Republicans Give Up on Health Care

A political insiders poll conducted by the National Journal (and published in their August 2nd issue) shows that Republicans are not counting on health care to help their party in the November elections.

Among the 7 choices to the question, “Which two issues will most help your party in November’s election?” none of the 42 Republican insiders picked health care.  Compared to that 0%, Energy was chosen by 90%, and National security by 31%

The poll results were also interesting for what the Democrats chose.  It appears that they are giving up on Immigration and National security as the issues that will help them in the November election – those two issues were picked by none of the Democrats.  Rather, Democratic insiders chose Economy (87%), Energy (39%), Iraq (37%)…. And of course Health care (21%)

So what does this mean for the actual election?  Are these political insiders too myopic with inside-the-beltway perspectives?  I find it hard to believe that Republic voters won’t care at all about health issues – particularly many of the conservative physicians who may be peeved about the President vetoing the bill to avert the Medicare 10.6% cut – which Congress later voted to overide.

Well it seems that the Democrats and the Republicans both have some validity in their positions:  According to Gallop’s June 15-19 issues poll, the Democrats do have a big edge on healthcare and the economy:

Gallop 2008 Election Issues Poll Obama v. McCain

And according to CNN’s issue tracker from June 4-5 polling, the most important issue for registered voters was:

  • Economy 42%
  • War in Iraq 24%
  • Health care 12%
  • Terrorism 11%
  • Immigration 8%

Taking all this together it looks like Democrats have the edge in the issues that are most important to the voters.  How this changes between now and November 4th as voters respond to new events and the campaigns’ messages will likely determine the election – assuming neither candidate makes major missteps.

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