Friday, April 11, 2014

Opposition to Medicaid Expansion Killing Republican Governors’ 2014 Election Hopes

Forget the media narratives that say Democrats could lose because of their support for Obamacare. While that convenient narrative is easy for beltway reporters to regurgitate, it is not supported by polling evidence. Polling data suggests that contrary to the dominant narrative, health care is a winning issue for Democrats not Republicans. This has become especially apparent in the many contests for Governorships across the country.

Recent polling done by Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows that five incumbent Republican Governors who oppose Medicaid expansion are in danger o losing their bids or re-election. Not surprisingly, Maine Republican Paul LePage and Pennsylvania Republican Tom Corbett trail in their bids for re-election as their right-wing policies are far out of line with their blue-leaning electorates. However, even in Georgia and Kansas, Republican incumbents are losing to Democratic challengers. Even in these deep red states, a solid majority of voters want their Governors to expand Medicaid.

No Governor has made opposition to Medicaid expansion more a cornerstone of his campaign than Rick Scott in Florida. Yet, by a 58-33 margin, Florida voters want their Governor to accept the federal funding for Medicaid expansion. More than four in ten Florida voters say Rick Scott’s dogmatic opposition to Medicaid expansion makes them less likely to vote or him. In a head to head match-up with Democrat Charlie Crist, Rick Scott is losing 49-42 percent. GOP opposition to Medicaid expansion will prove to be Rick Scott’s undoing.

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