Tag Archives | National Journal poll political bloggers

Bloggers disagree on politics of offshore drilling, and immigration

The latest National Journal poll of political bloggers asked: “With the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, does it make political sense for President Obama to stick to his plans to allow increased oil and gas development along the coasts?” Only 6% of the Left, but 75% of the Right thought that it did still make political sense. I thought it didn’t make political sense, unless the President were ready to make a strong affirmative case: “The president would have to convince the public why some types of new drilling would not pose the same risks that the BP well did.”

The other question asked what is best for the Democratic/Republican parties this year on immigration. Two-thirds of the Left thought Democrats would be best off with a pathway to citizenship, and without any tougher enforcement. Nobody on the Right thought that would be a good idea for Republicans. The Right bloggers split between citizenship + enforcement, enforcement without citizenship, and “stay away from the issue.”

My vote was for the middle choice, at least as the essential first step: “Effectively closing the border has to come first. Offering citizenship but without effectively securing the border would simply repeat the mistake of 1986 and result in even more illegal immigration.”

This poll marked the last of the National Journal’s weekly blogger polls as part of NJ’s “Blogometer.” The National Journal is undergoing major budget cuts, and Blogometer is disappearing, although parts of its will be folded into other National Journal coverage.

Far worse, from a social utility point of view, than the disappearance of the blogger polls is National Journal cutting Stuart Taylor’s weekly column. Taylor is one of the best legal journalists in the United States, and he will continue to write for a variety of other outlets. However, the [...]

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Bloggers can’t agree on anything about fiscal commission, or political impact of Wall Street bill

This week’s National Journal poll of political bloggers asked about the impact of the Wall Street reform issue on the midterm elections. Ninety-four percent of the Left bloggers thought that it would help Democrats a lot or a little. The Left was evenly divided between expecting the issue to hurt Republicans a little, or to have no impact. My guess was that it would hurt Republicans a little, although the result might depend on the substance of what the Republicans do: “Republicans would be wrong, as a matter of policy and of politics, to oppose reforms which would reduce the ability of Wall Street to make the public pay for losing bets on complex financial instruments. It would be politically self-destructive for anyone to vote for a bill which provides congressional pre-authorization for more bailouts, including bailouts of the creditors of an insolvent Wall Street firm.” And yes, I’m aware the the bailout fund is now gone from the bill; but the bill still has authority for the executive branch to take money from prudent banks and give it to the reckless creditors of imprudent banks. In general, the bankruptcy laws provide a fair and orderly process to terminate the operations of a bankrupt financial services company; the Dodd bill, in contrast, provides nearly limitless executive power, almost no due process protections, and tremendous opportunity for abusing the system to help politically-favored creditors, or to threaten political opponents with federal destruction of their company.

Asked about what areas the President’s deficit reduction commission should focus on, the bloggers split. A hundred percent of the Left, and 50% of the Right (including me) wanted the commission to consider defense budget cuts. Huge majorities of the Right, and 36-46% of the Left wanted consideration of cuts in domestic discretionary spending, social security, [...]

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Bloggers think Repubs should associate with Tea Party. Disagree on whether independent run would help Crist

“How closely should the Republican Party align itself with the Tea Party movement?” In this week’s National Journal poll of political bloggers, 65% of the Left and 78% of the Right says “somewhat” or “very” closely. However, the Left was mostly “very” while the Right favored “somewhat.” My answer had less to do with the movement per se than with its ideas: “If the Republican Party for the last 10 years had paid more attention to the Tea Party’s core concerns (spending restraint, and Congress only passing laws that are within the enumerated powers which the Constitution grants to Congress), Republicans might not have lost their congressional majorities.”

The other question was “Would Florida GOP Gov. Charlie Crist benefit by running for the Senate as an independent?” Eighty percent of the Left said “yes,” but only 33% of the Right thought so. I thought “yes,” as long as the only question is the Senate in 2010: “It certainly seems that his chances of being elected to the Senate as a Republican are dim, so his chances as an independent might be greater. However, if he foresees a possible future in the Republican Party (e.g., as an appointee of a Republican president who might be elected in 2012), running as an independent would be very harmful for his long-term career.” [...]

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Bloggers: Scaled-back health legislation is likely. Split on effects of Citizens United.

Last week’s National Journal poll of political bloggers asked “What’s the most likely outcome this year of President Obama’s health care reform initiative?” The plurality choice on the Left, and the majority choice on the Right, was “Scaled-back legislation will be enacted.” I agreed: “Remember, even after the defeat of Hillarycare, many of its sub-elements were later enacted even by Republican Congresses. While time ran out on Hillarycare in the fall of 1994, this year the Obamacare supporters have nearly a year left to get something done.”

The second question asked about the political effects of the Citizens United decision. Seventy percent of the Left thought it would help Republicans a lot. Only 6 percent on the Right thought the same, while another 33 percent thought it would help a little. The leading choice on the Right was “not much impact.” That was my view, based on empirical experience: “Based on the experience of about half of the states, which never restricted the free speech rights of people in corporations, it’s hard to see much of a partisan impact from respecting the First Amendment.” [...]

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