- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Republican victories in Tuesday’s elections shouldn’t be blamed on President Obama or Obamacare, the White House said Wednesday.

And by the way, Republicans’ impressive gains in statehouses nationwide since 2009 are not the president’s fault, either.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest tried on Wednesday to explain those election results, which included GOP victories in the only gubernatorial contests in the nation, in Kentucky and Mississippi. He noted that both states are “red,” and he said Democrats did well in “blue” states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where Democrats captured all three seats up for grabs on the state Supreme Court.

“We’d be reluctant to draw significant conclusions” from Tuesday’s results, Mr. Earnest said.

In Kentucky, where Republican businessman Matt Bevin defeated Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway in the race for governor, Mr. Earnest said Obamacare was not to blame. Mr. Bevin has vowed to roll back health benefits under the federal law, saying it has led to a “financial debacle” in the state.

Mr. Earnest said Mr. Bevin stated only days ago that “nobody’s losing anything” under the state’s Medicaid expansion.

“Vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act in some cases has been used as an effective political strategy, but it’s not a terribly effective governing strategy,” Mr. Earnest said.

Nationwide, prior to Tuesday’s balloting, Democrats had lost 910 seats in statehouses nationwide since Mr. Obama took office in 2009. Republicans currently control 56 percent of all state legislative seats.

Mr. Earnest said that’s not the president’s fault, adding, “Obviously the president would like to see Democrats do better.”

He said there are “a variety of explanations” for Republicans’ success in states elections under Mr. Obama, including GOP-controlled redistricting, the tendency of Democrat to live in big cities, and the success of Republicans in get-out-the-vote campaigns.



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