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Posted at 08:48 AM ET, 10/13/2011

The Morning Plum

* Americans favor Occupy Wall Street far more than Tea Party: Despite nonstop GOP and conservative disparagement of the Wall Street protests, the most detailed polling yet on Occupy Wall Street suggests that the public holds a broadly favorable view of the movement — and, crucially, the positions it holds.

Time released a new poll this morning finding that 54 percent view the Wall Street protests favorably, versus only 23 percent who think the opposite. Interestingly, only 23 percent say they don’t have an opinion, suggesting the protests have succeeded in punching through to the mainstream. Also: The most populist positions espoused by Occupy Wall Street — that the gap between rich and poor has grown too large; that taxes should be raised on the rich; that execs responsible for the meltdown should be prosecuted — all have strong support.

Meanwhile, the poll found that only 27 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party. My handy Plum Line calculator tells me that this amounts to half the number of those who view Occupy Wall Street favorably.

In fairness, the Tea Party has been in existence since before the 2010 elections, and even has had a seat at the governing table during the debt ceiling and government shutdown debacles, which clearly took their toll on the Tea Party’s image. Occupy Wall Street is just getting started. But it does seem clear that a confluence of events — the protests, Obama’s jobs push, Elizabeth Warren’s Senate candidacy, and the national backlash from the right all these things have provoked — are pushing populist issues such as fair taxation and income inequality to the forefront of the national conversation.

It turns out we don’t live in Tea Party Nation, after all.

* Why Dems are making an issue out of the Tea Party: The above poll also finds that a plurality of Americans, 40 percent, say the Tea Party has had a negative impact on our politics, which helps explain why Dem messaging chief Chuch Schumer is debuting terms like “Tea Party economics” and “Tea Party gridlock.”

The Dem strategy of using the Tea Party to paint the GOP as hostage to extremists failed miserably in 2010. But Dems are hoping things will be different this time, now that the public has gotten to see what happens when the Tea Party has a hand in governing.

* The public really likes the Obama jobs policies that the GOP blocked: The internals of the NBC/WSJ poll are now up online. Check out this bit:

The jobs bill would cut the payroll tax rate, fund new road construction, continue to extend unemployment benefits, and give tax credits to companies who hire and train long-term unemployed workers. The plan would be paid for by increasing taxes on the wealthy and increasing taxes on businesses by closing some corporate tax loopholes. Do you favor or oppose this plan?
Favor 63
Oppose 32

If you want to know why the White House and Dems will continue pushing for votes on the jobs bill’s provisions, despite the near-certainty that Republicans will continue opposing them, there’s your answer.

Relatedly, as Steve Benen notes, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Obama and the White House are convinced they have a winning message on jobs and have no intention of letting up.

* Dems to hold more jobs votes next month: Dem leaders seem set to deal with appropriations matters in the near term before holding votes on individual provisions in the jobs bill during the first week of November.

Also in the above link: Rosalind Helderman pushes “moderate” Dems to explain their opposition to the jobs bill, and the answer she gets aren’t terribly convincing.

* “Moderate” Dems undermine Obama’s jobs push: Relatedly, Steve Kornacki on how “moderate” Senate Dems who balked at Obama’s jobs plan are undermining Obama’s effort to cast the GOP as the sole obstacle to progress on the economy.

The key here, again, is that these “moderates” and “centrists” are not willing to support an economic solution that is by any reasonable measure moderate and centrist.

* The silly conservative response to Elizabeth Warren, ctd.: Remember that video from the Massachusetts GOP that conflated different footage of Elizabeth Warren in order to insinuate that she just might be a violent, rock-throwing class warrior?

Well, check out the parody of that vid that Massachusetts Dems have now created, turning that same trick back on Scott Brown.

* Dems think they have a shot at winning back the House: Today the DCCC will announce the results of their recruitment drive:

The DCCC will report candidates running in 60 Republican and open districts, reaching its recruitment goal for the year and putting in play more than twice the 25 seats needed to gain the majority. The newest recruits continue to reflect the values of their districts and have both traditional and non-traditional profiles including farmers, small business men and women, former Mayors, prosecutors, veterans and even an astronaut.

Dems are also taking solace from two new polls: The NBC/WSJ poll, which shows voters want a Dem-controlled House by 45-41, and the Reuters poll, which finds Dems winning the generic ballot matchup, 48-40.

* Cain-mentum!!! With the new NBC poll also finding that Herman Cain has edged into a lead over Mitt Romney, Chris Cillizza breaks down the numbers to explain why a path to victory does exist for the former Godfather Pizza CEO.

Footnote: As NBC’s Mark Murray notes, this is almost certainly not the last shakeup in the race.

* The truth about the 9-9-9- plan: Glenn Kessler goes deep into the numbers and finds that Cain’s tax plan would actually increase taxes on working Americans. That would seem to mean it wouldn’t amount to a big tax cut, as Cain claims.

* Cain’s tax plan a windfall for the wealthy: Also don’t miss the Post editorial board’s brutal takedown of the Cain tax plan, which concludes that “it would turn the current progressivity of the tax code upside-down, giving a windfall to the wealthy and hiking the tax burden for the least well-off.”

Key takeaway: Cain’s surge, as predicted, is drawing intense scrutiny to his actual positions, with the result that his 15 minutes are ticking away quickly.

* There is no such thing as the “GOP establishment”: Reid Wilson has a nice breakdown of the constellation of interests that drive GOP primaries, and why that breakdown ultimately favors Romney.

* The right’s attacks on Occupy Wall Street fall on deaf ears: Echoing the above Time polll, the new Reuters poll finds that a plurality views them favorably, including a plurality of independents. Republicans are the only group who views them unfavorably.

Also: A very large majority is aware of them, again suggesting the protests have succeeded in punching through to the broader public.

* And animosity towards Wall Street runs deep:Relatedly, Jon Cohen has an interesting look at Post polling that reveals the deep animosity towards the nation’s financial institutions that’s powering the protests. Yes, animosity towards government is running high, too, but for some reason, the latter, far more than the former, is the focus of the conversation in Washington.

What else is happening?

By  |  08:48 AM ET, 10/13/2011

 
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