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Political Insiders Poll

Q: Do you think it is in your party's interest for Congress to pass energy legislation this year?

Democrats (100 votes)

Yes  60%
No   37%


Also receiving votes: Doesn't matter, 2 percent; neutral, 1 percent.


"Even a watered-down bill could help Democrats if it included the more popular elements of the bills being debated."


"Democrats need to demonstrate that they've learned the lesson of BP, particularly to excite their base."

"More accomplishments are good, but zero chance it happens."

"The more the Democrats get done over a just-say-no nearly united Republican opposition, the better."

"If, and this is a big if, the White House engages on this in the future versus backwards frame specifically rooted in jobs, as health care should have been and as everything should be."


"Our opportunity for making significant change is quickly coming to a close with the elections approaching."

"If Democrats aren't going to do anything about jobs they might as well build up a good body of work on other issues."

"The House already stepped up and took the hard vote, so far better to have something to show for it."


"The energy bill is confusing and complicated. Do it next year."

"D.C. owns my health care and my bank account. Leave my lightbulbs alone."

"No, no, a thousand times no. If you think the average voter hates 'Obamacare,' wait until he tries to understand the implications of cap-and-trade."

"It will be seen as a distraction from the real issue at hand, which is the economy."

"Health reform and banking reform are enough; even Reagan didn't do this much his first two years."

"We should be for it, but not do it."

Q: Do you think it is in your party's interest for Congress to pass energy legislation this year?

Republicans (103 votes)

Yes 24% No 72%

Also receiving votes: Depends, 3 percent; doesn't matter, 1 percent.


"It would likely be another gargantuan overreach that would further anger the base of the GOP."

"If asked if they cracked down on BP, R's have to be able to say, 'Yes.' "

"Passage of a national energy tax would drive independent voters further away from Democrats."

"Go ahead, make my day."


"Last thing we need is a perception that Democrats finally are willing to work together and compromise with the GOP in passage of sensible legislation."

"We have cap-and-trade defining Democrats -- keep it that way."

"Anything that happens this year will likely be bad for the country. Wait until Republicans take control and take a more balanced approach."

"Policy is too arcane, and the Republican base won't get excited about it."

"It's not in my party's interest to pass anything until help arrives next year. There is probably an energy package out there that R's can support, but there is not a chance that the D's will offer that option now."

"The American people have had their fill of deficit-raising new government programs."

"Hopefully, the Democrats will pass another round of taxes and fees and close down domestic production. That should be the last nail in their casket."

"People aren't concerned about the cost of gas right now -- they just want a job to drive to."

"Although extension of some of the energy tax credits would be helpful: There is hardly time to get a good bill."

"There is no bill a Democratic Congress can pass that will assist Republicans in their re-election efforts."

Q: On balance, do you think President Obama will be an asset or a liability to Democrats in the midterm elections?

Democrats (100 votes)

                                             April 2006*
Major asset                      23 percent   0 percent
Minor asset                      45 percent   0 percent
Minor liability                  22 percent  13 percent
Major liability                   5 percent  87 percent
Depends on the district/state, neutral 
  (volunteered)                               5 percent


*Four years ago the same question was about President Bush and Republicans.

Major asset

"He's the best draw the party has for votes and press."

"But only if he begins making the case of what has been accomplished, why it was necessary, and how it will benefit ordinary Americans. Otherwise, he becomes a real liability."

"Whatever the policy challenges, there is nothing like an incumbent president to raise money."

"Democrats won't win the tough races without some of the 15 million first-time 2008 Obama voters. Competing with the GOP to slice up a smaller pie is a losing proposition."

Minor asset

"The president needs to be there to draw the connection between the GOP candidates and the policies that created the mess we're in."

"If he helps on fundraising, which they haven't really done yet."

"He is still more popular than D's or R's in Congress!"

"Major fundraising asset, minor political liability nets out to minor asset."

"As job and economic prospects will be seen as improving by the fall, that sense of progress will help reframe other legislative successes in a more balanced and favorable way leading into the elections."

"Clearly, there are places where he has strength and places to avoid."

Minor liability

"No incumbent invokes inspiration at this moment in time, including Obama."

"Whether Obama's legislative victories are solid public policy or not is for the future [to decide]; the present is November 2 and politically helpful they are not."

"The principal asset is money. I question how much he can amp up turnout. The liabilities are everywhere."

"He is stronger where Democrats don't need him."

Major liability

"He would be a 'minor' liability except for the specific geographies of the at-risk candidates where he is more often a major liability."

Q: On balance, do you think President Obama will be an asset or a liability to Democrats in the midterm elections?

Republicans (103 votes)

                                             April 2006*
Major asset                      7 percent    5 percent 
Minor asset                     13 percent   27 percent
Minor liability                 31 percent   43 percent
Major liability                 46 percent   17 percent
Depends on the district/state, 
  (volunteered)                  4 percent    8 percent


*Four years ago the same question was about President Bush and Republicans

Major asset

"Obama can frame the election as a 'choice' better than anyone."

Minor asset

"All in all, he is still the No. 1 political brand in the country."

"Being tied to [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid makes it even worse."

Minor liability

"Democrats should make every effort to localize their elections and President Obama brings a trunk full of national baggage along for the ride."

"He'll hurt them with swing voters in a big way, but he's the only thing they have to motivate the base."

"The election will be [about] change and anti-incumbency: Because he is president he will be the lightning rod for a lot of voter anger."

"Obama the campaigner is a minor plus but Obama the record is a major liability."

Major liability

"His detractors are motivated and ever more numerous, and his backers are listless."

"He threw away the independent vote that swept [him] into office."

"You know things are bad when they trot out Bubba to hit the campaign trail rather than the sitting president."

"Midterms are all about Obama, and he is becoming radioactive in swing districts."

"We thought 2006 would be a choice versus referendum election too. It was a referendum on Bush, and this will be a referendum on Obama."

"The places where he is least popular are the places Democrats are most vulnerable."

"Obama is now the personification of a tax-and-spend, Big Government Democrat agenda and overreach. What a difference 20 months makes."

"He's the best thing the GOP has going for itself!"

"We're talking 'checks and balances,' and he'll amplify that message."

"The thrill is gone."

National Journal Insiders

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Deb Callahan, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Stephanie Cutter, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Eric Eve, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Don Fowler, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Kam Kuwata, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bill Lynch, Bob Maloney, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Terry McAuliffe, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Scott Parven, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Bruce Reed, Mame Reiley, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, John Ryan, Wendy Sherman, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Sarah Swisher, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, Bridgette Williams, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Charlie Crist, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Steve Duprey, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Mindy Fletcher, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Barry Jackson, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bruce Keough, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris Lacivita, Jim Lake, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Connie Partoyan, Dana Perino, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Tom Wilson, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, and Fred Wszolek.

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