Is Congressman Barney Frank now in trouble? A poll conducted by OnMessage, quoted by Ed Morrisesey, suggests that the entrenched incumbent from Massachusetts may well be in peril of losing his seat to Republican Sean Bielet.
The poll “– shows Frank falling below the 50% mark despite the D+14 composition of his constituency. Bielat comes within nine points, even though the poll shows that he still badly trails in name recognition.”
Barney Frank usually wins reelection in a walk. This is despite a number of scandals that have swirled around him. One scandal, taking place in the 1980s, concerned a male lover named Steve Gobie who ran a call boy service out of Frank’s Washington apartment. Barney Frank is also considered partly responsible for the housing collapse in 2008 that led to the current economic crisis due to his support for subprime loans to low-income home buyers.
That a relatively unknown political opponent is within 10 points of Barney Frank and that Frank is polling below 50 percent is a development that is astonishing to the point of being surreal. But then Massachusetts did elect a Republican to the US Senate seat once held by Teddy Kennedy, so anything seems possible.
Barney Frank has been a reliable supporter of liberal causes and legislation ever since he came to the House. He also has an acerbic wit that has annoyed Republican House members but delighted his fellow Democrats for decades. He has also been much beloved by his constituents in the 4th District of Massachusetts.
However, the ever-burning issue of jobs and the economy seems to at last be chipping away at Frank’s popularity. Barney Frank’s longevity in the House and his party identification, once advantages for him, have now become disadvantages.
Can Sean Bielat close the gap and therefore provide another shock in what is going to be an election day of shocks? Bielat needs to increase his name recognition, naturally, and he needs to hit Frank on his responsibility for the subprime fiasco.
One thing Bielat has in his favor is Barney Frank’s famous temper. More than once, on interview shows like Bill O’Reilly, Frank has gone berserk after being pressed too hard in questioning. It may be an affectation, or the anger might be genuine. In any event, the displays of temper by Barney Frank are unattractive to say the least. If Sean Bielat can provoke Barney Frank often enough, he will have gone a long way to eroding the Congressman’s credibility and, perhaps, to pulling an upset in November.
Source: Poll surprise of the day: Barney Frank in trouble?, Ed Morrissey, Hot Air, September 22nd, 2010