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The GOP Can't Afford to Be Reticent on Repeal

7:09 AM, Sep 5, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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The latest Rasmussen poll shows that 50 percent of likely voters support the repeal of Obamacare, while 41 percent oppose it. In addition to these specific tallies, Rasmussen's survey draws attention to two things.


First, the poll was taken in the days immediately following the Republican convention, yet the 50-percent level of support for repeal is tied for the second-lowest tally in Rasmussen's polling in the nearly two and a half years since Obamacare's passage. That's presumably what happens when you have a GOP convention in which the party appears, for whatever reason, to be reluctant to make the case against President Obama's highly unpopular centerpiece legislation. With the exception of Paul Ryan's speech, which took dead-aim at the health care overhaul, the subject of Obamacare was barely even raised by the prime-time speakers. Mitt Romney didn't even give the eager delegates the chance to issue a full-throated cheer in response to his usual "...and I will repeal it!" line, as this time he couched the need for repeal in terms of helping small businesses, rather than in terms of protecting the quality of health care, the solvency of the nation, and the liberty of the people.

If the Republicans want to repeat their electoral success of two years ago, they can't afford to forget—or to neglect—the issue that propelled them to victory. (Hint: It wasn't the economy.) It's not as if Obamacare has disappeared in the interim or now poses any less of a threat.

The second point is that, when 50 percent support for repeal—and 41 percent opposition to repeal—is a comparatively strong showing for Obamacare, it emphasizes how amazingly unpopular Obama's signature legislation truly is—and makes the GOP's (momentary?) reticence on repeal all the more baffling.

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