Mitt Romney

Study Finds That Voting For ObamaCare Hurt Democrats in 2010


Last week, I noted recent poll data suggesting that ObamaCare may hurt Democrats in this year's election despite promises from party leaders that public opinion would eventually come to favor the law. We won't find out whether that holds true until November, but new research from a team of political scientists indicates that voting for the health care law hurt Democrats significantly in 2010. The Washington Post's Sarah Kliff reports:

Brendan Nyhan, Eric McGhee, John Sides, Seth Masket and Steven Greene analyzed how Democratic supporters of the health reform law fared in the last round of House elections. They found that, on average, "the vote share of Democrats who supported health care reform was 5.8 points lower than that of the most comparable Democrats who opposed the bill."

If those Democrats had voted against the law—and flipped that 5.8 percent in the opposite direction—the party would have netted 25 more seats. And that would have been enough to keep the Democrats in a majority.

As I said in my last post, negative public perception of the health care overhaul is arguably the GOP's biggest policy strength right now. Yet the part is on the path to nominating Mitt Romney, the candidate least well positioned to take advantage of the law's ongoing popularity problems. 

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  1. Are you serious?

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  2. Why the fuck would anyone conduct a study on this?

    1. They’re too dumb for common sense.

    2. To be assured federal money by telling Team BLUE exactly what they should do to regain control of DC.

    3. The quantification is important. When you tell something they fucked up, it’s best if you can show exactly how much they fucked up.

  3. Oh, c’mon.

    It does give some support to the idea that ObamaCare cost the Dems control of the House in 2010.

    And OCare has gotten even less popular. House and Senate candidates who run against it should benefit, especially if they can point to the Catholic Contraception Cerfuffle as a portent of things to come.

    1. The Democrats mananaged to turn health care from an advantage to an albatross. Obama care is going to be costing them votes for decades.

      It amazes me Pelosi was able to convince so many rubes in the House to vote for it. I am sure she didn’t care. She will never be voted out. But a bunch of Democrats actually seemed to believe voting for it wasn’t political suicide.

    2. John, I think you are right. IMO, they were willing to sacrifice the next few elections, knowing that eventually voters would forget and vote for Dems again, but that that Obamacare would be around forever. That was a huge foot in the door for them.

      1. That is what the leadership was thinking. But they had to convince a bunch of Congress critters that voting for it wasn’t certain death. And I can’t believe they were able to do that. Talk about a bunch of rubes.

        1. Simply. They assured them that they’d get nice lobbyist jobs afterwards.

          Worked for Stupak.

  4. And when the Dems in 2012, will there be a study that says partisan studies, are useless?

    1. I don’t think it was a partisan study.

    2. The folks who did this study are not known at all as favoring the GOP or conservative positions. I don’t think of them as partisan scholars at all, but if anything their reputation is the other way around.

      1. The study was predicated on ‘what ifs’…../#comments

        We do not live in a B&W world -GTFOI

    3. Wait…you think Obamacare did not hurt Democrats in the 2010 election?


      1. Hence the answer to your question, “Why the fuck would anyone conduct a study on this?” Because some people still don’t believe it.

        1. Because some people still don’t believe it.

          But they still don’t believe it!!

          Hence my question is reentered into the discussion:

          Why the fuck?!?!

          1. Fair enough. One operates on the assumption that there is some tiny number of people who are capable of being convinced.

  5. The issue that is going to turn the election is energy. Obamacare doesn’t even come close.

    1. When a political house burns, both the furniture and the framing contribute to the conflagration.

    2. ??? How so? Oil and gas production is way up in the US. In fact, so much higher that the US is close to becoming energy independent. Obama doesn’t deserve any credit for that, but he will claim it anyway, attribute it to “green energy” subsidies and claim that Keystone XL is unnecessary since we already have plenty of domestic oil.

  6. The issue that is going to turn the election is energy.

    We need a Manhattan Project for fart in a jar energy.

  7. Obama care is going to be costing them votes for decades.

    It would if voters had the option of giving their votes to Republicans who actually oppose Obamacare (not just the word “Obamacare”)?or who can even credibly pretend to oppose it, after the Obamacare-motivated 2010 elections got anti-Obamacare voters nothing.

    Here’s a list of all such Republican politicians who are likely to run for office after Obama’s re-election…over the Republican who invented Obamacare:

    Rand Paul.

    And here’s a list of all such Republican politicians:

    Rand Paul, Ron Paul, and Sarah Palin.

    Obamacare will destroy the GOP, if it hasn’t already. Because keeping it in place is demonstrably more important to the Party than getting votes from icky Americans (ew!) is.

    1. Obama will not win in November and Romney will repeal Obamacare.

      After that Romney well start a war and spend like 20 trillion dollars on some bullshit and support polices that will destroy the US economy.

      Still running around thinking Romney will not repeal Obamacare is just stupid.

      1. If the Republicans take enough Senate seats, the Republicans with pass a repeal of Obamacare with some Democrat support and Romney will probably sign the repeal Obamacare – maybe kinda probably sorta if he has to.

        1. Why is it so hard for you people think that a Mormon Republican former governor of Massachusetts is a federalist?

          On the other hand, historian Robert Sobel offers some context based on Coolidge’s sense of federalism: “As Governor of Massachusetts, Coolidge supported wages and hours legislation, opposed child labor, imposed economic controls during World War I, favored safety measures in factories, and even worker representation on corporate boards. Did he support these measures while president? No, because in the 1920s, such matters were considered the responsibilities of state and local governments.”

          1. Maybe because it is pathetically obvious how much Romney blows with the winds of the polls, how lacking in strength of character he is, how much his professed ideology varies according to what his political team tells him is expedient.

            Nobody with even half a brain believes the Romneycare/Obamacare/federalism hand waving. Romney is a tool.

            1. Romney is a dull tool.

      2. You are dreaming. The only chance of getting rid of ObamaCare, really the ONLY chance, is the Supreme Court.

        The Republicans aren’t going to control all three branches of government, and even if they do, they won’t have the filibuster proof majorities needed to stop Democrats from filibustering the repeal.

        It’s game over if the mandate survives the courts.

    2. after the Obamacare-motivated 2010 elections got anti-Obamacare voters nothing

      Did I miss something? Did I get secretly transported to another planet while I slept?

      Obamacare will destroy the GOP

      You may be right about that. If the RParty doesn’t repeal it, the long awaited savior party may manifest itself.

  8. If you wound a man here or here, he’s crippled. But a cripple can still be dangerous!

  9. on the path to nominating Mitt Romney, the candidate least well positioned to take advantage of the law’s ongoing popularity problems

    So Suderman is using Santorum’s talking points now?

    1. Can’t wait until you criticize people who favor marijuana legalization as “using Pat Robertson’s talking points now.”

      1. Well, now that you mention it …

  10. If the courts toss out ObamaCare, in it’s entirely, or even just the mandate plus community rating plus guarenteed issue, I honestly won’t care if Obama gets reelected.

    The Democrats are not going to get a chance to pass single payer. They won’t have the majorities to do it.

    Absent Obamacare and the threat of them using it to turn the health insurance makret into a regulated utility, there just isn’t much to make the Democrats worse than Republicans.

    1. Democrats want high gas prices and subsidies for green energy. Democrats will always, always strive for higher spending and higher taxes. Democrats will protect the public employee unions esp. the NEA. If Obama is re-elected, he will continue to use administrative actions to expand the power and reach of the federal government.

      With the Republicans, there is at least the impetus of the Tea Party to reduce spending. The Republicans do fear reprisals, even against incumbents in future primaries.

      A committed statist ideologue like Obama is worse than an ideological mush pot.

      1. True, but the subsidies for green energy will merely be a waste of money, not a fundamental threat to our liberties like the PPACA.

        I think if PPACA was overturned, and the Democrats got reelected, the greatest danger would be the exploding budget deficit. But I suspect Obama and the Republicans would have about the same solutions. Marginal increases in the tax rate, marginal cuts an spending, and a whole lot of monetary expansion. Anyone’s guess as to whether R’s or D’s would print more dollars.

        The thing is that changes in entitlements can wait 4 years and will be forced eventually, regardless of which party is in power. If the Republicans won it would happen marginally faster, but not by much.

        By contrast, whether PPACA survives will have a huge impact on the basic structure of the social contract in America.

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