Democratic leaders claim the bungled launch of Obamacare is just the latest news sensation — a media-stirred tempest that looks in the heat of the moment like it could upend the midterm election, but ends up fizzling well before voters head to the polls.
Some party strategists say they're in denial.
And that perceived gap between party spin and facts on the ground is fueling worries that the White House and Democratic higher-ups aren't taking the possible electoral blowback seriously enough or doing enough to shield their candidates. Democratic contenders in the toughest races are distinctly less convinced that Obamacare will fade as an election-year issue — and they can't afford to just cross their fingers that things get ironed out or that Republicans revert to political hara-kiri.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a forum hosted by BuzzFeed recently that the rollout won't "hurt us in 2014," adding that "we're proud" of the law. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in a recent appearance on CNN, went so far as to assert that Obamacare would be "an advantage" for Democratic candidates next year.