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Is Manchin Ignoring the Polls?

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June 8, 2021 5:31 p.m.

A brief addition on Manchin. A number of you have written in to cite a segment on Rachel Maddow’s show, apparently last night, which showed a bunch of polls that suggest the laws in question – infrastructure, voting rights, etc. – are actually very popular in West Virginia. So either Manchin is just confused or is doing something other than following the lead of his constituents’ more conservative views. I didn’t see the segment. The results as relayed to me do not surprise me. But these polls don’t necessarily mean what you think. You can’t really take them at face value.

Liberals or various people on the left will often point to polls which seem to show that Republican voters actually support liberal policies. We’re not winning elections but we’re winning on the issues. The answer is usually to push liberal policies more aggressively.

There are a lot of cases where Democrats should push liberal policies more aggressively. The COVID relief and infrastructure bills are good examples. But again, you can’t make a straight line between these polls and that end point.

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