Did Obamacare cost Democrats the House? The GOP response (in one image)

October 23, 2013

Earlier on Post Politics, we noted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) assertion that Democrats didn't lose the House in 2010 because of Obamacare.

"I don't even buy into the idea that we lost the election because of health care," Pelosi said before pointing to another vote: "One of the most damaging votes that our members had to take was the TARP (bailout)."

Republicans disagree with Pelosi's statement — vehemently.

Perhaps the best illustration of the GOP's argument comes from Mike Shields, who is now chief of staff at the Republican National Committee but who ran House Republicans' ad campaign in 2010.

Back in 2010, the Shields-led National Republican Congressional Committee's independent expenditure unit ran polls asking people their greatest hesitation about reelecting their Democratic member of Congress.

Here's what they said, in the form of a wordcloud:

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For what it's worth, we squinted pretty hard but couldn't find the word "bailout" or "TARP." We also couldn't find "cap and trade" — a climate change vote that some have argued was costly.

Of course, Pelosi's argument was a bit more nuanced than that. She argued that the TARP vote is what actually created the tea party, which helped the GOP make huge gains in 2010.

But as Election Day approached, it's pretty clear that "health care" was much more on the minds of people unseating House Democrats than were bailouts.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Sean Sullivan · October 23, 2013