It’s not the first bold ad in this race, which Tom Cotton leads by just two thin points in the latest polls, but it’s big news insofar as it suggests that ObamaCare isn’t quite the liability for Democrats that the GOP thought it’d be last fall.
Or does it? David Harsanyi says the CW that ObamaCare has slipped off America’s midterm radar is simply wrong:
When I use the search engine to wade through news stories regarding the various contested races mentioned in the Bloomberg piece, I find that Obamacare is ubiquitous among Republican candidates – in their stump speeches, their interviews, on their websites and in their statements. Not so much the Democrats. In Colorado, for example, Republican Cory Gardner is running an ad right now that focuses exclusively on Obamacare…
You know, perhaps focusing 50 percent of your ad dollars on ACA isn’t necessary, anyway. It’s rather amazing how little the electorate has moved on the issue. According to Kaiser, 53 percent disapprove of Obamacare. And among independents, 57 percent disapprove. Looks a lot like it’s looked for years. Whether voters are interested in repealing the law or not, there is no other issue with higher disapproval rates. In my lifetime, I can’t recall of any domestic law that’s been chewed over, litigated, debated, and used as a political hammer this intensely this long after passage.
I wonder if Pryor would have run this ad if he wasn’t already neck deep in ObamaCare angst among the electorate. Remember, he’s the guy who famously said a few months ago that he’d vote for the law again if he had the chance, likely figuring (and probably correctly) that there’s no way he can run from it now so he might as well embrace it. Even here, in his “pro-ObamaCare” ad, the word “ObamaCare” is never uttered. That’s a nod to polls that have shown the Affordable Care Act tends to poll better when you leave The One’s name out of it. It may even be that some viewers will fail to make the connection between the mysterious law Pryor voted for and the ObamaCare albatross that Cotton’s hung around his neck, in which case this spot’s not going to do much to change perceptions about O-Care and his role in passing it. But he’s doing what he can. And of course he’s got dad, whose political brand as a former governor and senator he continues to trade on to this day, by his side for the added boost.
Meanwhile, stricly on the merits, the ad’s suspiciously vague, no? David Pryor says Mark’s insurance company didn’t want to pay for his cancer treatment in the mid-90s but doesn’t say why. It’s implied that that was due to it being a preexisting conditions but I can’t find any account of that online. I figured lefty bloggers would say something about it in their write-ups on the ad but neither TPM nor Greg Sargent delves into detail. Why exactly did Mark Pryor’s insurer resist coverage initially? Lots and lots and lots of people had their own plans canceled thanks to ObamaCare’s new rules, of course, and you’re still facing huge bills under the law if you seek treatment outside your newly shrunken provider network. If Pryor wants to claim that the law solves a problem he personally encountered in his own treatment, okay, but be specific. Which problem?