Democrats in Tough Races Need to Stick Up For Obamacare

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Greg Sargent reports on the latest polling in battleground districts:

Top Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg — having just done extensive polling in 86 competitive House districts — is advising Dems they should go on offense over the Affordable Care Act. The key finding: Even though voters in the battlegrounds have extreme doubts about the law, they still prefer implementing it to the GOP stance of repeal. And after a month of crushingly awful press for Obamacare, opinions on this matter in the battlegrounds have barely budged since October.

….Offered a straight choice between “implementing and fixing” the health law and “repealing and replacing” it, voters in these 86 districts prefer “implementing and fixing” by five points, 49-44. That’s only a slight difference from October, when implement and fix led by seven, 51-44.

For a variety of reasons, I think this is good advice. At the most basic level, voters prefer candidates who stick up for what they believe, even if they don’t entirely agree with them. The worst possible position is to vote for something and then waffle around about whether you’re ready to stand behind it.

That said, these results aren’t surprising. They’re about the same as every national poll I’ve seen for the past year. The numbers vary a bit from poll to poll, but there’s virtually always (a) a small majority who either support Obamacare as is or want it expanded into something even more liberal, and (b) a small majority who prefer keeping it to repealing it. The first result varies depending on question wording, but the second one never does. Even in polls that show a majority opposed to Obamacare, you almost always get a majority (or a plurality) who are also opposed to ditching it outright.

These poll results sound about right to me, and I suppose members of Congress like to see polling in their district that confirms national trends. Still, the national trend has never been for repealing Obamacare. Some of that may be status quo bias, and some may be a recognition that Republicans have no credible alternative, but it’s been pretty consistent for years now.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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