Jeffrey Anderson makes a strange claim about the election:
Conservatives are now set up for a political triumph far sweeter than any contentious win in the courts. The path forward is clear, and conservatives can surely unite behind the indispensable next step: win this election, and repeal Obama-care through the political process.
And of course this won’t be merely a short-term victory. Not only is Obama-care the most important issue in the upcoming election, its survival or repeal is crucial to the fate of freedom and prosperity in the decades to come.
I can understand why supporters of repeal might think that the ACA is the most important issue in this election, but that doesn’t seem to be what voters believe. According to a number of polls over the last few months, health care has never rated higher than third place in any opinion surveys. It consistently trails economy/jobs and the budget deficit, and it is the most important issue to no more than 19% of respondents. Typically, somewhere between 5-15% identify health care as the most important issue. That’s a significant percentage, so it’s certainly the case that it is an important issue that matters a great deal to many voters. It just isn’t the most important issue for the overwhelming majority of voters, so for all practical purposes it isn’t the most important issue in the election.
If the Republicans win the presidential election and take control of the Senate, they will do so mostly because of Americans’ economic woes and anxiety, and remedying these should be their top priority once in power. Repeal won’t be impossible, but it will be difficult and no less contentious than the debate over passage of the bill. If the Democrats’ experience from 2009-2010 has shown anything, it is that spending any significant amount of time and political capital on health care legislation during a weak economic recovery is a thankless task, and there are apparently no political rewards to be had from it. The effort seems to energize a party’s opponents, alienate non-ideological voters, and create discontent among supporters. Republicans may succeed in repealing the bill, and after spending the last two years insisting on repeal they will have to try, but they shouldn’t expect the experience to be a “sweet” one.