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Political Landscape Following Health Care Vote In House

May 5, 2017

Must read for political junkies following the health care vote in the House.  The Cook Report is mighty respected, as you know.

“Republicans’ 217-213 passage of the American Health Care Act on Thursday guarantees Democrats will have at least one major on-the-record vote to exploit in the next elections. Although it’s the first of potentially many explosive votes, House Republicans’ willingness to spend political capital on a proposal that garnered the support of just 17 percent of the public in a March Quinnipiac poll is consistent with past scenarios that have generated a midterm wave.

Not only did dozens of Republicans in marginal districts just hitch their names to an unpopular piece of legislation, Democrats just received another valuable candidate recruitment tool. In fact, Democrats aren’t so much recruiting candidates as they are overwhelmed by a deluge of eager newcomers, including doctors and veterans in traditionally red seats who have no political record for the GOP to attack — almost a mirror image of 2010 [when the GOP took the House].

Of the 23 Republicans sitting in districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, 14 voted for the repeal and replace measure. For these Republicans, time is still on their side and healthcare reform can’t be disposed of soon enough. There are still 18 months before the 2018 election, whereas House Democrats eked out final passage of the ACA less than eight months before the 2010 midterms. These Republicans can’t afford a year-long Senate slog. …

In light of the vote, we are shifting our ratings in 20 districts, all reflecting enhanced opportunities for Democrats. The major caveat is that 18 months is an eternity in politics …”

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