Earlier this month, I scoffed a bit at web ads being run against Senator Mitch McConnell, declaring,
The high-profile grumbling about Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell — seen in a new ad campaign from ForAmerica, a non-profit 501(c)4 run by Brent Bozell — is a lot like the much-discussed, little-impact uprising against John Boehner as speaker of the House. In both cases, the odds of replacing the current Republican leadership would be exponentially more likely if there were a named alternative.
The issue of a lack of named alternative arises again, as the Louisville Courier-Journalwrites a breathless story about a poll they commissioned, finding that only 17 percent of registered voters will vote for McConnell no matter who runs against him, 34 percent will vote against McConnell, and for 44 percent, “it depends who is running.”
Well, gee, it kind of matters who the other candidate is, doesn’t it?
The new result suggests there are conservatives out there who might prefer an alternative if they had some other conservative alternative in the primary (13 percent of self-identified conservatives say they are “definitely” voting against McConnell). Of course, there are some liberals out there who will prefer the Democratic alternative (although only 56 percent of self-identified liberals say they’re definitely voting against McConnell!).
The problem is that the more conservative folks and the Democrats who are currently McConnell foes have diametrically opposed notions of what a “better alternative” is. If McConnell wins his primary, most of those conservatives will prefer him to the more liberal alternative and “come home”; if he doesn’t win his primary, the anti-McConnell animus in the electorate is moot.
Considering that the paper was willing to commission the poll, one wishes they had bothered polling some of the potential rivals to McConnell, in both a GOP primary and a statewide race.
In fact, the early polling of a hypothetical McConnell–Ashley Judd race would have made for a dramatic story. I wonder why the Courier-Journal chose not to poll on that matchup . . . or whether they did and chose not to publicize the results.
It has been mentioned in the Morning Jolt, the Ace of Spades, on Bill Bennett’s radio program and by Bill Kristol, but the point can’t be emphasized enough: Voters need to see Erskine Bowles, the Democrat who co-chaired Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, raving about Paul Ryan’s budget plan:
Bowles is speaking to class of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:
“Have any of you all met Paul Ryan? We should get him to come to the university. I’m telling you, this guy is amazing. I always thought I was okay with arithmetic, this guy can run circles around me. He is honest, he is straightforward, he is sincere. And the budget he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, honest, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit just like we did by four trillion dollars… The president came out with his own plan. And the president, as you remember, came out with a budget. And I don’t think anybody took that budget very seriously. The Senate voted against it 97 to nothing. He therefore, after a lot of pressure from folks like me, he came out with a new budget framework. And in that budget framework, he cuts the budget by four trillion dollars over twelve years. And, to be candid, this four trillion dollars cut was very heavily back-end loaded. So, that if you looked at it on a ten-year basis and compared apples to apples, it really was about a two and a half trillion dollar cut.”
Every time a “Mediscare” charge comes from a Democrat, the Republicans can, should, and must respond, “Obama’s own hand-picked co-chair of his debt control commission said the Ryan plan is sensible, straightforward, honest, and serious.”