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Morning Jay: NRSC Backs O'Donnell, House Polls, Gene Taylor Strikes Again, and More!

6:30 AM, Sep 16, 2010 • By JAY COST
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SurveyUSA also polled neighboring CA-19, which is open now that Republican George Radanovich is retiring, and finds Republican state senator Jeff Denham easily beating physician Loraine Goodwin 63-30. Obama carried 46 percent of the vote here, which means Goodwin is underperforming by about 16 points.  Again, that is consistent with what we are seeing nationwide.

Observation: This year, the SurveyUSA polls have been pretty bad for Democrats. 

Meanwhile, a DailyKos poll conducted by PPP from earlier in the week found Democratic incumbent John Hall trailing Republican challenger Nan Hayworth, 42-44, in NY-19, an upstate district that the Democrats took from the GOP in 2006 and that went for Obama over McCain, 51-48.  The poll finds the president’s job approval at -17 in this district.  Kirsten Gillibrand's approval stands at -20.  Yikes.  Gillibrand’s Senate race could very well be the sleeper this cycle.

Finally, We Ask America recently released an August survey of registered voters in MO-4, where veteran Democrat Ike Skelton is in the race of his life against Vicky Hartzler.  According to the poll, the Democrat has a bare lead, 45-42, while Hartzler has a modest lead among independents, who are the largest percentage of uncertain voters.  This is a central-west Missouri district that includes Jefferson City, and it gave John McCain 60 percent of the vote.

4. Gene Taylor Favors Repeal of ObamacareThis is interesting, from the Hill:

A Democratic lawmaker signed onto a Republican petition to repeal healthcare reform.

Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) signed onto a discharge petition drafted by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), Taylor's office confirmed. His office would not offer any additional comment.
Taylor is the first Democrat to sign onto the petition, a reflection of the tough electoral climate facing Democrats this fall, especially over healthcare reform.

“Adding Rep. Taylor to the discharge petition is a significant step towards repealing Obamacare,” said King. “Rep. Taylor is the first Democrat to sign the discharge petition, and it is my hope that his decision will pave the way for other Democrats who support repeal to break ranks with Speaker Pelosi and President Obama.”

Taylor had voted against the bill on final passage, along with 34 other Democrats.

I find Gene Taylor to be the most fascinating member of the United States Congress.  He’s a Democrat from an era long gone by, one in which there was a sizeable conservative Southern faction. 

I’m not surprised he added his name to this discharge petition – not just because he was a “hard no” against Obamacare, but also because his district, in the southeast corner of the state, is one of the most conservative in the whole country, giving John McCain a whopping 67 percent of its vote in 2008.  It is essentially the same district that elected Trent Lott all the way back in 1972.  And yet Taylor has been in Congress since 1989, in large part because of signals like these.

Memo to liberal Democrats: Gene Taylor is the reason you don’t want a one-seat majority.  He’ll hold the balance of power in such a situation, and he is closer to John Boehner than Nancy Pelosi.  That’s how he has managed to hold on in southeastern Mississippi for so many years. 

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