I just had dinner with two people – one an old and trusted friend with a sophisticated knowledge of public policy, one a relative stranger with limited information – both of whom plan to vote for Carly Fiorina over Barbara Boxer this fall. For each of them, the Access to Care Act is an important reason. Their concerns were opposite; the stranger loves Medicare and fears that ACA will cut into Medicare spending, the friend has caught Peterson-itis and is convinced that Medicare is going to eat the GDP, and hates ACA for not cutting Medicare enough.
Similarly, the stranger thinks that extending the Social Security retirement age would be a crime, while the friend regards it as an obvious response to increased longevity.
The fact that they were voting for Fionina for opposite reasons didn’t bother either of them; the stranger has decided that all incumbents ought to replaced, and indeed offered John Boehner’s proposal to raise the retirement age as a reason to vote against Boxer. (All this while railing against “socialism.”)
Anecdote isn’t data, but the hint here is that the Repubilican strategy of obstruction plus obfuscation is, so far, working pretty well.