Karl Rove, writing in the Wall Street Journal, reports on a new Crossroads GPS health-care policy survey of independent voters. The poll was conducted in 10 states likely to have competitive Senate races and in House districts that lean Republican or are swing seats.
Independents were the key to Republican success in 2010. As Rove notes, 56% of them voted for GOP congressional candidates that year, up from 43% in 2008 and 39% in 2006 when Republicans were “thumped,” to use George Bush’s term. Hence, Rove’s focus on independents
The survey findings should give pause to those who contend Republicans would not bear the brunt of the blame for a government shutdown resulting from efforts to defund Obamacare. The problem isn’t that Obamacare is popular. 60 percent of the independents surveyed oppose it.
But by 58% to 30%, they also oppose defunding ObamaCare if that risks even a temporary shutdown. Moreover, conservative arguments failed to carry to day with independents. After hearing both sides, independents continued to side with Obama on the issue of a shutdown, even in “lean Republican” congressional districts. There, the margin was 56-39.
The White House, no doubt, is also polling this issue. Presumably, it is getting similar results. So even if ideology alone weren’t enough to prevent the Democrats from blinking first, politics would be.