GOP Attacks On Obamacare Fizzle In Key Senate Races

AP

Obamacare is fading as a cudgel against Democrats in key battleground races poised to determine control of the Senate, according to a new analysis by Bloomberg News.

Since the law’s botched rollout last fall, Republicans have been licking their chops over the prospect of riding Obamacare failures to victory in the 2014 elections. But now that the law has recovered and is providing insurance coverage to millions of Americans, issue ads involving the health care law are slowly disappearing in key states like North Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas.

In North Carolina, Obamacare was mentioned in 54 percent of issue ads in April; it fell to 27 percent in July, per data from Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group.

In Louisiana, Obamacare fell to 41 percent of top five issue ads in July; in Arkansas it dropped to 23 percent, according to CMAG. The issue dominated the airwaves in both states in April.

Democrats in these Republican-leaning states — Sens. Kay Hagan (NC), Mary Landrieu (LA) and Mark Pryor (AR) all of whom voted for Obamacare — are considered among the most vulnerable this fall. That remains the case whether or not the law is an effective weapon for Republicans. But even as Democratic senators refrain from touting it, due to its unpopularity with conservative voters, Republican strategists are realizing that the issue won’t carry them to victory in the midterm elections.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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