This week’s National Journal poll of political bloggers asked left-leaning political bloggers “If Congress enacts something close to President Obama’s latest health care reform plan, how would that affect the Democratic Party in the midterm elections?” The right-leaning bloggers were asked the same question about the effect on Republicans. On the Left, 40% said that enactment would help Democrats a lot, and 27% said it would help a little. On the Right, 77% said it would help Republicans a lot, and 18% thought it would help a little. I thought it would help Republicans a lot, and wrote, “This is yet another example in which the best thing that Democrats can do to harm the Republicans in the next election is also the best thing that they can do for the country: namely, defeat Obamacare.”
The second question asked: “Would the Obama administration be better off if these individuals [David Axelrod and Rahm Emmanuel] had more influence, or less influence?” On the Left, 64% favored more influence for Axelrod, and 100% wanted less influence for Emmanuel. On the Right, 93% wanted less influence for Axelrod, and 50% wanted more influence for Emmanuel. I wrote: “Rahm is politically brilliant, and has a sense of the possible. Imagine how much stronger Obama might be right now if he had followed Rahm’s advice to pass a variety of discrete fixes for health care rather than investing his entire presidency in a huge omnibus bill.” In contrast, “Axelrod’s recent interview in the N.Y. Times indicates that he is among the Obama devotees who have wrongly convinced themselves that the only problem with Obamacare is messaging, rather than substance.