One of the 219 Democrats who voted in favor of Obamacare Sunday night was Indiana’s Brad Ellsworth, the Democrat nominee for the Senate seat being vacated by Evan Bayh in November. It was said by a number of pundits when Ellsworth announced over the weekend that he would vote for the bill that he was essentially surrendering his chances of winning that Senate seat.
A Rasmussen poll out today confirms that suspicion. Ellsworth is a dead duck.
There are three major Republican challengers for Bayh’s seat, all of whom lead Ellsworth in polling done before his vote for Obamacare. Former Congressman John Hostettler leads Ellsworth 50-32, former Senator Dan Coats has a 49-34 lead and state senator Marlin Stutzman, a fresh, attractive candidate enamored by Tea Party groups who many think might be the dark horse winner in the race, leads Ellsworth 41-34.
Ellsworth can’t command more than 34 percent support in any matchup with the Republican contenders.
Will that change much? It’s difficult to answer in the affirmative. Rasmussen also polled Obamacare in his Indiana sample, and found that by a 63-35 margin Hoosier State voters oppose the health care plan – with 54 percent saying they Strongly Oppose Obamacare (just 21 percent strongly favor it). In other words, all the GOP candidate, whoever it might be, needs to do is make the campaign a referendum on Ellsworth’s vote for Obamacare and it’s impossible for the Democrat to win.
Strategically speaking, one might argue it is races like these, when a Republican victory is all but a foregone conclusion, in which the most conservative candidate possible should be nominated on the GOP side. After all, Democrats nominate Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Bobby Rush and Charlie Rangel in their respective districts – they don’t nominate Sam Nunn or Parker Griffith. If abuses like Obamacare are going to be rolled back, it won’t be with a Republican Senate caucus dominated full of Richard Lugars and Lindsey Grahams.
Meanwhile, Rasmussen’s daily presidential tracking poll shows that Barack Obama is getting a bounce from the passage of Obamacare – among Democrats only. His Approval Index is now minus-10, with 41 percent Strong Disapproval and 31 percent Stong Approval. But among Republicans, 70 percent strongly disapprove of Obama (58 percent of Democrats strongly approve), and among independent voters his Approval Index is a woeful minus-22, as 45 percent strongly disapprove against only 23 percent strong approval). Obama’s overall approval score has him upside down by a 52-48 margin.