It is becoming increasingly clear how important it is to liberals to try to insulate Obamacare from what is shaping up as another “shellacking.” Sure, a few months after House Democrats passed Obamacare (over unanimous Republican opposition), they lost more House seats (63) while also losing control of that chamber than they had since the 1800s. And, sure, President Obama’s approval rating in Gallup’s polling, which was 67 percent shortly after he took office, has been in the 40s for 18 of the 19 quarters since his Senate allies passed Obamacare (over unanimous GOP opposition) on Christmas Eve 2009. But Obamacare can’t be to blame for any of this, can it? For if it can, that would suggest that the liberal centerpiece of an entire presidency can be repealed and replaced.
Thus, the New York Times asserts, “Republican attacks on the health care law dominated the early months of the campaign, but now have largely receded from view.” Unfortunately for the Times, this claim is false. According to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), anti-Obamacare ads have dominated GOP ad buys in October. In Senate races during the week of October 13-19, Republicans ran nearly 12,000 anti-Obamacare ads. That’s nearly twice as many as they ran on jobs/unemployment, and it’s more than they ran on immigration and international affairs combined. The top-5 issues for the GOP in Senate races for the week of October 13-19 were as follows: 1. Obamacare (nearly 12,000 ads); 2. Budget/Government Spending (nearly 9,000 ads); 3. Energy/Environment (nearly 7,000 ads); 4. Jobs/Unemployment (more than 6,000 ads); 5. Immigration (nearly 5,000 ads).
Nor was this a one-week aberration. For the week of October 6-12, Obamacare was also clearly the #1 issue for the GOP in Senate races (more than 11,000 ads), and that week Democrats in Senate races chipped in with about 500 anti-Obamacare ads of their own.
That’s a far cry from the Times’s wishful claim that “Republican attacks on the health care law … have largely receded from view.”
The highly respected Des Moines Register poll offers further evidence that Obamacare is the main issue in this election. In a state that was to the left of the nation as a whole during each of the past three presidential elections, the Register finds that Republican Joni Ernst is leading Democrat Bruce Braley by 51 to 44 percent. The #1 reason why Ernst supporters said they are voting for her is “to get one step closer to repealing Obamacare” — 30 percent gave that answer. In contrast, the desire “to elect a person who will support Obamacare, while working to make it better” was only the #5 reason why Braley supporters said they are voting for him — only 13 percent gave that answer.
It is highly unlikely that Iowa is the only state in which voters’ #1 reason for supporting the Republican senatorial candidate is their desire to repeal Obamacare.
It’s time to repeal every last word of Obamacare and replace it with a genuine conservative alternative. Of course, no matter what happens on Tuesday night, we can expect the Times to tell us that the Obamacare debate is over and that the Democrats lost for some other, unknowable, reason.