It was pretty clear from our poll last week that Blanche Lincoln has a problem with her base- only 62% of Democrats approval of her job performance.
What's much less clear is what she should do about that, particularly when it comes to the health care issue. Among folks in her party who don't approve of her job performance, 40% say they support the President's goals on health care and 41% say they oppose them. So no matter which way she goes she's either going to antagonize the progressives in her party unhappy with her or the conservatives, and they're pretty equal in numbers.
Here's where liberal voters get themselves taken for granted in a two party system:
-Among Democrats who don't approve of Lincoln and support Obama on health care, 72-74% of them still support Lincoln in her head to head contests against the Republican trio we tested.
-Among Democrats who don't approve of Lincoln and oppose Obama on health care, only 15-21% of them support Lincoln in her head to head contests against the Republican trio we tested.
There's a couple ways to look at that- one is that so many of those conservative Democrats are just going to cross over anyway that there's no point in her trying to appease them. But the other is that she has more work to do to keep those folks in the party fold because voting Republican is a viable alternative for them, while the liberals will hold their nose and vote for her no matter what due to the lack of a real alternative for them.
It seems like more often than not it's the latter scenario that plays itself out.