Recent polling shows that an election wave of anti-ObamaCare sentiment is growing, and it is not only likely to hand the GOP control of the United States Senate, but might wipe out as many as 12 Democrat seats–many of which looked safe just a few months ago.
Back in July, Five Thirty Eight’s election guru Nate Silver believed that control of the Senate was a tossup. That has all changed now that voters got their first real look at the brutal consequences of ObamaCare.
Starting with the generic ballot that simply pits Republican lawmakers against their Democrat counterparts, the movement towards the GOP has been striking. In the Real Clear Politics average of these polls, going back as far as the beginning of the year, Democrats have consistently led by 3 to 4 points. During the government shutdown, Democrats leaped to 6 and 7 point leads. Since the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare, though, Republicans are not only in the lead by 2.5 points; they have led in every poll but one since November 10.
This generic polling is reflected in the available polling of individual Senate seats.
Keep in mind that in order to win control of the Senate, Republicans need only pick up six seats, and with Democrat incumbents retiring in the redder than red states of South Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana, Republicans pretty much have three Senate pick-ups in the bag. But thanks to ObamaCare and vulnerable Democrat Senators refusing to put their own promises and the wellbeing of their constituents above slavish devotion to Obama, picking off another three should be fairly easy.
Kay Hagan (D-NC)
In North Carolina, Democrat Kay Hagan looked as though she was cruising to a second term victory. Just a few months ago, polls showed her ahead by double digits against her most likely Republican challengers.
In September, before ObamaCare started cancelling people’s policies by the millions and boosting the price of their premiums, Hagan was beating potential challenger Greg Bannon by a whopping 16 points. In the most recent poll taken just a couple weeks ago, Bannon picked up an astonishing 17 points and is now ahead by 1.
There is a YouTube video of Hagan promising that under ObamaCare you can keep your insurance if you like it. Obviously that is not true, which means she either lied or blindly voted for something without understanding the consequences for her constituents.
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu has seen her approval rating collapse by double digits in just six months. Three months ago, Landrieu looked as though she would coast to a fourth term in a state Mitt Romney won without breaking a sweat. The National Journal now lists Landrieu as the third most endangered incumbent facing re-election in 2014.
In August, Landrieu was polling over 50% in potential match ups (which would avoid a Louisiana runoff that requires the eventual winner hit at least 50%) and beating Republican Congressman Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), her most likely opponent, by a full 10 points. The consequences of ObamaCare have completely flipped that script.
A recent poll shows the relatively unknown Cassidy behind by only 2 points
There is YouTube video of Landrieu promising her constituents that under ObamaCare, you can keep your insurance. The facts have either proved Landrieu a liar or incompetent. Other than token legislation to keep that promise, Landrieu has been as devoted to Obama and ObamaCare as any liberal Democrat.
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Thanks to ObamaCare, Senator Mark Pryor’s approval ratings in Arkansas have collapsed to just 33%, the lowest of his 12 years in the Senate. When Democrat Arkansas incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln lost her seat in 2010, her approval ratings were actually higher. The National Journal ranks Pryor as the most vulnerable Senate incumbent facing reelection in 2014.
Pryor is also on record misleading his constituents about ObamaCare.
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Just before the disastrous ObamaCare rollout, Alaskan Senator Mark Begich was cruising to reelection by as much as 11 points. Post-ObamaCare polls show that Begich has been considerably weakened and is ahead by only a point or two against his likely Republican challengers. Moreover, Begich’s approval rating among Alaskans now sits at a measly 39%.
Begich is on record misleading his constituents with false assurances that under ObamaCare you can keep your insurance. The GOP is already pounding him over that.
Other than token proposals, Begich has done absolutely nothing to either keep that promise or to mitigate the damage ObamaCare is doing to Alaskans.
The National Journal lists Begich as the second most vulnerable incumbent in the Senate.
Iowa – Open Democrat Seat
With longtime Democrat Tom Harkin retiring from the Senate, Democrats thought they had made this seat safe with the recruitment of Rep. Bruce Braley. Until the American people were rattled by the consequences of ObamaCare, Democrats were probably right. In matchup after matchup, Braley was ahead by double digits.
Post-ObamaCare, that lead has shrunk to single digits.
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Prior to the ObamaCare rollout, Udall wasn’t even on the National Journal‘s list of endangered incumbents. Millions of insurance cancellations later, however, and the Democrat has a real fight on his hands. In one likely match up, Udall’s 15 point lead back in June has dropped to just 3 points.
Since the ObamaCare fallout, the National Journal has added Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to its 2014 endangered list. Prior to the country being hit upside the head with the reality of ObamaCare, the idea that any one of these incumbents had anything to worry about was unthinkable.
Shaheen is vulnerable enough that former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is considering a challenge. Polls show her under 50% at 48% and Brown only behind by 4%. He hasn’t even made it official and is already within the margin of error. And if he runs, it will be on the issue of ObamaCare.
Many believe that the worst of ObamaCare has yet to show itself. As the 2014 midterm elections loom closer late next year, so will the employer mandate. The Obama Administration itself has predicted that the fallout from the employer mandate could be tens of millions of cancellations.
Knowing this is coming, and unless something changes, these vulnerable Democrats are likely to be remembered only as having done nothing to avoid catastrophes mainly afflicting the working and middle class.
That is, other than hold hands with Obama to watch it all burn.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC