ObamaCare Becomes Political Weapon For Democrats

ObamaCare is emerging as a top issue for Democrats as they seek to gain control of Congress in next year's midterm elections. 

Just a year after worries about ObamaCare premiums were seen as a contributing factor in Hillary Clinton's loss, voter concerns about GOP attacks on the health-care law seem to be bolstering Democratic candidates. 

Health care was by far the number one issue in Virginia, where Democrats won races up and down the ballot on Tuesday night with a surprisingly strong showing. Exit polls showed that 39 percent of voters ranked health care as their top issue, with 77 percent of those voters backing Democrat Ralph Northam for governor.   

Meanwhile, in Maine, voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare, suggesting strong support for increasing health care access to the poor and lower middle class. 

Democrats say the results show the Republican votes this year to repeal ObamaCare are coming back to haunt them. 

Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, said that for Republicans, “you're playing with dynamite unless you’ve got a near-perfect plan” to replace ObamaCare. 

O’Connell, the Republican strategist, said lawmakers in deep-red districts could stick to a tougher message on ObamaCare, while vulnerable members take the wait and see approach to a replacement plan. 

But he said ObamaCare is no longer the Democratic liability it once was.

“I do believe it hurts Dems less than it used to,” he said. 

Read more from Peter Sullivan at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy