In it, but not of it. TPM DC

A poll released Wednesday offers yet another data point showing the politics of Obamacare aren't as set in stone as the conventional wisdom would have you believe. Embracing Obamacare isn't necessarily a political loser, and obstructing it isn't necessarily a winner.

The New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation poll surveyed four Southern states that will help determine control of the Senate this fall. It earned headlines for finding the Democrats in better shape in the Senate races than most would have expected.

But it also assessed the popularity of four governors who have taken vastly different approaches to Obamacare -- and the findings are a direct contradiction of the narrative that the law is a loser, plain and simple, especially in states like these.

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The Hillary Clinton leviathan presents a real problem for Republicans.

A shadow campaign infrastructure has been created, laying the foundation for a presumed run. If she jumps in, most insiders expect the Democratic field to clear quickly. Meanwhile, the Republican primary looks wide open. Another bloody internal fight could be coming.

The GOP has seen this movie before, when, by the admission of its own operatives, they were whupped in the opposition research game during the 2012 cycle. So how could they stop it from happening again?

Enter America Rising, the most public face of the budding Republican fight against Clinton 2016.

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A new political science study that's gone viral finds that majority-rule democracy exists only in theory in the United States -- not so much in practice. The government caters to the affluent few and organized interest groups, the researchers find, while the average citizen's influence on policy is "near zero."

"[T]he preferences of economic elites," conclude Princeton's Martin Gilens and Northwestern's Benjamin I. Page, who work with the nonprofit Scholars Strategy Network, "have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do."

TPM spoke to Gilens about the study, its main findings and its lessons.

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In a strange twist during this year's election cycle, one candidate vying for the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor is attacking another for the state's botched Obamacare rollout.

Doug Gansler, Maryland's attorney general, is battling Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown for the Democratic nod. A big part of Gansler's strategy seems to be blaming Brown for the poor launch of the state's Obamacare marketplace, which Brown had taken a primary role in creating.

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