Poll: New Koch attacks not exactly selling in battleground states

posted at 5:21 pm on March 25, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Democrats have conducted a full-court press in North Carolina, not against Republicans or a GOP candidate, but against two libertarian billionaires. Just as Harry Reid demonized David and Charles Koch on the Senate floor and the Democratic Party got four Pinocchios for its own attack two weeks ago, the party started flooding some battleground states with fundraising pitches and attack ads going after the Koch brothers for their free-market activism. National Journal looks at a non-partisan poll and calls the strategy a flop — at least for now:

After absorbing millions of dollars in outside spending from groups connected to the Koch brothers, congressional Democrats have made the conservative billionaires the star villains in a messaging counteroffensive. But a new nonpartisan poll highlights a problem with the plan: A majority of likely 2014 voters have never even heard of the Kochs.

A 52 percent majority of respondents in the new George Washington University Battleground Poll said they had never heard of the Koch brothers, with an additional 11 percent saying they had no opinion of the conservative industrialists. Of the small slice who registered an opinion of the Kochs, 12 percent viewed them favorably and 25 percent viewed them unfavorably. The survey is one of the first to test opinions about the Kochs since they became a big subject of political conversation in the last few years.

In other words, this is red meat for the base. Most everyone else could care less, mainly because the “look — billionaires!” scare tactic is so blatantly hypocritical. Republicans used it with George Soros after the trader made public his desire to spend his fortune to keep George W. Bush from winning a second term.  Reid and Senate Democrats just hijacked the Senate chamber for an all-night stunt on behalf of billionaire Thomas Steyer’s global-warming agenda without bothering to even propose a single piece of legislation … even though Democrats control the Senate. Republcians haven’t done anything remotely close to that to advance any particular agenda item for the Kochs.

This led to an interesting conversation on Twitter with Sam Stein, ABC’s Rick Klein, CNN’s Jake Tapper, the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, and myself. Sam suggested that it’s too soon to judge whether the Koch attack is effective, comparing to the Bain attacks on Mitt Romney. That, I replied, was apples to oranges:

Rick and Jake pointed out that the Bain attacks did resonate in Ohio, though, and that it still pushes the narrative into the direction Democrats want:

I’m inclined to agree more with Ed Goeas, a Republican pollster participating in this bipartisan survey, correctly diagnoses this as a fund-raising ploy rather than a serious attempt to argue the issues, and notes that it will be just as effective as GOP attacks on George Soros. North Carolina Democrat strategist Thomas Mills also agrees, and would like to see Democrats stop going off on tangents:

When I was growing up, there was a joke about a priest, a hippie and then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in an airplane. The plane’s engines gave out but there were only two parachutes. Kissinger quickly said, “Well, I’m the smartest man in the world and the world needs me.” He grabbed a pack and jumped out of the plane. The priest looked at the hippie and said, “Go ahead, my son. I’ve already lived a long and good life.” The hippie replied, “No worries, Father. The smartest man in the world just jumped out of the plane wearing my backpack.”

That’s how I feel about the consultants who’ve decided the way to keep the Senate in Democratic hands is to try to wrap every Republican candidate around the Koch brothers. I’m just dismayed that candidates like Kay Hagan are following them and not finding real parachutes. If some group wants to take it on themselves to discredit the Kochs, fine but the guilt-by-association strategy seems so obviously flawed that watching the resources go into it is disheartening.

In North Carolina, we’ve built a cottage industry attacking Art Pope and wrapping Republican policies and candidates around him. So far, it’s succeeded in getting us the first Republican governor in 20 years and a Republican legislature with veto proof majorities. Now, the Washington Democrats are adopting the model.

We’ll see just how much the Koch attacks resonate as the election draws near; Democrats don’t seem inclined to drop it, especially when they’re getting cover from the media through blatantly biased and false reporting.  Voters, however, will probably continue to be more interested in the candidates than which billionaire is contributing to which party, and have ObamaCare and five years of economic stagnation and stalled job creation prioritized over nonsense attacks on side issues.


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Koch brothers = bad

Soros = good

Leftist Logic 101

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 5:26 PM

The Koch’s should start donating money to Democrats. It would be like dividing by zero.

tdarrington on March 25, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Publicly, with big novelty checks.

Harry Reid….we’d like to present you $1 million for your re-election.

tdarrington on March 25, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Squirrels = good

Truth = bad

————
Military service for D candidates = good

Military service for R candidates = bad

Plus this

Media, most all bad. Land going to Hell, with media help.

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 5:29 PM

What do Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Debbie Wasserman Schmutz have in common?

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 5:30 PM

They are all old, liberal lesbians?

tdarrington on March 25, 2014 at 5:32 PM

This will only increase the irrationality of the progressive fascists to 11. As with AGW cultists this just means more hyperbolic rhetoric.

By the time we get to October Satan himself will have been a founding member of the GOP.

jukin3 on March 25, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Poll: New Koch attacks not exactly selling in battleground states

…(Harry Reid:)…………YOU LIE!

KOOLAID2 on March 25, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 5:30 PM

They are gifted in the art of suspension of disbelief and projection and have an ability to spin fanciful lies with an earnest believability?

tdarrington on March 25, 2014 at 5:36 PM

The Koch’s should start donating money to Democrats. It would be like dividing by zero.

tdarrington on March 25, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Good one. I laughed.

tominsd on March 25, 2014 at 5:38 PM

tdarrington on March 25, 2014 at 5:36 PM

They make Goebbels proud. Should have added Carney.

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Misguided dough, past, and maybe in the future too

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 5:44 PM

‘The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!
The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers! The Koch Brothers!

They’re Coming to Take Me Away Hahaaa!

- Harry ‘Brother, can you spare a dime or a few thou to save my Majority position?’ Reid

Resist We Much on March 25, 2014 at 5:46 PM

The Koch Bros. are my heroes.

locomotivebreath1901 on March 25, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Koch brothers is the new “JOOWS”/neocons.

nobar on March 25, 2014 at 5:49 PM

They’re Coming to Take Me Away Hahaaa!

HeeHee, HaHa.
HeeHee, HaHa

avagreen on March 25, 2014 at 5:50 PM

I’ve seen one of their anti-0scare ads here in Colorado a few times – aimed at Sen Udall (D) who’s up for re-election.
It’s ok, makes a point, but it’s kind of boring – just some lady standing there talking about people losing their health insurance.

dentarthurdent on March 25, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Dems can’t address issues so they attack the intangible ghost

theblacksheepwasright on March 25, 2014 at 5:55 PM

The apparent Koch fascination is very strange. Maybe they go after them because they want conservatives to defend them and while defending them they miss something else that is going on about the brothers. Are they really financing things that are conservative? It worked with Bush where conservatives felt the need to keep defending him while he advanced the left’s agenda.

Buddahpundit on March 25, 2014 at 5:59 PM

The really funny thing here is watching the other side lap this stuff up – never really wondering what their candidate’s policies are.

They are perfectly happy with constantly attacking the other side, and in turn being lied too, then defending said lies their politicians tell to get elected.

Michh on March 25, 2014 at 6:04 PM

The Koch’s should start donating money to Democrats. It would be like dividing by zero.

tdarrington on March 25, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Good one. I laughed.

tominsd on March 25, 2014 at 5:38 PM

In fact, Koch Industries has donated money to Democrats-we just never hear about it because the Democrat Media won’t mention it.

As recently as 2010, the Kochs gave $200,000 to Democrat candidates, and this included a $30,000 donation to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Del Dolemonte on March 25, 2014 at 6:09 PM

The apparent Koch fascination is very strange. Maybe they go after them because they want conservatives to defend them and while defending them they miss something else that is going on about the brothers. Are they really financing things that are conservative? It worked with Bush where conservatives felt the need to keep defending him while he advanced the left’s agenda.

Buddahpundit on March 25, 2014 at 5:59 PM

The Left needed a new Object of Hatred after Dick “Halliburton” Cheney left office. And they could no longer ignore that Leftist Billionaire George Soros bought $61 million worth of Halliburton in 2006.

Nor could they ignore that many Halliburton employees, including a Senior VP, donated to O’bama in 2008 and again in 2012.

Del Dolemonte on March 25, 2014 at 6:11 PM

“My billionaire is better than your billionaire” – Harry Reid

Tater Salad on March 25, 2014 at 6:14 PM

I love the Koch Brothers… they’re not running for any office… Yet costing the democrat millions of dollars…

oscarwilde on March 25, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Liberals don’t seem to have a problem with the billionaires who give them money. They aren’t worried about George Soros corrupting democracy. And they certainly don’t turn down grants from the Tides Foundation, the juggernaut behind every left-wing cause since the 1960s. Washington Examiner Executive Editor Mark Tapscott found that despite handing out nearly six times as much money as the Koch Brothers, Tides has gotten just a fraction of the coverage from the New York Times, Washington Post, and Common Cause.
http://newhampshire.watchdog.org/11798/obsession-with-the-koch-brothers-clouds-the-left/

.
.
.

The KochPAC gave almost $200,000 to Democratic candidates and committees, including just most recently in 2010. This included a $30,000 donation to the DSCC.

But isn’t it funny how top Democrats like Harry Reid harp on how the Kochs are ruining politics and complain about their partisan allegiances? Since 2000 KochPAC has given more than $1.4 million to Democratic candidates, leadership PACs and committees. Who’s partisan now?

The whole point of funding political interests is to support those ideas and people that you like. Clearly, the Democrats that were receiving help from the KochPAC had something of interest to the brothers.

What many of the Democrats don’t want you to know is that this is typical behavior for big corporations. They love to demonize the Kochs, but then praise businesses for pursuing what’s best for their companies. The hypocrites love to have a target for their bashing. Too bad this one just fell through.
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/heatherginsberg/2014/03/22/the-koch-brothers-give-to-democrats-too-n1812629

<

avagreen on March 25, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Rick and Jake pointed out that the Bain attacks did resonate in Ohio, though

Is there a Senate race in Ohio? Otherwise, who cares what resonates there.

will77jeff on March 25, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Enough with the Koch envy.

orangemtl on March 25, 2014 at 6:23 PM

What do Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Debbie Wasserman Schmutz have in common?

Black, leathery wings hidden under their carapaces? And green, oozy blood when you squish them on a sidewalk?

Just a theory. Wish someone would submit at least one of them to the requisite test.

orangemtl on March 25, 2014 at 6:27 PM

What do Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Debbie Wasserman Schmutz have in common?

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 5:30 PM

A combined IQ of 86.

HiJack on March 25, 2014 at 6:33 PM

The Koch’s should start donating money to Democrats. It would be like dividing by zero.

tdarrington on March 25, 2014 at 5:26 PM

IIRC they have in the past.
they also donate a lot to the “arts” which I would consider liberal.

dmacleo on March 25, 2014 at 6:33 PM

oops I see Del mentioned the Dem donations few moments ago, sorry.

dmacleo on March 25, 2014 at 6:35 PM

What do Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Debbie Wasserman Schmutz have in common?

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 5:30 PM

A combined IQ of 86.

HiJack on March 25, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Speaking of Rocket Scientists, here’s a howler from the O’bama/Romney/Russia thread from a couple of hours ago:

You all should thank me. My presence here raises the IQ of this forum by at least 75 points.

antifederalist on March 25, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 25, 2014 at 6:53 PM

avagreen on March 25, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Tides Foundation = Teresa Heinz Kerry

She’s one of their major donors.

Del Dolemonte on March 25, 2014 at 6:55 PM

The apparent Koch fascination is very strange. Maybe they go after them because they want conservatives to defend them and while defending them they miss something else that is going on about the brothers. Are they really financing things that are conservative? It worked with Bush where conservatives felt the need to keep defending him while he advanced the left’s agenda.

Buddahpundit on March 25, 2014 at 5:59 PM

The goal is not so much to sway votes as to scare off other big money donors.

Wethal on March 25, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Michh on March 25, 2014 at 6:04 PM

You can make up a name like Al Ektomorf who owns a large oil/gas fracking company and say he donates millions to Republicans then post it on LIV websites like Huff Po.The Liv’s don’t research much but follow like sheep and when they read Republican,fracking,and donations Al becomes evil and the rants begin.

docflash on March 25, 2014 at 7:04 PM

docflash on March 25, 2014 at 7:04 PM

LOL! Ain’t it so.

The local far-left and shrill LGBT activists are the same way, as evidenced by their postings.

*stuuupid*

I’ve often thought of doing something like that. Heh! It takes a cadre of posters, though, to carry it off by building up the poop before exposing just who has been caught with their panties down.
*cheesy grin*
http://media.photobucket.com/user/jimnic1-photos/media/smilies/cheesygrin.gif.html?filtersterm=cheesy%20grin&filtersprimary=images&filterssecondary=videos&sort=1&o=2

avagreen on March 25, 2014 at 7:15 PM

I like to visit Democratic Underground to hear their emotional reactions to news and political news. I tripped over this thread which is based on a Horsey cartoon (he’s quite the anti-Repub cartooner) and thought I should share a “dedicated Liberal” perspective of the folks we call Low Information Voters on whom they rely to show up and vote…

Intensity Difference?

I thought the cartoon itself was funny and true; evidently, so did some serious Dem hippies.

DublOh7 on March 25, 2014 at 7:17 PM

In a midterm election, you aren’t going to get the policy-based chess match that Democrats are trying to set up with these Koch attacks.

LIVs aren’t going to research the Kochs’ background, research the Kochs’ policy positions, research the flow of Koch-affiliated campaign funds through Super PACs, research the flow of money from those Super PACs into specific campaigns, and then decide to engage in a policy based debate that takes a skeptical view of a candidate’s positions in light of the influence that the Koch brothers may or may not have. TV ads won’t make these connections either. Please keep this up, Dems.

[But, on the other hand, I guess it's better than their "we'll fix Obamacare, we just don't want to tell you how" strategy.]

blammm on March 25, 2014 at 7:25 PM

DublOh7 on March 25, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Welcome aboard!!!

They don’t make any bones about it. Pure nekid socialists bellying up to the bar to see how far they can push.

One of the posts>>>>>>>

I haven’t missed an election since I was old enough to vote but it’s hard to get excited when there is no clear distinction.
I vote Democrat because there is no viable Socialist option but at one time the Democrats were closer to Socialists in philosophy than to the Republicans.

avagreen on March 25, 2014 at 7:38 PM

In other words, this is red meat for the base. Most everyone else could care less, mainly because the “look — billionaires!” scare tactic is so blatantly hypocritical

Quarter of Americans Convinced Sun Revolves Around Earth, Survey Finds

http://abcnews.go.com/US/quarter-americans-convinced-sun-revolves-earth-survey-finds/story?id=22542847

nuff said…

workingclass artist on March 25, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Speaking of Rocket Scientists, here’s a howler from the O’bama/Romney/Russia thread from a couple of hours ago:

You all should thank me. My presence here raises the IQ of this forum by at least 75 points.

antifederalist on March 25, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 25, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Omg, this is a keeper!

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 7:56 PM

Harry Reid thinks he’s in a BATMAN movie. And he’s the Senate leader.

RobertMN on March 25, 2014 at 8:21 PM

You all should thank me. My presence here raises the IQ of this forum by at least 75 points.

antifederalist on March 25, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 25, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Combine non-partisan and antifederalist’s IQs and there wouldn’t be 75 points.

CW on March 25, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Republicans used it with George Soros

Kochs=Soros

Squishy compares free market, libertarian leaning political activists to a guy who almost destroyed the British economy single handed, collaborated with the Nazis, runs the propaganda wing of the democrat party and funds leftist groups that encourage and engage in election fraud.

How shocking.

Not.

peacenprosperity on March 26, 2014 at 11:40 AM