Affordable Care Act Could Benefit Both Presidential Candidates
Baltimore-area pundits weigh in on who they think has the edge.
Local political analysts are divided on which presidential candidate will benefit more from the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act.
Adam Sheingate, an American politics professor at Johns Hopkins University, said President Barack Obama is likely to have the advantage over presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachachusetts.
Sheingate said that as long as the issue has the nation's attention—barring any other events that detract voters—Obama can use the decision to rally Democrats.
"Romney will use this decision to rally conservatives, but they were already mobilized in this campaign," Sheingate said. "For Obama, this is an opportunity to get back some of his base who have been disappointed in his progress so far."
Sheingate added that the Supreme Court's ruling on the act being constitutional gives Obama the chance to garner support from independent voters as well.
"This requires [Obama] to reach out and explain why health care reform is necessary," Sheingate said. "He can't win re-election without the independent voters."
Richard Vatz, a professor of political rhetoric at Towson University, counters that Romney can use the decision to energize his supporters by campaigning his intent to repeal the act in part or in its entirety.
"The bill is already rejected by large majorities in the polls, but when the Republican campaigns make the unanticipated—by supporters—high costs of Obamacare part of their economic argument as well, it could win them significant support in the 2012 elections," Vatz said.
Richard Katz, another political science professor at Johns Hopkins, said it's too early to determine the impact of the decision on the presidential campaign. He said the Supreme Court judges may still rewrite and revise the ruling.
"It's only been a day," Katz said.