Seriously, cue up a primary challenger.
Research 2000 poll of the Tennessee 5th Congressional District for Daily Kos. 8/17-19. Likely voters. MoE 4% (no trend lines)
Jim Cooper 47 41
Barack Obama 66 25
Phil Bredesen 58 29
This is a Democratic district. Obama won it easily 56-43. Even John Kerry won it in 2004. Yet Blue Dog kingpin Jim Cooper thinks being a pain in Obama's ass is smart politics. Well, look at those approval ratings, with Cooper lagging far behind the president's and Phil Bredesen, his state's Democratic governor.
Do you favor or oppose creating a new public health insurance plan that anyone can purchase?
All 61 28
Dem 80 11
Ind 64 26
GOP 20 65
Do you approve or disapprove of Congressman Jim Coopers' actions on health care?
All 31 60
Dem 16 77
Ind 26 60
GOP 68 27
Cooper is doing the GOP's bidding. Republicans love his work, Democrats and independents don't. And everyone in his district is well aware of the fact.
If the 2010 election for Congress were held today would you definitely vote to reelect Jim Cooper would you consider voting for another candidate or would you definitely vote to replace Cooper?
If Jim Cooper opposed a public health insurance option would that make you more or less likely to vote for him or would it have no real effect on your vote?
More Less No effect
All 13 34 53
Dem 9 47 44
Ind 12 36 52
GOP 23 7 70
Woah. Anemic. And among Democrats, those numbers are 44 reelect, 42 consider someone else, and 14 replace. There is certainly an opening for a strong primary challenge. Cooper isn't the lock many (including him) believe him to be. And why are the natives restless? His long record of obstructing health care reform surely ranks among the reasons. The public option polls strongly in Cooper's district, yet he doesn't seem to care. While he's supposed to represent his constituents, he seems more concerned with representing the insurance companies. It's more lucrative that way.
But the voters do have some say in the matter. And not only are his reelect numbers in the gutter (36%? Really?), but nearly half of Democrats would be less likely to vote for him if he betrayed them yet again on another health care vote. In a primary, that's the ballgame.
Cooper has two options. He can stop obstructing and get aboard the public option, or he should start gearing up for a tough primary in 2010. Then he can determine if all that insurance money is really worth the hassle.
Update: Headline fixed to reflect TN-05 district, and numbers corrected in questions. Thanks for the head's up, folks. SusanG
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