The ObamaCare enthusiasm gap

Increasingly, liberal Democrats and outside groups are convinced that the formula that party strategists had recommended until now — telling candidates to stress that they’ll fix what’s wrong with the law — is not going to work. Instead, they’re saying vulnerable Democrats need to declare that millions of people have coverage now, remind everyone how bad the old system was, and accuse Republicans of wanting to return to it.

They can acknowledge the problems with the website, the thinking goes, but it should be a side note, not the start of the conversation with voters.

“You’ve got to be unapologetic about supporting it, because if you’re not, you don’t motivate people to come out and vote,” said Brad Woodhouse, president of American Bridge PAC and Americans United for Change.

Liberal Democrats say the “no apologies” strategy is one lesson of the Florida special election this month, in which a weak Republican candidate, David Jolly, won with appeals to anti-Obamacare voters while Democrat Alex Sink lost with the standard “fix what’s bad, keep the good” formula.