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Nation: Boehner’s Plea to Members: Pony Up Dues

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called on Members who still haven’t paid their dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee to “do the right thing— and pony up the cash before Congress adjourns for the year.

“As you know, we’ve been making a push for Member transfers to the NRCC over the last several months,— Boehner wrote in an e-mail Wednesday to the Republican Conference. “And since there’s a possibility that today may be our last day in Washington for the year, I am calling on you to do the right thing and write your check to the NRCC today.—

Boehner wrote that every Member is obligated to make sure the NRCC has the resources to continue its fight to hold the Democratic Congress accountable in 2010.

“I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished together and am honored to be with you in our fight for freedom and reform,— Boehner continued. “So for the last time this year I’m asking you to honor your commitment to our team and write your check to the NRCC today.—

For months, Boehner and other GOP leaders have pleaded with Members to meet their “NRCC assessment for 2009— — a combination of Member dues and fundraising requirements for the party’s March and June dinners — before the end of the year.

During a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference last month, Members who had not met their financial obligations to the committee were handed envelopes to further encourage them to settle their obligation.

Republican membership dues are $25,000 for leadership and ranking members and $15,000 for rank-and-file lawmakers.

NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) “applauds Leader Boehner’s efforts to help garner the necessary resources for Republicans to maximize our gains in 2010,— NRCC spokesman Ken Spain said.

Unlike the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which sets fundraising goals for the two-year cycle, the NRCC divides its Member request into annual goals.

Poll: GOP Leads Generic For First Time Since ’02

More likely voters would now prefer to elect a Republican to Congress than a Democrat, according to the latest George Washington University Battleground Poll, marking the first time Republicans have led on the generic Congressional ballot in the poll since 2002.

The poll, conducted by the Republican firm the Tarrance Group and Democratic Lake Research Partners on Dec. 6-9, found Republicans leading Democrats 42 percent to 40 percent. Eighteen percent were undecided.

That’s a flip from July, when the poll found generic Democrats leading Republicans 43 percent to 40 percent.

In that same time frame, Congressional Republicans’ favorability rating jumped 8 points while Democrats’ sunk 5 points.

Republicans also have an edge in voter intensity, with 77 percent of GOP voters saying they are extremely likely to vote in the midterm elections next year compared with 64 percent of Democrats. Independents are also revved up — 77 percent indicated they were extremely likely to vote.

Overall, 68 percent of likely voters disapprove of Congress’ job performance, up from 57 percent in July. Republicans are particularly dissatisfied, with 87 disapproving and just 8 percent approving. Independents’ approval-disapproval ratio was not much better, at 15 percent to 77 percent. Democrats were more evenly split, with 43 percent approving and 47 percent disapproving.

Fifty percent of likely voters approve of President Barack Obama’s performance, 37 percent strongly. Another 45 percent disapprove, 41 percent strongly. The partisan split is evident: Sixty-eight percent of Democrats strongly approve and 78 percent of Republicans strongly disapprove.

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