A small group demonstrates prior to former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint's speech at a "Defund Obamacare Tour" rally in Indianapolis, August 26, 2013.
Nathan Chute/Reuters

Are Obamacare attack ads a thing of the past?


8/20/14, 4:57 PM ET

Obama-scare tactics not so scary

As the midterm election season heats up, Republican Obamacare attacks cool down.

With summer soon coming to a close, we’re heading right into midterm election primetime.

Heading into this midterm, Republicans are looking to recreate the magical summer of 2010 where they rolled to victory on the merits of relentless anti-obamacare attack ads. And while they are  divided on a lot of other policy issues two areas of near unanimous agreement have been dislike for the president and dislike for the President’s health care law. So as we approach election day Republican ad makers and super pacs could only be up to one thing-quietly backing away from Obamacare attack ads.

Wait What?

After all the buildup over how the GOP would run big on Obamacare this fall, it turns out that fewer and fewer anti-Obamacare ads are actually hitting the airwaves.  In North Carolina for example where democrat Kay Hagan is locked in a tight race with North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, Obamacare ads have gone from more than half of top 5 issue ads in April to just 27% of such ads in July.

As it turns out, now that Obamacare is a real thing and not just some scary death panel laden cooked up Republican nightmare, it actually doesn’t pack so much punch politically for Republicans.  Adding to the challenge for Republicans wanting to convince voters that Obamacare is the end of America is the fact that two of the most contested midterm states, Arkansas and Kentucky have seen the largest benefit from Obamacare. So any politician attacking Obamacare runs the awkward risk of attacking a program that is literally saving some of their constituents lives.

According to a political science professor at North Carolina State University: “The Republican Party is realizing you can’t really hang your hat on (Obamacare)…It just isn’t the kind of issue it was.” 

I guess even the most successful scare tactics eventually run their course. I can’t wait to see what they’ve cooked up to replace them. 


Are Obamacare attack ads a thing of the past?