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As FreedomWorks continues its efforts to stop Obamacare with a live blog event, some evidence is coming in that shows just how important the issue was to voters in the recent primary upset wins for Richard Mourdock & Deb Fischer.
The 2012 presidential election cycle has already seen its share of distractions from the Obama campaign and its propaganda wing in MSM, most notably the student loan "crisis" and the miserable failure known as the GOP's "War On Women". This is, of course, because the president can't really run on what he considers to be his most notable legislative achievement when it continues to be an electoral albatross as far as likely voters are concerned.
The entire slate of GOP candidates in 2012 would do well to take note of some of the concerns in the recent upset victories, especially Fischer's stunning triumph. While it has been presumed that Sarah Palin's endorsement delivered all of the magic that enabled Fischer to go from (almost) virtual unknown to nominee in a matter of two weeks, it seems that her embrace of what most would consider to be a symbolic "Repeal Pledge" may have done the trick.
The poll cited in the Politico piece shows that thirty eight percent of the voters in the Nebraska GOP primary made their decision in the final week and fifty eight percent of them voted for Fischer. And it was her opt-in for the pledge that seems to have done it.
Among self-identified conservative Fischer voters, her signature on the Repeal Pledge was deemed more important than the Palin endorsement by a 37-17 percent margin. Among self-identified moderate Fischer voters, the pledge was emphasized over Palin by a whopping 34-10 percent margin. Moderates, in fact, broke nearly 42 percent for Fischer, close to 15 percent for Bruning, and 17.6% for Stenberg
Mourdock also signed the pledge and voters in both Indiana and Nebraska were informed by paid ads which single candidate in each race had done so.
There are, obviously, a variety of different factors that contributed to the respective victories in each state. The Mourdock win was a resounding triumph for grassroots conservatives who long ago wearied of being sold out by the establishment career politicians in the Republican party and have found a voice through the Tea Party movement and organizations like FreedomWorks. Even the CEO of the group behind the pledge isn't doing a sole-credit victory lap.
Just to be REALLY clear: in no lifetime would I say that the Repeal Pledge gets credit for anyone's victory. A bad or not credible candidate could take the pledge repeatedly and it wouldn't make any difference. Good candidates have won without it. And by definition there are many issues, personalities, and outside groups that each are helping create the outcome.
But now we have data, and the implications for candidates of what we’ve just confirmed are huge.
Many pledges taken during a campaign are, in fact, largely symbolic and used as little more than talking-point fodder for ads. Most of them are also less specific, often pledging commitment to a general ideal like no new taxes. This one, however, was about a specific course of legislative action.
Yes, as James Carville once said long ago, this election is still "...about the economy, stupid!"
The candidates who aren't stupid should realize that Obamacare is about the economy too and its damage has yet to be done. The repeal of this looming economic wrecking ball should be first and foremost on their minds and, as the losers in the recent primaries found out, they need to make that very clear.
Because this is 2012. And the voters they need aren't stupid.