When it comes to winning, Republicans are like Charlie Sheen. That is, they think they are WINNING, but they're obviously not. But don't take my word for it, look at recent polling.
Budget battles. The latest WSJ/MSNBC poll shows the most popular ways to balance the budget are the ones Republicans are least inclined to do. Most popular: tax increases for millionaires, cutting defense spending, and ending tax breaks for oil and gas companies. Least popular: cutting health care for the poor, cutting education, and cutting Social Security. Even the project's Republican pollster, Bill McInturff, calls these results "a huge flashing yellow sign to Republicans." But this warning sign is not new, as polling has shown this for some time.
Collective bargaining. The showdown in Wisconsin between public employees and now-embattled Governor Walker has exposed a new Republican Achilles heel. As Huffington Post polling editor Mark Blumenthal wrote here, recent multiple surveys have shown Americans support public employees, and support their right to collectively bargain. No wonder few Republican Governors have stood with Walker.
Choice. Despite voters' obvious concerns about the economy, one of the new Republican Congress's first priorities was to dismantle women's right to health care. While they quickly backed away from a plan to redefine rape, the House did manage to pass funding cuts for Planned Parenthood (even though that funding was already prevented from being spent on abortions). Recent polling from PPP shows majorities--even among independents--disagree with those cuts. Especially when they affect breast and cervical cancer screenings, and access to birth control.
Guns. As I wrote yesterday and previously, Republicans are far out of step with the mainstream when it comes to guns. Overwhelming majorities nationally, and in five key states, support fixing the background check process, and other new gun laws. Yet Republicans in state legislatures are fighting for unpopular proposals, like allowing guns on college campuses.
Gay rights. Emily Swanson recaps Pew's latest survey results, and notes support for gay marriage at an all-time high, despite Republican reliance on the issue to turn out their base. And led shamefully by Senator John McCain, Republicans tried to block repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, even though public opinion had been on the side of repeal for years. GOP: those votes won't age well.
Popularity of Obama. Republicans seem to enjoy out-doing each other attacking the President (or his wife) for socialism, Kenyanism, Nazism, and whatever these people were talking about. Listening to cable news shows, you'd think he was reviled. But as Chris Weigant wrote elsewhere on pollster.com, Obama has improved considerably in January and February. And Quinnipiac found three-fourths saying they personally like Obama. He's so solid, in fact, that no Republican has announced a run against him.
So my advice to Republicans is the same advice I'd give Charlie Sheen. Don't believe your own hype. Think of the children! And beware of your quickly-falling stock.
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