The season for candidate recruitment is coming to a close and the 2014 Senate election landscape is coming into focus. And what we’re seeing is great news for Republican candidates.
President Obama’s approval rating is underwater and underwater as the nation grows more disenchanted with Obamacare, frustrated with the stagnant economy and scared of the White House’s foreign policy ineptitude. The latest figures from the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that Obama’s approval rating fell to 41 percent in March, marking a new low for his presidency. On the other side of the coin, Republicans are winning the generic ballot test, which tends to skew in favor of Democrats.
The result has led to some big changes to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report’s race ratings. The Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan reports:
Today comes more evidence the tide is shifting in Republicans’ favor. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report –a widely respected independent political handicapper — moved a trio of Democratic-held seats from “Lean Democratic” to “Toss-up.” In addition, Brown’s entrance moved New Hampshire from “Likely Democratic” to “Lean Democratic,” meaning it looks more likely to fall into Republican hands than before. . .
With the new moves, eight Democratic seats now fall into Cook Report’s “Toss-up,” “Lean Republican” or “Likely Republican” categories: Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Montana, West Virginia and South Dakota. Just two GOP seats fall into the corresponding Democratic categories: Georgia and Kentucky.
Several seats, including Colorado and New Hampshire, present further opportunities for Republicans to capture the six seats needed for a majority.
So what are Democrats to do given the hand they’ve been dealt? Famed Bill Clinton political strategist James Carville has some advice, which the Huffington Post describes as: “Instead of advising a flailing kind of panic, we find him advocating for a sort of Zen fatalism.” That sounds like a winning strategy.
In his own words, Carville’s advice is that “Democratic strategists and operatives should not design a strategy based off today’s conditions.” Instead, he argues, “They should be setting a strategy for where the trajectory of polling is headed. You have to lead your teammate.”
Unfortunately for Democrats, some of the leftist-most elements of the party, are attempting to lead the rest of them straight into an electoral disaster by defending Obamacare.
“I believe that it is a winner. And by the way it’s called the Affordable Care Act. It’s called the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi said in a recent press conference. “Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable,” she repeated over and over again.
“We just couldn’t be prouder,” she said in conclusion.
But no matter how many times you claim that the bill will make health insurance more affordable it just doesn’t make it true. The reality, as we’ve seen this year is that insurance costs are soaring, often by as much as 200 percent for young adults. And next year could be even worse. Reporting yesterday from Elise Viebeck The Hill found that health industry officials are saying that premiums could double, or even triple, next year as the result of Obamacare. And the White House’s politically-motivated delays and changes to the law are only exacerbated those price hikes.
Unaffordable insurance costs aren’t the only outcome we’re seeing. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf recently testified that Obamacare’s subsidy scheme “creates a disincentive for people to work,” which is a terrible outcome considering the need for consumer-spending.
Not exactly something to be proud of.
What Nancy Pelosi needs to realize is that while Obamacare may be hugely popular in her deep-blue San Francisco-area district, a majority of Americans are strongly opposed. Encouraging Democrats to support Obamacare is just leading your teammates into more of a mess than they already find themselves in.