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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The October Surprise That Won’t Help the Democrats



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A reader writes in:

The wife was talking with a friend of hers yesterday who works for Cigna.  The gist of the conversation was, as the friend was having discussions with her clients regarding the changes that everyone is starting to see in their employer provided health insurance, how surprised they were that the costs were actually going up because of ObamaCare.

Apparently, there is a large number of people who bought the lines about “bending the cost curve down.” My point is this: As people go through benefits enrollment, and come to realize that the expiration dates have been reached on Obama’s promises, they will probably not look too charitably at the party that railroaded this through congress.  At that point, the elections will be less than a month away.

October surprise? 

That anecdote echoes these points in a memo from the folks at the Public Opinion Strategies polling firm:

We wanted change, but not this. It’s a common refrain in focus groups.  In 2008, voters had hope and thought they were voting for change.  They had no idea what that change would look like . . . until now.  Now they know what change looks like in the Obama-Pelosi regime, and they are experiencing a heavy dose of buyer’s remorse.  It’s health care mandates, higher taxes, and wasteful spending topping the list.

The Broken Promise Democrats. Working hand-in-glove with the “change” message of 2008 was a promise to be different and make things better.  Clearly that has not happened.  Democrats who have “broken a promise” made in 2008 are especially vulnerable this year.  It entirely undermines their credibility and hurts as badly as any “bad vote” a Democrat may have made.

Checks and balances. The check and balance message works very well, but not enough Republican campaigns are using that message.  “Given the Democrats recent record of spending and growing the size and scope of government, send me to Washington to provide badly needed balance.”  That message also helps combat the “party of No” message the Dems like to use.

The enthusiasm gap: Republican intensity continues to outpace Democrat. We keep waiting for the election interest gap to close but it’s not tightening much yet.  Clearly it still could and some of the close races will get even tighter — but right now the GOP is on course for a two-three point added advantage from the enthusiasm gap.

Independent men. Independent men are looking more and more like Republican men in their attitudes and opinions — extremely frustrated and in the mood for change.  That alters the target universe a little bit for us to focus on Independent women who are the battleground in many races this cycle.

Obama has let them down. It’s a personal thing many voters feel . . . they trusted him, they believed in him and he has not lived up to their expectations.


Tags: Barack Obama , Obamacare


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