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For Obamacare meant Defeat

November 10, 2010

Looking at last week’s election results, support for the takeover of health care in this country meant defeat for the Democrat Party, certainly, but also for those who voted for it.

According to Real Clear Politics, the Republicans took 62 seats in the House. Of those, 42 belonged to the infamous 219 Democrats who voted for Obamacare. While that may seem like a small number–19%–remember that incumbents are generally re-elected at a rate over 95%. I didn’t calculate those who “retired” or decided not to run again, like Bart Stupak of Michigan, versus those who did try to run and were defeated. Stupak was replaced by Republican Dan Benishek with 52% of the vote. You may recall that when Stupak allowed himself to believe Obama’s promise regarding abortion, Benishek, a political newcomer, had his campaign website broadcast all over the conservative part of the internet.

Few Democrats had the courage to run on their record or in many cases even admit which party they belonged to. One exception was in highly Democratic Minnesota-8 where long-time incumbent James Oberstar ran as a proud supporter of the health care bill. According to a Duluth newspaper, Oberstar, 76, is Minnesota’s longest-serving Congressman, first elected in 1974. He had never earned less than 59 percent of the vote. His opponent, Republican Chip Cravaack, is a pilot for Northwest Airlines and has never before run for political office. Cravaack won 48-46%.

Unfortunately, all did not go well for the 34 Democrats who opposed Obamacare. Twenty of these, or 70%, were replaced by Republicans as well. The good news is that the third party organized by SEIU in North Carolina to defeat the three representatives who voted against Obamacare failed to unseat any of them.

Of 75 Democrats in the Congressional Progressive Caucus–the hard-core left Progressives–every single one voted for Obamacare. Only two were not re-elected. Fortunately, Alan Grayson of Florida was one.

The sole Republicans who lost in the election–and all Republicans voted “no” to Obamacare–were Ahn Cao of Louisiana and Mike Castle of Delaware. Both are quite liberal Republicans. Ahn Cao is from a liberal district and Castle resigned to run for the senate, where he was defeated in the primary.

What’s the bottom line? The Democrat Party has undoubtedly moved farther left as a result of shedding itself of some more moderate members. But remember that 42 of their losses voted for Obamacare while only 20 voted against, so 2/3 of their losses came from supporters. Again, only two of those were Progressive Caucus members.

A finer-grained analysis would undoubtedly yield other interesting and useful information, but this ought to be enough to convince Democrats that they are moving in a direction contrary to the will of the people.

Unfortunately for them, I doubt they care.

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