Wednesday Morning Update
A new poll to look at this morning: Yesterday, the latest Marist Poll taken last week showed more voters definitely against Bush’s re-selection next year (44%) than in favor (38%). Dean was the leading Democrat with 16%, with Lieberman at 12% and Gephardt at 10%. Interestingly enough, in a head-to-head matchup with Bush, Wesley Clark does the worst.
The GOP won both southern Gubernatorial contests yesterday, with Ernie Fletcher beating Ben Chandler by about the same amount that the final polls indicated in Kentucky. Turnout in Kentucky was key, as was Chandler being saddled with unpopular outgoing Democrat Paul Patton. However in Mississippi, Council of Conservative Citizens supporter Haley Barbour beat Democratic incumbent Ronnie Musgrove by a 53-45% margin, which far exceeded what the final polls showed to be a very close race. Those of you who read this blog from the South can perhaps enlighten me as to how this likely happened.
Dean is setting the stage to abandon public financing of his campaign, which will lead Kerry to follow suit.
The White House is working with GOP Congressional leaders to get a deal on an energy bill that has excluded involving Democrats in the process by and large. The environmental lobby already doesn’t like what it sees. Similarly, ongoing negotiations over a Medicare reform bill that would inject competition into the traditional fee-for-service system later this decade are almost stalled, negotiations that have also excluded Democrats except for several senators. In the case of both bills, the GOP is afraid of looking unable to function in an era of one-party control and just wants to get bills reported out of committee that they can challenge Democrats to kill, so they can blame them next year for the inaction. But Democrats will use both bills to rally the constituency groups themselves in next year’s election, so we will be back to the issue of our base getting out to voter against the GOP base. Again, whomever does the better job of getting their base out next year will win.