With midterms nearing, GOP still searches for agenda

In addition, some GOP insiders are sensing that by November — when the Obamacare exchanges have been up for more than a year — the public will not see a Republican pledge to repeal as the answer to its unhappiness with the health care system.

“One thing you’re beginning to see in surveys is the sense that we’re so far down this path that repeal is not realistic any more,” says the GOP strategist. “Clearly, they disagree with the direction of the health care system, but the idea that you can stop all this and go back to where we were before just seems unrealistic to a growing chunk of the population.” A recent GOP survey found that a plurality of voters agreed with the statement, “The system has been changed too structurally that it is not possible to go back to the way it was before.”

Put those concerns together, and you have the growing Republican feeling that Obamacare will not be as much of a driving motivation for voters as they had earlier hoped. And that’s behind the talk about a new campaign pledge.