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CONGRESSIONAL INSIDERS POLL

Congressional Insiders Poll

Should congressional leadership take sides or spend money in a member-versus-member primary?

Democrats (22 Votes)

Yes: 18%
No: 77%
Other (volunteered): 5%

 

Yes

“They should be involved in member-to-member primaries if they feel it is important to their party.”

“Who knows the members better? For example: the Berman/Sherman race in California. [Howard] Berman is a statesman, [Brad] Sherman is a pretender.”

 

No

“Probably not, since you are supposed to be the leader of the ENTIRE caucus or conference…. Who could really be surprised by another self-serving move by [House Majority Leader] Eric Cantor?”

“Absolutely not; but in modern-day D.C., there is no reward for team play and no payback for lack of same, so it won’t matter—one more step down the ‘we are all on our own’ road.”

“It’s not leadership’s role to pick the members; it’s the members’ job to pick the leaders, unless it is a ‘problem’ member like Jim Traficant or Bill Jefferson.”

 

“[It’s a] highly destructive act. It will derail Cantor sooner or later.”

“It fosters better working relationships if leadership stays out of these races.”

Other

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“It depends. But supporting a super PAC that indiscriminately targets long-serving members is outrageous by any standard.”

 

Should congressional leadership take sides or spend money in a member-versus-member primary?

Republicans (21 Votes)

Yes: 24%      
No: 68%
Other (volunteered): 9%

Yes

“It is courageous to do so, and this town needs a lot more courage. I vote yes.”

“Occasionally it may be necessary, building a strong team for the long term is important.”

“On the rare occasion when member-member races occur, backing the more conservative candidate is for the good of the party.”

“It has serious consequences for leadership, but they certainly have the right to do what’s necessary to shape the majority.”

“Outside groups are taking sides and spending lots of money in member-versus-member primaries. Why should leadership let outside special-interest groups dictate who will be part of their caucus?”

No

“It’s not good for party unity!”

“Leaders should always stay clear of member-versus-member races. Cantor’s failure to do so is the biggest miscalculation of his congressional career. His enemies will use it against him for years to come. Indeed, they already are.”

“It certainly does not make the whip’s job any easier.”

Other

“[It] depends on circumstances.”

“Leadership or leadership-to-be always takes sides, most especially in fundraising assistance. The question here is: Will Republican leaders support conservatives like they claim to be, or will their goal be maintaining power? That’s what I thought—power triumphs conservative beliefs. My point is, it doesn’t matter. They always have and always will.”

 

How excited are you that Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee?

Democrats (22 Votes)

Very excited: 14%
Somewhat excited: 14%
Apathetic: 68%
Other (volunteered): 5%

Very excited

“He is a wooden, out-of-touch, rich guy who will not appeal to regular Americans. Obama has lucked out!”

“No one could be more out of touch.”

Somewhat excited

“I am excited mostly because Rick Santorum and friends did such a good job of pushing him to the right.”

Apathetic

“He looks and acts like he was put together by a committee!”

“It doesn’t look like we will get much debate or discussion about the big issues facing the country. A lot of right-wing rhetoric.”

“No principles, no core. Nothing to even get angry about.”

“Flip-flopper in chief.”

“Blah.”

 

How excited are you that Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee?

Republicans (20 Votes)

Very excited: 65%
Somewhat excited: 30%
Apathetic: 5%

Very excited

“It takes a nominee to beat a nominee, and America needs a new president so we can create jobs, cut spending, and reduce gas prices.”

“Barack Obama has failed to meet his own criteria for reelection, and Mitt Romney is ready to lead on Day One.”

This article appears in the April 21, 2012 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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