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Magazine / Political Insiders Poll

Political Insiders Poll

September 8, 2011

How politically important is it to your party for Congress to pass major jobs legislation by the end of this year?

Democrats (107 votes)

Very important: 48%
Somewhat important: 35%
Not too important: 13%
Not important at all: 5%

Very important


“The president has to make it work in Washington; after all, that is what he promised he would do.”

“The anti-Republican message is clear, and a pro-Democratic jobs message is desperately needed.”

“There is nothing more important, especially for the Democrats, because the party that controls the White House will be blamed for no jobs.”

“Just as important as passing the legislation will be the debate between Democrats and Republicans over the jobs legislation. If Republicans keep protecting the wealthy, oil companies, and banks, it will be to their detriment.”

“Big-time bipartisan deals help incumbents (see welfare reform and Clinton/Gingrich). A deal would help Obama and [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid, but it would hurt efforts to take back the House.”

“For Democrats, it’s job one, pardon the pun. For Republicans, it’s a sledgehammer against President Obama. Cue the train wreck.”

“If, and only if, the legislation leads to real, quantifiable job creation. Another bitter partisan fight that is all show isn’t important at all.”

Somewhat important

“If unemployment looks like this next fall, no legislative ‘achievement’ will mean much.”

“It is important to pass it or to tag the Republicans with killing it for political reasons.”

“If Obama can push a deal, it will either give him credit, or no deal makes R’s look callous and puts Obama on the political high ground.”

“Best scenario: Republicans kill jobs plan, and Obama blames obstructionist Congress.”

Not too important

“Lawmaking in Washington doesn’t have much political (or, apparently, economic) benefit. It’s about the narrative, not the legislation.”

“Having a bold and far-reaching plan that does not pass is more important politically than having a weak plan that passes.”

Not important at all

“They never will, so let’s stake out our ground with real legislation and beat the you-know-what out of them!”


How politically important is it to your party for Congress to pass major jobs legislation by the end of this year?

Republicans (110 votes)

Very important: 19%
Somewhat important: 30%
Not too important: 36%
Not important at all: 16%

Very important

“The GOP can’t just be the Party of No. With Congress’s approval rating at 13 percent, something positive must be done.”

“Republicans need to empathize with the plight of unemployed and underemployed Americans.”

Somewhat important

“Obama owns the jobs crisis. Congress will not be blamed or credited for jobs, jobs bill or not.”

“The worse the job showing, the more Republicans get elected in November 2012.”

“It is only somewhat important, because this is one time that passing a bill just to say we passed a bill will not be sufficient. The need is so real that half-measures or political gestures will be seen as meaningless and, in fact, counterproductive.”

Not too important

“Depends on what ‘major jobs legislation’ means. You cannot legislate jobs. You can create a climate which encourages jobs creation.”

“What the GOP needs to do is keep individual issues—like regulation, taxes, and trade—front and center to help shape the election.”

“The party that needs a successful jobs bill is led by Obama.”

“The president owns this economy from here to Election Day, and given the gulf between Senate Democrats and House on what can pass, it’s unlikely that any legislation will do what’s needed to help.”

Not important at all

“Passing jobs bills is what Democrats do. Republicans need to push for lower taxes and for the administration to roll back the pending regulations that are inhibiting business growth.”

“The Republicans are under no pressure to pass anything. They’ve already wrestled above their weight with the budget-ceiling deal.”

“Without a jobs bill, Obama takes most of the blame. Complaining about the Republicans just makes him look whiny.”

“It’s in the lap of the president to lead on this issue, not Congress.”


On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 representing “no chance at all,” rank the likelihood that President Obama will win reelection.

Democrats (106 votes)

7-10: 52%
4-6: 44%
0-3: 4%

Low (0-3)—4%

“Either voters feel real economic growth in the next year or Obama will feel their wrath.”

Moderate (4-6)—44%

“Hard to beat an incumbent … but not quite as hard as getting reelected in this economy.”

“Obama more and more looks like a deer in the headlights. His caving to Republicans on the debt-ceiling deal guaranteed he would not have the money to deal with the hurting middle class and independent voters; and moves like his postponing EPA enforcement procedures have alienated liberals. How is that a formula for reelection?”

“No fight, no message. A weak GOP field is all that’s saving him.”

“If the GOP nominates [Rick] Perry or [Michele] Bachmann, we are spared. If they nominate Romney, we are in trouble.”

High (7-10)—52%

“He’s got natural political skills, the power of incumbency, and the likelihood of a weak opponent. Combined, that should allow him to overcome a terrible economy.”

“His fundamentals remain strong, and the Republican field is weak, weak, weak.”

“Obama will look bad until Republicans have a nominee. Then he’ll look less bad than the opposition.”

“Look to the right. No, further right. Yep, that’s where the GOP candidates exist. And that’s why the president will serve four more years.”


On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 representing “no chance at all,” rank the likelihood that President Obama will win reelection.

Republicans (112 votes)

7-10: 12%
4-6: 71%
0-3: 18%

Low (0-3)—18%

“Unemployment remains high, businesses refuse to invest in our country, and the president is caving on major environment priorities. He has little support with independents, and now his own base is questioning him. He will be Jimmy Carter II.”

Moderate (4-6)—71%

“The summer of our discontent—like Carter in 1979 and Bush in 2005. Those presidents never recovered.”

“Unless Republicans nominate someone unacceptable to independents (which we are fully capable of doing), winning reelection when two-thirds of the country thinks we are on the wrong track is a very tall order.”

“August was the first time since his election that I thought President Obama’s reelection was not probable. If he can correct in September, I will go back to leaning toward his reelection, but he had a brutal August.”

“Obama is diminishing before our eyes. The election is becoming the GOP’s to lose.”

“The election will be Bush-Gore close. Obama’s crew knows this, which is why they’re cozying with the unions and the groups that actually turn people out to vote.”

“He will have few accomplishments to run on but a billion dollars to turn the GOP nominee into a radioactive leper.”

High (7-10)—12%

“A weak field gives him a chance. Smells like 2004. With a horrendous second term in store for the ‘winner.’ ”


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, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, 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, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, 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, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Mindy Fletcher, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, 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, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, George S. LeMieux, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Dana Perino, Billy Piper, 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, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, 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, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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