Engaging Confidently on Health Care Reform


Republicans will run on health care reform in 2014 and 2016, so get used to it. But do not believe that it will give them a better chance of securing their seats or the best shot at putting competitive Democratic seats in danger. Democrats in the most rural and the strongest Romney seats will have to be inventive as usual, but Democrats have a lot to say on health care: fix it, don't repeal it, don't put the insurance companies back in charge and take your hands off Medicare.

Health care is just not a wedge issue that threatens to change these races very much – as we saw in the 2012 elections where Republicans played out this strategy. This is basically a 50-50 issue in the battleground districts and the country, and it remains a 50-50 issue after voters have heard all of their toughest attacks, including one on the role of the IRS in the new system. These attacks have power, and it is important to engage on the issue. But there is no reason to think the debate changes the dynamic in these competitive House seats: we actually show Democrat members gaining on handling health care reform in their own seats.

Read the rest of the results of Democracy Corps' congressional battleground survey here.