In survey numbers just released, Public Policy Polling of North Carolina says U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson’s two-word eruption _ “You lie!” _ during President Barack Obama’s health care speech on Wednesday has cost him dearly back home.
Wilson now trails Democratic challenger Rob Miller by 44 to 43 percent. Wilson defeated Miller with 54 percent of the vote in 2008.
“In a matter of seconds, Joe Wilson turned himself from a safe incumbent into one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the country for 2010,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. The Miller campaign says it has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last 36 hours.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports this:
House Democrats intend to purse a formal resolution chastising Representative Joe Wilson for his outburst against President Barack Obama during Wednesday’s Congressional address unless the South Carolina Republican apologizes on the floor…
House rules and precedents provide substantial guidance on how a House member can and cannot refer to the president while speaking on the floor and the guidelines state that it has been found impermissible to call the president a liar.
But back to that PPP poll. Here are the basics: 747 voters were contacted on Sept. 10 and today. Margin of error is +/-3.6%.
According to PPP:
_ 62 percent of voters in Wilson’s Second District say they disapprove of Wilson’s actions, while just 29 percent approve;
_ Pointedly, it is Wilson’s behavior that sparked objections. The poll indicated that 42 percent concede that Obama could very well be lying. Another 46 percent believe the president was telling the truth.
_ Overall, 49 percent of voters said Wednesday’s incident made them less likely to vote for Wilson in the future while 35 percent said it made them more likely to do so.
_ Obama’s approval rating is 50 percent in the district, which PPP declares is pretty good _ given that he lost the district by 9 points in November. Gov. Mark Sanford’s approval rating is 31 percent _ and 51 percent think he should resign.
Those with a good grasp of the demographics say that Wilson’s Second District in many ways ressembles U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall’s Eighth District in Georgia:
_ In Marshall’s district, 33 percent of registered voters are African-American; in Wilson’s 29 percent of registered voters are “nonwhite.”
_ Marshall’s current district in 2004 voted 61 percent for Bush, while Wilson’s gave Bush 60 percent of the vote.
_ Marshall’s district voted 56 percent for McCain last fall, while Wilson’s voted went 54 percent for McCain.
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