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McAllister embraced Obamacare ... and he won.
You know how Republicans say Obamacare will be at the center of the political universe in 2014 and that anyone who supports it will be crushed? Well, on Saturday, that theory was put to the test in Louisana's Fifth Congressional District, a district Mitt Romney carried by 23 points in 2012—and it failed miserably.

Saturday's contest was a special election runoff between two Republicans, businessman Vance McAllister and State Sen. Neil Riser. Riser not only had the support of the GOP establishment in both Lousiana and D.C., but also had the backing of tea-party friendly Club for Growth. McAllister, meanwhile, was a political newcomer who spent his own money on ads, won the support of the cast of A&E's Duck Dynasty, and ran to Riser's left:

While some thought the all-Republican runoff would be marked by each candidate running to the far right of every issue, McAllister took leave of the usual party line during a debate last week by coming out in support of optional Medicaid expansion offered under the Affordable Care Act.

McAllister said he disagreed with Gov. Bobby Jindal's decision not to accept the expansion because of the economic make-up of the 5th District.

Riser pounced on McAllister's support for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, saying that a vote for McAllister was a vote for Obamacare, and releasing the ad at the top of this post. But instead of riding McAllister's position to victory, Riser lost. In fact, he got crushed, losing by 20 points.

There was more to this race than Obamacare, but that's precisely the point: Even in a +23 Romney district, a Republican congressional candidate who supported elements of Obamacare defeated a hardline anti-Obamacare Republican backed by both the establishment and tea party wings of the GOP.

And that's very bad news for Republicans who believe Obamacare is the cure for all their political problems.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 10:27 AM PST.

Also republished by Louisiana Kossacks and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  and nyc (7+ / 0-)

    elected a true lefty, and there is backlash on cops shooting citizens, and the new ACA site looks pretty darn good?

    Are things looking up?  Can there now be backlash against the ultra rich so we can redistribute some wealth to get it into the hands of spenders, and get our economy going?  

  •  Goopers have been spinning the crap out of this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Mags

    outcome all day.

  •  Rocky roll-out, or no... (8+ / 0-)

    I'd say the fix is in for those trying to score political points by opposing Obamacare. That's been my gut-sense from Day 1. It's only getting stronger with each passing day.

    Henceforward, I'd like to hear of anybody who wins a general election by vilifying Obamacare.

    Thanks for the diary.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 10:39:19 AM PST

  •  Reason and logic? What next? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBramble, offgrid

    I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love / And I'm like / Please proceed, Governor. - Dave Itzkoff

    by Jensequitur on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 10:50:54 AM PST

    •  Don't get too excited. Lesson for 2016. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      penguins4peace, Zwenkau

      Unfortunately I think this result is largely due to the electorate being ignorant, angry, and naive.


      (1) Is a political newbie who boasted during the campaign that he'd never been to Washington--in contrast to Riser, a state senator backed by Eric Cantor and most of the other GOP Congresscritters.

      (2) Had the endorsement of the "Duck Dynasty" family.

      In other words the electorate is still buying the "all politicians are alike, they're all no good" crap--intensified this month by the recent shutdown--and is simply looking for a Pure-Outsider Mr. Smith to go to Washington on their behalf.

      I doubt this had much to do with any kind of reasoned analysis of issues.

      Note: this is why Gore and Kerry and Dukakis and Mondale lost, while Clinton and Obama and Carter won. Gore-Kerry-Dukakis-Mondale were smart guys who deserved to win on the merits, but they had no charisma. Clinton and Obama are charismatic as all hell. (At least Obama was in 2008; the failures of the Obama administration can be summed up as: their initiatives have made tons of intellectual sense but had no friggin' gut appeal at all.) Carter was The Pure Outsider, but after 4 years he had become Just Another Politician...and he lost to Reagan, who was charismatic as all hell.

      Moral for 2016: it's not enough for the Dems to nominate somebody who makes intellectual sense. If he (or she) is not charismatic, then he/she will be dead meat come November. Because Chris Christie is charismatic as all hell.

      That's why I hope Elizabeth Warren runs. Hillary makes all kinds of intellectual sense, but Warren can connect emotionally with the average person.

      The energy that actually shapes the world springs from emotions—racial pride, leader-worship, religious belief, love of war—which liberal intellectuals mechanically write off as anachronisms, and which they have usually destroyed so completely in themselves as to have lost all power of action…nationalism, religious bigotry and feudal loyalty are far more powerful forces than…sanity.

      George Orwell, “Wells, Hitler and the World State” (1941)

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:38:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Buy Duck Dynasty (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The lesson for 2016 is whoever has Duck Dynasty ads in Dixie will win there.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:35:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Chris Christie is charismatic as all hell." (0+ / 0-)

        Christie is not going to make it to the finals unless we have a nationwide open primary with the top two finishers competing in a runoff.  And even then, it is somewhat doubtful.

        Given that we don't have nationwide open primaries, Christie will simply be unable to make it through all those red states GOP primaries..

        (-7.75,-5.64) If you like your $50 a month "healthcare plan"... you are an idiot!

        by Whirlaway on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:59:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why I think Christie is the favorite. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Christie has that same quality that got Dubya elected: he seems like a guy you'd want to get a beer with.

          Think about 2000: McCain still had the image of being thoughtful, principled. Who could look at Dubya next to McCain and take Dubya seriously? But the get-a-beer-with factor carried Dubya to the nomination.

          And then in the general election, the get-a-beer-with factor was not only Dubya's greatest strength, it was also Gore's main weakness. It put the election within striking distance for the Supremes.

          Not only that, Christie also has that tough-guy certainty that he's right and anybody who thinks otherwise is an asshole, and that appeals to fundamentalists of all stripes--religious, cultural, economic. (As Krugman keeps pointing out, the false equating of economic soundness and conventional morality is driving way too many macroeconomic decisions these days. Federal budget should be like household budget, etc.)

          Getting the GOP nomination is not about thinking, it's about feeling. Christie emotes more like a "regular guy" than anyone else in the Presidential ranks of either party. That's why he's the favorite not just for the GOP nomination, but for the White House.

          To have a chance of beating Christie, we'll have to nominate the candidate who can best touch not just minds, but hearts. That's Warren.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 01:50:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  People love what's in the ACA even as they (7+ / 0-)

    think they oppose "Obamacare." I hope all Democrats take this to heart. If you attack your opponent for opposing each of the elements of the law you will win.

    Further, affiant sayeth not. 53959

    by Gary Norton on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 10:58:24 AM PST

  •  You shouldn't overlook the fact that... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    filby, HeyMikey

    that chameleon is kinda cute.  

    You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons. Gene Wilder as Jim, the "Waco Kid" in Blazing Saddles

    by JustBeKos on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 10:59:46 AM PST

  •  I don't think you understand the power of (9+ / 0-)

    Duck Dynasty

    Thier endorsement eclipsed Jindal's

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:01:56 AM PST

  •  Fool! He should have focused on Benghazi! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    merrywidow, Aquarius40

    Fast and Furious?  IRS gate?

    GOP - Shutdown Obamacare. Bad website? GOP - Why no access to Obamacare?

    by filby on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:02:55 AM PST

  •  Is this really as big as it seems, tho? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My understanding is small on this, but in a race between two Republicans for a seat, is it really a surprise that the more moderate one would win? With no Dem to take votes, the more moderate one is going to get virtually all of the Dem vote that bothers to show up. When you add up the non-tea party Repubs, moderate Indys, and Dems, I'd expect a decisive win by a moderate in this situation regardless of issue. Or am I missing a dynamic here?

    I'd love for this to be a great indicator of Obamacare's impact on the upcoming elections, but all I'm really seeing is that the non-tea party electorate overall is much smaller than the tea party electorate, which isn't really a surprise.

    "No children have ever meddled with the Republican Party and lived to tell about it." - Sideshow Bob

    by ThinkerT on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:03:54 AM PST

  •  I'm just shocked: (0+ / 0-)

    Don't Republicans know this is a Conservative Country? Don't they understand that you have to be moderate - not left?


    The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

    by Johnathan Ivan on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:06:06 AM PST

  •  Shocking, he cared about the people he wanted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, MyMy

    to represent and he won....

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:09:48 AM PST

  •  I'll keep posting this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, HeyMikey

    because none of this is new.

    From CNN's poll of the 2012 Iowa Republican caucuses.

    Most Important Issue
    Other/No Answer
    Budget Deficit
    Health Care


    Politics means controlling the balance of economic and institutional power. Everything else is naming post offices.

    by happymisanthropy on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:15:09 AM PST

  •  SSSSssshhhhh! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MyMy, cocinero

    Let them think they have it locked up, base their whole campaign strategy on bashing something that most of their voters want and need.
    I want 2014 to come as an existential shock to the GOP's system, puts them in such total disarray that they can't even muster a single national candidate in 2016.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:16:32 AM PST

  •  We all know ... (0+ / 0-)

    as soon as he takes his seat he'll go hard right.  

    Clinton/Warren 2016

    by artr2 on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:25:55 AM PST

  •  Two Republicans run against each other (0+ / 0-)

    37% of the people in that district voted for Obama. This was a race between two Republicans. That provides a built-in incentive to court Democratic voters in building your majority ---- try to give just enough to win them over but not so much as to lose your base. Riser only won about 1/3 of the vote in the first round. He apparently didn't succeed in moving that much beyond that in the second.

    That's not really representative of a major shift, especially because special elections have abysmal turnout anyway.

  •  care care care for yourself (0+ / 0-)

    I would definitely love to see people enjoying real freedom but not illusionary lliberties and intellectual subordination.

    This the most popular download accelerator IDM: IDM Crack all versions + Tutorial

    by ralph026 on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:41:32 AM PST

  •  For an insight into this election, you have to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, Larin, GayHillbilly

    look at the district and the region which is historically and culturally distinct from the rest of the Deep South in which it is embedded.

    Louisiana CD-05 should be a Democratic stronghold like the district it mirrors across the river, Mississippi CD-02, represented by Bennie Thompson.

    Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the linked page at Thompson’s official House website. At the bottom of the page, you'll see a great panoramic photo of the area's landscape. Cotton growing on the flat Mississippi Delta bottomland as far as the eye can see.

    On both sides of the river there’s a patch of mainly rural counties that are majority black, the economy depends on farming, and household incomes are low.  Thompson is known for his efforts to revitalize his district. The people across the river in Louisiana need a Democrat to represent them, too.

    This election shows that the Republicans have gone past a tipping point this year especially with their stunt of separating the SNAP provision from the farm bill, leaving both up in the air.  What happened to Rod Alexander, the previous representative? Did he get chased out of the district by angry mobs with pitchforks? Oh, he left to take up a position in Jindal's administration. That almost completes the picture because Jindal has gone out of his way to alienate this part of his state.

    The time is ripe. Put up a Democratic candidate and turn this district blue.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:01:58 PM PST

  •  Duck Dynasty Wins Again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    None of that other stuff mattered. This guy was a Republican, and was backed by Duck Dynasty. That's unbeatable in Louisiana, and across Dixie.

    Politics is tribalism. Issues are just what the tribes are fighting about on a given day.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:34:39 PM PST

  •  With all exceptions. (0+ / 0-)

    This is a Republican-Republican race. It's one race in an off-off year. Half of it was disgust with Jindal.

    Even so.

    The headlines about this November were all about a Republican Governor being RE-elected in a blue state.

    The tendency -- and this is an off-off year with damn few elections -- was somewhat blue. Okay, NYC was only a restoration of the status quo. Bloomberg was the exception. but several small cities went from Republican to Democratic, and the first Virginia Governor to win in the same party as the sitting president in 40 years came in in a Democratic apparent sweep in Virginia.

    We are definitely not home safe yet, but we are looking like we're ahead.

  •  A vote against Jindal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bywaterbob, Larin

    In my parish McAllister got 67% of the vote.  He is no moderate.  In addition to Duck's endorsement, people were also voting against Jindal in this election. Everybody knew Riser was Jindal's man, and this election was the only way we had to vote against Jindal.  I can't stomach any of them, but I must say I was ecstatic with the outcome.  

    Mark Lippman, the 5th district is much more than just the farming parishes near the Mississippi River in NE Louisiana.  I'm afraid we are a long way from turning this district blue. People here have been voting against their own interests for a LONG time.

  •  ACA, 2014, Jindal, etc (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The reality is that in the 2014 mid terms the real issue will again be the economy, will be humming along with the Dow over 17000, the S&P near or above 1900, jobless rate below 6.8 and the ACA doing what is is supposed to do in spite of the futile attempts by a bunch of treasonist bastards to undermine it. Jindal is worthless. Louisianans can't wait to get rid of him. No longer RNC poster boy. Boehner should decide not to seek re-election so as to avoid an unbelievable embarrassment for himself and a sickening crying spell for us. We are about a year away but not too soon for a prediction: Sen. r's pick up 2; house Dems. pick up 23.

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