Blue Dog Jim Cooper In Online Shouting Match With Markos “Kos” Moulitsas

Blue Dog Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) is now in a public feud with Daily Kos publisher Markos “Kos” Moulitsas, after Kos commissioned a Research 2000 poll that ended up showing Cooper’s Democratic constituents disapproving of his actions on health care — and the Republicans approving of him in this area.

Said Kos: “There is certainly an opening for a strong primary challenge. Cooper isn’t the lock many (including him) believe him to be. And why are the natives restless? His long record of obstructing health care reform surely ranks among the reasons. The public option polls strongly in Cooper’s district, yet he doesn’t seem to care”

Cooper fired back in a statement, attacking the reliability and fundamental accuracy of the poll — saying that Kos is wrong to even accuse him of opposing a public option. And while he’s at it, there’s stuff Cooper likes in the poll, too.Said Cooper:

“Private polls are inherently inaccurate, and most people disregard them. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and the Daily Kos got what it wanted. The whole premise of the poll is that I oppose a public option, and that is simply not true. I have repeatedly said that I’m FOR a public option, and that there are multiple ways to do it. I agree with Sen. Chuck Schumer’s position on the issue, and the Daily Kos is not attacking him.

“The Daily Kos can assign a false position to me if it wants, but it’s not accurate.

“In addition, I did find things to like about this poll! Only 23% want to replace me? That’s great, since 34% VOTED to replace me in 2008. At this point, I might be gaining support.

Kos has responded, saying that his poll never assigned any position to Cooper at all — there was a question about people’s approval of Cooper on health care, another on whether they would re-elect him, and another asking how their vote would be impacted if he opposed a public option:

We never said, “Jim Cooper opposes the public option” or anything along those lines. So if his constituents think Cooper is opposing the public option, that’s his fault. Perhaps his constituents have missed all those strong statements of support for the public option from their congressman. But more likely than not, his mealy-mouthed hedged congress-speak statements on the matter have more than confused the voters in his district.

Research 2000 is a respected non-partisan pollster. We publish all questions. We publish all crosstabs and demographics. And we run all polls. In fact, we’ll soon be running a health care poll from Nebraska that shows that Sen. Ben Nelson’s constituents are pretty strongly opposed to the public option. So if the accusation is that I cooked these numbers, that’s absurd.

But even if the sample is too Demcoratic, fact is that Democrats and Independents in your district aren’t happy with you. The only people you are pleasing these days are the Republicans back home. That’s not “bipartisan”, that’s partisan, in favor of the GOP.