A new poll showing a jaw dropping plunge in popularity for a notable Teaparty shutter could be an ominous portent for Republicans who got dragged into the shutdown mess by Ted Cruz. The poll conducted by the Center For the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University using a rigorous methodology in one of the most conservative states in the nation shows Cruz sidekick Mike Lee losing favorability in a big way.
Daily Kos — In June, Utah Sen. Mike Lee’s net favorable rating was +9, with 50 percent of the state rating him favorably and 41 percent rating him unfavorably. Four months and one government shutdown later, his net rating is now -11, a drop of 20 points, with just 40 percent rating him favorably and 51 percent giving him a thumbs down.
The cross tabs here (.pdf) are devastating. Lee is at 40% very unfavorable, respondents say Lee should be willing to compromise on Obamacare 57% to 45%, again this in a very conservative sample, and 70% feel strongly about their view. Those polled blame House Republicans for the shutdown by 45% to Senate Democrats at 18%. In this Teaparty heavy region only 37% to blame the President by name. A more general national poll is even worse news for the GOP, it’s being called an unmitigated political disaster for conservatives:
MSNBC — By a 22-point margin (53 percent to 31 percent), the public blames the Republican Party more for the shutdown than President Barack Obama – a wider margin of blame for the GOP than the party received during the poll during the last shutdown in 1995-96. … Just 24 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion about the GOP, and only 21 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party, which are both at all-time lows in the history of [the] poll.
November 2014 is a long ways off. Just a few weeks ago all the chatter was Syria and how it was Obama’s Waterloo, remember? That issue has completely disappeared from the collective public and media radar. But if similar numbers continue through next Spring, especially for House members in their own districts, Ted Cruz may turn out to be our secret weapon, handing over a tough but nevertheless, actual viable path to retaking the House and making gains in the Senate despite historic congressional gerrymandering.
I don’t know if I’d call that a miracle, but I might offer a sacrifice to the Great Pumpkin and/or FSM just to hedge Pascal’s Wager.