Obamacare's Electoral Effect
Supporting Obama's health care plan has hurt Democrats.
12:00 AM, Sep 21, 2010 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
How does this compare to the electoral prospects of the 34 Democratic incumbents who voted against Obamacare? Polls have been released in eight of their reelection campaigns. In the most recent poll published by Real Clear Politics for each race, these eight more-independent-minded Democrats are anywhere from 18 points up, to 3 points down, versus their GOP rivals. On the whole, they are ahead in 7 of the 8 races, leading by an average margin of 8 points.
One might speculate that these Obamacare-opposing Democrats are merely running in easier districts for Democrats to win. On the contrary, however, over the past three presidential elections, Republican presidential candidates have won in these eight districts by an average margin of 14 points. In the districts of the five Obamacare-supporting Democrats for whose races we have polling data, Republican presidential candidates have also won by an average margin of 14 points.
So, in equally competitive districts, polls suggest that (as of now) Obamacare-opposing Democrats are poised to go 7-1 and win by an average margin of 8 points, while Obamacare-supporting Democrats are poised to go 0-5 and lose by an average margin of 14 points.
Then again, it might just be the economy.
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