Heather R. Higgins and Kellyanne E. Conway, writing in the Wall Street Journal
Voters in key congressional districts are clear in their opposition to what they have seen, read and heard on health-care reform. That's one of the findings of a survey that will be released today by the Polling Company on behalf of Independent Women's Voice. The survey consisted of 1,200 registered voters in 35 districts represented by members who could determine the outcome of the health-care debate. Twenty of those members voted for the House bill in November but now may be reconsidering. Fifteen voted against the bill but are under tremendous pressure to change their vote.
The survey shows astonishing intensity and sharp opposition to reform, far more than national polls reflect. For 82% of those surveyed, the heath-care bill is either the top or one of the top three issues for deciding whom to support for Congress next November. (That number goes to 88% among independent women.) Sixty percent want Congress to start from scratch on a bipartisan health-care reform proposal or stop working on it this year. Majorities say the legislation will make them and their loved ones (53%), the economy (54%) and the U.S. health-care system (55%) worse off—quite the trifecta.
Seven in 10 would vote against a House member who votes for the Senate health-care bill with its special interest provisions. That includes 45% of self-identified Democrats, 72% of independents and 88% of Republicans. Three in four disagree that the federal government should mandate that everyone buy a government-approved insurance plan (64% strongly so), and 81% say any reform should focus first on reducing costs. Three quarters agree that Americans have the right to choose not to participate in any health-care system or plan without a penalty or fine.
But the survey does provide a little good news for wavering Democrats. A congressman can buy himself a little grace if he had previously voted for health-care reform but now votes against it. Forty-nine percent of voters will feel more supportive of that member if he does so, 40% less supportive. More dramatically, 58% of voters say they will be more supportive of their congressman's re-election if he votes against the bill a second time. However, for those members who voted against it in November and vote yes this time, 61% of voters say they will be less likely to support their re-election.
Over a third of respondents say they will actively work against a candidate who votes the wrong way or for the candidate who votes the right way. [link]
Will he ignore the polls? He never has before. But there's always a first time.
Let's hope this ain't it.