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Did Obamacare decision change anything?

Did Obamacare decision change anything?

Reader Tom sent me this link to Charlie Cook’s assessment of the presidential campaign about a week ago, just before the Obamcare decision (emphasis mine):

We are past the point where Obama can win a referendum election, regardless of whether it is on him or the economy.

The success of his campaign is contingent upon two things. First, when focusing on the narrow sliver of undecided voters, between 6 and 8 percent of the electorate, the Obama team must make its candidate the lesser of two evils. It has to make the prospect of a Mitt Romney presidency so unpalatable that about half of those undecided voters will begrudgingly vote for reelection.

Polling focusing on the undecided voters reveals they are a deeply pessimistic and angry segment of the electorate and don’t particularly like either candidate (fitting, because they don’t tend to like politicians). But they show signs of being more conservative than not. One unpublished analysis gives Republicans a 10-point advantage on the generic congressional ballot test among those undecided about the presidential race. Close analysis of the numbers shows that Obama might have an edge with between a third and a quarter of the currently undecided bloc. That’s cutting things awfully close.

The second key is turnout. African-Americans look solid for Obama and very likely to vote in high numbers, but young and Latino voters’ turnout appears problematic. Obama’s recent announcement of a newly articulated Dream Act-light policy could help, but it is too soon to see any data showing measurable change. It is what many Latino voters wanted to see, though Obama did it less than five months before the election when it could have been done three years ago. After deportations had reached levels higher than those under George W. Bush, it could take a lot to drive up Latino turnout.

This election is hardly over: The totally unexpected could happen that changes everything. Unless the Obama team can discredit Romney, though, convincing voters that he is a ruthless, uncaring corporate buccaneer, this will be a hard election to win. Probably the only upside for Obama is that the undecided voters appear so sour that they might believe almost anything disparaging said about any politician.

During this health care decision phase, just take a deep breath. That isn’t what the election will be about.

That was a week ago. Did the Obamacare ruling render Cook’s assessment ancient history?


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The ISM manufacturing index shows a contacting manufacturing sector for the first time since July 2009, falling to 49.7 in June. New orders, at 47.8, show contraction for the first time since April 2009, and point to the possibility of a slower July, as well. Inventories and prices also fell.

Markit Economics’ PMI for the US slowed to 52.5 in May, vice 54 for April.
—Dale Franks at Q&O blog

This election will be about the Obamic record.

The whole FLUCKING thing. I think he is beaten like a bass drum in a Sousa march.

    creeper in reply to Ragspierre. | July 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    But how do you factor in the October surprise? It’s coming, you know.

      Ragspierre in reply to creeper. | July 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      My lil’ crystal ball drug up years ago. I dunno how to factor in a complete unknown.

      Got any scenarios you’d like to kick around?

      Rush just said something true; Romney needs to understand this election is about OBAMA.

Of course the big O has the middle-east/ south american option available. He can, and probably would, in the event of his defeat, declare the election void, and promise a new election, at a time of his choosing.

The ignorance among even sophisticated voters in this county is astounding. We need Romney to make news with his views, not merely continue to react to Obama’s shots. He needs to, literally, educate the electorate on the Constitution.

jimzinsocal | July 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I can only speak for myself as a likely Romney voter.
Romney needs to fight the Obamacare issue but not be drawn into it so far it distracts from the economic issues. As Rags points out..they continue.
We need to be careful with responses around Obamacare (speaking to Romney) because its a hard issue for Romney to articulate. As we saw today. Calling for repeal, I dont think, is going to sell alot of tickets at the box office.
Lets face it…many Republicans came to settle on Romney in part because the oral arguments before SCOTUS suggested that it was likely Obamacare would fail and not be an election issue. Those that post here often Im sure recall many discussions early in the campaign (Newt supporters) that said back then the likly attacks on Romney by Obama would focus on Bain and his inability to argue against Obamacare. But here we are.
If it were any other Republican candidate, he/she would have gained an advantage over the Obamacare ruling.
Romney cant exploit it effectively….particularly if all he can manage is the word “repeal”
So have things changed via the ruling on Obamacare?
Im sure Im not alone in thinking “I sure wish Obamacare wasnt a campaign issue”. Let the Senate and House deal with Obamacare. I dont see a winning campaign issue for Romney unless he can present an alternative that makes sense to JohnQAverageamerican.

Cook’s analysis is probably correct in a general sense. The Obamacare decision will generate some support for Romney from those very anti Obamacare–but most who were anti Obamacare were either voting or Romney anyway or not voting for Romney and going third party. Some will switch but we are not talking huge numbers.

I doubt Obama was helped much, other than avoiding getting hurt, if the law was struck down that would have hurt him.

Henry Hawkins | July 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Anecdotally, and limited to my little orbit of friends, family, and work associations, the SC decision has brought Obamacare back to the fore and reminded people of the many lesser issues and angering details about its manner of passage. There was too much bad about the whole process to remember it all, but my people have now been reminded of the Husker Kickback, death panels, exemptions, and the lot.

I see no reason why my experience isn’t being repeated all over America, so I think anger over Obamacare isn’t so much increased, but rekindled. It should have some effect on the election, but I agree it will come down to the economy and who is trusted more to fix it, Romney or Obama.

    Owen J in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 3, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I have seen the same thing among the people I know. Obamacare has never been popular, but the commerce clause/activity-inactivity arguments never generated much interest. But the tax issue resonates and is reminding people of all the other aspects they did not like. They also clearly comprehend the duplicity of the administration’s “it is/is not a tax” arguments and that is not helping Obama.

    To what extent it is actually changing minds, is hard to say. But I am seeing it firm up people’s opinions and people who were not terribly motivated before appear to have become so. And I am seeing people who did not like Romney very much give him a new look.

    Overall, I doubt this issue changes things much — it’s still a long time before most people get serious about their choice and the economy remains the overriding concern — but it has stirred things up some, and that’s not nothing.

    If I had to guess, I’d say this issue will have more effect on the congressional races, as people are now looking to get it repealed.

Romney and the GOP need to play this ( clip over and over and over. This is where Obama said he would have more flexibility after the election. What else does the man want to do to us? Maddening. We don’t need McCain II.

1. The confusion after the ruling ended an extended period during which Democrats could do nothing right and Republicans could do nothing wrong. Not that I’m relieved, exactly, but there’s a saying that The longer everything goes according to plan, the bigger the impending disaster.

2. The lame Rommey response shows that his vaunted Clintonesque war room is not ready for the big show. Maybe Romney is not too smug & surrounded by sycophants to correct this.

3. The doofosity & denial of some “conservative pundits” demonstrated yet again why the GOP is called the Stupid Party.

4. The good news is that a dangerous degree of overconfidence has been checked and conservatives will probably stay energized by anger.

5. The Republican cause had been living a charmed life. If, per Cook, turnout is a key, the reality check does more good than harm, Obama’s uptick at Intrade notwithstanding.

WSJ: Important opinion on the effect of Roberts’s utterly misguided and ill-thought-through addend to his opinion. This article explains, and it’s scary.

    IrateNate in reply to janitor. | July 2, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    well worth reading, thanks for the link, and I tend to agree that the decision has no “hidden victory” for conservatism. To hell with the Commerce Clause, Robert’s decision simply extended the ability of Congress to tax at will.

    No matter how it is spun, the decision is a lose-lose situation, and I am amused by the conservative “experts” desperately trying to describe a way to pick up this turd by the clean end.

    More on topic, the decision will not make much difference in the election, unless Romney keeps it in the spotlight. Remembering that Obamacare is merely Romneycare on steroids, Romney needs to focus on Obama’s dismal record and not on his empty promise of Obamacare repeal.

    creeper in reply to janitor. | July 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    The writer’s conclusion in that article was spot on. John Roberts is a politician.

theduchessofkitty | July 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Oh, one more thing might have changed, but I’d rather take it with a grain of salt…

Romney has eight-point lead in swing states, says implausible CNN poll

BTW… The poll was conducted before today.

According To Rasmussen:
Conservative Anger Against Obamacare Hitting ‘Stratospheric Levels’
“All that did was energize conservatives,” declared Rasmussen in an exclusive interview on Monday. “The conservative interest in the election was already much higher than that of moderates and liberals. It went up to really stratospheric levels right after the ruling. We don’t know if that will continue or if it’s just a temporary response to the news cycle.”

I can’t imagine that anger abating by November.

I don’t know if my own personal experience is any indication of how the nation is reacting to the disasterous Roberts ruling but here is what happened:

I live in a town that is basically the county headquarters for the Democrat Party in a county that has, in all other areas, turned deep red. 2010 brought some real firsts: first Republican sheriff since Reconstruction; first Republican county commissioners; first Republican district judge; first Republicans on all school boards except the one in my town.

The county GOP party held its meeting the night of the SCOTUS decision. Ususally there are 10-15 people there, just the few of us who are active in the party and attend every meeting held, no matter what town it is in. That night instead of the usual 10-15 attendees, there were 60. People who I have known for years, and did not know their political leanings, were there. They were angry, and wanted to know what they had to do to give Obama the boot. One even came with pocket copies of the Constitution that he was handing out to anyone who wanted one.

If the anger shown at my own little local meeting, it is an undercurrent of the temperture of the nation that leans conservative.

We can win this election but it is also going to take people, in all states, going to True The Vote and learn how to purge the voter rolls in your own county. Don’t think any county is too small and there are no illegitimate voters on the rolls.

If the Democrats can’t cheat, they can’t win.

Ah, steamed opinionators and poll takers

There is only one way to assure a win and its the same strategy used to bring down the Soviet Union.

Keep peeling back the fancy paper and bows they have Obama wrapped in and expose the soft and rotten underbelly of false claims and tenets built upon Styrofoam pillars.

NC Mountain Girl | July 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm

During the controversy over Rush’s “I want him to fail” statement there was still a fairly large segment of voters who wanted to believe that Obama couldn’t do all that much damage because the courts would stop him. I remember telling one such person I wish I had her faith.

That illusion was shattered last week. While Justice Roberts’ decision lacked much in the way of legal reasoning it was a long overdue boot to the arse of many lazy and self indulgent Americans. I am talking about the type of voter who doesn’t stop to think about the long term consequences before casting a vote. Or the citizens who go along with the constant demands for government action NOW! for the crisis du jour on the nightly news without ever following up on whether the solution Congress enacted is ever effective for anyone outside the crony class.

If the mandate isn’t constitutional under the commerce clause, why the hell is the government even involved in regulating health insurance to begin with ?

One word: Money. Two words: Send money. Four words times two: Send money to Romney. Send money to Republicans.
Three words: Crush the Democrats.

It changed one thing and massively reinforced two others.

In 2008 election I believed pro-choice Giuliani would put a conservative SC Justice.

I’ve been ‘glowing in the dark’ thinking Roberts voted that way to give Establishment (R) a November key.

Now it seems that he was going to vote Obamacare out completely but changed his vote and tried to get Kennedy to change his to “Preserve The Court”.

There is a reason all 3 constructionist Dissents don’t reference Thomas at all.

Anything less than a +62 “R” victory in the Senate means the country will be controlled by more “Gang of Six” Rulers.

5to3 will be the new norm on important opinions now that MSM knows Roberts can be shaped to their will.

    kobayashi in reply to kobayashi. | July 2, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Woops. Roberts.

    [There is a reason all 3 constructionist Dissents don’t reference ROBERTS at all.]

    I adore all the Thomas opinions I know of.

A report just in from a fly that was hanging out on the wall of the Oval Office right after the Obamacare decision was announced…

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

We are a people slow to anger, but when we are aroused there is no force upon the planet that can stop us.

Obama is not to be counted among our people. He is not one of us. He is the other, and all that implies.

November is coming, and we will not be denied…

First, I don’t agree with Cook’s assessment. He places the onus on Obama, when it actually is on Romney. As each day goes by, my doubt grows about Romney, although I would be more than exhilarated should I be wrong.

Therefore, if anything, the decision really places more of a demand on Romney to make his case. To think that “it’s a tax – no, it’s not a tax” somehow works to Romney’s advantage, well, I just don’t think so.

    creeper in reply to ALman. | July 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I do not understand why this is such a problem for Romney. His response is pathetically simple. “If the people of the various states wish to pass health care legislation, that is their business. It is not the business of the federal government to do so.”

    Why are Reps making this so complicated?

Henry Hawkins | July 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Did the Obamacare decision change anything?


Raquel Pinkbullet | July 3, 2012 at 12:28 am

Think about it. You’re John Roberts. You’d like some celebrity status. After all, you’re the Boss of the Court.

So everyday you look in the papers and turn on the TV to see if they’re talking about you. But in the rare moments you’re mentioned, it’s all negative.

By golly, they’ve even associated you with those crude racist Tea Baggers!
That will not do. You want to be adored. You want to rub elbows with all the beautiful people. You want to attend parties with all of Barbara Boxer’s Hollywood friends.

But you can’t do that because Tea Baggers Are Not Welcome. So you need to send a clear signal that you are not with the Tea Party. You will make sure everyone knows whose side you’re on. You will join the liberals on the Court. Yes, Yes that will do nicely.

jimzinsocal | July 3, 2012 at 8:37 am

Article by Fred Thompson who probably has a good clue about who and what Roberts is all about

Added observation: Prior to the SCOTUS ruling many of us expected all sorts of noise from the left attempting to diminish the Court and attack its members. The left basically promised such a thing.
Why are we doing the work we expected from the left?