Monday, August 25, 2014
Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne writes about Arkansas Democratic Senator Mark Pryor's political advertisement that touts his vote for the "Affordable Care Act." As Dionne reports, polls show that when people hear details about the Affordable Care Act, they actually like the provisions, even if they hate "Obamacare" (yes - stupid). But, you have to call it the Affordable Care Act in order for them to "hear" anything.
Obamacare is a pejorative and malleable term. People come to it with emotional opinions. These opinions are often fixed and unmovable -- even (especially?) when they derive from a gross misunderstanding (or no understanding) of the legislation.
It is probably not a coincidence that, while Obama is highly unpopular in Arkansas, the state had the greatest reduction in uninsured residents after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In a rational world, that fact would probably help Obamacare supporters like Pryor. Unfortunately, we do not occupy a world where rational thought determines policy preferences.
Tomorrow, Florida Democrats will choose a candidate to challenge incumbent Governor Rick Scott. Although Scott's first term was plagued with corruption, constitutional violations, and widespread unpopularity, he has recent managed to regain voter confidence. Polls that show him in the lead or close indicate that Independent male voters and white women are helping Scott.
The Democratic primary season was nonexistent. Candidate Charlie Crist (also former governor and Republican) refused to debate his challenger Nan Rich. Although Rich is a long-time Democrat, many Florida voters believe Crist is the only viable candidate for the Democrats. That is probably a wise assessment. Florida is heavily divided in state-wide elections. Crist attracts voters all over the political spectrum. Rich does not. Many hardcore Democrats really want Rich on the ticket. Others, however, want a victory in November.