Happy Hour Roundup

* Jonathan Cohn has a balanced look at the new Gallup numbers finding a decline in the number of uninsured, and asks an awfully good question: How many Obamacare foes will even acknowledge that the new findings exist?

* Jonathan Bernstein with an important cautionary reminder: While those findings were good news, it’s just too early to say how it will work out over time, in either political or policy terms. We’re just going to have to wait. Sorry!

* Brian Beutler on how the new House GOP plan to propose minor fixes to Obamacare, which appears to be about projecting an interest in constructive governing, actually undermines the GOP’s broader message and long term sabotage campaign.

* Over two dozen Dem Senators plan an all-nighter on climate change beginning this afternoon, and Coral Davenport has a dispiriting glimpse at what they’re thinking: They know full well that this is only the beginning of an effort that could take literally years before any serious climate effort has a chance of passing Congress.

* A new poll from the robo-firm Public Policy Poling finds Dem Alex Sink leading Republican David Jolly in Florida’s 13th district by 48-45, and by 52-45 among those who voted early. If true, that means Jolly has a lot of ground to make up on election day tomorrow. The poll was commissioned by the pro-Sink League of Conservation Voters.

* The Tampa Bay Times’ Adam Smith notes that the PPP poll assumes an electorate with a GOP registration advantage of seven points. Dems acknowledge they expect a GOP advantage of at least 10 points.

* The Times’ Smith also offers up his prediction of the final outcome, and he thinks Jolly has a tiny edge. Note this interesting breakdown of what will matter in terms of turnout:

A giant question is turnout. Republicans working with Jolly expect that by the time polls close Tuesday around 170,000 people will have voted — about half as many as voted in the 2012 presidential election. If that’s accurate, Jolly probably is on track to win.

Sink allies are counting on a higher turnout, more like 200,000, to deliver her the seat even though Republican typically turn out on election day. Democrats do appear to have a stronger GOTV operation…so a big turnout could put Sink over the top. Two hundred thousand-plus voters does seem plausible, even for a special election, given the amount of attention on the race. In 2010, more than 216,000 voters turned in in that district.

Unless I’m misreading this, that means Republicans are banking on significantly lower turnout than in 2010. Vagaries of turnout, which are unpredictable in a special election, will decide this. Nonetheless, folks will ascribe all sorts of deep meaning to the outcome, which is too bad.

* Another PPP poll finds GOP Rep. Paul Broun leading Rep. Phil Gingrey in the Georgia GOP Senate primary by double digits. Dems hope an outsized Tea Partyer such as Broun wins the nomination, making a surprise pickup (which would mean a much steeper road to a GOP majority) somewhat more likely.

Also: Dem candidate Michelle Nunn is tied or slightly ahead of all her GOP challengers.

* Ryan Cooper with some smart points about centrist elites who profess all kinds of concern when it comes to the impact entitlements will have on growth, even as they’re oddly reluctant to push for Fed action to stimulate growth.

* A new CNN poll finds that Americans approve of Obama’s handling of the Ukraine crisis by 48-43 – while Obama’s overall approval is down at 43-53 – but this finding struck me as the most interesting one:

“Only one in eight support sending U.S. ground troops to Ukraine — a pretty good indication that the public would prefer a measured response to a forceful one.”

As some folks joked on Twitter, “only” one in eight support this?

* Ben Terris has an interesting profile of the Diaz-Balart brothers, with a focus on GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart’s efforts to move immigration reform forward inside a GOP that seems immovable. Notable: Paul Ryan seems to suggest GOP leaders want his efforts to continue despite putting it on ice for the year.

* And your sorely needed Monday comic relief, via Steve Benen: A conservative strategist at CPAC warns Republicans that they should “think” before making “stupid” and “obnoxious” comments about women. Seems reasonable enough! But as Steve notes, “stupid” comments aren’t really the problem here.

 

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.
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Greg Sargent | March 10