Could Repeal Hurt Vulnerable Republicans in 2012?

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


House Republicans passed their health care reform repeal bill 245 to 189 Wednesday evening. Only three Blue Dog Democrats crossed over to join the GOP, while ten Dems who had voted against health reform last year refused to support repeal. Less noticed, though, were the Republicans from moderate districts who voted for repeal, a move that some liberal groups are hoping could make them more politically vulnerable.

The Public Campaign Action Fund, a left-leaning watchdog group, is already planning to run ads in the districts of three Republicans who voted for repeal on Wednesday, the National Journal reports via its morning politics newsletter:

PCAF’s initial ads target Reps. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, Jon Runyan, R-N.J., and Tim Walberg, R-Mich. “New year, new Congress, same old Washington corruption,” the ads begin, going on to point out that each freshman took campaign contributions from health care and insurance interests so that “they can deny you coverage for preexisting conditions, kick your kids off your plan, and jack up premiums. Is this the change we voted for?”

Other Republicans could be singled out as well. The Washington Post flagged two freshmen House Republicans from moderate districts who could end up being hit on health care, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) and Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY). Neither pushed for full repeal of health reform during their campaigns, yet both fell in line and voted for the GOP’s repeal bill. “Unlike a lot of Republicans, [Duffy] has actually pointed to some of the good things contained in the law,” the Post writes, and he comes from a district that swung for Obama by 56 percent in 2008. Similarly, Hanna’s district also leans blue, and he’s similarly taken care to describe the parts of the law that he likes.

While neither freshman was expected to buck the party on repeal, their vote could end up making their re-election bids harder. Health reform is gradually growing more popular in the polls and could become a less toxic issue in the 2012 elections. If Democrats succeed in building the support for the legislation and the GOP overplays its hand, the Republican attempts to blast health reform could end up backfiring—at least in the districts that have traditionally swung for Democrats.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate