Republicans do seem to be getting ready to surrender (although they seem to have only reached the stage at which they’re asking for rewards for surrendering; it may take a while longer for them to fully understand the concept). A true economic disaster may yet be avoided. But everyone should remember just how irresponsible they’ve been on this one.Ron Brownstein:
House GOP leaders flailing for an exit strategy this week are again suggesting broad negotiations that will constrain entitlement programs such as Medicare. But our latest polling shows older and downscale whites overwhelmingly resist changes in Medicare or Social Security, which they consider benefits they have earned—and pointedly distinguish from transfer programs.Huffpollster:
Those findings suggest that the real fight under way isn't primarily about the size of government but rather who benefits from it. The frenzied push from House Republicans to derail Obamacare, shelve immigration reform, and slash food stamps all point toward a steadily escalating confrontation between a Republican coalition revolving around older whites and a Democratic coalition anchored on the burgeoning population of younger nonwhites. Unless the former recognizes its self-interest in uplifting the latter—the future workforce that will fund entitlements for the elderly—even today's titanic budget battle may be remembered as only an early skirmish in a generation-long siege between the brown and the gray.
Reviewing Ted Cruz's Poll "Unskewing"Because why not? Ted Cruz is the most overrated pre-Presidential candidate since Rick Perry and Marco Rubio.
At least so far, the standoff has been a political bloodbath for Republicans. And maybe that’s exactly what was needed to right the political system: The effort to gut Obamacare had to crash like this so that Republican leaders and lawmakers would find the courage to stand up to tea party toughs, and so that business leaders would decide to stop funding a small band of right-wing activists whose interests are antithetical to their own.More politics and policy below the fold.
It's hard to overstate the magnitude of the GOP's strategic failure here: Obamacare's launch has been awful. More than a week after the federal insurance marketplaces opened, most people can't purchase insurance on the first try. But Republicans have chosen such a wildly unpopular strategy to oppose it that they've helped both Obamacare and its author in the polls.Nice piece from that Nate Silver fellow:
This could've been a week when Republicans crystallized the case against Obamacare. Instead it's been a week in which they've crystallized the case against themselves.
And for what?
That's been my impression of the coverage of the shutdown: The folks you see on TV are much too sure of themselves. They've been making too much of thin slices of polling and thinner historical precedents that might not apply this time around.Emily Swanson:
There's been plenty of bullshit, in other words. We really don't know all that much about how the shutdown is going to be resolved, or how the long-term political consequences are going to play out.
Only one-quarter of Americans think that their own member of Congress should be reelected, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. That's a sharp departure from similar polls conducted before the government shutdown.GQRR:
A just-completed national survey from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research confirms that the voting public is fed up with just about everyone in Washington, but Republicans are clearly bearing much more of their anger and it damaging their prospects for 2014.Nate Cohn figures Democrats need double digit leads to win back the House. Almost there. But:
By a 16-point margin, 43 to 27 percent, voters blame the Republican in Congress, rather than President Obama and the Democrats, for the government shutdown.
The shutdown had left an already damaged GOP brand in tatters and the party’s electoral prospects wounded. The party now has a 2:1 unfavorable to favorable rating, 26 percent favorable vs. 52 percent unfavorable (for a net -26 rating). Among independents their rating is -35. Democrats don’t fare great either, but with a net -5 rating (39 percent favorable vs. 44 percent unfavorable), they do much better. Perhaps most important, on the generic ballot, Democrats now lead by double digits, 46 to 36 percent.
Even without asserting that the shutdown is the GOP’s nadir, there are other reasons to question whether today’s Democratic advantage will endure for the next 13 months. Political scientists have found that the Democratic-edge in the generic ballot tends to fade over the year before an election. That might be especially true in 2014, since the economic fundamentals and the president’s approval rating aren’t exactly consistent with huge Democratic gains. Perhaps that's why NBC/WSJ shows more Republicans switching to undecided than actual Democratic gains. In this political environment and with an incumbent Democratic president, it's hard to imagine too many Republican-leaners voting for a Democratic House.