Chris Good at The Atlantic:
Since even before President Obama signed the Democratic health care reform bill into law, federal elections have been examined as potential referendums on that bill. Most notably, the dramatic turn in Massachusetts, when Scott Brown defeated Martha Coakley to steal Democrats 60-seat supermajority, was pushed as a rejection of health reform by voters.But now voters in a true bellwether state–Missouri, which votes for the next president more often than any other state (except in 2008)–have gone to the polls and registered their opinions directly on the new law. Last night, Missourians passed Proposition C, a measure to ban the federal mandate that individuals must purchase health insurance.The margin was overwhelming: Missourians voted 71% to 29% in favor of the measure, and against the individual mandate.On its face, this looks like a clear victory for those who oppose health reform–proof, once and for all, that voters really don’t like the new bill.
Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit:
WOW! The Show Me State showed Obamacare the door tonight.
Over 70% of Missouri voters rejected Obamacare by passing Prop c.
It’s too bad local KMOV St. Louis Channel 4 could not find any one who voted for the proposition.
David Boaz at Cato:
Polls show continuing opposition to the Obama-Reid-Pelosi health care overhaul. It’s constitutionally dubious. And now, in the only popular vote on the bill, it received a full 29 percent of the vote. Just maybe this wasn’t a good idea.
Hugh Hewitt at Townhall:
The overwhelming rejection of Obamacare by Missouri voters –71% of the Show Me State voters said no to Obamacare– is an enormous story, one that ought to dominate the MSM today and through the week. Obamacare hasn’t gained fans –it has gained committed activist enemies who will punish the Democrats who jammed it down the country’s throat. Those same activists are listening to GOP candidates who pledge to repeal and replace the disaster for American health care.
If anything, this shows that opposition to ObamaCare is growing, not receding, but that’s probably not what actually happened. While general-population and registered-voter samples may have seen a bit of softening to ObamaCare opposition, those aren’t the people turning out to vote this year. Even Rasmussen may be underestimating the power of ObamaCare repeal in its likely-voter turnout, as their last poll on this question in Missouri clearly underestimated (in an indirect survey, of course) the results for this election.
Bear in mind that over 315,000 Democrats turned out to cast ballots in the primary that nominated Robin Carnahan, while over 577,000 Republicans hit the polls. That is about a 65/35 split — which means that a significant amount of Democrats either supported the ballot measure repudiating ObamaCare, or didn’t bother to cast a vote to defend the program. Actually, Prop C got more votes than the combined voting in both Senate primaries — which tells us something even more about the passion in the electorate.
Democrats may have to hit the panic button after seeing the results from this swing state. ObamaCare set fire to the electorate last year, and that may be an inferno for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in November.
Peter Wehner at Commentary:
Symbolic is one way to describe Tuesday’s vote; ominous (for the Democrats) is another.
This is yet one more electoral manifestation of the dismal polling numbers the Democrats have been facing for many months now. We saw rising popular opposition to ObamaCare throughout last summer, which many liberals ignored or ridiculed. Then came the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey and the Senate election Massachusetts. Since then the opposition to ObamaCare specifically, and to Obama more generally, has increased; as a result we saw the 40-plus point trouncing in Missouri, a margin far higher than most people anticipated.
It is hard to overstate the toxicity of the Obama agenda. Losing a net total of 65 or more Democratic House seats is now possible (if not yet likely). We are less than 100 days away from what looks to be an inflection point, one of those rare mid-term elections that altar the trajectory of American politics.
It’s unclear where things go from here with regard to this law. Missouri is not one of the states that has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government to strike down the health care law and, given that it’s Attorney General is a Democrat, it’s unlikely that they will. Moreover, given that this referendum was on the ballot during a primary dominated by Republicans, the political impact of the victory for the anti-ObamaCare crowd is somewhat muted. It’s a victory, but not really a very important or significant one.