We’re all waiting to see if Obamacare will be spared, gutted, or tossed into the ash heap of history by the Supreme Court on Thursday. In a new Purple Strategies survey of former Supreme Court clerks and attorneys who have argued before the Court, 57 percent believe the individual mandate, the heart of the law, will die. In April, Obama himself engaged in some gallows humor after the Supreme Court justices roughed up his law in oral argument: “In my first term, we passed health care reform. In my second term, I guess we’ll pass it again.”
But if Obamacare vanishes or the individual mandate is eliminated, look for Democrats to panic. There will also be comparisons to Jimmy Carter — the last Democratic president to lose reelection — and his “malaise” period.
It’s never good if a president’s central domestic-policy achievement is trashed months before an election, and in this case it could be politically fatal. In a new poll by the GOP-oriented Young Guns Policy Center, independent voters agree by 55 to 37 percent on this point: “President Obama did the wrong thing by focusing on passing health care reform his first year in office. He should have worked harder to get the economy going and creating jobs before moving on to other issues.”
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