The GOP's defunding strategy on Obamacare won't work — and could even backfire, strengthening President Obama and alienating independents, warns former Bush administration deputy chief of staff Karl Rove.
"The desire to strike at Obamacare is praiseworthy," he writes in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
"But any strategy to repeal, delay, or replace the law must have a credible chance of succeeding or affecting broad public opinion positively."
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Rove, who helped organize the political action committee, American Crossroads, noted the "epic gains" Republicans made in 2010, when they had control of more legislative chambers than at any time since 1928 — and won more than half of the gubernatorial races in both 2009 and 2010. He said those successes were the result of independents voting Republican.
And independents remain key, he said.
"Today, independents look more like Republicans than Democrats, especially when it comes to healthcare," Rove wrote, pointing out that a new Crossroads GPS healthcare policy survey in 10 key states showed that 60 percent of independents oppose President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
"If this holds through 2014, then Republicans should receive another big boost in the midterms," he said.
But there is one issue on which independents part ways with the GOP.
Some 58 percent oppose defunding the Affordable Care Act if that risks even a temporary government shutdown compared to just 30 percent who don't oppose defunding the unpopular law, according to the poll.
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