I just stumbled across Senator Menendez's health insurance poll on his Senate website and it made me almost laugh out loud. As this screen shot show's Menendez's poll is 80% against health insurance reform, but one has to wonder why the consistent liberal Senator would even care about what the voters of NJ think. I track his votes online on Open Congress and from what I've observed he votes consistently with other Democrats. So either....
- Menendez is so far down the liberal base that he actually believes NJ is a solid liberal state that will vote along with whatever President Obama wants without question.
- Menendez is up for reelection in 2012 and wants to see how this issue resonates
- He actually might listen to NJ?
- This is just another useless poll that nobody pays attention to including Senator Menendez
The only logical answer is #1 but #4 is probably a close second. My guess is that Menendez and staff are so really disconnected from the state that they have no idea how NJ would react. One thing I know about this state is that on average we have a mind of our own and while there is a solid Democratic base here, the rest of the 60% or so of the state is very independently minded; that includes Conservatives. You'd think he'd know that too, but then again what do you expect from a Senator that rarely changes his vote from other Democrats.
#4 is a real possibility because the question is so vague that nobody knows what they are really voting for. The bills in the Senate and House are so complicated that they couldn't be simplified down to a single question. Most people that I've spoken to are supportive of many reforms but where people separate is when it comes to deficit spending and how the public options is included or not; that nuance is not included in Menendez's poll
Anyway this poll no matter what it says is an insult to New Jersey voters everywhere...