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America's most unpopular Congressman in danger of becoming even more unpopular

by: Eric B.

Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 11:25:51 AM EST


This poll out this morning says that Dan Benishek's constituents are likely to hate him even more if he hightails it from D.C. and long-term unemployment benefits expire.

  • Rep. Dan Benishek will face voters in Michigan’s 1st district who heavily support an extension, by a 66-29 percent margin, including 60 percent of Republicans.
This is higher than the other Congressmen mentioned, and while someone Tweeted this morning that you can expect similar results in districts represented by Koo-Koo Kerry and Candace Miller, it's also important to remember that the Upper Peninsula is different than the metro Detroit area in that it gets by on a lot more federal largess because it's vast and relatively thinly populated. The federal government is really the only entity capable of properly investing in the place with the sole purpose of not leaving it to wallow in the late 20th century as more prosperous places get more investment from private interests. Also, the poverty in the Upper Peninsula is largely rural poverty, which in some ways is worse than urban poverty. So, federal unemployment benefits in a place like that more directly translates into income not just for the unemployed person but for the shop keepers and car dealers who have to rely on them to pay their own bills.
Eric B. :: America's most unpopular Congressman in danger of becoming even more unpopular
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He's even more unpopular than Kelly Bentivolio? (0.00 / 0)
That's a Detroit Lion-esque dubious achievement.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

Kerry (0.00 / 0)
Kerry is also in a much more Republican district.  I think that folks forget that even with redistricting, M-1 is still one of the few dozen or so truly competitive districts left in the country.  And, the conservatism of the Northern Michigan and the UP is different than the bat-sh%t insane conservatism you find in relatively wealthy suburban exurban districts like M-11.  

Dan is habitually in trouble, but the Dems have to actually put in the effort with redistricting instead of hoping he's just swept out with the receeding tide.  It's an entirely gettable seat, and had Stupak left his post, we wouldn't even be hearing about a Dan Benishek.


[ Parent ]
The Tea Party loathes Dan Benishek, even more than the Left does (0.00 / 0)
If you spend any amount of time surfing social media pages for Up North Tea Party people, it becomes very apparent that they hate Dan Benishek almost as much as they hate the president. They feel as if he sold out their PRINCIPLES the second he got a chance to, and as you know the only people that true believers hate more than the enemy is the person they perceive as a traitor to the cause.

Add that to the fact that he's also a fairly lousy Congressman for that district (regularly voting against federal spending programs that aid it), and that in the day he beat a genuine Establishment guy in Jason Allen.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
It comes down to candidates (0.00 / 0)
There's about 3-4 dem candidates that I think could win up there. That aside, Jerry Cannon doesn't exactly scare me as a contender up there. Strikes me as DCCC looking at someone who they think would be good on paper without knowing the actual district.



"He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security" - Benjamin Franklin

Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP


Benishek (0.00 / 0)
Stupak left under a cloud if one looks back at his blatant hypocrisy in seeking advice on an issue with a heavy overlay of religious conviction from but one group. That group was not representative of the District's overall population and to have sought advice from only that group led to his demise.

Having said that and reflecting upon the fact people of the U.P. swallowed Benishek's fables hook, line and sinker I find it hard to now sympathize with their plight. They voted for and elected him. Now it is their responsibility to boot him come 2014. That, of course, assumes they will still remember next November  that he and his Tea Party friends gave to the rich, took from the poor and middle class and colored all their decisions with racist overtones.  


Stupak's (4.00 / 2)
"demise" was because he decided not to run. If he had, he'd have been re-elected handily. Much, if not most, of the heat on Stupak came from outside the state. As for not sympathizing with the yoopers who elected Benishek, perhaps you could nonetheless send some holiday wishes to the 51.9% who did NOT vote for their current Representative?

[ Parent ]
Thank you (0.00 / 0)
I'm tired of this revisionist history from some.  Truth is, Stupak could have had that seat for life, damn near abouts.  I thought his grandstanding on the way out was shameful, but to imply the heavily conservative Catholic constiuents of his didn't agree with his stance is trying to rewrite history.  And, if there was any electoral consideration to him stepping down, it was that a lot of his political folks assumed the turnout in 2010 would be more conservative (and it was), and that it was going to be a closer race than Stupak wanted to fight for, not that he was being "too conservative" for  his constituents.

Even with his last-minute grandstanding, you'd have to be pretty far off the left end of the deep end to try and pretend that Benishek isn't many magnitudes worse than Stupak, who gave one of the most brilliantly hellish smack-downs of the War in Iraq during the lead-up to the war.  Stupak was the epitome of the character of the majority of his North Michigan and UP constiuents for food and bad, and they could have done a lot worse...and they did when they turned away McDowell (twice) to go with the guy who is absolutely contemptous to not just his constiuency, but normal human interaction.

I'm very interested to see what the new year brings for Jerry Cannon.  What remains to be seen is whether the national party will give him more than lip service, and whether his amiable personality translates to dollars within the district.  I certainly wouldn't put all my eggs in the last basket.  That's what McDowell did, and look where it got him.  


[ Parent ]
Stupak/Thanks (0.00 / 0)
 Stupak's supporters were far from sufficient to get him reelected and he knew it. As for out of state heat its worth noting how yoopers handel things when they get burned. They may not be vocal about it but they do remember that what goes around comes around and Stupak saw that train bearing down on him. I'll accept the statement that 51.9% of the total vote went somewhere other than to Benishek. But that 51.9% figure includes those casting ballots for the fringes,i.e., Green and Libertarian Parties. Lumping their votes with the Democratic vote would also give you the 51.9% figure. Would that not have produced a Democratic majority?

Just what is meant by "revisionist" history? I know it's a popular buzz word for some when there is an inference of some murky misdoing by some unnamed source but I disagree with the premise Stupak was a sure shot for a lifetime run in the House of Representatives. He was the one who decided that a personally held belief system was to guide him while representing a geographically wide spread area with a very diverse population, one not dominated by any single ideology or faith. To say otherwise is to underestimate the thinking and convictions of those who live there. Anyone who underestimates their interactions and recreations to outside influences does at their own peril.  


[ Parent ]
Huh? (0.00 / 0)
Which race are you talking about?  And, why would you attribute someone else's numbers (McDowell's I'm assuming) to Stupak?  Stupak would have won in 2010 coming and going against Benishek.  

I'm not even going to bother addressing the rest.


[ Parent ]
His pro-Life politics probably did very little to diminish his standing in the district (0.00 / 0)
I hate to seize upon Ye Olde Trope that somehow Yoopers are a different breed than us trolls, but it's my understanding that there is a significant number of pro-Life, liberal Catholics in that part of the state. It's what made Connie Saltonstall's candidacy, launched from Charlevoix, so laughable.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't have bet against Stupak (0.00 / 0)
Stupak had an ace in the hole up there. Constituent service. I have a lot of family and friends in that district, and many of the people I know who are right of center still voted for "Bart" (as they called him) every time, because of no other reason than their view of the job the office did in responding to their concerns.

Many were upset at his voting for Obamacare. However I think he would have survived. He might not have gotten 60%+ like he normally did, but I wouldn't have bet against 50-53% in 2010, which would have saved him in 2012 as well.  

The Kos push against Stupak was a joke. That district will not support someone out of touch with most of the district, be it a city progressive, or big business type.  

As for Cannon, he has a strong geographical mismatch there. He doesn't scare me nearly as much as McDowell did.  

"He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security" - Benjamin Franklin

Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP


[ Parent ]
My gut (0.00 / 0)
My gut tells me all of this belly-aching over the geographical stretch of this district is a major misread.  I guess we'll just have to find out, and I'm not totally familiar with voting pattersn up that way, but this conventional wisdom that holds that "Yoopers only votes for Yoopers" sounds like something that could be true, but I'm not sure if it is, or will be.  It feels to me that the divide is becoming much more east-west than north-south (in the UP).

[ Parent ]

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