Fewer politicians are less popular in the South than San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi, and so it was no surprise that the Speaker has given a pass to southern Democrats who have openly criticized her to their constituents. "I just want them to win," she told Judy Woodruff. "They know their districts."
Indeed, many southern Democrats are in a much better position to get reelected than their northern counterparts. When their colleagues from Ohio and Pennsylvania supported Pelosi and Obama
's agenda, many southern Democrats did not -- and today's polls reflect that.
I took a sample of six southern Democrats and six northern Democrats and found that the southerners were on average up in the polls by 13 points and the northerners were down by 11.
This is an unscientific study, so I hope it doesn't end up getting picked apart on 538, but these numbers are clear:
- Dan Boren (Oklahoma-02) +34
- Mike Ross (Arkansas-04) +18
- Jim Marshall (Georgia-08) +12
- Travis Childers (Mississippi-01) +7
- Gene Taylor (Mississippi-04) +4
- Lincoln Davis (Tennessee-04) +4
- Chris Carney (Pennsylvania-10) -4
- Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio-15) -5
- Carol Shea-Porter (New Hampshire-01) -10
- Steve Driehaus (Ohio-01) -12
- Patrick Murphy (Pennsylvania-08) -14
- John Boccieri (Ohio-16) -14
Bill Clinton won by focusing on the economy and kitchen table issues. Nancy Pelosi, aside from election-year posturing, championed legislation like cap-and-trade. It's no wonder that Democrats running against her are winning.
This great map from Jay Cost
at RCP shows how red the South has gotten in the last 12 years.