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Growing Dem opposition could doom ObamaCare

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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GROWING DEM OPPOSITION COULD DOOM OBAMACARE
ObamaCare skidded to an all-time low in the latest Fox News poll, but in a switch, it’s Democrats who are driving down the already unpopular law. In June, 22 percent of Democrats were opposed to ObamaCare, which blends expansive new health-insurance regulations with a new welfare program. In the latest survey, that number rose to 30 percent, helping push overall opposition to a new high of 59 percent. (Just 36 percent overall supported the law.) While the number that is most encouraging to Republican hopes of taking control of the Senate is the sky-high 64 percent opposition to the law among independents, the spike in Democratic opposition promises to be very consequential.

[A survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds less than 40 percent of uninsured adults will obtain coverage in 2014.]

Unchained - President Obama has been able to keep his health law lurching forward because Senate Democrats have held the line against Republican efforts to alter it. The GOP moves to shield consumers from intentional and unintentional consequences of the law are unacceptable to the president because they would, mostly by design, start the process of disassembling his signature legislation. One way to keep Senate Democrats from doing as Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., did and acting in their own interests by attacking ObamaCare is the threat of reprisal from the Democratic base. The president’s permanent campaign organization can only credibly threaten vulnerable Democrats if there are enough liberal supporters of the law to make defection costly. But if the Democratic rank and file is increasingly opposed to the law, the political price for bucking the president goes down. And does one suppose Democratic opposition is higher or lower in states where Democrats are more conservative? A 30 percent national average might mean that only 10 percent are opposed in deep-blue New York but that half are opposed in Arkansas, North Carolina or Montana.

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Chris Stirewalt

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