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The Short Attention Span Electorate

Earlier today, Jim Geraghty of NRO wrote a post on his blog asking whether health care will be a huge issue in the 2010 election.

And the issue may not be quite the decisive political issue we’ve been led to believe: Only 22 percent said they would be more likely to support a candidate who supports the Obama administration’s proposals, with 12 percent saying they were much more likely to support that candidate.

Only 23 percent said they would be more likely to oppose a candidate who supported the Obama plan, with only 17 percent saying they were much more likely to oppose. A majority, 54 percent, said the candidate’s position on this would make “no difference” on their opinion of the candidate.

On top of the poll numbers, history itself lends some credence to the theory that Obama’s health care reform may not have much of an effect on voters’ minds.

Today is September 14th, 2009.

We are a little less than 14 months away from election day.

In 1994, when HillaryCare, and admittedly many other things, were on the minds of voters as they voted in the Republican Revolution, health care reform had only been dead for a little over one month. Clearly, it was a fresh issue and one still on the mind’s of voters not interested in a government health care option.

With Chmn. Baucus ready to unveil his version of the HC bill tomorrow, we can count on relatively swift movement of the bill through Congress, with passage of some sort of reform, watered down or not, before the end of the year.

That would leave at least 10 full months for our short attention span society to move on from Obamacare.

Can Republicans lash on to another issue as invigorating to the voters as the socialization of their health care? Does Obama dare to make immigration reform his next aggressive policy shift? Or, with health care reform but a memory, will strategists have to rest their hopes on a continuing flailing economy?

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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