November is shaping up to be a bloodbath for Democrats. That’s the opinion of the pundits and politicians and one I am agreeing with more and more each day. But it doesn’t have to be. Instead, if Democrats make some changes now, saving the Senate should be a cake walk and taking the House, a possibility.
This past week Gallup released a poll that showed some promising numbers for Democrats – young people are aligning themselves more with Democrats.
Historically we wouldn’t worry about this age group during midterms, but times have changed and some people are seeing it, like Bill Clinton:
“I thought that Democrats had a tendency to shy away from things they had done that were unpopular, (and) talk about positions they had that were popular. And that my own experience had convinced me — going back to ’94 and even more when I was governor — that that was always a terrible mistake. That you had to turn in toward all controversies and embrace them — even if you said you were wrong or a mistake was made. You couldn’t not deal with it.”
The former President was talking about healthcare and how the Democrats seems to be running from the accomplishments. And Clinton isn’t the only one. Friday night Bill Maher had the same message for Democrats – embrace what you did:
Why this advice is so important is that it offers a chance to change turnout in November. Midterms are usually dominated by seniors voting, but if we can get the 18-29 group out there voting, then Democrats will have not only a fighting chance this November, but a great chance.
So where do Democrats start with this challenge? That is the key and the answer is very simple. They need to hit the college kids. Get out there and campaign solely on the Affordable Care Act. Remind these students that if they ignore their part in our democracy this fall, then they risk losing the health coverage provided by their parents plan. Yes, that’s part of Obamacare. Before that children were only covered until the age of 18. Obamacare raised that age to 25, and we need to remind these kids of it. This is especially imperative for the younger range of this group, the ones that were too young to really pay attention to when the ACA was being debated and voted on. They have mostly heard horror stories and all the negatives, Remind them of this very important positive.
But the work doesn’t stop there. That’s how you sell the college kids, but what about the rest of the people? Well again, we had a poll come out this week that shows the ACA is a perfect campaign issue for Democrats. This poll, done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, shows something very interesting:
The extended coverage for those college kids is the most favorable part of the law, but 7 out of 9 provisions are viewed favorable by even Republicans.
Let’s break that down in another way. The law is viewed unfavorably 46-38% in this same poll. But if you base the favorability off the questions on individual provisions, you get something totally different. Averaging out the responses in the table above, we find that 68% of the public have an overall favorable view of the law, when broke down by provision, and even 58% of Republicans change to favorable. Those numbers are huge! It’s also something we have seen time and time again, regardless of polling company. People really like what the law does. Well, except for the mandate.
I want to talk about that mandate for a minute. Anyone who has followed this blog knows I too am against it. If it was removed, I would still carry health insurance, but I do feel that it is a rough spot and knew it would sit bad with people. But I also realize it is a vital part of the law to keep costs down, and that has been a lost message.
When Democrats are on the campaign trail, they need to sympathize with voters, who are upset over the mandate. Then they need to turn that around. Start asking them if they like that their children in college can be covered on their policy. Ask them if they like not having to pay for simple preventive care items, and if they like not maxing out on their insurance. I guarantee they will hear a resounding “YES”. Then tell them that all that is possible because of the mandate. The mandate brings in the necessary revenue stream to the insurance companies to provide these new provisions and if it wasn’t for that, then none of it would be possible. Sure you can call it a tax, but it’s a tax with the most tangible return in the history of taxes.
Sell, sell, sell. That’s what the Democrats need to do and it isn’t a hard job when so much of the law is loved by the people, including Republicans.
Then they need to finish off that sell job. They need to hammer on the Republican plan, which is simple because there isn’t one. Remind the voters that Republicans in Congress have voted over 50 times to trash can those 7 out of 9 things that all Americans like and go back to the way it was. That means college kids are now uninsured and your insurance company can stop covering you because it’s costing them too much. And inform the voters that there are possible changes to the mandate, but they aren’t possible with congressional Republicans listening to a small majority of their party and unwilling to work to improve the law.
Inform them, remind them and encourage them to vote and Democrats will have a great November. The data that politicians rely upon, polls, is very clear in this. Democrats need to go on the offensive and embrace the ACA, while destroying the Republican alternative of going back to the old ways. Please Democrats, a country depends upon this, so don’t let us down.