Too bad to check: Plurality thinks it's likely the CIA misled Pelosi

Never have I felt more certain that there is no god.

Kidding aside, it’s not that bad, just a two-point spread with fully 16 percent still undecided. And better still:

In typical partisan fashion, 62% of Democrats give Pelosi the benefit of the doubt while 62% of Republicans hold the opposite view. As for those not affiliated with either major political party, 38% say the CIA may have misled the current House speaker, but 48% say it’s not likely…

The CIA is viewed favorably by 63% and unfavorably by 24%. For Pelosi, the comparable numbers are 35% favorable and 55% unfavorable

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of all voters believe it’s at least somewhat likely that harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding helped secure valuable intelligence information. Eighty percent (80%) of Republicans hold that view along with 60% of unaffiliateds. Democrats are evenly divided.

Look at those last numbers and tell me Stephen Hayes isn’t right that Cheney, against all odds and despite his unpopularity, has won this debate. As for Pelosi, John Feehery compiled a shrewd five-point list for Politico this morning of the circumstances usually required for a congressional caucus to dump its leader — and darned if Madam Speaker doesn’t satisfy every one. I wrote about a few of them last week in my own post on replacing her (an able replacement in Hoyer, the fact that she’s distrusted by the nutroots base) but Feehery points to one I overlooked, even though it might be the most important:

3. A political liability to the majority-makers: The Pelosi name is toxic in many of the districts that make the Democratic majority. In some parts of Blue Dog country, she is simply not invited to help members raise money or do campaign events.

The same thing happened to Newt Gingrich. In fact, the Democrats ran hundreds of thousands of advertisements morphing Gingrich’s face with that of whomever the vulnerable Republican was. (Perhaps the most effective was the Newt-Blute ads that sunk the fortunes of Massachusetts Republican Peter Blute, who is now a successful talk radio host in the Boston area). Lott became toxic for Republicans outside the South because of his praise for Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).

Indeed, the Prowler claims today that she’s become paranoid about the Blue Dogs betraying her by leaking to the press. And rightly so. If you’re a Democratic incumbent in a purple district worried that a backlash to big government will put your House seat in jeopardy next year, why not throw one of your biggest liabilities overboard ASAP? Hoyer wouldn’t be a superstar as Speaker, but now that the left actually has to govern, they don’t need a superstar. They need a coalition-builder.

Exit question: Isn’t the best reason to dump Pelosi the fact that it’ll stop Huckabee from writing poems like this? Good lord.

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