NRCC - As Seniors Push Back, Carol Shea-Porter's Re-Election Hopes Fade

How to Alienate a Core Constituency with a Single Vote


Washington- To no one’s surprise, Carol Shea-Porter is already paying a heavy price for forcing her party’s unpopular healthcare bill through Congress and onto the American people. As Shea-Porter pursues her uphill climb toward re-election, a new report reveals that she may have already sealed her fate by alienating seniors, a key constituency.


“In other senior-heavy areas of the country, Republicans are trying to use Medicare cuts and other health-related issues to bludgeon Democrats.”


“Democrats face an uphill battle on the issue. In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, in March, 55% of respondents 65 or older agreed the health-care law was a ‘bad idea,’ versus 48% of the general voting population. Just 34% of seniors labeled it a ‘good idea,’ compared with 36% of all voters.” (Michael M. Phillips, “GOP Candidates Court Seniors Over Health Care,” Wall Street Journal, 4/22/10)


“Just a month after the Democrats’ healthcare takeover was signed into law, Carol Shea-Porter's vote is already coming back to haunt her,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Shea-Porter thought that she could get away with rubber-stamping a bill that slashed Medicare and could force seniors to find new healthcare plans, but it’s clear that key voters in New Hampshire feel differently. As Shea-Porter continues her re-election tailspin, there’s no doubt that she’ll look back on her vote to alienate New Hampshire seniors as the one that sealed her fate.”


Shea-Porter's total disregard for New Hampshire's seniors could spell the end of her time in Congress – especially since the district’s 78,000 seniors make up almost 12 percent of its population.

“[The healthcare bill] will also result in $500 billion in cuts to Medicare, and Democrats are having trouble explaining why those reductions won’t dilute care, said David Wasserman of The Cook Political Report.

“‘In the midterm scheme of things, the importance of senior voters goes way up, and that’s why healthcare has caused Democrats problems this year, and why they want to move on…’” (Ian Swanson, “Dems Eye Older Voters with Wall St. Reform,” The Hill, 4/21/10)