If we all recall back to the time shortly after ObamaCare was passed in March, we’ll be remembering sound bites and quotes from Democratic strategists telling us that this legislation will become more popular over time and will inevitably help Democratic candidates in the 2010 midterms. Most of us knew that was hogwash at the time and now the “I told you so” moment has come to fruition.
Check this recent piece from Michael Barone on several key Democrat incumbents who publicly cast “Yes” votes for ObamaCare:
Take Betsy Markey of Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, who in 2008 beat a Republican who seemed fixated on the same-sex marriage issue. Markey cast a late-in-the-roll-call no in November, then publicly switched to yes in the week before the March 21 roll call. She’s currently trailing Republican Cory Gardiner by an average of 44 to 39 percent in three polls. Her Web site links to a video she cut the week after the vote saying she had “the honor” to vote for the bill. But otherwise it seems to be silent on the issue.
Or consider John Boccieri of Ohio’s 16th District, who switched from no to yes in a TV press conference in which he said the bill would do great things for his constituents. Boccieri’s district was represented by Republicans for 58 years until he was elected in 2008.
It looks like it will be again next year. In three polls Republican Jim Renacci leads Boccieri by an average of 46 to 36 percent. Boccieri’s Web site links to a recent interview in which he defends Obamacare and challenges opponents to say which provisions they’d give up.
Then there is Suzanne Kosmas, a longtime real estate agent who beat a Republican with an ethics issue in 2008 for Florida’s 24th District seat. She took announced her switch from no to yes late in the week before the roll call. She’s now running behind Republican Sandy Adams by an average of 47 to 40 percent in three recent polls.
To put these numbers in perspective, it’s highly unusual for an incumbent House member to trail a challenger in any poll or to run significantly below 50 percent. But these three Democrats are running 5 to 10 points behind Republican challengers and none tops 40 percent.
In essence, the ObamaCare vote was the greatest gift to Republican challengers this time around. The American public was vehemently against the passing of the legislation at that time and nothing has changed since then. I am just pleased to see that our memories on this issue haven’t waned as the Democrats had hoped.
None of these Democrats can run on a positive platform of having voted for ObamaCare. Rather, they are running away from their vote.