General Election Day 2014 is still a long way off, about 392 days from today. Even so, a couple dozen House Republicans who are shutting down the federal government now may not be rehired next year if polling results released Sunday by Public Policy Polling are representative of how voters are thinking in light of a shutdown of the federal government that heads into its second week.
The republicans won 63 net seats in 2010 to regain control of the U.S House of Representatives from Democrats, who won two straight elections in 2006 and 2008 that enabled them to take control the people's chamber and under whose leadership the House passed the Affordable Care Act in March of 2010.
That summer, the Tea Party had a field day in ginning up anger and hostility that turned into election gold when Republicans enjoyed a come back to power in the House, which represented the largest seat change since 1948 and the largest for any midterm election since the 1938 midterm elections. When the Tea Party revolution was over, Democrats held 193 seats compared to 242 for the GOP.
That same year, Republicans expanded its minority with six seats in the U.S. Senate and won 680 seats in state legislative races, to break the previous majority record of 628 set by Democrats in the post-Watergate elections of 1974. Republicans controlled 25 state legislatures, compared to the 15 still controlled by Democrats and took control of 29 of the 50 State Governorships.
But last year was a presidential race year that saw President Obama fight and win what seemed like a losing battle to win a second and final term. It was also a year in which Republicans would claim Americans still wanted them to control the House, even though they lost half the seats they gained in 2010, whittling down their majority to 232 compared to the 200 seats Democrats hold.
And if PPP's survey is accurate, there are another 24 seats that could flip Democratic in 2014, a midterm election year that history shows isn't generally kind to the party in power at the White House. But that rubric could be reversed should voters decided that the GOP has gone too far in shutting down the federal government in order to scuttle a law they don't like that was passed by congress, signed by the president and judged constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
To pass a bill in the House, 218 votes are needed. PPP says Republicans fall behind in 17 head-to-head matches against "generic Democrat candidates" among registered voters and lag in an additional four districts when respondents are told the Republican candidate supported the shutdown.
Writing at Politico, Lucy McCalmont reports that the Republican Party could be in danger of losing control of the House in 2014, a reversal of fortune Republicans think can't happen while Democrats hope does after one fiscal or debt crisis after another that has left the nation weary of gridlock and fearful that broaching the default ceiling on paying the nation's bills will trigger another, maybe a more severe round, national and worldwide recession.
Among the potentially troubled GOP Districts in the PPP survey are two in Ohio, the 6th Congressional District occupied held by Bill Johnson and the 14th Congressional District occupied by David Joyce.
When voters in Johnson's district were asked to weigh-in on whether Congress should or should not shutdown major activities of the federal government as a way to stop the health care law from being put into place, 42 percent agreed while 52 percent disagreed and 6 percent responded not sure.
In response to the question "Would you be less likely or more likely to support Congressman Johnson if you knew he voted to support shutting down major activities of the federal government as a way to stop the health care law from being put into place, or does it not make a difference? Forty-one percent said less likely, 40 percent said more likely, 14 percent said No difference and 5 percent said not sure.
For the same questions in the 14th District, 59 percent said no compared to 35 percent who said and six percent said no sure. Joyce fares worse than Johnson on whether he should be rehired if he voted to support shutting down major activities of the federal government as a way to stop the health care law from being put into place, or does it not make a difference? Fifty percent said less likely, 34 percent more likely, 12 percent said no difference and 4 percent said not sure.
While Johnson holds an 8-point lead over a generic Democrat, 49-41, Joyce trails by 3 points, 41-47.
Due in large part to their gerrymandering in the congressional redistricting process following the 2010 United States Census, Republicans were able to retain a 17-seat majority. Nonetheless, House Democrats won a plurality nationwide over Republicans by over 1.7 million more votes.
In last year's race, Ohio lost two seats in reapportionment. Three pairs of incumbents were redistricted together, and one new seat was created.
Democrats and enough Republicans to reach 218 votes have called on Speaker Boehner to bring a bill to the House floor to start government back up. Boehner has refused to do so, saying he wants President Obama to negotiate a restart of government that includes defunding Obamacare, his signature health care law that opened for business last Tuesday.
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