The Support of Sarah Palin and the Koch Brothers Backfires and Brings Down Joni Ernst

cropped version of image by Charlie Neibergall / AP
cropped version of image by Charlie Neibergall / AP

The Republican brand is catching up with them in Iowa and it’s time for the Koch Brothers to rebrand again. Their name is dirt, even with the Republican base who continue to cheer policies that are harmful for themselves and their children.

By more than 2-1, the Koch Brothers affiliation hurts Joni Ernst. According to a new Iowa poll analyzed by the Des Moines Register, the Koch Brothers’ support for Republican Senate candidate and castration expert Joni Ernst is a big fat negative, with 50% disapproving and only 21% approving. Even Republicans are disgusted, with 36% finding the Kochs to be a noose around the castrator’s neck and only 27% approving.

You know who else hurts Joni Ernst? Sarah Palin, with only 30% saying her support of Ernst helps and 56% saying it hurts. We’ve been trying to explain this to Republicans, but they are so desperate to cater to the extremist wing of their party that they still believe the mainstream belief in the power of Palin. Newsflash: This isn’t 2010.

Meanwhile, as Republicans stew in the toxicity which is their Koch Palin brand, Democratic Representative Bruce Braley is gaining on Ernst, with just one point separating them now, 47/46. Previously Ernst had been leading by 6 points, though she has also gained 3 points. The Register credits “armies of Democratic activists going door to door” for “piling up the votes for Braley.”

But also, the voters like Braley’s policies better (totally not shocking since Democrats align with most of America and Republicans align with the top 2%). “Likely voters find more of Braley’s policy positions closer to their own views than Ernst’s positions among 10 issues tested. A majority of likely voters favor six of Braley’s stances to four of Ernst’s.”

In the matter of the People versus the Kochs, the People are gaining.

If the public doesn’t approve of the Koch Brothers’ support for Joni Ernst, wait until they find out that she’s playing fast and loose with campaign finance laws to the extent that a Super PAC running $1 million in TV campaign ads against her opponent, Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, “is run out of the Des Moines consulting firm of a strategist for Braley’s GOP opponent,” according to the Washington Post.

In yet another example of why the IRS was investigating the shady behavior of these “tax exempt” groups buying our elections, WaPo continued to explain that even though the law says the candidate’s campaign can’t coordinate with SuperPACs:

The super PAC, Priorities for Iowa Political Fund, is headed by Sara Craig, a consultant for Redwave Communications. Last year, Craig and Redwave founder David Kochel together started a similarly named tax-exempt group, Priorities for Iowa, which ran an ad hammering Braley after he was caught on tape dismissively referring to GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley as “a farmer.”

More recently, Kochel has served as an outside strategist for Braley’s opponent, GOP Senate candidate Joni Ernst. Her campaign has paid Kochel’s firm more than $25,000 for direct mail services this year, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

Nothing to see here, peeps. Totally legit.

The bad news is piling up for Ernst after her disappointing debate performance Saturday evening caused Bryon York to opine in the Washington Examiner, “Braley matched or outshone Ernst on topic after topic in tonight’s one-hour faceoff”. York found that once again, what the Republicans had taken for granted about a race was not, in fact, true:

The old conventional wisdom among Republicans in the Iowa Senate race is that Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democrat running against Republican Joni Ernst, had a serious doofus problem — he couldn’t stop putting his foot in his mouth and, despite four terms in the House of Representatives, had trouble presenting himself as a plausible contender for the United States Senate.

The new conventional wisdom, after Saturday night’s debate at St. Ambrose University here in Davenport, is that Braley is a savvy trial lawyer whose courtroom skills make him a formidable debate opponent. And indeed, Braley matched or outshone Ernst on topic after topic in tonight’s one-hour faceoff. Ernst had her moments, but there’s no doubt Braley recovered nicely after a poor performance in the pair’s first debate two weeks ago.

Sam Wang of Elect Project finds even small changes matter in this race, as “Iowa poll brings median to Ernst+0.5%, about 5,500 votes. With 120,000 early votes cast, even small changes matter”.

Oh. Probably not a good idea to advertise that Ernst is in bed with the SuperPAC running the negative ads against the guy who has a record of working for the middle class. And Ernst might want to stop talking about how she wants to privatize Social Security. That’s a big loser with voters — another issue that surprises no one but the Republican Party.

Republican candidates need to be reminded that their number one job is pretending to be moderate until they win elections. Going Sarah Palin/Koch brothers before an election is not a good plan. What might work for a gerrymandered House campaign is much more risky in a Senate campaign. This should be obvious since both Sarah Palin and David Koch lost their campaigns to be our Vice Presidents, and are now doing everything in their power to backseat drive the GOP over the crazy cliff.

30 Replies to “The Support of Sarah Palin and the Koch Brothers Backfires and Brings Down Joni Ernst”

  1. Well, if Koch leaves a toxic taste to Iowans, then what about the other states where the races are close? Maybe the Iowans can knock some sense into other voters…Koch is not IN YOUR BEST INTEREST!!

    As far as the other “toxic waste” named in the article, she is not worth mentioning by name.

  2. Digging down into the issues’ polling, the most important issue for Iowans is unemployment/jobs (19%), and healthcare (15%), which appears to give Braley an edge, as the issues Ernst is running on, the deficit and international terrorism are both rated lower on the list. Perhaps Obama’s personal unpopularity might cause a drag, but the ACA’s importance is nullifying that, with Iowa voters. And with such a short time until the election, only 4% are listed as undecided. If Iowa is unfriendly territory for the Kochs’ and Palin, those numbers will be reflected in other close Senate races as well. I think the Palin bubble has burst with the recent confirming revelations about her dysfunctional family, and she will be an anchor around the necks of others in close Senate races.

  3. Elections don’t seem to be about electing the best candidates anymore. This election will come down to what it always comes down to these days–Reichpublicans, with their very flawed canidates, combined with their fanatically driven, high voter turn-out base, vs. Democrats, whose voter turn-out is always unreliable/unpredictable during a non-presidential election year. Without a doubt, if Democrats bother to vote this election, and probably all future elections, Democrats will win. We have the numbers, and they don’t. However, historically, Democrats have always behaved as though elections are only held every 4 years. And that’s the only reason that Republicans are still in the game.

  4. the races may not be ad close as the msm claim they are. remember who they support. besides if either party had candidates that was winning by double digits, the msm won’t report it, it will scare the gop voters from voting. the only exception is the scott brown race, he’s losing by double digits to sheehan, but new hampshire is a blue state, it means nothing to the msm.

    but to report brownback is losing, by, say 8 points, the media won’t report that, only if brownback was winning by that many points would they report it.

  5. joni Ernst is another huge embarrassment to this nation. nothing but a sarah palin clone and Koch bros tea party puppet. here are a couple of things that make her your typical and classic rightwing whacko bird- she wants to privatize social security, she wants to continue the war on women, she wants to pass state law to nullify federal law (can you say unconstitutional and treason) and of all things, this clown is claiming to have first hand knowledge that there indeed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq during the 2nd Iraq war and that bush and cheney were right. all this from the woman who ran an ad where she said she castrated hogs. that’s some f*cked up, wacky, bat-crap crazy sh*t!!!

  6. Maxie, I enjoy your posts. Thanks for the feedback on these close races. I don’t feel so discouraged. You are right, MSM is going to “selectively” report what they want.

    Good thought, thanks!

  7. Just remember, this is the party of Michele Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, Louie Gohmert, Ted Cruz, Joe Wilson, Duncan Hunter, the Pauls… the list of loons is nearly endless.

  8. Please don’t explain anything about the Koch bros and Palin. Let the GOP keep shooting themselves in both feet.

  9. The point is..Joni Ernst believes in the same polices that crazy Sarah and the corrupt Koch’s believe in that continue to destroy the middle class and kill our environment! She is Sarah Palin…She is the Koch brothers if she gets to Washington!

  10. What does this mean: “…she’s playing fast and loose with campaign finance laws to the extent that a Super PAC running $1 million in TV campaign ads against her opponent, Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, “is run out of the Des Moines consulting firm of a strategist for Braley’s GOP opponent,” according to the Washington Post.”

  11. It might be that Palin s secretly in the pay of the DNC. Each time she does something even more astoundingly outrageous to harm the Rethugnican cause, they slip her an envelop of cash.

    That would explain so many things.

  12. The problem is that in SW Iowa, (where I live, so I know), & other parts west of Des Moines it’s largely ignorant far right tea party loons that dominate the political landscape & voters here. On the plus side is that most of Iowa’s population skews center/east, but remember, this is the state that has elected Terry Branstad as governor countless times, so it’s very schizophrenic politically. They’ll vote against their own interests far too many times.

  13. Bruce Bradley could defend that ‘Lawyer/Farmer’ comment by saying:

    “If Chuck Grassley were a lawyer, he would have known that the Affordable Care Act DID NOT contain ‘Death Panels,’ especially since it was his very own contribution to the ACA that he claimed later had them.’

    As such, Chuck Grassley needlessley scared numerous constituents over the fears that the ACA would somehow lead to euthanasia, and this fearmongering led to the delays in medical coverage for hundreds of thousands of Idahoan residents.

    If Sarah Palin were a lawyer, she too would know that her whole ‘Death Panel’ ruse, was just that. Instead, she is actively coaching and supporting my competitor.

    Hopefully, Joni Earnst will state that ‘Death Panels’ do not exist in the ACA–even though she is not an attorney.”

  14. I just hope Iowans remember this is a Senate race, not a little 2-yr term, because Ernst would be a regrettable choice.

  15. How did it bring her down? She’s been leading in this race all along even with the Des Moines Register’s most clever polling tactics.

    Braley has irritated Iowans by condescending to people like Senator Grassley for being just a farmer without a law degree.

    He’s been in Congress all these years and has contributed to the growing of our unsustainable debt.

    Obama has a lower approval rating in Iowa than Sarah Palin has.

    The Dems spent millions trying to convince Iowans that Palin and Ernst were one in the same and she still leads in the polls.

    Sounds to me the Dems know they’ve lost this one, but somehow want folks to believe that moderates and squishies are what did it AFTER they suggested Ernst is Palin made over. Now Dems want to back track on that so they can attempt the GOP to run more squishies.

    Pathetic…oh and regarding billionaire backers, tell Braley to get away from the environmentalist billionaires in California.

  16. Why would any respectable rethug want the drunk from Wasilla on the same stage is beyond me. After the drunken brawl she and her family were in recently, I’d stay far away from the Palin’s. Then on second thought, rethugs seem to enjoy the bawdy side of life. The Politicians they choose to run seem to prove my point.

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