The clearest dividing line on how people think about the Obamacare right now is between college- and non-college-educated white voters, a key distinction as one red-state Democratic group goes on the air with TV ads defending the law as strongly as any spots in four years.
— In new data from the Pew Research Center, Obamacare approval only narrowly trails disapproval among college whites, 42%-49%. But that gap becomes a chasm among non-college whites (22%-66%). And while college whites split 31%-33% on whether the law will affect their families positively or negatively in the future, non-college whites emphatically reject the possibility that it will help (17%-48%).
— That sets up very different fights over the law in, say, Colorado and New Hampshire (where recent exit polls put college whites at over half the electorate) versus red states like Arkansas or Montana (or Kentucky, where the state health exchange has performed well) where there have been non-college white majorities of voters.
— That makes the latest TV ad out in Alaska particularly interesting: The pro-Mark Begich super PAC there is featuring a woman cancer survivor who says that after being denied coverage by insurance companies, “I now have health insurance again, because of Mark Begich.” Personalizing the issue, which research demonstrates to work better than statistics, looks like a stab at “showing, not telling” people that Obamacare could affect them positively in the future.
Among non-college whites, at least, there’s really no where for Democrats to go on Obamacare but up. Whether that represents an opportunity to message to them in new ways, or a harsh reality ahead of November, remains to be seen.
— Scott Bland
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