Montana Republicans Love Max Baucus
Daily Kos and Research 2000 are out with an interesting poll of likely voters in Montana. Kos flags the approval numbers of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) — the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, from which just about everyone in Washington is eagerly awaiting a health care reform bill that is unlikely to contain a government-run public insurance option.
Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Max Baucus' actions on health care?
Approve Disapprove Not sure
All 42 44 14 Dem 34 55 11 Rep 49 38 13 Ind 41 42 17
In case you missed that, the poll found that on the issue of health care, Baucus is more popular among Montana Republicans than Democrats — by a margin of 15 points.
That’s not all.
Do you favor or oppose creating a new public health insurance plan that anyone can purchase?
Favor Oppose Not sure
All 47 43 10 Dem 78 15 7 Rep 23 66 11 Ind 48 41 11
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, has drawn a clear line in the sand against the public option, but Baucus continues to insist that his committee will produce a bipartisan bill. Which party does it look like Baucus is catering to?
It’s probably also worth pointing out that earlier this month, Gallup found that Montana Democrats have a two-point party identification advantage over Republicans in the historically red state.
And the fate of the public option may very well rest with Baucus.
This post has been updated for clarity.