The reputations of pollsters Rasmussen and Gallup took a deserved beating in the 2012 election, but if nothing else they are still valuable when judged relative to themselves. Rasmussen, for example, now reports that President Obama’s job approval rating among likely voters is at 55 percent, his highest level in a Rasmussen poll since June 2009.
Gallup reports similar numbers:
That would seem to suggest that Republican denials notwithstanding, President Obama comes into negotiations on the so-called fiscal cliff with a considerable amount of leverage. Newly released numbers from a Washington Post/Pew Center poll confirm that assessment:
Given that reality, it’ll be interesting to see the outcome of today’s secret ballot among House Republicans, who will be asked to elect a new chairman of the House Republican Conference. As we reported Monday, House Speaker John Boehner has thrown his support behind Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who qualifies as a moderate, if only within the very narrowly conservative House GOP caucus. If elected, she would also become the only woman in the House GOP leadership, which currently has no women holding any of the 21 House committee chairmanships.
However, those on the more conservative end of the very conservative GOP caucus are rallying behind Georgia’s own Tom Price. That includes House Budget chair Paul Ryan, fresh off his experience on the losing end of the presidential race.
A Price victory would constitute a pretty serious setback for Boehner and would indicate that when the time comes, the speaker would not be able to deliver GOP votes for the budget compromise that will be needed. It would also suggest that House Republicans have not yet learned the necessary lessons of the 2012 election, including the dangers of extremism and the wisdom of outreach to female voters.
If so, they are courting yet another reminder.
– Jay Bookman