Saturday, March 05, 2016
Supreme Court Obstruction Could Cost GOP 8 Senate Seats
There are 34 Senate seats to be decided in the 2016 election, and 24 of them are currently held by Republicans. With the unhappiness of the public toward Congress in general, this gives the Democrats a very credible chance of flipping the Senate back to the control of the Democratic Party -- especially since presidential election years like 2016 normally have a much bigger turnout than off-year elections (and a larger turnout usually helps Democrats).
There are eight GOP senators that may be hurting their re-election chances -- Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), Rob Portman (Ohio), John McCain (Arizona), Roy Blunt (Missouri), Richard Burr (North Carolina), Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire), and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania). All eight of these senators have said they will refuse to even consider any nominee for the Supreme Court by President Obama. They want to leave the vacancy on that court until next year -- meaning the Supreme Court will have only eight members for the next year.
But if the new Public Policy Polling surveys of those states are any indication (and I believe they may well be), then these incumbent senators are playing with fire. A significant majority of voters in all eight states say the opening on the Supreme Court should be filled this year. And a large plurality in two of those states, and a majority of voters in the other six states, say they will be less likely to vote for the Republican incumbent if they go along with other Republicans in obstructing a nominee sent to the Senate by President Obama.
These senators are all in closely contested elections, and they don't need to be going against the wishes of the voters in their states -- but that seems to be exactly what they are doing.
IOWA (March 1-2) 574 registered voters (4.1 point moe).
WISCONSIN (February 22-23) 1,000 registered voters (3.1 point moe).
OHIO (February 19-21) 612 registered voters (4.0 point moe).
ARIZONA (March 1-2) 533 registered voters (4.3 point moe).
MISSOURI (March 1-2) 554 registered voters (4.2 point moe).
NORTH CAROLINA (March 1-2) 568 registered voters (4.1 point moe).
NEW HAMPSHIRE (February 22-23) 624 registered voters (3.9 point moe).
PENNSYLVANIA (February 19-21) 859 registered voters (3.3 point moe).