The Obamacare Hail Mary That Could Save the Senate for Democrats
The 2014 handicapping is underway, and the consensus is clear: Democrats face a tough battle to maintain control of the Senate. They’re defending too many seats in red states where President Obama and his signature health care reform law are unpopular.
They’re also at a structural disadvantage. Turning out the base, conventional wisdom and historical precedents say, is the key element for midterm elections, and Republicans have done it better.
But Democrats might have a secret weapon in a couple of those key Senate races. Activist groups and state lawmakers are working to get Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion on the ballot in Louisiana and Montana, where they have vulnerable candidates and GOP officials have refused to adopt the provision.
“Turnout is the biggest challenge that Democrats face,” one Democratic operative told TPM. “There are a variety of ways that you can meet your turnout goals, and one of them is certainly ballot initiatives. Medicaid expansion really could be a powerful tool to turn voters out.”