ACA Is One Of Many Issues Important To Voters

With the 2014 midterm election less than one month away, the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds the ACA continues to be a second-tier issue on voters’ minds, and many say they are tired of hearing candidates talk about the law. Just over a quarter (27 percent) of registered voters say the health care law will be an “extremely important” issue in their vote and about another third (35 percent) say it will be “very important”. But when asked to choose the MOST important issue, just 8 percent pick health care, ranking behind the economy (16 percent) and dissatisfaction with government (12 percent) and similar to other issues like education (10 percent), the situation in Iraq and Syria (9 percent), and immigration (6 percent). CONT.

Kaiser Family Foundation

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Kansas and Georgia Change the Equation on Senate-Majority Math

The prospects remain very tough for Democrats to hold onto their majority in the Senate, but there is a new scenario emerging—albeit still unlikely—that is turning the majority math a bit on its head.

As I have said previously, Republicans need a net gain of six seats to take the majority. The question has generally been whether Republicans just need to knock off six Democratic seats to get to 51, or if they will need to gross seven seats in order to net six. Now there appears to be a real question as to whether Republicans may need to gross eight seats in order to net six, covering for the potential loss of not just Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas but an open seat in Georgia as well. CONT.

Charlie Cook

Why House Republicans Alienate Hispanics: They Don’t Need Them

… There’s a simple reason that congressional Republicans are willing to risk alienating Hispanics: They don’t need their votes, at least not this year.

Republicans would probably hold the House — and still have a real chance to retake the Senate — if they lost every single Hispanic voter in the country, according to an analysis by The Upshot. CONT.

Nate Cohn, New York Times

Political Polarization & Media Habits

When it comes to getting news about politics and government, liberals and conservatives inhabit different worlds. There is little overlap in the news sources they turn to and trust. And whether discussing politics online or with friends, they are more likely than others to interact with like-minded individuals, according to a new Pew Research Center study. CONT.

Pew

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Latino Voters on Midterm Elections, Immigration, and 2016 Presidential Contenders

On a press call/webinar today, Matt Barreto, Co-Founder of Latino Decisions, and Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, discussed the results of a new nationwide poll of 600 Latino voters that provides fresh data on overall Latino voter enthusiasm; party preference in Congressional and Senate races; and how the politics of immigration are influencing Latinos’ perceptions of both parties and potential presidential contenders heading into 2016 and beyond. CONT.

Matt Barreto, Latino Decisions

Obama Averages 41.5% Job Approval in His 23rd Quarter

President Barack Obama’s job approval rating averaged 41.5% during his 23rd quarter in office, which began on July 20 and ended on Oct. 19. That ranks as one of his lowest quarterly approval ratings to date. The only two that were lower were the 41.2% in his 20th quarter — after the troubled launch of the health insurance exchanges last fall — and the 41.0% in his 11th quarter during the negotiations to raise the federal debt limit and its fallout on the U.S. economy. CONT.

Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup

Pollsters Say They Follow Ethical Standards, But They Aren’t So Sure About Their Peers

For our second poll of leading U.S. political pollsters, we asked about ethics. The pollsters who answered, even those who asked for anonymity, said they follow basic ethical principles such as not copying others’ work or letting campaigns dictate results. But many held doubts about their peers’ ethics, and about the media’s ability to parse honest, good polls from dishonest, lousy ones. CONT.

Carl Bialik, FiveThirtyEight

Fear of Ebola Closes Schools and Shapes Politics

In the month since a Liberian man infected with Ebola traveled to Dallas, where he later died, the nation has marinated in a murky soup of understandable concern, wild misinformation, political opportunism and garden-variety panic. …

The panic in some way mirrors what followed the anthrax attacks of 2001 and the West Nile virus outbreak in New York City in 1999. But fed by social media and the 24-hour news cycle, the first American experience with Ebola has become a lesson in the ways things that go viral electronically can be as potent and frightening as those that do so biologically. The result has ignited a national deliberation about the conflicts between public health interest, civil liberties and common sense. CONT.

Jennifer Steinhauer, New York Times