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Senator's Choice: Abandon Obamacare or Risk Re-election

By    |   Thursday, 19 November 2009 04:14 PM

A Zogby poll this week illustrates the stark choice facing Senate Democrats as they decide whether or not to vote for Obamacare. The poll shows that Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, high up on the list of vulnerable Senate Democrats seeking re-election in 2010, literally faces a choice between being re-elected and voting for the bill.

The poll shows Arkansans opposed to the Obama/Reid bill by 28-64, with 50 percent "strongly opposed" to the legislation. To swim in the face of such a current of public opinion is risky business for a U.S. senator.

Lincoln's most likely Republican opponent, state Sen. Gilbert Bennett, is hot on her heels in the poll, trailing by only 41-39. But asked whom they would support if Lincoln votes for Obamacare, Arkansas voters switch to Bennett, giving him a 49-36 victory. That Lincoln goes from 2 points ahead to 13 points behind over one Senate vote illustrates the potency of the opposition to healthcare changes.

Most Arkansans don't know how Lincoln will vote. Forty-two percent predicted that she would back the bill, but 24 percent said she was more likely to oppose it. Thirty-six percent did not know.

Her fellow Arkansas senator, Mark Pryor, a Democrat, is also in play on this legislation. Thirty-five percent of his voters think he will vote yes, while 18 percent think he will vote no, and 47 percent don't know.

While Pryor is not up for re-election this year, he is also almost certainly signing his political death warrant if he votes for the bill.

The survey was funded by the League of American Voters as part of its efforts to influence swing senators and defeat the healthcare legislation. The League has been running ads in Arkansas aimed at explaining the costs of the bill both for the old and the young. The polling shows that the ads are working.

The League has run ads in Indiana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Louisiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Maine, Montana, Colorado, Florida, and Connecticut to push swing senators to oppose the bill. It will retain Zogby to do surveys in many of these states to bring home to their senators how strongly those they represent do not want this bill to pass.

Please help the League to fund these efforts. The League has raised over $3 million in its health care campaign but needs $2 million more in the coming months.

Go here now to donate to this campaign.

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A Zogby poll this week illustrates the stark choice facing Senate Democrats as they decide whether or not to vote for Obamacare. The poll shows that Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, high up on the list of vulnerable Senate Democrats seeking re-election in 2010, literally...
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2009-14-19
Thursday, 19 November 2009 04:14 PM
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