Democrats are downplaying any larger significance from Republican David Jolly’s win over Democrat Alex Sink in Tuesday’s special election, but a recent memo found the party was hoping the race would be a blueprint to display public support for Obamacare come November. A memo from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee executive director Kelly Ward obtained by the Hill last month even warned that Republicans’ opposition to Obamacare “comes at their own peril in 2014.”
“Democrats are now on offense over the Affordable Care Act, putting Republicans on their heels over the costs of their plan to repeal the law altogether,” Ward wrote to staffers, according to a February 26 report from the newspaper. “Americans are rejecting Republicans’ repeal agenda both nationally and in swing districts, where voters want to see the Affordable Care Act fixed and improved, not repealed.”
Ward denounced “Republicans’ fake ACA horror stories” and said their position would ultimately be “anathema to 2014 voters.” Her confidence echoes Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s repeated guarantees that candidates will definitely run on the health-care law moving forward, despite controversies and problems facing it.
Nonetheless, the strategy evidently sunk Sink. Running on that message, Sink lost to Jolly in a district she had previously won in 2010; President Obama had won the district in both 2008 and 2012.