- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 3, 2014

Strategists have pointed out that a Republican candidate’s best friend this fall is Obamacare. Public disapproval of the health care law could be just the helping hand for GOP hopefuls in tight races.

The midterm elections are 214 days off, but favorability polls already consistently reveal that Republicans and Democrats are neck and neck. This week, it’s Quinnipiac University’s turn to reveal all: Their survey of registered voters finds that 45 percent want Republicans to win control of the Senate, 45 percent prefer Democrats. On the House side, its 45 percent and 46 percent, respectively.

Can anything give anyone an edge here? Perhaps. Assistant poll director Tim Malloy points out that 55 percent of voters still disapprove of Obamacare — and a significant 40 percent say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports the president’s health care law. Such findings make the Republican Party giddy; vulnerable Democrats “continue to run for cover” the party says, time and again.

“Immigration also is a possible pitfall for candidates, as 39 percent of voters say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports a path to citizenship for illegal aliens,” Mr. Malloy said, adding that half of the respondents say they’re more likely to vote for a candidate who supports raising the minimum wage.

“Congressional candidates better watch out for the mines as they step into Obamacare and immigration, but supporting a higher minimum wage looks like an easy issue,” he advised.

BEWARE THE BULLY

And candidates, here’s some actionable intelligence. A new Reason/Rupe poll has these disquieting findings: 75 percent of Americans say “politicians” are corrupt, while 70 percent say they use their power to “hurt” rivals. This impression is likely intensified by popular depictions of elected officials on certain network and cable TV shows. But that is part of the campaign landscape. Some sins are worse than others, though.

“Americans say they are more bothered by politicians abusing political power than they are by some of the personal issues most often associated with political downfalls. Seventy percent of Americans say they would be most bothered by a politician who used his or her political power to bully someone, while 14 percent would be most bothered by a politician using drugs, and 11 percent would be most bothered by a politician who cheated on his or her spouse,” reports Reason analyst Emily Ekins.

BEN CARSON’S SENSIBLE DIAGNOSIS

“Our health is the most personal and important thing we possess; therefore its care must be under our control.”

— Principle No. 1 in “Save Our Healthcare”, Ben Carson’s seven-point plan to rescue America from Obamacare, which he introduced to GOP lawmakers Thursday during an appearance on Capitol Hill.

BLUEGRASS ROOTS TV

Set to be on hand at FreedomWorks’ FreePAC, a bodacious grass-roots event in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday: U.S. Senate hopefuls Ken Cuccinelli and Matt Bevin, U.S. House hopeful Dan Bongino, FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe and independent media maven Glenn Beck. See their speeches streamed live online at 1 p.m. ET here: Live.FreedomWorks.org.

POLAR BEARS AND MORE

News is afoot that a sequel to Al Gore’s alarmist climate change opus “An Inconvenient Truth” is in the works, details forthcoming from Hollywood producers. Reaction was immediate.

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