Congressional Republicans returned home for the holidays with empty stockings for constituents suffering through long-term unemployment, after the GOP repeatedly blocked renewal of the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation fund. Now a new survey shows their stinginess could create a significant backlash at the polls next year — including from some Republican voters.
Public Policy Polling (PPP) took a look at four Republican-occupied swing districts in the House, as well as that of House Speaker John Boehner. Bipartisan majorities of voters in each district supported extending long-term unemployment benefits.
A common rejoinder to such polling data is that voters might not prioritize the issue when casting a ballot next fall — but PPP also asked if a failure to extend long-term unemployment benefits would make voters less likely to re-elect the incumbent. In each district, the answer was yes.
Poll results such as these, along with increasingly brutal local media coverage, must be worrisome to Republican strategists. They reinforce several major negative perceptions about congressional Republicans: that they are pervasively obstructionist, that they have little concern for struggling Americans and that they have allowed ideology to hamper the economic recovery.
That’s the message progressives will be hammering home, especially when benefits for the long-term unemployed stop three days after Christmas.The Washington Post