Thursday Open Thread [6.27.13]

Filed in Open Thread by on June 27, 2013

A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that nearly a quarter of Americans say they don’t know their view on the “health reform law” but when it’s called “Obamacare” the share offering no opinion drops to just 11%. Democrats show the biggest change in favorability with the alternate question wording — 73% have a favorable opinion of “Obamacare” compared to 58% who say the same for the “health reform law.” Likewise, 76% of Republicans have an unfavorable view of the “health reform law” but 86% don’t like it when it’s called “Obamacare.”

I have long said that Republicans are going to regret calling the PPACA (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010) “Obamacare.” What other President has a government program named after them?

Conventional wisdom holds that the Republicans will hold the House in 2014. Indeed, typically, the President’s party in the six year midterm suffers an average loss of 26 seats. The only time in recent memory that the President’s party has actually gained seats was in 1998, when the Democrats gained in the House as the backlash against the partisan impeachment of Bill Clinton began.

And even if the Dems won the national popular vote again as they did in 2012, the Republicans have been so ruthless and skilled in their gerrymandering efforts that it will take a Democratic popular vote win of at least 8 points to win the House by 1 seat. So there is reason why all the Vegas money is on the GOP keeping control of the House next year. But the first Democracy Corps Congressional Battleground survey of the competitive House races this year has some encouraging news for Democrats.

The survey featured an electorate shaped like the one from 2010 in order to give the Democrats the worst case scenario (depressed Dem base that did not turn out versus energized GOP base that did in high numbers). Here is what the survey found:

In seats held by Republicans, almost half rate the Republican Congress and Tea Party negatively. The Democratic Party enjoys a net 6-point favorability advantage over the Republican Party in these Republican seats.

Republicans’ obsession with repeal [of Obamacare] is out-of-step with voters in even these Republican-held districts. In the most competitive seats, voters favor implementing the law over repealing it by 8 points.

Seniors broke heavily for Republicans in 2010, and they are a disproportionate voice in off-year elections. This survey shows the race tied with them [after going 59-38 for Republicans in 2010], which would be a huge turnaround.

The Republicans overall are only winning in the 49 competitive Republican seats by 47 to 42 percent – the same result that they achieved in the first poll in 2007 when Democrats ultimately gained 21 seats. Much more importantly, the race is dead even in the 24 seats that form the top tier (42 to 43 percent). If the GOP loses 24 seats in 2014, they lose the House.

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  1. bamboozer says:

    Firstly whatever seats the Republicans could capture thru Gerrymandering games has already occurred, secondly there is more than a little bit of buyers remorse out there as evidenced by the exit of West & Walsh. Extremism doesn’t sell all that well, off year election or not. And give old people some credit, they’ve been listening to Paul Ryan and others about Social Security and Medicare and hate it, conservatives as well as Dems and Independents.