Some Democrats supporting or considering supporting the Iran deal are undoubtedly looking at their electoral hopes. Conservative economist and former CNBC host Larry Kudlow, for example, said on his talk radio show Saturday that he's going to run against Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in 2016 if Blumenthal supports the Iran deal. (Our whip count has Blumenthal as leaning yes, but hesitant.)
"I'm not a political guy," Kudlow said, but told his audience he has to run because "I am so angry at this issue."
So can you really run — and win — an election by rallying opposition to the Iran deal? Our polling analyst, Scott Clement, has done a great job piecing together how Americans feel about the deal, and we used his analysis to help understand how one might campaign against the Iran deal.
Here's a list of do's and don'ts for people like Kudlow looking to take down a Democrat using the Iran deal.
Don't talk about how there shouldn't be a deal
Americans don't trust Iran to hold up its end of the bargain, but Americans do seem willing to give diplomacy a try more broadly.
As the deal was being negotiated this spring, polls across the board showed robust majorities or pluralities of Americans supported the broad strokes of the deal, ranging from 46 to 61 percent.
Support has dropped in the weeks since Obama announced a deal had been reached.
But Republicans might actually be hesitant to totally kill the deal — especially if, as Obama and deal supporters argue, the consequence is or could be war.
Don't talk about the details of the deal
One reason Americans were more approving of the deal before it was signed July 14 appears to be because in pre-deal polls, pollsters explained it by talking about its specific details. These included: allowing international inspectors to regularly access Iran's nuclear facilities for 25 years, cutting centrifuges used to help enrich uranium from 19,000 to 6,000 and getting rid of most of Iran's 10,000 kilograms of enriched-uranium stockpiles.
We have theorized that hearing what's in the deal to try to halt Iran's nuclear weapon development can help reassure voters that it might work — or at least that the aims are sound. In polls in which voters are allowed an option of "unsure" or "don't know," more than one-third choose that option.
Democrats will argue that this vindicates Obama, and politically, if Democrats can argue the specifics versus the entire package, that's good for them. But in politics, the finer points are often lost in the larger debate. And something on which the specifics poll well — Obamacare being a good recent example — its overall approval is hardly assured.
Don't try to point to Jewish Americans' opinion
Israel's leadership, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is strongly against the deal. And in Congress, prominent Democratic allies of Israel like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are having a hard time accepting it. (Schumer, Senate Democrats' No. 3 and soon-to-be leader, is against it.)
But in the real world, Jewish Americans actually support the deal in greater numbers than most Americans, according to the LA Jewish Journal Survey, which conducted this national survey after the deal was signed.
This could be because Jewish Americans are more liberal than the average American, and liberals tend to support the deal. But clearly, Jewish Americans are probably not going to be on your side if you're challenging a Democrat. And any suggestion that Obama has alienated Jewish Americans — at least with this deal specifically — appears unfounded.
Do talk about how Obama is a bad negotiator
Even when the deal was more popular than unpopular, Obama's authority over it was not. A July Washington Post/ABC News poll found that just 35 percent of Americans approved of Obama's handling of the deal, while 52 percent did not approve of the president negotiating with Iran.
So hammering the unpopular president is probably a good idea if you want to rally voters to this particular cause. As we saw in a June Washington Post/ABC News poll, Americans are also increasingly upset with the president's handling of the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria — an issue that is related if not directly tied to the Iran deal.
Opponents of the deal are concerned that Obama negotiated a deal with Iran that could eventually funnel cash to those terrorists groups. The polling would indicate Americans are worried as well.
Do talk about how we can't trust Iran
Even more than their doubts of Obama, Americans don't trust Iran to follow through on its end of the bargain.
A July Monmouth University poll found that 55 percent of Americans said they don't trust Iran "at all" to dismantle its nuclear program and allow independent inspections. It's probably a good idea to hammer home all the times Iran has wronged the U.S. if you want to sow doubt about the deal.
Do talk about how the deal might threaten national security
Despite the above, stumping on the campaign trail about the Ayatollah and international sanctions might not motivate people to go to the ballot box . You could get some traction by talking about how the Iran deal (or lack thereof) is a threat to our national security.
Defending the U.S. from terrorism has consistently been one of Americans' top priorities for their elected officials since 2002, according to a Pew Research survey. In a January poll, Pew found that it was Americans' top priority for Congress and Obama — statistically tying the economy (76 percent and 75 percent, respectively).
Kudlow, in his almost-announcement, seemed to grasp most of the above.
"The Iranian thing is more important," he said. "We're talking about world security, national security. They're coming to get us, and Iran will finance them. They're going to finance them. They are coming to get us."
But whether the Iran deal is enough to motivate voters to buck Blumenthal in blue Connecticut is another question entirely.