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Democratic Pollster: The Economy ‘Was Not the Decisive Factor in this Election; Health Care Was’

9:00 PM, Nov 3, 2010 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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Democratic pollster Pat Caddell just finished providing a remarkable rebuttal on Fox News to President Obama's assertion in his post-election press conference that, "[T]here is no doubt that people's number-one concern is the economy, and what they were expressing great frustration about [in yesterday's midterms] is the fact that we haven't made enough progress on the economy."

Here's Caddell:

He doesn't get it, and the exit polls show it, and the results do.  This was not just -- the economy, as important as it was, was not the decisive factor this election; health care was....Among Democrats who favored repeal, 36 percent voted for Republican[s].  Among independents who favored repeal, 86 to 9 voted Republican.  You could see Democrats going down who voted for health care -- the health-care bill -- being wiped out....[L]ook, in my lifetime, this is the first time my party will have less than 200 seats in the House.  Health care is a major thing.  You look at the economy, look, 34 percent of people who said their financial situation worsened voted Democratic.  I could show you lots of evidence.  Just look at Nevada and California, two of the highest -- Nevada the highest -- unemployment states in the country, and two Democratic senators; Democrats did all right.  It is...health care [that] killed them, and they don't understand, the American people found this a crime against democracy -- I've been saying this since March -- they want it repealed, and this issue is gonna go on and on, and he [Obama] seems absolutely tone-deaf.

Caddell continued moments later: 

[P]eople feel that it is interfering with their health care, that it is gonna cost them more, and that's already being borne out....[T]hey're afraid that they are going to see the deficits rise, which they will.  Overall -- and, by the way, this "half" in favor [the number that Obama claimed], you know, we have other polls -- Rasmussen at 58 [percent who favor repeal]; we have Fox in the 50s....

[T]his fight will go through 2012.  As people find out more about this and learn more and get dropped by their plans, they're getting angrier.  There was a [potential] compromise for a real health-care reform, incrementally, in this country, and the President decided not to do that, and they've drawn the line on this.  Only 15 -- remember this -- only 15 percent like the bill as it's passed [and support] keeping it as is.

As Caddell's compelling evidence demonstrates, the fight for repeal will dominate our political landscape until Obamacare's ultimate fate has been determined by the American people – and, therefore, this election merely laid the groundwork for 2012. For more on the continuing nature of this fight, and more on those who've been talking about its continuing nature since March, here's Congressman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), on the House floor right before the infamous Obamacare vote:

As Ryan, who in January will become the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, said then:

This moment may mark a temporary conclusion of the health-care debate, but its place in history has not yet been decided.  If this passes, the quest to reclaim the American idea is not over.  The fight to reapply our founding principles is not finished.  It is just a steeper hill to climb, and it is a climb that we will make.

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