Poll: How Will Udall’s Bailout Vote Affect Senate Race?

Because it’s really not a question of whether it will affect the vote, but whether it’s negative or positive–and by how much.

As you all know, Senate candidate Mark Udall cast a dramatic vote yesterday against the proposed $700 billion bailout by the federal government of the teetering financial services industry, saying he “cannot ignore that many of the people sounding the alarm are the same ones who recently said things were under control, that risk was being nearly managed out of the system, and that stronger government oversight was unnecessary and counterproductive.”

The situation is so fluid and emotional right now that it’s tough to know whether Udall’s decision will ultimately go down as right or wrong (we know you all have very specific opinions on the matter), but he wasn’t alone on the Democratic side in opposing the bill by a longshot. And many rank-and-file Democrats are irate about the sacrifice of important components they had sought–in particular the granting to bankruptcy judges the power to rewrite some mortgages in foreclosure. Conservative opponents of Udall, for their part, can’t really complain about his vote either. And there is a chance that the new bill will represent improvements that Udall can then take credit for.

Poll follows: what does the crisis mean for Udall, five short weeks from destiny?

Will the financial crisis help or hurt Udall's Senate campaign?

View Results

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66 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:

    The DJA is up 235 points.

    The Euro is at $1.40

    Oil is at $99.61

    Our economy has not collapsed.

    Udall’s cover is best said as: “This is a huge cow patty with a piece of marshmallow stuck in the middle of it and I am not going to eat that cow patty,” – Representative Paul Broun, Republican of Georgia.

    So, maybe, John McCain was right. We are all Georgians now.

    • Barron X says:


      as the Jewish New Year passes.  

      Come Thursday, if there’s no deal,

      a 3-day-old cow pattie might look pretty appealing.  

      Even without the marshmallow.


    • Libertad says:

      A step back in time for some history on the causation … loose lending, nodoc, me-me-me economics … that got the green light from a do nothing Congress.

      A couple of things I have yet to hear any discussion on are this history and current tweaks we could engage to stop the bleed. Regardless of any bailout package, we are still at great risk due to rules that dictate the financing game.

      1. FASB Fair Value Accounting Rules. Sounds great, but when a market can’t be made or is made at below input cost, FVA is like a ratchet down effect. Additionally, it affects capital requirements. Should FVA be suspended? Where is Udall on this?

      2. Short Sellers suspension. Assume this is still inplace? Where is Udall on this?

      3. Basel II rules. It is my understanding these rules could work with item 1. (determination of capital requirements) above and cause a major melt down.  Just as they provide microwave cooking during economic growth times (wrong), they could lead to failure regardless of any bailout plan. Where is Udall on this?

      4. Finding the monkeybutts who ran Freddie/Fannie and putting them under house arrest. In the rest of the world these people (boards and named officers) would be put under house arrest or worse. I know where Udall is on this…

      • ajb says:

        For the shear brazen bias it portrays on the part of Fox news. I guess the Barney Frank had Oxley absolutely quaking in his boots.

        But, you want to discuss history.

        Under Republican rule in congress, the following bills were proposed (mostly by Chris Shays in the House and Chuck Hagel in the Senate) and died in committee:

        H.R.1409 – Secondary Mortgage Market Enterprises Regulatory Improvement Act

        H.R.4071 – Uniform Securities Disclosure Act

        S.1508 – Federal Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2003

        S.1656 – Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight Modernization Act of 2003

        H.R.2575 – Secondary Mortgage Market Enterprises Regulatory Improvement Act

        H.R.2022 – Leave No Securities Behind Act

        H.R.2803 – Housing Finance Regulatory Restructuring Act of 2003

        H.R.1461 – Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2005

        S.190 – Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005

        • Libertad says:

          There are probably 30 more bills proposed that would have fueled the fire. Clearly the desire to get unqualified buyers into homes drove up prices and increased our risk exposure.

          Before these schmoes go galloping off to a rescue plan, I’d like to hear a more comprehensive plan that includes details on Fed Funds strategies, FASB, new SEC controls, DoJ merger approval reviews, etc…

          What hacked me off was the pumping a 40 and 50 year mortgages and VIP deals. Obama brought $3million in business to his bank, he should get an appropriate rate on his house. These other skulls and their VIP deal … they took advantage.  

          • Danny the Red (hair) says:

            You go and post a reasonable post like this. 🙂

              • Danny the Red (hair) says:

                Basel II necessary, but not suficient

                I like the addition of explicit operational risk.  The biggest problem with current regulation IMO is that certain risks are ignored as deminimus (typically Low Freq/Hi cost events) or simply a “cost” (typical for Hi freq/low cost events) or the banks simply do not aggregate risks across classes.

                One opinion that will surprise you:  the US actually has good regulators, much better than other countries.  Other countries simply see banks differently, banks are commonly nationalized when they fail, so the regulators have a tendancy to be slapdash-there is no real systemic risk the government will step in.

                Basel II has a greater impact on foriegn countries.

                DOJ is an inappropriate “regulator,” they lack the expertise.  If there is criminality Treasury (FED or other) can refer it to DOJ.

                The FED has 2 functions, monetary policy and bank regulation.  I’m not sure those 2 belong together.  But I think the FED should be expanded and other regulatory bodies (OCC, OTS) should be folded in.  The Fed needs authority over hedge funds and insurance.

                Someone, maybe the Fed maybe the SEC, needs the authority to regulate the NRSROs.  Or just allow uncapped damage awards in class actions and the market would act as a private regulator for the NRSROs.

                SEC expanded disclosure is absolutely necessary–mutual funds post their holdings twice a year.  Financial firms should have to do it, since they are run more like investment funds.  There needs to be more granularity in the trading book.  The problem hasn’t been “loans” per sea, but securities backed by loans or securites backed by securities backed by loans.

                I have some more radical ideas, but no one likes them.

              • Danny the Red (hair) says:

                FASB has already changed pretty significantly after Enron.  I prefer mark to market accounting rather than mark to model.  I don’t like the push back.  FASB hasn’t failed in this crisis, it properly showed how weak things were.

      • ChrisCooper says:

        Ok – so FOX is saying that McCain and the Bush Administration were warning about the possible risk that Fannie/Freddie posed because of their sheer size relative to the market…<?>

        …and now these same guys are arguing for the U.S. Treasury to take over asset management for these same GSEs as well as $700 billion MORE of the market??

        See the disconnect?  If their concern at the time was that any single entity should be so large as to risk affecting the entire market, how can these guys NOW say that the answer is to create an even LARGER entity (U.S. government) that can affect the market?

        Proves the point that Chris Matthews was making yesterday: it’s easy to be a maverick.  You just criticize everything.  It’s much harder to be a leader.  

        • Libertad says:

          Too bad nothing in your post went to address the leadership needed.

          What are your opinions on accounting and banking regulations; SEC procedures; DoJ guidelines, etc… What about personal bankruptcy laws?

          The other half critical thought involves articulating attainable and realistic prescriptions.

          • ChrisCooper says:

            …or for anything else for that matter.

            I’ll admit I am probably unqualified to lead the national economy (though the Palin pick is making me rethink…)  Are you saying John McCain should admit that as well?

            I can certainly point out the internal contradiction(s) in your analysis without having to solve the nation’s economic woes (can’t I?).

      • One Queer Dude says:

        what’s happening with the labor ballot initiatives?

        • Libertad says:

          Corrupt Union Bosses, Political Bosses and Well-heeled Businessmen (Farber, Hamill, Ritchie, Blake, Isenberg, Imhoff) are working on an unethical deal to pay-off labor unions in return for labor pulling ballot measures they claim to support.

          Can you imagine the story if business put RTW on the ballot to counter the Unions minimum wage constitutional measure from 2006?

          Imagine businesses demanding $6 million in return for pulling RTW and using the proceeds to oppose the minimum wage amendment and fund GOP 527s?

          Imagine Bill Owens, Tancredo, Allerd, etc… brokering this type of a deal?  

    • Ralphie says:

      A 235 point rise after a 777 point selloff is just bargain hunters.

  2. WritterWrocks says:

    I personally believe it was a brave stand.  I share Mark’s concern that the same people who told us we need something immediately are the same folks who told us a month ago things were “fine”.  Let’s let the dust settle for a couple of days and let the markets put their big boy pants back on and see if they can solve this problem the “free market way” … and let’s make sure any bailout benefits Main Street as much as it does Wall Street.  I don’t disagree completely with Danny [TRH] assessment from his vantage point — but we’ve been told for almost two weeks the sky is falling.We have some pain in the markets but I believe this is the medicine we need today.  Everyone take a deep breath.

    • Fidel's dirt nap says:

      I think we will have another huge drop this week (or two) but I really believe the market itself should settle this out, and let some institutions go under – as a result we will have a healthier market without sick institutions propped up by government money, who will just make the same unwise and rash investments if they know they’ll get bailed out.  Don’t let the rotten apples spoil the whole cart.

      Plus, the whole Henry Paulson I-need-700-billion-immediately-the-sky-is-falling dosen’t pass the smell test, and reminds a lot of us about how this administration attempts to pull the wool over our eyes.

  3. indipol says:

    …the sheer panic of Pols contributors out in force yesterday.  Some of you people have lost your heads.  Fortunately I think the majority of voters in CD-2 and in CO at large see through this $700B load of bullshit and will favor Udall for the stand.  

    News flash Pols commenters: not everybody believes that the bailout was “the right thing to do” and that everybody who voted Yea on this turkey was doing it for country while everybody who voted Nay was doing it for political expediency.  Guess who is opposed to this bailout?  That’s right, Main Street America.  Give the voters some credit for intelligence.  Ordinary people know very well that they are at risk here, because they get it shoved down their throats by NBC, CNN, Fox, NPR et al. all day everyday. They are opposing this anyway.  In aggregate, people vote their interests and everybody calling their House and Senate offices knows what’s at stake here.  Take a breath, step back, let the market correct itself and stop feeding this “if you don’t give us our $700B we’ll kill ourselves” panic.

  4. Bondo says:

    Contrary to your set up, I don’t think it matters, given that he voted against. Schaffer certainly was opposed to the bailout so there is no contrast to make to use against Udall.

    That said, on policy, I think Udall was wrong and it makes me have the same fears about Udall as I have had confirmed about Senator Salazar. I don’t want another Democrat from Colorado running to the right on all the wrong issues in pursuit of political cover. And frankly, I’m not convinced that Udall voting for the bailout would have hurt him.

    The popular uproar over the bailout was vastly overhyped.

    • ThillyWabbit says:

      Consider the people on the left opposed to this bailout:

      Matt Stoller (OpenLeft)

      David Sirota (Denver Post)

      Jeralyn Merritt (TalkLeft)

      Matthew Yglesias (Center for American Progress)

      Markos Moulitsas (Daily Kos)

      The list goes on forever…

      Noted economists are also opposed including Joe Stiglitz (Columbia University and President Elect of the International Economic Association)

      Nouriel Roubini (New York University, Former member of the PResident’s Council of Economic Advisors)

      • Bondo says:

        I don’t care how many leftists opposed the plan as not being socialistic enough (most of them are pushing for outright nationalization ala the Sweden plan). They may be entirely right on what the ideal plan would be.

        However, you can not seriously be suggesting that Udall voted against it because of these critiques from the left and he was worried about alienating liberal voters in his Senate race. I suppose it is possible he truly was voting on liberal principle and not on electoral considerations, but if you start with the assumption that his decision was about electoral politics, it is clear that his vote was to protect himself from critiques from the right, not the left.

  5. ohwilleke says:

    with working class voters.

    Part of the “Boulder liberal” smear is the claim that someone puts theory over the concerns of average people and is elitist.  But, the bailout is quintessentially elitist, and by voting against it, Udall distinguishes himself as a pragmatist who is voting against his party leadership in the way the general public wants.

    It is also going to be hard to peg a vote Udall shares with Marilyn Musgrave and Doug Lamborn, where he breaks with Diana DeGette and Ed Perlmutter, as liberal.

    Equally important is the fact that Udall did vote.  This puts him on the front lines making decisions about how the nation deals with the financial crisis, while Bob Schaffer sits on the sidelines.

    Yes, it does matter how the economy does over the next five weeks.  If Congress does nothing and the sky doesn’t fall, Udall looks smart.  If Congress does something that is perceived as better by the public that Udall backs, Udall looks smart.

    Of course, if Congress does nothing and the economy collapses, Udall looks like he has bad judgment.  And, if Congress does something and Udall is on the wrong side of that vote, he looks bad.

    I think that the former is more likely than the latter, so I think Udall comes out ahead.

    • Canines says:

      And Bob Schaffer can respond, “But I was against it, too!”

      Equally important is the fact that Udall did vote.  This puts him on the front lines making decisions about how the nation deals with the financial crisis, while Bob Schaffer sits on the sidelines.

    • Western Way says:

      And should be punished accordingly

      • Fidel's dirt nap says:

        then Udall and all the dems and repubs who voted against just saved taxpayers 700 billion.  If the market completely implodes they are all goats.

        I don’t think the smartest economist in the world really knows what is going to happen.

        • What if the market was going to implode anyhow?

          Then they still saved the taxpayers 700 Billion.

          Let’s say you have a headache and I insist we must cut off your leg immediately.

          Even if you say no to my plan, and your headache gets worse, it doesn’t mean that my plan was a good one.

          • Fidel's dirt nap says:

            there are most certainly other better options (particularly ones that are more palatable for taxpayers), and I think the 700 billion figure was something the White House just pulled out of their asses, and I think what Paulsen proposed just flat out sucks, and is a great train robbery/Wall St. giveaway/parting gift from the Bush admin/whatever.  What is the justification for thier number ?  How did they come up with that ?  

        • We'veBeenHad says:

          If you vote for the bill you are bilking the taxpayers out of a lot of money that may or may not help the current financial situation.

          If you vote against the bill, you look like you are part of the “do nothing” congress and can be blamed if the economy tanks.

          Especially considering that the few polls I have seen show a fairly even split between those who want a bailout and those who don’t, it’s hard to make a case that voting for or against it makes political sense.

          Ultimately, the failure here is how the plan was sold to the public. It was a huge mistake having it originate from the Whitehouse, from a President with very low public trust. Who can blame people for not wanting to spend $700 billion on bad debt?

      • DavidThi808 says:

        I’m happy that he voted no and I like what he said about his no vote. Of course, he had my vote regardless. But I’m happier about voting for him now.

    • spaceman65 says:

      It’s too early to know whether the decision was good or bad for the economy.  Thus, it is too early to tell whether Udall did the “right” thing or the “wrong” thing.  The question in my mind, unanswered, is did he do the “thing” for the right reason (i.e., what he perceived to be in the best interests of the nation), or for the wrong reason (i.e., for campaign purposes only).  

  6. changeourploticians says:

    Well after all the wrangling, not enough slippery politicians wanted to stick their neck out and say yes. Okay; wasn’t great, could be better.

    So what’s next? Who is going to lead the next bill? Pelosi? ha; How much more pork will be ladened into the new bill. No one knows how much it really is?

    Do we really even have a crisis these politicians all are clammering about? The market is up today 395 points (basically 1/2 of the loss yesterday has been made up).

    Is it my imagination, or is the market seeming to not be tanking on day 2? if no bill was ever proposed to begin with, wouldn’t the market have done the same thing it did yesterday; which is called “correction”. It does not mean the world is collapsing though, does it?

    What scares me more is the politicians and who they are really trying to appease?

    In the bill that was reviewed and tweaked by democrats brought to the white house last week for that infamous ” meeting”, buried inside was a stipulation that this radicial group ACORN was to recieve approximately $20 Billion dollars in proceeds from the bill. Is it any surprise that this “group” heavily contributes to congessional democratis leaders?

    Why did Obama Campagin contribute over $800,000 to Acorn this year to work on registering voters, when this group has been found guilty before of voter fraud and is currently being invetsigated in 6 states? Why would the taxpayer give this group so much money from the Bailout?

  7. Ray Springfield says:

    If the Congress  rejects the bill on thuirsday today’s gains will be given back with interest.

  8. DavidThi808 says:

    from HuffPo

    The proposal is simple. Any “FDIC insured” financial institution in need of capital can raise 10% preferred stock plus warrants (struck at 90% of the prevailing market price/value of their common equity) from the U.S. Government’s bailout fund. Generally the same structure and yield offered to Goldman Sachs by Berkshire Hathaway in its recent $5 billion preferred stock issuance. The fund would need only $350 billion to achieve its goal of restarting lending as all FDIC insured institutions had a total of $1.4 trillion of equity capital and only $300 billion of “toxic” mortgage securities on their books as of June 30.

  9. One Queer Dude says:

    ….or his Nixon going to China moment.


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