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Congressional Insiders Poll

Click here to see how prominent bloggers responded to these questions.

Q: If unemployment remains at roughly the current level, what impact will that have on the 2010 midterm elections?

Democrats (38 votes)

Hurt Democrats a lot      42 percent
Hurt Democrats a little   42 percent
Hurt Republicans a little  0 percent
Hurt Republicans a lot     0 percent
Not much impact            8 percent


Volunteered responses: Hurt both parties, 5 percent; Depends, 3 percent.

Hurt Democrats a lot


"Even though it is Republicans' policies that got us into this economic mess, from a public perspective it is Obama and the Democrats' economy now. And we are on the hook to fix it."

"Though voters were tired of the smoke-and-mirror policies of the prior administration, they unequivocally expect the Obama administration to produce jobs. If the unemployment rate remains at 10 percent or higher by next March, the Democrats will be in serious trouble."

"A jobless 'recovery' does not represent a recovery for the unemployed."

"Jobs will be the most basic measure for how the economy is going."


"High unemployment will be the most tangible evidence that the stimulus did not work."

"We need a jobs bill ASAP. Pass the highway bill, too!"

"And some of us will also be on the unemployment line!"

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Hurt Democrats a little

"Obviously, high unemployment levels are never helpful, particularly in an election year. But Democrats have two things working in their favor: Unemployment levels will have begun to decrease by next year's midterm elections. And the overall economic climate will likely have improved significantly."

"Incumbents will be blamed for a bad economy. The good news for Democrats is that Republicans are held in even lower regard than Democratic incumbents."

"What will really matter is the right track/wrong track number. No matter the absolute economic numbers, if people feel like the economy is back on the way up, Democrats will be in good shape."

Not much impact

"It doesn't help anybody. The Republicans dug the hole and the Democrats are trying to fill it, but no one knows how deep it really is. What we do know is that the stimulus is working, and we must keep it going."

Hurt both parties

"Hurts both parties a lot. Working families can't think about health care or energy unless they've got a job to pay the rent and electricity bills."

Q: If unemployment remains at roughly the current level, what impact will that have on the 2010 midterm elections?

Republicans (40 votes)

Hurt Democrats a lot      95 percent
Hurt Democrats a little    5 percent
Hurt Republicans a little  0 percent
Hurt Republicans a lot     0 percent
Not much impact            0 percent


Hurt Democrats a lot

"All Americans have gotten from Democrats in Washington is more spending and more debt. What they want is more jobs."

"At some point, don't the Democrats have to be held accountable for their reckless, job-killing policies?"

"The Obama administration and congressional Democrats tied their political fates to the bailouts and stimulus. And if at the end of the day jobs fail to materialize, they won't be able to pass the blame on to George W. Bush or the Republicans. They've had control of Congress since 2006. It's on their watch, and they'll take the fall."

"It's a Democratic economy. The public is already tired of 'blame Bush' excuses."

"Tuesday's election proves voters are sick and tired of an out-of-control government. Since Democrats have the White House and hold huge majorities in the House and Senate, the brunt of voter anger will be taken out on the Democrats in 2010. Without his name on the ballot in 2010, Obama will have a hard time transferring his appeal to the new voters he got to the polls in 2008."

"This would have a huge impact. Take a look at history! So much for the stimulus helping unemployment stay under 8 percent."

"They cannot blame Bush forever."

"There were high expectations after 2008. And New Jersey and Virginia demonstrated independents' patience is running thin."

"Democrats' answer to unemployment: 'Let's create more federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.'"

"Most of these spending bills (stimulus, supplemental, and double-digit increases in appropriations) have led to bigger government, not to helping the private sector create jobs.'"

"Perhaps this isn't the change many can believe in."

"Obama now takes ownership of job loss."

"Voters are keeping score based on jobs -- and jobs alone."

"When America is not working, America will work to change. Bush gave us No Child Left Behind. Obama has given us No Child With a Dime."

Q: How likely is this Congress to enact cap-and-trade legislation to curb global warming?

Democrats (38 votes)

Very likely        16 percent
Somewhat likely    37 percent
Somewhat unlikely  37 percent
Very unlikely      11 percent


Very likely

"The Insiders predicted that the Waxman-Markey bill couldn't get out of the Energy and Commerce Committee, but it did. Then they said it couldn't pass the House, but it did. Now they are saying it can't pass the Senate, but it will."

"The final bill may not set lofty goals, but it will be a good first step toward achieving necessary emissions reductions."

"Probably not during this session."

"Enacting meaningful cap-and-trade legislation is important not just for curbing climate change but because it represents America's best hope to regain its position as the global leader in clean-energy technology."

Somewhat unlikely

"While the House has already moved forward a historic bill, the Senate will have trouble getting its act together."

"Republicans increasingly understand the danger of climate change, the need to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and the economic potential of alternative energy. There is room for a compromise energy bill that includes investments in nuclear and in safe, renewable-energy technology. But the odds are against it including a cap-and-trade system."

"Define 'curbing.' Because if the European Union, which auctioned permits-to-pollute, is reportedly failing to keep pace with emissions-reduction targets, then the U.S. free-for-all will garner even less in greenhouse-gas reduction."

"We need to wait for the movie 2012!"

Very unlikely

"The Senate is frozen. And enough senators are owned by oil and coal interests that Congress will not act while the polar regions and Greenland melt."

"After the stimulus, TARP, and eventually health care, Americans can't take another bill that can be interpreted as a spending bill."

87 Percentage of Democratic Congressional Insiders who said in June that cap-and-trade is "likely" to be enacted in 2009.

Q: How likely is this Congress to enact cap-and-trade legislation to curb global warming?

Republicans (40 votes)

Very likely                    3 percent
Somewhat likely               10 percent
Somewhat unlikely             35 percent
Very unlikely                 48 percent
Other responses (volunteered)  5 percent


Somewhat unlikely

"If Republicans successfully cast cap-and-trade as a cap-and-tax, job-killing piece of policy, moderate Democrats won't be able to vote for it."

"If they manage to pass health care, I can't imagine the Democrat leadership making their members walk yet another plank."

"Enough Democrats in the Senate will realize adopting a massive new energy tax in the midst of the worst economy in a generation will be political suicide."

"The public is quickly warming to the increased costs and cooling to cap-and-trade."

"Enacting cap-and-trade will be a dagger for manufacturing jobs FOREVER!"

Very unlikely

"Democratic leaders will continue to blindly push for it, but their rank-and-file members attempting to survive will rebel."

"After this week's elections and another painful health care vote on Saturday, there will be zero appetite to pass a tax on energy."

"The more the public knows, the greater the opposition."

"Democrats have woken up to the electoral impact of a national energy tax -- fortunately not before House Democrats walked the plank."

Other responses

"Whatever Democrats can or can't pass won't do anything for the environment, but it will scorch them politically."

" 'To curb global warming?' Right. By less than a few hundredths of a degree Fahrenheit by 2050. Way to play into the propaganda."

National Journal Insiders

Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher Dodd, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Mikulski, Mark Pryor, Jon Tester, Tom Udall, Mark Warner; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Michael Arcuri, Tammy Baldwin, Melissa Bean, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Marion Berry, Rick Boucher, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, Chris Carney, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly , Jim Cooper, Joseph Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Artur Davis, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Phil Hare, Alcee Hastings, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Steve Israel, Frank Kratovil, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Markey, Jim McDermott, Jim McGovern, Kendrick Meek, Jim Moran, David Price, Silvestre Reyes, Linda Sanchez, Jan Schakowsky, Mark Schauer, Jose Serrano, Adam Smith, John Spratt, Pete Stark, John Tanner, Ellen Tauscher, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, and Peter Welch.

GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Lamar Alexander, Jim Bunning, John Cornyn, Jim DeMint, John Ensign, Lindsey Graham, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Johnny Isakson, George LeMieux, Richard Lugar, Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Sessions, Olympia Snowe, John Thune, David Vitter; Reps. Michele Bachmann, Brian Bilbray, Marsha Blackburn, Roy Blunt, John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Michael Castle, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, David Dreier, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Pete Hoekstra, Bob Inglis, Darrell Issa, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Mark Kirk, John Kline, Christopher Lee, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, John Mica, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Adam Putnam, Dave Reichert, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Mike Rogers of Michigan, Peter Roskam, Paul Ryan, Pete Sessions, John Shadegg, Adrian Smith, Mark Souder, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, and Joe Wilson.

This article appears in the November 7, 2009 edition of National Journal Magazine Contents.

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