Two new polls revealed that incumbent Republican senators in New Hampshire and Wisconsin have joined vulnerable GOP incumbents in Ohio and Pennsylvania, who could lose their seats because of the Republican decision to block Obama’s SCOTUS nominee.
-Strong majorities of voters in both states think that the vacant seat on the Supreme Court should be filled this year. It’s a 62/35 spread in favor of doing so in Wisconsin, and 59/36 in New Hampshire. One thing that really stands out in both states is what a strong mandate there is from independents for filling the seat- it’s 67/30 in Wisconsin and 60/33 in New Hampshire. Those are the voters who will end up determining whether Johnson and Ayotte get reelected this fall, and they disagree with them on this issue.
-Voters in the two states are particularly concerned about the prospect of the Senate refusing to consider a nominee without even knowing who it is. 78% in New Hampshire and 76% in Wisconsin think the Senate should at least see who gets put forward before making a decision on whether they should be confirmed, and that even includes 66% of Republicans in each state who think President Obama should be able to put someone forward for serious consideration.
-This is an issue that has the potential to hurt Johnson and Ayotte at the polls in races where they’re already struggling. 53% of voters in Wisconsin say they’re less likely to vote for Johnson because of his refusal to consider a nominee, compared to just 26% who say that stance makes them more likely to vote for Johnson. It’s a similar story with Ayotte- 51% are less likely to vote for her because of this, to only 26% who say they’re more likely to vote for her. This issue is particularly damaging for both of them with independents- 57% in New Hampshire and 56% in Wisconsin say obstructionism on this issue makes them less likely to vote to reelect their Republican Senator this fall.
Earlier this week, PPP polls of Pennsylvania and Ohio found that Republican incumbents Pat Toomey (PA) and Rob Portman (OH) are in jeopardy of losing their seats due to the due to the decision by Senate Majority Leaders Mitch McConnell to obstruct President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.
Democrats need to capture five Republican seats to retake control of the Senate, and thanks to the Republican decision to obstruct and Obama’s nominee before he or she has been chosen, Democrats have the inside track on four seats. It might not matter who Republicans nominate for president.
The Senate is slipping away from Republicans because the bill for years of obstructing President Obama may be coming due this November.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association