I have a lot of nits to pick with Danny Westneat's post-election analysis, not the least of which being the unstated Part II of his thesis: If in fact, as Danny says, the Republicans "could've, would've, should've" won the election had they not "botched it, big time" by being the God Loves Rape-Babies Party or something, it kinda-sorta implies that Democrats had nothing to do with their own victory. Certainly, Danny's column doesn't give them any credit.
Yes, Republicans contributed greatly to their own defeat, but the Democrats put up strong candidates, campaigned strategically, and conducted a helluva GOTV effort. And many of them won their elections while being substantially outspent.
But my bigger nit is with Danny's presentation of public perceptions of Obamacare:
And then this contrary factoid: Here in the supposed Soviet of Washington, 53 percent of voters told exit pollsters they want to scrap either all or parts of the health-care-reform law. Only 41 percent said they want to keep it or expand it.
[...] Remember, the voters of the state tend to agree with McKenna about the health-care law. But I bet they were looking for a more mature approach. Such as: How can we fix this law?
Except, I betcha, Danny, that the majority of state voters don't actually understand the health-care law. Explain to voters the provisions on pre-existing conditions and portability and keeping adult children on their policies, etc., and voters will support these overwhelmingly. Of course, they hate the mandate. Who likes a mandate? But if they actually understood how it worked, they wouldn't hate it so much.
Come back in four years—after Obamacare has been fully implemented—and poll voters about whether they want it repealed. It'll be a different story. That's why Republicans fought so hard to repeal it before voters could start enjoying its benefits.
That Republicans "could've" won this election, I don't dispute. That Rob McKenna "should've" won by misrepresenting to voters both Obamacare and the real-world impact of the lawsuit he pushed, strikes me as an awfully cynical analysis. Or awfully simple. Or just plain awful.