Thursday, March 11, 2010

Even you cannot avoid... pressure

The Tarrance Group has put together a weird little poll (PDF) on health care reform conducted in a bunch of swing congressional districts across the country.  The big question is this one:
Do you favor or oppose the health care reform legislation being proposed by President Obama and the Democrats in Congress?
In all but one of the districts, a majority oppose the legislation.  58 percent claim to oppose it in Betsy Markey's district (Colorado's 4th CD).  And roughly 3 out of 4 voters say their member's vote on this bill will be important to them in November.  So you can get a sense of the pressure being put on folks like Markey right now, who want the bill to pass but don't want to be the one to pass it.

That said, I have no idea how realistic this sort of question is.  Will voters really punish swing Democrats for voting for health reform?  Would they really reward those members for voting against it?  How much will this matter compared to, say, the status of the economy or any other big issue that might arise between now and November?

Even less realistic are some other questions in the poll, such as:
Would you favor or oppose the Democrats in Congress going outside of normal procedures and using a little used parliamentary tactic known as “reconciliation,” to pass a health care bill, over Republican objections? 
Question wording bias, anyone?  Strong majorities say they oppose reconciliation in this poll.  Okay, forget, for a moment, the lies built into this question (reconciliation is a normal procedure, it's not a "little used tactic," it wouldn't be used to pass health reform anyway, etc.).  Who the hell will care about congressional procedures six months from now?  It's not remotely credible.

Oh, by the way, roughly 3 in 4 respondents believe that their taxes will go up as a result of health reform.  Another lie, but that's what the swing Democrats have to deal with right now.

(Thanks to Kyle S. for the link.)

No comments: