Why would a poll conducted by a Connecticut university on the Florida governors race have relevance in Washington state?
It isn’t as tortured as it sounds (and I don’t say that because we’re well into the post-session, pre-election blogging doldrums). The leading attorney general in the Constitutional challenge to health care reform is Florida’s Bill McCollum, who happens to be running for governor.
Cynics have wondered whether McCollum is hoping to ride anti-reform sentiment to a victory and the Quinnipiac poll shows the health bill still somewhat unpopular – 48 to 44 percent (thought the poll doesn’t ask how many oppose it because it isn’t sweeping or liberal enough). The same poll has just 40 percent of Florida voters agreeing that the legal challenge led by McCollum was a good idea while 54 percent say it is a bad idea.
In addition, a plurality of voters and a plurality of independent voters say the lawsuit makes it less likely they would support McCollum (though he retains a slight lead against his likely Democratic opponent Alex Sink).
So what’s the Washington connection? Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna got a few headlines for joining McCollum’s lawsuit. McKenna said he did so because it was the right thing to do but some observers (OK, me) thought it was an excellent way to firm up his support on the GOP right and that he might think it would help his expected gubernatorial campaign in 2012.
So the fact that support for the suit is weak in Florida – especially among independent voters – has meaning in Washington state and for McKenna especially.