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Washington Post: 'Health Care Vote-Switchers an Endangered Species'

Understatement.

1:25 PM, Oct 27, 2010 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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In an article entitled, "Health care vote-switchers an endangered species," the Washington Post writes:

When it comes to this year's health care vote...it turns out it may be more harmful to have voted against it before you voted for it.

That's a lesson Democrats are learning in the eight districts where the party's incumbent congressman voted against the first version of the health care bill last November before voting in favor of the second -- and final -- version in March. (In almost every case, the member came under heavy pressure from the White House and Democratic leadership to cast a "yea" vote.)

Of those eight seats, Democrats are favored to hold just one after next Tuesday's election. Three or four of the other seven look to be lost causes, and the rest appear increasingly tough for Democrats.

Meanwhile, there were five Democrats who flipped from "yes" on the first bill to "no" on final passage. And, by comparison, they're looking pretty good.

That's actually an understatement. RealClearPolitics (RCP) currently lists polls for four races involving Democrats who let themselves get strong-armed into switching from no to yes on Obamacare:  Scott Murphy (N.Y.-20), Allen Boyd (Fla.-2), Betsy Markey (Colo.-4), and John Boccieri (Ohio-16).  These four are currently projected to go 0-4 with an average losing margin of a touchdown (7 points).  (RCP also writes that the polling numbers for Suzanne Kosmas (Fla.-24), another Democrat who switched from no to yes, "are truly terrible," but those numbers aren't listed.) 

Meanwhile, among the small group of Democrats who switched the right way, from yes to no, the only one for whom RCP currently lists polling results is Michael Arcuri (N.Y.-24), and he's winning by 9 points. 

Of Markey, who's trailing by 7 points in the polling listed by RCP, the Post adds, "In the end, her switch didn't even get her financial support from the national party, which appears to be conceding this one."  And as for Kosmas's race, the "national Democrats have pulled out completely." It's always good to know that when you cast a career-threatening vote to benefit your party's leadership, your party will have your back.

But while the Post implies that it's largely these Democrats' waffling that's gotten them into trouble, the Democrats who switched to yes are hardly the only ones who are struggling. Those who voted yes on Obamacare all along are also getting clobbered. By my last count, the other Obamacare-supporting Democrats who are running in districts that lean Republican (by any margin) or lean Democratic by no more than 5 points (based on the past three presidential elections), are winning in only 8 of their 30 races (27 percent).  Meanwhile, Democrats in these same districts who voted against Obamacare are winning in 10 of their 15 races (67 percent). 

Obamacare is the key issue in this election.

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