Study co-author Seth Masket of the University of Denver said that Obamacare cost House Democrats 25 seats, exactly the number they needed to keep the majority. Democrats who voted for the health care act ran six percentage points behind those who didn’t, Masket said, enough to cost those 25 members their seats. Overall in 2010, 63 Democrats lost their jobs.
The paper revealed that a vote for Obamacare left a bad taste in the mouths of voters, even if their House member was generally liked. “Voting for health reform caused voters to perceive a member as being more liberal, even when controlling for a members’ overall voting record,” said Masket.
With the Supreme Court and both parties gearing up for another bruising fight this year over Obamacare, the issue is likely to crash into the fall elections. Masket said that could undermine Democratic efforts to keep control of the Senate, since far more Democratic senators who voted for health care reform are up for reelection this year than in 2010.
But the pain shouldn’t be as bad in House races this year since “vulnerable Democrats were kicked out in 2010,” he told us.