I recall after the government-shutdown battle ended in mid October that liberal pundits were talking about the death of the Republican party, doomed by what they saw as extremists and incompetents who would be rejected en masse by voters in 2014. Democrats held a 50–42 edge among registered voters in a generic ballot test done in a CNN poll around that time.
I won’t argue the shutdown was smart politics or policy, but the Republicans now look like geniuses compared to the party that brought us Obamacare. That program’s manifest failings has caused a dramatic shift in public opinion, as measured by the latest CNN poll. It shows a ten-point swing from the previous month’s survey in the generic ballot: Republicans now hold a 49 percent to 47 percent edge when voters are asked to choose if they want a Democrat or Republican to win next year.
President Barack Obama is keenly aware that the not-ready-for-prime-time debut of his health-care law poses problems for his party. Two weeks ago, he told reporters, “There is no doubt that our failure to rollout the ACA smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they are running or not, because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin.”