Republicans have to worry about a lot of things, but they don’t have to worry about Democrats learning the right lessons from this year’s election:
In a memo written in the immediate aftermath of last Tuesday’s election, the Democratic National Committee’s communications director, Brad Woodhouse, argued that exit polling showed health-care reform was – at worst – a neutral factor for the party. Among the numbers he cited: Just 18 percent said the issue was the most important one facing Congress (62 percent said the economy), and Democrats carried that group by eight percentage points. He also noted that of the 12 Democratic senators seeking reelection who voted for the health-care legislation, only two lost: Sens. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Russell Feingold (Wis.).
“Of all the factors that contributed to Republican gains in the congressional elections, the President’s healthcare reform does not appear to have been the significant drag on Democratic candidates,” Woodhouse wrote.
Obamacare polled badly then. It polls badly now. It will, in all likelihood, poll badly in the future. House Democrats who opposed the bill trumpeted their “no” votes, and often lost to Republican challengers who were willing to repeal it. House Democrats who voted for the bill lost in droves 32 on Election Day; at least 45 once you throw in those who retired or lost primaries.
No member of Pelosi’s Suicide Squad survived.
(I originally wrote that Scott Murphy had survived the GOP wave, but I had him mixed up with Bill Owens, the other Democrat who won a hotly-contested New York special election in 2009.)