Category Archives: Debbie Stabenow
Roll Call just released their annual ranking of the amount of clout each state’s delegation has in Washington. Michigan this year, like the year before, came in 4th place, behind only California, New York, and Texas. But with the size of the delegation having great importance in the rankings, it is no surprise these top three states (which are also top three in population; Michigan is 8th) are there. Other criteria include number of committee chairs and ranking members, the importance of the committees, number of members in the majority party, and seniority.
Here’s what Roll Call had to say about Michigan:
Although Rep. John Dingell (D) was ousted recently as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he is the longest-serving House Member in history. And Michiganâ€™s delegation remains one of the most senior and powerful in the country, anchored by Dingell (28 terms), House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (23 terms), Democratic Reps. Dale Kildee (17 terms), Sander Levin (14 terms) and Bart Stupak (nine terms), and Republican Reps. Fred Upton (12 terms), Dave Camp (10 terms), Vern Ehlers (nine terms) and Pete Hoekstra (nine terms).
And donâ€™t forget about Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D), who was just elected to his sixth term.
Additionally, Democrats in 2008 flipped two House seats that were previously held by Republicans, upping their clout further.
Shawty wanna thug
I hear a lot of complaints about our junion Senator from Michigan. Many kevetch that in her one and a half terms in the Senate she has failed to make a name for herself and pass any noteworthy legislation. What we fail to realize is that she sits in a crucial position at this time in history.
Debbie Stabenow is the chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, which is the powerful group that helps determine committee chairmanships in the new Democratic Congress. Why does this matter?
Debbie Stanbenow controls whether or not Jo Liebs is booted or not… Take that.
Except on the main streets, Denver seems rather quiet the last day before the convention proper starts.Â The security, though is overwhelming, the entire state of Colorado has donated cops, who combine with a substantial DHS presence to give an impression of overwhelming force, making me feel both safe, and a little bit like Iâ€™m living in a police state.Â Iâ€™ve worked on Capitol Hill and itâ€™s nowhere near as heavily secured as Niketown Denver (at least overtly â€“ Iâ€™m sure there were many innocent looking people authorized to kill me.)
(cross-posted on my blog)
New numbers out, courtesy of Survey USA (conducted between September 15 and September 17):
Dick DeVos (R) – 47%
Granholm (D) – 47%
Undecided – 2%
Margin of error – 3.7%
With high name recognition for both candidates only 2% of voters are undecided, showing that this is a very heated and polarized race.
Bouchard (R) – 41%
Stabenow (D) – 54%
Undecided – 2%
Margin of error – 3.6%
Unless Bouchard can raise his visibility quickly, it will become increasingly unlikely that the national GOP will intervene in this race.
Cox (R) – 49%
Williams (D) – 41%
Undecided – 4%
Margin of error – 3.7%
Pretty self-explanatory. I can’t imagine most voters know who Williams is yet.
Yes – 33%
No – 32%
Not Sure – 35%
Margin of error – 5.8%
Only 40% of the poll’s participants claimed to know what the MCRI is. Over a third of voters who knew what the MCRI is don’t know how they will vote on this yet, and there is a high margin of error. Nobody knows how they are going to vote on this yet. Its the same story as always: its tough to poll ballot proposals, no idea what is going to happen with this.
Overall, I trust the methodology of this poll a lot more than EPIC-MRA last week. In my opinion, IVR is preferable over traditional phone polling. In addition, they appear to try harder to get a truly random, representative sample. I’m also glad that they ask the “critical” questions right off the bat, without any leading questions. I would still like to know the number of people that they considered a likely voter for each demographic (gender, race, age, geography, and so on), so that we can determine for ourselves if it seems representative of the population.
You can view the crosstabs here. Not a lot very interesting or unexpected, though.
It is important to note that it is not enough to just try and turn out a target region or demographic. However, this information can help us to identify who and where it is generally worth spending more resources trying to turn out.
In terms of the Governor’s race, Republicans support DeVos more than Democrats support Granholm. We have voters aged 50 and up, whereas DeVos is is more popular with individuals under 50. Black voters, Hispanic voters, and other minorities seem to favor Granholm. Although individuals in “Generation Y” tend to support Granholm, people in college or with some college experience favor DeVos by a wide margin (sucks for me). We have strong support in Wayne County and Urban areas. DeVos is ahead nearly everywhere else, with one notable exception: Interestingly, Granholm is within the margin of error with DeVos in his hometown of Grand Rapids.
Today, September 17th, the University of Michigan Diag was filled with America’s leading progressive voices. Six Democratic U.S. Senators, Debbie Stabenow, Barbara Boxer, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu, Patty Murray, and Barbara Mikulski, came to Ann Arbor to energize students about the upcoming election cycle.
Debbie Dingell, a candidate for Wayne State Board of Governors and wife of Congressman John Dingell, introduced the senators. Each woman praised the amazing work that Senator Stabenow has done on Capitol Hill, thanking her for fighting for Healthcare, a cleaner environment, an improved economy, and affordable education. Many of the senators also thanked Debbie Stabenow for her commitment to the troops in the Middle East. Senator Stabenow was one of the twenty-three senators to vote against the Iraq War, but has NEVER voted against a single bill that would provide troops with the necessary equipment and resources that they need.
Senator Stabenow’s dedication to Michigan was also one of the leading themes of the event. Senator Boxer even joked that her friendship with Stabenow has caused her to know almost more about Michigan than her own state of California. The ladies also reminded students of the importance of this election and encouraged them not to become complacent because Stabenow is currently polling above 50% and seemingly out of reach by her opponent. Boxer stated that President Bush does not want to re-elect Senator Stabenow. She also said that in the 24 hours she had been in Michigan she had seen 4-5 negative ads by Republican Dick DeVos attacking Governor Granholm and argued that if Republicans were willing to lie about Granholm’s record, they would lie about Stabenow’s as well.
All six of the senators suggested that it was extremely important that students get involved, encouraging students to talk to friends, other students on campus, family members, and even the people standing “in front and in back of you” in the supermarket checkout line. This election is extremely important, not only for the future of this state, but also to set the tone for the 2008 presidential elections. It is difficult to imagine a Democrat winning the presidency if Michigan goes red, and Republicans are willing to spend millions of dollars and bend the truth as much as possible in attempts to make that happen. The senators stressed the importance of having Debbie Stabenow’s voice in the Senate to stand up to President Bush and make sure that her opponent doesn’t just become another rubberstamp for Bush’s right-wing agenda.
After the event Senator Stabenow, and the other women, met with students and held brief conversations with them about the election and about important issues. The event was a huge success and helped to remind students that their votes and their voices are important enough to bring in the most influential women in the United States. The event was largely organized by Students for Stabenow Chair, Sam Harper and College Democrats’ Events Coordinator, Maggie Randolph.
The now infamous Morgan Wilkins – who proposed plans for a “catch an illegal immigrant day” and “fun with guns” where college Republicans would gather to literally fire guns at cardboard effigies of John Kerry and Hillary Clinton – was back on campus today to protest the Women on the Road to Victory rally starring Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and five other Democratic female US Senators.
The young Wilkins was holding a sign which stayed true to her principled and rational approach to political debate: “Debbie Kills Babies!” Now, one thing I do give Ms. Wilkins credit for is the
courage idiocy to return to campus so quickly after her name became synonymous for a degree of bigotry, intolerance, and extreme tactlessness that even Republicans from the local U of M chapter to Ken Mehlman at the RNC denounced.
Pictures – to be posted in an update shortly – show Wilkins posing proudly with a DeVos t-shirt on. I have two questions prompted by Wilkins cameo on the Diag today: First, is she still working for the College Republican National Committee and if so were they really so remarkably stupid as to send her back to Michigan? Second, does DeVos know who he has out campaigning for him, and if he does, I wonder if he would join the rest of America in condemning her hate-filled events and plans?
(cross-posted on my blog, Who Got The Gravy?)
Keep in mind that there are a lot of problems with the methodology of polling in general (question wording bias, bias because of the kinds of people who decide to respond, bias in phone ownership, answers differing from actual voting behavior, question order influences). On top of that, no poll accounts for voter energy and election day GOTV. Finally, remember what Mark Grebner had to say about ballot proposals.
Polls provide a “snapshot” in time, but can miss the larger context or underlying issues that could have a big influence on races in the future. Being locally based and people who have an understanding of local politics in their area can provide much more accurate and insightful information.
Also, question order is important. This poll asked several questions before it got around to asking whether the voter would choose Granholm/DeVos/Stabenow/Bouchard. Asking about whether Michigan is on the right track, about Bush, and even each of the “issues” before asking for the final descision could have skewed the results in favor of one candidate or the other.
In this particular poll, 57% females were questioned as opposed to 43% males. The fact that females were more likely to answer the poll tells us two things. It tells us that the method used to pick respondents is not representative of the population. It also explains some of the difference in favor of Granholm (since women tend to favor Granholm by a greater margin than men).
With all of that in mind, here are the numbers:
More detailed breakdowns from the poll are available here.
The margin of error for the study is 4%. Given the sample size, the difference between Granholm and DeVos is statistically significant (this poll’s data says that Granholm’s lead in the results is probably not due to experimental error). Stabenow is, of course, definately ahead of Bouchard at this point.
DeVos’ unfavorables are at about that of Granholm’s, which means that with equal name recognition, he won’t fare any better than he does now (he only has 6% unrecognition anyway). The numbers aren’t going to move much from new people finding out who DeVos is, since most people already know him.
Bouchard still has 16% unrecognition, with a 16% unfavorable rating. Stabenow has 3% unrecognition, with 27% unfavorability rating. Because all of the focus is on the more heated and controversial Governor’s race, Bouchard has lower name recognition and unfavorability. Look to see both of those increase as more attention is focused on the race and Dems start going negative on Bouchard (he has an interesting history, apparently).
7% of voters are undecided in the Granholm race and 11% of voters are undecided in Stabenow’s race. Undecideds lean toward the challenger at the last moment.
Of course, the issue of the day is the economy.
54% of people are concerned with the economy, 66% of people think Michigan is on the wrong track, and 82% of people are unhappy with Michigan’s economy. Despite this, Granholm only has a 38% unfavorable rating. Also, these results tell us that people who really like Granholm outweigh those that really like DeVos by a small margin (5%).
Therefore, while voters consider the economy to be very important and are unhappy with it, this does not reflect negatively on Granholm herself. In other words, the dishonest Republican tactic to tie Governor Granholm to our state’s failing economy has failed to resonate with voters. Furthermore, Michiganders trust Granholm more than DeVos in terms of improving the economy (48 to 39). When it comes to the economy, they blame Bush over Granholm (44 to 28).
This data says that it doesn’t look like the Granholm campaign’s efforts to nationalize the issues to include Bush are very effective. Over 85% of people are not basing their vote because of Bush or Bush’s ties with DeVos. Despite Granholm’s “Gas Prices” advertisement, less than 40% of voters trust her on that issue.
On the issues, voters inherently trust Granholm more than DeVos on affordable health care, stem cells, water quality/the environment, and even having a position on abortion. This could be due to association of these issues with Democrats, Granholm’s own accomplishments in these areas, or DeVos’ absolute refusal to take a position on pretty much any issue.
Michiganders are notorious ticket-splitters. The fact that 60% of them think that its bad if Republicans control every branch of Michigan Government could work in our favor. DeVos doesn’t mention the word Republican on any of his ads or on his website. This means that party identification in the Governor’s race is very useful, if played the right way. Mention that Republicans control everything and are responsible for the condition our country/state is, throw the Democrat label on Granholm. BAM! Party ID was about even in the survey, but more Democrats identify themselves as strong Democrats than Republicans did (27-22). Especially given how energized they are compared to Republicans, using the Democrat “brand” will help to turn out those voters.
The drawbacks of political polling aside, consistent results from multiple polls can indicate trends in the way that races are shaping up. Taking a look at the last four polls not done by EPIC/MRA (also not including Zogby Interactive):
Rasmussen (8/31): Granholm 46, DeVos 48 (Instant Voice Recording)
Selzer & Company (8/30): Granholm 46, DeVos 44 (Phone)
Strategic Vision (8/27): Granholm 48, DeVos 43 (Phone)
Survey USA (8/21): Granholm 47, DeVos 47 (Instant Voice Recording)
Aside from the Strategic Vision poll (which calls a narrower lead for Granholm than today’s results), Granholm and DeVos are typically within the margin of error of each other. Most recent polls did not show a statistically significant difference between each candidate’s performance.
Money wise, Stabenow has about eight times as much cash on hand as Bouchard. DeVos is expected to spend at least twice as much as Granholm, but could spend much more than that if he thinks that it will make the difference between winning and losing. For him, going on the air is a matter of oversaturation, not affordability.
Interestingly, the MCRI now is up 48% to 37%, a dramatic shift from previous studies. According to their data, the MCRI would pass if voted on today. The last MCRI poll had the opposition up by 2 points, inside the margin of error (not statistically significant). Again, ballot proposals are difficult to accurately poll.
Another interesting observation, revealing the power of subtle differences in the way questions are phrased: 70% believe that Michigan’s economy is getting weaker, but 24% think Michigan’s economy is getting worse.