Fighting back

by | Mar 13, 2014 | 2014 Elections, Editor's Blog, NC Politics, US Senate | 3 comments

Kay Hagan, as well as her fellow Democrats, needs to get over her fear of Obamacare. For the past month, she’s been been avoiding talking about the program but she had better start defending it. She can’t run from it and, besides, the program is getting more popular, not less.

The latest brouhaha is whether or not Obamacare sank Alex Sink in a Florida special election for Congress. It didn’t but even if it did, it’s March, not November. If the public is fixated on the ACA in October, the sentiment “I made a mistake” is not going to get her re-elected.

To win in a mid-term election, Hagan needs strong support from her base since turnout will be the single most important factor. Democrats stayed home in 2010 and they lost. Republicans stayed home in 2006 and they lost. The side that shows up this year will probably win.

Yesterday, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg told The Washington Post that Democrats need to battle health care “to a draw.” I would argue that doing less will dampen enthusiasm for Hagan with the people she needs to show up on Election Day.

In North Carolina, the lack of enthusiasm for Obamacare stems more from the $8 million in ads from Americans for Prosperity than any real impact on families. As the deadlines pass and people realize that the economy is still growing, more people are getting covered and the costs of health care are finally going down, they will forget their fear of the health care program even if GOP superPACs fight to keep it alive. It’s not going to be the wedge issue that Republicans have been hoping for.

But even if I’m wrong, and the program is still unpopular, that doesn’t mean health care reform is. Part of the group that doesn’t like Obamacare is mad because it doesn’t go far enough. Those people are part of the Democratic base and Hagan needs them at the polls, not sitting on the sidelines. She needs to make the case for reform to keep them engaged.

Right now, Republicans are battling themselves in an increasingly heated primary. Hagan needs to use this opportunity to define herself as leader who will fight for the middle class instead of politician who wants to avoid talking about her record. Defending health care reform is a vital part of that argument.


  1. geek49203

    So tales of woe like mine — “horror stories” — just don’t exist. That is the Dem talking po… uh, plagiarized point on this matter? (I’m using the word deemed appropriate in this forum for words that are repeated by politicians.)

    What do you think that people will do when they get nailed for 4-figure extra tax bills based on their ACA “subsidy?” In other words, if you make too much — including a figure that makes it a “cliff” point — you’re gonna have to pay it back?

    And all of this for about $8 million less than what AFP is paying for TV ads. And yes, signs at campaign stops are cheap too.

    • geek49203

      Oh, and didn’t she get elected with the help of unions? Are those unions now happy with ACA? (Hint, I know the answer to that one, don’t bother bee-essing me.) I mean, it’s one thing to fail to repeal NAFTA, as promised. It’s another thing to fail to deal with China, another talking point about 6 years ago. And I guess that the failure of the Dems to do card check might bother them, but hey, being good Dems, I’m sure they would still show up to rallies and threaten physical damage to counter-protester (I’ll show you my video of that happening if you’d like?).

      But now… NOW… you’re messing with their health care plans. And as the old joke goes about the pastor who went from “Preach it” to “Now you’re meddling”, so will go Kay’s fate (Pastor got voted out).

      Oh, and when Kay’s office told me to “call the White House” about my plan that I couldn’t keep… when they told me to “call the White House” concerning my income verification for the subsidy… not even a form letter for follow-up… do you think that I believe she cares about voters? About NC voters? Not just her Dem handlers, but the actual voters?

    • Thomas Ricks

      If a conservative is speaking, a conservative is lying.

      Honestly? Your horror story probably DOESN’T exist. At least not in a way that doesn’t look like crap in proper context.

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