Democrats worry leaders in denial on Obamacare: “Anybody Who Is Halfway Intelligent Knows This Is A Big Problem For Us”…
Democratic leaders claim the bungled launch of Obamacare is just the latest news sensation — a media-stirred tempest that looks in the heat of the moment like it could upend the midterm election, but ends up fizzling well before voters head to the polls.
Some party strategists say they’re in denial.
And that perceived gap between party spin and facts on the ground is fueling worries that the White House and Democratic higher-ups aren’t taking the possible electoral blowback seriously enough or doing enough to shield their candidates. Democratic contenders in the toughest races are distinctly less convinced that Obamacare will fade as an election-year issue — and they can’t afford to just cross their fingers that things get ironed out or that Republicans revert to political hara-kiri.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a forum hosted by BuzzFeed recently that the rollout won’t “hurt us in 2014,” adding that “we’re proud” of the law. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in a recent appearance on CNN, went so far as to assert that Obamacare would be “an advantage” for Democratic candidates next year.
“Democrats will run on the Affordable Care Act and win,” she has also told reporters. [...]
“We’re trying to deny what everyone knows is happening,” said one Democratic pollster who is a veteran of competitive congressional races. “Anybody who is halfway intelligent knows this is a big … problem for us. It’s impossible not to see. We can try to hide our heads in the sand and pretend it’s not a problem, but it is.”
Keith Frederick, another Democratic pollster, was more diplomatic.
“I think if you’re the leaders of the party you have to keep a positive message as long as possible,” he said.