Some are saying that the anti-Obamacare ballot measure in Ohio is meaningless because states can’t opt themselves out of Obamacare. That’s debatable, but politically speaking this ought to send a chill wind down the spine of every single Democrat up for re-election this year.
Because Ohio is a key swing state, and if Obamacare is this universally unpopular in Ohio…it doesn’t portend good things politically for the President or his party.
And keep in mind, this measure was on the same ballot as a collective bargaining measure that unions supported strongly and passed.
A ballot measure that StateImpact Ohio (a creation of local public media and NPR) describes as “a referendum on a constitutional amendment…aimed at keeping the national health care reform law from taking [e]ffect” won in all 88 counties in Ohio. In 81 of the counties, it won by a margin of at least 20 percentage points. Statewide, it won by 32 points (66 to 34 percent).
The measure took particular aim at Obamacare’s individual mandate, stating, “In Ohio, no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system.”
Voters in Ohio can’t opt out of Obamacare any more than the residents of the other 49 states can, so the measure will have no practical effect. But the message, sent in one of the three largest swing states, could hardly be clearer.
Democrats are going to be spending about as much time running away from Obamacare this election cycle as they did last election cycle. And the thing is that going into this cycle a lot of states, like my home state of North Dakota, are in the process of implementing the health care bill. Meaning that, unlike in 2010, Americans are getting a much better picture of what it means for them.
And the more they learn the less they like it.