Coming into this presidential election cycle it was widely predicted that Mitt Romney’s health care plan, enacted back in Massachusetts, would turn out to be an albatross around his neck due to its similarities to Obamacare. Mitt’s team got together and decided on a strategy of saying that it was an issue best left up to each state, and what would work in one place wouldn’t be a good fit for the entire nation. We knew all along that this would be an unsatisfying answer to many conservatives around the country, but at the time I said that it was about the best he could do. Besides, it was a lot better than three other strategies under consideration.

1. “I thought Ted Kennedy was just kidding.”
2. “One of my aides told me I was approving a new bumper sticker saying Romney Cares.”
and of course…
3. That was before I became a conservative.

Unfortunately for Mitt, the “works for my old home state” line took another hit this week with a new poll showing that Bay State Republicans aren’t too fond of Romneycare either.

A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in Massachusetts would like to see the 2006 health care law enacted by then-Gov. Mitt Romney and the state legislature repealed and replaced with something else, according to a new survey by Magellan Strategies for NH Journal.

Romney signed the law in 2006 alongside deceased U.S. Senator and liberal lion Ted Kennedy, whom he called his “collaborator and friend.” Some of his Republican critics have attacked the plan as too liberal and Democrats have mocked Romney for inspiring President Obama’s health care reform law, which Romney opposes.

The interesting aspect of this poll is that it not only represents Republicans – who tend to skew rather moderate in MA to begin with – but the right leaning independents. This is significant erosion of GOP support in the one place Romney might have expected to find some cover for his track record on health care and can’t bode well for the debates to come.

Despite Romney’s attempts to run a carefully scripted campaign, apparently aimed at being the last man standing after the rest of the field imploded, this is one skeleton which stubbornly refuses to stay in the closet. If his primary opponents can’t come up with anything else to hit him on, expect to see Romneycare mentioned in a lot of ads later this year.