At the New Yorker Sam Wang took a fresh look at gubernatorial polling in competitive states and noticed something: Republicans who accepted the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion are doing much better than those who are fighting it.
The Republicans Tom Corbett, of Pennsylvania, and Paul LePage, of Maine, are both unlikely to win their races, and Nathan Deal, of Georgia, is locked in a tight contest with the Democrat Jason Carter. Corbett, LePage, Deal, and Walker have all governed according to their party’s most strongly held beliefs. They stalled or blocked implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including its Medicaid expansion. And all have sharply cut state budgets, imposing austerity measures during a recession….
The Republicans Susana Martinez, of New Mexico, John Kasich, of Ohio, and Rick Snyder, of Michigan, look as strong as they did when they were first elected. All three accepted the Affordable Care Act and its Medicaid expansion. Evidently, Obamacare is not the political liability it was once thought to be. This stance by Martinez, Kasich, and Snyder has been predictive of their support of other issues with that have drawn support from both parties. Martinez and Kasich, for example, have pursued education-reform policies that have gained a lot of traction among both Democrats and Republicans. To the extent that governors hold on to their offices in close races, it may be because they have focussed on issues that are important to the voters in their states rather than the core views of their party.
Remeber that next time you wonder why Republicans seem to be talking less about Obamacare. At the state level, it’s most about the Medicaid expansion, and saying no to that much money for that cause remains a head-scratcher for many swing voters.