You just revised history to suit your narrative:
The One Issue That’s Really Driving the Midterm Elections
Here’s an amazing political statistic: In 2016, the Affordable Care Act came up in just 10 percent of pro-Democrat campaign advertisements and 16 percent of pro-Republican ones. This year, it came up in more than half of Democratic ads and nearly a third of those for Republicans.
Those numbers, which come from the Wesleyan Media Project, help demonstrate the way the law’s politics have gone topsy-turvy and its political sway has grown since President Donald Trump came into office. After 2016, Republicans found themselves in the position of fighting against a law that suddenly went from being unpopular to being popular. And Democrats found themselves in the position of fighting to defend its good parts rather than having to explain away its bad ones. For the first time in nearly a decade, they’re running on health care rather than away from it.
As Midterms Loom, Half Of Democratic Ad Spending Hits GOP On Healthcare
The midterm elections cemented Obamacare’s legacy and showed Democrats can actually win on healthcare
The ACA is polling near its highest level ever. And many of the law’s provisions, including protections for people with preexisting conditions, remain significantly popular. The rising popularity and the GOP’s legislative attacks on Obamacare allowed Democrats to draw a stark contrast with their Republican opponents.
Healthcare ranked as the top issue for voters in exit polling, and Americans generally trusted Democrats more than Republicans. According to an exit poll of 75 competitive, GOP-held districts by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling, 52% of people said they trusted Democrats more on healthcare, compared to just 44% who trusted the GOP more.
The switch represents a huge change from the 2010 and 2014 midterms, when Republicans hammered Democrats on the ACA and healthcare in general.
To Rally Voters, Democrats Focus on Health Care as Their Closing Argument
The subject has lit up polls, monopolized advertising budgets and driven a national strategy for Democrats, who are defending 10 Senate seats in states Mr. Trump won and are relying heavily on health care as a defining issue in key states including Arizona, Florida, West Virginia and Nevada.
“This is the message coming straight from people in the red states,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democrats’ Senate campaign committee.
Republicans have been put on the defensive, insisting in TV ads featuring their family members that they, too, support affordable care for people with pre-existing conditions.
Their claims come after years of lawsuits and congressional votes by Republicans to gut or weaken the health care law’s protections of expensive chronic illnesses.
The Healthcare Vote That Republicans Missed in the Midterms
Republicans had reportedly hoped to defend their majority status in Congress by reminding voters of the positive economic growth and tax cuts achieved in the prior two years. Democrats’ message seemed centered on protecting Obamacare, in particular the pre-existing medical conditions clause, as a counterweight to Republicans’ economic messaging. The immigration issue, which the GOP tried to capitalize on late in the campaign, proved too weak of a salient to alter this dynamic.
Not only was healthcare a top influencer in the recent congressional elections, but it may have been the key activator of a significant “swing vote” that went largely undetected by party professionals.
A Gallup survey in early November found 53% of U.S. adults at the time of the election approving of Trump’s economic direction for the country, but only 36% approving of his handling of healthcare policy. Those who approved of Trump on the economy but not healthcare should have been prime targets for Republican healthcare messaging to keep them in the GOP fold. Without that, this group had strong reasons to vote against Trump’s party.
Midterm exit polls: Health care is top issue for voters
The progressive base is more pragmatic than you might think
Last year, the number of Democratic volunteers was higher than for any midterm cycle for which we have nationwide data. In the midterm year of 2014, volunteers and paid canvassers working with progressive groups and Democratic campaigns knocked on 96 million doors, according to data provided by NGP VAN, Democrats’ shared voter database source. In the presidential year of 2016, that rose to 111 million. In 2018, the total was 155 million.
Canvassers have discovered that markers the pundits have taught us to identify with the opposing party are a poor guide to who is persuadable. “Young NRA guys — those were my best conversations on the doors!” recalls one progressive woman who made a valiant run for state legislator in a southwest Pennsylvania district Donald Trump won by double digits and which hadn’t had a Democratic challenger since 2010. “I’d say, ‘We gotta protect schools and make sure people can own guns safely,’ and they’d say, ‘Okay, tell me. Concretely, how are you going to do that?’ It turned out there was common ground.”
An unprecedented portion of those 155 million knocks came not from campaign-generated volunteers but from local grassroots groups that have sprung up around the country, remaking regional political ecosystems on the left. In purple exurbs and rural/Rust Belt districts alike, it was new grassroots groups that took the initiative to recruit and support candidates up and down the ballot, for races the institutional Democratic Party had rarely bothered to contest.
Voters were concerned with healthcare, not Trump and “accountability.”
Red flipped to blue, again and again, thanks to policy-focused campaigns, not Trump-focused ones.
You’re projecting your feelings onto the entire electorate.
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