Today’s question:

Will passage of healthcare reform help or hurt politically vulnerable Democrats who voted yes? How will the bill affect Democrats who voted no?

Michelle Bernard, president of the Independent Women’s Forum, said:

Vulnerable Democrats Are In Trouble in November

A survey by the Independent Women’s Voice http://iwvoice.org/  of 35 swing districts suggests that Democrats who voted against the health care bill helped themselves with the average voter, while those who voted for it hurt themselves.  That survey found that 49% of voters said they would be more likely to vote for a Member who switched from a yes vote in November to a no vote, and 58% of voters said they would be more supportive of a Member who voted no both times.  In contrast, 61% of voters said they would be less likely to support a Member who switched from a no to a yes. 

Democrats have argued that the political damage from passing this bill-alienating independents and all of those who bought the idea of a new kind of politics and a real commitment to bipartisanship-will be offset by a more energized base. It seems unlikely, though, that in many of these districts there’s enough of a liberal base  to save these Members. Democrats should celebrate now because this victory may come at a steep cost.