by Max Brantley
Another round of Rasmussem robopolling produces more poor numbers for U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln -- 38 percent would support her. Various Republicans in the race -- from the totally unknown to the mostly unknown -- run ahead of her by 8 to 12 points.
... the numbers reflect very little about the challengers and are best viewed as a referendum on the incumbent.
The two-term senator, who was reelected with 54% of the vote in 2004, appears more vulnerable because of her visible and pivotal role in the Senate debate over health care. Lincoln was the last Democrat to vote for allowing the debate to formally begin, but she took a lower profile in the vote for final passage.
Just 35% of Arkansas voters favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. Sixty percent (60%) are opposed. Those figures include 17% who Strongly Favor the plan and 51% who are Strongly Opposed. Bleak as those numbers are for advocates of the legislation, they are actually a few points better than the numbers from a month ago.
Will more insurance coverage, an end to insurance company denials, the startup of insurance pools and extension of COBRA begin to overcome the teabagger howls? That's what the election may eventually be about. Or, put another way: Would you rather elect somebody who did SOMETHING to improve health care against opponents who wanted to do NOTHING?
By the way, I don't buy these poll numbers, certainly not as to specific numbers for nutcase GOP candidates. Politico notes wide criticism of Rassmussen polling for methods and results that seem to consistently underscore Republican talking points.