Ending Spending, a conservative outside group dedicated to, well, ending (government)spending, is running an ad in New Hampshire that will be replicated endlessly by Republican candidates and groups in the 2014 midterm election.
The ad, which was produced by GOP media consultant Larry McCarthy, hits all of the high notes. It uses footage of Shaheen using the "if you like your insurance you can keep it" line while noting on screen that President Obama was given the "lie of the year" by PolitiFact for saying the same thing. A narrator points out that 20,000 New Hampshire residents have had their insurance canceled and that the Affordable Care Act offers only a single provider on the state's individual market. The ad ends with this dagger of a line: "Next November, if you like your Senator, you can keep her. If not, you know what to do." Oomph.
(Shaheen, to her credit, is using the Ending Spending ad buy to raise money. "The right-wing Super PACs are desperate to take back the Senate – and they know that to do that they must win in New Hampshire," she wrote in a fundraising appeal sent Tuesday afternoon.)
The Ending Spending ad can be replicated in virtually every single state where an endangered Democratic Senator (or House member) is running. Find footage of said member praising Obamacare, followed by noting the "lie of the year" award and then follow it up with how many people in the state/district had their policies canceled because of the ACA.
The potential ubiquity of the ad is matched by its potential power. Remember that more than six in ten registered voters in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll disapprove of President Obama's handling of health care -- including an eye-popping 50 percent who disapprove strongly. (Eighty-eight percent of Republicans and 70 percent of independents disapprove of Obama handling of the health care law.) And, nearly half (47 percent) of voters said that Obamacare is making the health care system worse while just 19 percent said the ACA had made things better.
Add it all up and you have a very scary situation for Shaheen -- and any other Democrat, which is almost all of them, on the record supporting the ACA. Get used to this ad. You are going to see it thousands of times -- in various forms -- before 2014 is over.