Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

GOP, Dems try to repackage arguments for 2014

By
From page A1 | January 02, 2014 | 1 Comment

ATLANTA — Both Republicans and Democrats are looking for fresh ways to pitch old arguments as they head into the final midterm election year of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Eager to capitalize as the president’s job approval rating hovers in the low 40s, Republicans are looking to hammer the clumsy implementation of Obama’s health care overhaul and bemoan an economy that, while improving, still grows too slowly. They’re already painting Democrats as fiscally irresponsible underlings of an increasingly unpopular president whose government creates more problems than it solves.

Democrats say they’ll run as the party of average Americans and paint Republicans as out-of-touch allies of the wealthy, with a stubborn streak that forced a partial government shutdown and still prevents practical solutions for national problems. They’re advocating populist positions like a minimum wage increase and an end to tax breaks for energy companies, and they’re already reminding voters of Republicans’ struggle to connect with women, non-whites and younger Americans. They’re also looking to exploit the rift between tea party conservatives and establishment Republicans.

Republicans hold the House majority, and Democrats control the Senate; so each side wants to reclaim a second chamber to end the Capitol Hill divide that has largely resulted in gridlock for the past three years. Also at stake are a majority of governors’ seats, which control key policy decisions around the country and will help shape the landscape for the 2016 presidential election.

Leaders and strategists from each party insist they’ll have fresh twists to the health care fight now entering its fourth year. Since much of the health care law takes effect in 2014, voters will be reacting to actual outcomes rather than just political hyperbole from either side.

“Obamacare is in absolute chaos,” wrote Republican Senate campaign spokesman Brad Dayspring in his year-end review. “Vulnerable Democratic incumbents and candidates … can’t keep their own spin straight.”

Republicans have enjoyed the technical struggles of the federal online exchanges where customers can attempt to buy coverage. But perhaps the best gift for the GOP: Insurers dropping tens of thousands of policy holders and offering them more comprehensive – and expensive – coverage despite Obama’s explicit promise in 2010 that “if you like your plan, you can keep it.”

That promises to be an acute issue for several Senate Democrats – Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina – who are running for re-election for the first time since voting for the health care law in 2010.

Many Democrats concede that the president’s 2010 promise could be a millstone. But they counter that Republicans’ core argument, particularly from their most conservative candidates, is for outright repeal: House Republicans, including many running for key Senate seats, have voted more than 40 times to scrap the entire law.

“Everything we see tells us that voters want to improve the law, not repeal it,” said Rep. Steve Israel, the New York Democrat who chairs his party’s congressional campaign committee. Indeed, a Gallup Poll in December showed that 54 percent of Americans disapprove of the law, but just 32 percent support repeal.

As important for Democrats: Most of the 32 percent are Republicans. The poll found that two-thirds of GOP voters want the entire law gone. That pushes GOP primary candidates to the extreme on the issue, Israel argues, playing into the more general Democratic argument that Republicans’ are out of step. A proposed minimum wage increase – to more than $10 per hour – could become a defining part of that argument. And Israel said his caucus will push votes to end corporate tax breaks like those for oil and gas companies.

“This election is going to be about who’s got your back,” Israel said. “Republicans continue to show they have the back of powerful special interests. Democrats have the back of the middle class.”

The ongoing budget debate could be the wild card. The Senate’s Democratic budget chief, Patty Murray of Washington, and her House counterpart, Republican Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, crafted a spending deal in early December. Conservative groups assailed the plan for insufficient spending cuts, prompting Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders to lash out at tea party backed critics of the deal, which easily passed both the House and Senate.

There’ll be another vote to increase the nation’s borrowing limit in February or March, perhaps setting up a replay of the fall showdown when GOP conservatives forced a partial government closure with their failed attempt to defund Obama’s health care overhaul.

Republican strategist Chip Lake in Georgia called the fall GOP gambit “a defining moment in our party” that set the stage for the Ryan-Murray agreement and Boehner pushing back at internal party critics. “We’ve always navigated this divide,” Lake said, “but you’re going to see it play out very visibly over the next year.”

Arch-conservative GOP voices insist the hard line is the right path. “Republicans won big in 2010 because people understood where they stood on things like Obamacare,” said Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks PAC, which has helped elect tea party clarions like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. “I think Republicans will do well in 2014 if they similarly make clear they are for individual liberty and constitutionally limited government.”

Exit polls from the 2012 presidential election showed that, even with Obama’s victory, a narrow majority of Americans thought the government was doing too much. Yet polls from the fall suggested voters, particularly independents, blamed Republicans for the partial shutdown, and Israel said any repeat will help Democrats.

The president’s party usually loses seats at the six-year mark of an administration, and the midterm electorate often tilts toward the GOP, as Democrats have more difficulty turning out more casual voters – particularly younger and minority citizens – who favor them in presidential election years.

Facing those historical headwinds, Democrats need a net gain of 17 seats to regain control of the House, with all 435 seats up. Democrats say they’re targeting about 60 seats, while the GOP believes the competitive number is considerably lower. Republicans must net six new Senate seats – out of 35 on the ballot – to regain control of the upper chamber. Democrats are defending 21 seats, including several in states Obama lost. Republicans have a similar challenge in governor’s races, where the 22 seats they’re defending include several in states Obama won twice – Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, among them. Democrats are defending 14 governor’s seats. Republicans hold a 29-21 advantage nationally.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • DanielJanuary 02, 2014 - 7:04 am

    This one is simple keep Obamacare and intrusion into our personal lives or not.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
 
Supervisor candidates file conflict-of-interest forms

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Trial begins for teacher accused of abusing children

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

Suisun police ID shooting victim

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Solano Jews gather for start of Passover

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
County discusses consolidated dispatch

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Miner Slough Bridge to see repairs

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
‘Heaven is for Real’ opens Wednesday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B5

 
Fiesta Days pageant organizers seek contestants

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Easter hunt set for Mare Island

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Crews make quick work of vehicle fire

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
Paper Clover Campaign supports Solano County 4-H

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Coakley joins Solano fair board

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Hundreds flock to Krispy Kreme as it opens doors

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
County to honor Solano educators

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

.

US / World

Officials: Huge San Francisco blaze was accidental

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
‘Shrimp Boy’ pleads not guilty in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Immigration activists urge Obama to act boldly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Ukraine: Military secures airport from attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Democrats have outside money advantage – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
First women move into Army platoon artillery jobs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Final deadline arrives for health exchange sign-up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
New LA newspaper embraces print in digital world

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Congress is giving states the transportation blues

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Police: Suspects in killings wore GPS devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

DNA alternative to Pap smear sparks medical debate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Robot sub returns to water after 1st try cut short

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Hamas praises deadly West Bank shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
2 dead after ferry sinks off SKorean coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

.

Opinion

 
Oh, for the days of Dr. Welby

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page: A13, 12 Comments

Poor Judgement in Flight 370 column

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
Senseless babble that hurts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13

 
Expand Red Top Road

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

Editorial cartoons for April 16, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
What love gives you

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

Today in History for April 16, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
A matzo ball soup fit for a weeknight dinner

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Saving carrots from their usual sugary Easter fate

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B6

 
Sweet pairings for grown-up Easter treats

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

My husband still pays his 45-year-old unemployed son’s bills

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes for April 16, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Boston Globe wins Pulitzer for bombing coverage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Lindsay Lohan’s mom pleads guilty to DWI in NY

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Strahan’s ‘GMA’ side job confirmed with his visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Cal hires Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin as coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors trying to move on without Andrew Bogut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Sharks’ Torres uncertain for playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Indians shut out Mustangs

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Ex-Minnesota State, Mankato coach returning to job

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Panthers jump Sabres to win NHL draft lottery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

More former players sue NHL regarding concussions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers sign WR Brandon Lloyd to 1-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLB marks 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Twitter buys data analytics partner Gnip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Yellen signals more aggressive stance toward banks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

Carolyn McClelland

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Evonne Medina

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7