Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is in a lot more trouble than it seems. Despite his ample war chest and approval ratings, only 50 percent of Virginians say Warner should get a second term. And independents, by a margin of 49 to 43 percent, say they would rather have someone new in Virginia’s Senate seat.
Moreover, Warner will have to defend his deciding vote for Obamacare during a midterm election that will likely be driven by voter anger over Obamacare. Virginians upset about President Obama’s false promise that “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan” will be surprised to discover that Warner made the same false pledge, declaring “I’m not going to support a health-care reform plan that’s going to take away the health care you’ve got right now or a health-care plan that you like.” He did. And if The Post is right that a second wave of Obamacare-driven cancellations is coming in October, just a few weeks before Election Day, that broken promise will be front and center in voters’ minds when Virginians go to the polls.
Right now, we’re experiencing a mini-lull in the ‘Obamacare Storm’. That won’t last forever. Mr. Thiessen is right. There’s another wave of cancellations coming this October. The bad news for Democrats is that the cancellation notices that were sent out for individual policies will be tiny compared with October’s cancellation notices.
At this point, it’s total speculation but it isn’t a stretch to think that we don’t know how toxic the Affordable Care Act, aka the ACA, will be for Democrats. That being said, it isn’t speculation to say that Democrats are already attempting to distance themselves from the subject. That’s what President Obama’s impending income inequality campaign is about.
Thiessen thinks former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie will get into the race. Thiessen also thinks that Gillespie will give Sen. Warner the fight of his life:
Like Obama, Warner will try to shift conversation from Obamacare to income inequality. Gillespie won’t let Warner off the hook on Obamacare, but he’s more than ready to engage Warner on the economic debate, and is uniquely positioned to do so. He grew up in a blue-collar family, the son of an immigrant who came here from Ireland when his father found work in America as a janitor. His parents ran a corner grocery store where Gillespie worked as a kid. He was among the first generation in his family to go to college and helped pay his way by working as a U.S. Senate parking lot attendant.
Gillespie will argue that the Obama-Warner economic policies, with $1 trillion in new taxes and $7 trillion in new debt, have put the American Dream out of reach for too many citizens. Virginians’ share of the national debt is rising while incomes are falling. He will reject the idea that this is the new normal and argue that “we can do better,” campaigning on a hopeful message of economic opportunity, upward mobility and helping people rise as far as their hard work and ambition will take them.
That isn’t the type of opponent Democrats want to face. Gillespie’s fundraising abilities are well-documented. His message will be refreshing because people are tired of the difficult economic circumstances they find themselves in.
Gillespie knows how to focus on important issues. In this election cycle, that means tying the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, to Sen. Warner. Let’s see how toxic it is as an issue. Let’s see if Virginians like paying higher insurance premiums or getting fined for not buying government-approved health insurance. Let’s see if Virginians like having the government tell their families what coverages their families need. Let’s see whether Virginians prefer making their own decisions.
Gillespie will have strong grassroots support and no problem raising the resources to make sure every Virginian knows that Warner’s moderate image is a myth.
Considering the votes that Sen. Warner has cast, that shouldn’t be that difficult.