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November 19, 2009

Blanche's Choice: Sen. Lincoln Faces Stark Choice of Voting for ObamaCare, or Being Re-Elected

We know this as a general matter. But to me it's significant that we can start seeing who specifically is in jeopardy due to ObamaCare.

If you're a soldier charging a hill, it's one thing to know that your group will take, say, 30% casualties. It's a different thing if you know in advance that you, specifically, will be one of the dead of war.

Blanche Lincoln is on notice that it won't be just some other soldiers dying on that hill, but she herself.

A Zogby Poll this week illustrates the stark choice facing Senate Democrats as they have to decide whether or not to vote for ObamaCare. The poll shows that Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, high up on the list of vulnerable Senate Democrats seeking reelection in 2010, literally faces a choice between being reelected and voting for the bill.

The Zogby Poll shows Arkansans opposed to the Obama/Reid bill by 28-64, with 50 percent "strongly opposed" to the legislation. To swim in the face of such a current of public opinion is risky business for a U.S. senator.

Lincoln's most likely Republican opponent, state Sen. Gilbert Bennett, is hot on her heels in the poll, trailing by only 41-39. But asked who they would support if Lincoln votes for ObamaCare, Arkansas voters switch to Bennett, giving him a 49-36 victory. That Lincoln goes from two points ahead to 13 points behind over one Senate vote illustrates the potency of the opposition to healthcare changes.

It has to be noted that this poll was specifically commissioned by a group, the League of Voters, hoping to use the poll to lobby senators to vote against the legislation. Still, it's a reputable polling firm; Zogby has incentive to add his secret sauce, but there are limits to what he can do.

Meanwhile, Rasmussen and Fox both show Obama's approval at 46%. That is an all-time low for the Fox poll, which has generally found middling-to-high support for Obama, compared to other polls. It's not a poll that has been stacked against him.

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posted by Ace at 04:34 PM

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