New strategy: Democrats go all-in on health care in midterms

Democrats are effectively performing political judo on the GOP, who accused them over four election cycles of messing up voters’ health care with “Obamacare” and vowed a hasty repeal once they were back in power. Now that the GOP tried and failed to change health care, Democrats are pouncing.

“You see in every survey, whether it’s a Senate race in a red state or a House race in a purple district, health care is the No. 1 issue,” said Patrick McHugh of Priorities USA, a major Democratic campaign group. “One party wants to actually expand health care coverage and reduce costs, and the other party campaigned claiming they did, but when they got into power, they did not.”

In Missouri, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill is defending her seat by highlighting that her Republican challenger, state Attorney General Josh Hawley, signed onto the lawsuit over pre-existing conditions. In Michigan, Democrat Elissa Slotkin aired an ad showing her mother dying of cancer and called incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Bishop’s vote for the GOP health bill “dereliction of duty.” In Arizona, Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a physician, is running against Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko after shocking the political world by barely losing an April special election for the seat on a health care platform.