The calamitous debut of Obamacare has the GOP looking ahead positively to next year's midterm elections less than two weeks after polls indicated the partial government shutdown might damage Republicans in next year's contests.
Ongoing problems with the Affordable Care Act — from its disastrous website rollout to horror stories of millions of Americans losing their current health plans despite repeated assurances to the contrary from President Barack Obama — have battered the Democrats, according to Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
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Walden wrote a memo to fellow House Republicans detailing various missteps by the White House — from the handling of Benghazi and Syria to the IRS scandal — but predicted the Obamacare debacle would be the gift that keeps on giving for Republicans, The Hill reports
"Obamacare remains at the top of the American people’s concerns, and the failure of its rollout has only escalated their fears about this law," Walden wrote. "Certainly other issues may rise and fall – but Obamacare is the constant that runs through this election."
Midterm elections, including the one set for Nov. 4, 2014, historically are a referendum on the president's party. All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 U.S. Senate Seats will be up for grabs. Election day also will see races for 36 of the 50 governorships.
Voters see Democratic incumbents as part of the problem in Washington, according to Walden's memo, and Democrats are vulnerable in key districts in Arizona, California, Illinois, and West Virginia.
Walden refers to Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick's low approval rating – 33 percent – as "one of the best pick-up opportunities anywhere in the nation." In the president's home state of Illinois, Democratic incumbent Bill Enyart has an "embarrassingly low" favorability rating, with a mere 25 percent of voters approving of the job he’s doing.
The Republican majority in the House is in a strong position to grow, said Walden, who promises a diverse field of candidates that includes women and minorities, "with more on the way."
"President Obama has made clear that winning the House for Democrats is his number-one goal," Walden wrote. "We will continue to stay on offense so we can ensure that Nancy Pelosi is never, ever speaker of the House again."
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