Friday, April 20, 2012

MOScout Poll on Healthcare

MOScout did a poll earlier this week asking Missourians whether they favored the federal healthcare legislation and whether state politicians’ position on that issue would influence their vote in November.  Read the full report Here.


Direction of Missouri

As our previous surveys have demonstrated, a large majority of Missourians are focusing on the economic problems that have spawned loss of jobs and opportunity. In this poll, 40% of respondents indicate that things were headed in the right direction, while 60% said that things were off on the wrong track.


While these numbers are still unfavorable, it should be noted that it is a very slight improvement from our November 2011 survey where only 38% of respondents indicated things were headed in the right direction.


President Obama’s Health Care Law

Democrats were shellacked by Republicans in 2010 with the changes in health care as one of the prime issues of the day. Recently, President Obama’s re-election campaign has reignited attempts to frame the federal health care law in more favorable terms. From what we found among Missouri voters, the President’s campaign still has a long way to go.


When asked about the law, a majority of voters (58%) said they were opposed to the law, with 42% saying they supported the law.


The President’s Coattails (or Millstone)

The Missouri legislature has spent a significant amount of time trying to find ways to circumvent the federal health care law. We were curious if candidate’s positions on the health care law would have an affect on races for the state senate or state house of representatives. It appears to be the case.


A question was posed to voters about a candidate for state legislature supporting the federal health care law - 31% of voters said they’d be more likely to support the candidate, 15% said it didn’t factor in and 54% said they’d be less likely to support the candidate. Predictably, in the partisan demographics Democrats were far more likely to support the candidate and Republicans were far less likely to support the candidate. Interestingly, Independents were less likely to support the candidate by a 2 to 1 margin.


Potential Campaign Strategies

This poll provides insight into the two electoral strategies most likely to be employed by the parties in the run-up to the November election.


For Republicans, it is extremely beneficial to goad their Democratic rivals into a debate about whether or not the federal health care law is good for Missouri. By a 2 to 1 margin, Independent voters were more likely to both oppose the health care law and be less likely to support a candidate who backed the idea. Nothing would be more helpful to a Republican sweep than to relive the 2010 campaign. Drawing Democrats into this debate is clearly a winning strategy.


Democrats must find something besides health care to talk about in November 2012 if they want to stem their most recent losses and keep their statewide elected officials in office. Despite recent attempts by the President’s campaign to revive support for the health care law, the results are moribund in Missouri. This survey found a small improvement in right track/wrong direction measurement from a previous survey almost six months ago (albeit extremely slim). For Democrats, it may be advantageous to frame the conversation around the economy and the improvements in job numbers – rehashing a familiar phrase to party insiders from twenty years ago – “It’s the economy, stupid.”



Ameren’s Big News

Lots of love yesterday when Ameren and Westinghouse Electric announced a partnership to pursue Department of Energy funding for the production of “small modular nuclear reactors.”  They are talking about reactors that would generate 225 megawatts of energy – and they imagine in the future that demand for these units could run into the thousands.


The two companies signed their partnership agreement on Wednesday, and their application is due next month.


The excitement here is because this falls into the “big idea” category.  For starters, the DOE funding would run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.  But if that came through AND Westinghouse chose Missouri to build its training center, its engineer design center, its manufacturing plant, Missouri would be looking at decades long economic development project in an emerging industry.


Hallway Talk

This takes ESP and Renewables off the table for this last month of session as the warring factions lay down their arms and the lion and lamb lay down together…


FERAF Press Release

"This is a great day for Missouri and a major victory for Missouri utility consumers. There is a right way and a wrong way to finance construction of new energy resources in our state, and this is the right way. The announcement today helps establish an energy plan for Missouri that will include an ample, reliable source of electricity, while also protecting Missouri ratepayers. This announcement accomplishes FERAF's number one priority on this issue --- ensuring that Missouri ratepayers will not spend a penny on a new nuclear plant until and unless it begins producing globally competitive low-cost energy.”


MBEF Press Release

“This is an important and positive step for Missouri and our energy future. I applaud Governor Jay Nixon, Senator Mike Kehoe, Representative Jeanie Riddle, our state’s utility community, and the overwhelming majority of members of the General Assembly who supported our efforts and helped make this amazing opportunity for our state a reality.


“Over the last four years, MBEF’s supporters across the state educated the public to show that clean alternative sources of energy like nuclear are a path forward for Missouri. Today, we are another step closer to creating jobs, boosting our economy and securing our energy future.”



Jeanne for General Laws?

It’s said that Rep. Jeanne Riddle, now sidetracked from her state senate plans for two years, is eyeing a return to house leadership.  But an effort is underway to accommodate that desire without creating any additional contested leadership races.  One possible solution: chair of the Rules Committee, or General Laws Committee.



Waiting on Biz Checks

In the secretary of state’s race, the Republican field has yet to produce a real favorite.  And while their fundraising has been okay, but not great, Democrat Rep. Jason Kander now has more cash on-hand than all three Republicans combined.

Looking ahead to the next quarter it’s possible that Sen. Scott Rupp can turn up his fundraising.  Rupp’s had geographically diverse reports.  A lot of Rep. Shane Schoeller’s money has been from Southwest Missouri, and much of Sen. Bill Stouffer’s has been from within his district.


Historically as much as ¾ of Republicans statewide donations come from six zip codes in St. Louis County, so this could bode well for Rupp when/if the St. Louis business community engages in this race.


But will the STL Biz community engage?  They haven’t really in the state treasurer’s race.  They may be playing wait and see…



Consultant Watch

Former state representative Gina Walsh, running for Senate 13, has retained Show Me Victories, recently formed by Michael Kelley and Gregg Christian for professional services.



Still no April fundraising report from Walsh’s primary opponent, Redditt Hudson.




Senate 13

Gina Walsh in 55 percent African American district who will turnout for Congressman Clay vs. Carnanhan primary.  I would make Redditt Hudson favorite.”



“Your offhand mention of the Senate Judiciary committee passing this resolution ignores that it totally guts the nonpartisan court plan by packing the commission with 4 lay members that will be appointed by a sitting Governor after serving 24 months of his/her term. With a 4-3 edge over the elected lawyers the ‘non-partisan’ court plan is officially dead. It now becomes an extension of a political program to consolidate power in one party.”


Senate 7

“Interesting and thoughtful bunch of analyses. A friend in KC says this about your prognosis in Senate 7:  ‘I must say that Holsman is winning the seat in Jefferson City, while Crystal has a distinct advantage in KC!’”



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Gamble and Schlemeier added Southern Wine and Spirits, and Midwest Adult Day Care Services Inc.

The Giddens Group added Friends of the Kansas City Zoo.



$5K+ Contributions

Friends of Morris - $10,000 from David Morris.




Happy Birthday to Chris Moody and FERAF's Chris Roepe.


Saturday: Rep. Paul Curtman (31), former Rep. Maynard Wallace (69), MO Chamber’s Dan Mehan and Grand Strategist David Barklage.