It now enjoys solid support, except among those over 65, who are WAY negative. You know. The people who don’t want government health care.
There’s a lot of reasons for the lack of support among voters over 65, ranging from the scare tactics Republicans have used about death panels and Medicare cuts to distrust of Obama (And yes, I am implying that the reason for that is what you think I’m implying.)
That said, this is shaping out much as those of us on the left who were fighting for health care reform predicted. As time went on and people got to see that it wasn’t the bad thing it was made out to be, support would increase. And if Democrats get on the ball with it and defend it loundly and strongly without backing down then support will only increase further. The only sad thing here is we could have had a much better deal to support and defend if Blanche Lincoln and co. hadn’t done everything they could to kill the public option, but I have a hunch we’ll be revisiting that fight in the years to come.
So that aside, what’s this entail for Jim Keet, Rick Crawford, and all the rest of the Republicans running on the repeal line? It means they can shove it. Arkansas politics doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To the extent that it seems that way, it’s because establishment Democrats have run scared and run right. By framing the message and standing firm, they can win while defending health care reform. Will they do that? We’ll see. But they need to remember that the left isn’t being so quiet or complacent this cycle and our move into the general election hasn’t changed that.