Until recently, [Democratic pollster Stan] Greenberg had been advising Democrats to move beyond Obamacare and turn to bread-and-butter issues like jobs and the minimum wage. "The strongest attack on Republicans," he says, "is that they're obsessed with Obamacare instead of critical issues like dealing with the economy."(... because that worked so well in 2010.)
But his new poll has Greenberg rethinking that counsel. "Until now, this is an issue where the intensity has been on the other side," he says. But defending Obamacare, he adds, has emerged as "a values argument for our base." Greenberg now believes Democrats "ought to lean much more strongly" to campaign on the virtues of Obamacare as a means of boosting progressive turnout. "Not apologizing for Obamacare and embracing it actually wins the argument nationally," he says. "And it produces much more engagement of Democratic voters. That's a critical thing in off-year elections."We should've been doing this since 2009, but hey, better late than never. Non-presidential years are base election years. Give your base a reason to turn out, because hey, there are more of us than there are of them. Simple math.
Then consider that the ACA has now blown by initial projections, is demonstrably holding health care costs down, is costing less than expected, and is actually helping people, and suddenly you have a law that can be defended easily on practical, policy and moral grounds. It's a no-brainer!
Little by little it seems like key people in the party are realizing that we can win on this.
President Barack Obama today argued that the repeal debate is over. Me, I don't want it to be over. We can win on this. Make sure voters know that Republicans want to take away insurance from millions, and let's make 2014 about that. That's a debate we want to have.