Hold On, Blue Dogs: Your Voters Like the Public Option

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2009 10:26 AM CDT
Blue Dogs Mike Ross, D-Ark.,Frank Pallone, D-N.J., Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., talk to the media after a meeting with President Obama in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – When top Blue Dog Dem Mike Ross came out against the public option, he said that “an overwhelming number” of his constituents opposed it. Maybe he's gotten emails to that effect, but if he’d actually bothered to poll his district, he’d probably get a different story, writes Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com. Ross’s district hasn’t been polled, but several like it have. Support for the public option corresponds strongly with support for Obama, and with poverty levels.

Based on the available data, Silver ran a national regression analysis. Silver projects that the public option has plurality support in 235 of 257 Democrat districts, including 34 of 52 Blue Dog districts. Blue Dog districts overall favor it by 51%, to 39% opposed. Ross’s district—which didn’t back Obama, but has a 20.5% poverty rate—likely favors the public option by around 49-41.