Pledge to repeal Democrats' healthcare reform has trouble getting signatures

A conservative pledge to repeal and replace the Democrats' healthcare reform law is struggling to find backers even though House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbying World 'Ready for Michelle' PACs urge 2020 run News Flash: Trump was never going to lock Clinton up MORE (R-Ohio) endorsed it earlier in the month.

Only two other GOP incumbents — Reps. Elton Gallegly (Calif.) and Mary Bono Mack (Calif.) — have signed the pledge, which Revere America, a Washington-based conservative group named after the 18th-century Boston patriot, sent to all incumbents and candidates this year.

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That brings the total number of supporters to 55, including 29 non-incumbent GOP candidates and 25 other-party contenders (mostly independents). There are more than 475 seats in contention between the two chambers this year.

One Democratic candidate has also signed the pledge — David Hancock is challenging 12-term Republican Rep. John Duncan in Tennessee's conservative 2nd district. Duncan has nearly $1.6 million on hand, according to the Center for Responsive Politics; Hancock hasn't raised or spent a dime. 

The election handicapper FiveThirtyEight puts Duncan's odds of winning at 100 percent.

Former GOP Gov. George Pataki (N.Y.), founder and chairman of Revere America, said the bipartisan backing is a good sign for repeal supporters. 

“We are pleased that a range of candidates are getting aboard the Repeal and Replace movement,” Pataki said in a statement. “We are counting on the new Members of the [next] Congress to step up and undo the damage done by the last Congress.  

"Revere America," Pataki said, "is receiving signed pledges every day."

Last month, the group launched a seven-figure ad campaign targeting roughly a dozen Democrats from conservative-leaning districts who voted for the healthcare reform law. 

Still, repeal supporters have a difficult road ahead. Not only would repeal legislation face a likely presidential veto, but the most controversial provisions of the law — things like the individual insurance mandate — are inextricably linked to the most popular reforms, like the prohibition on denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

Critics want to scrap the former and keep the latter — but have never fully explained how they'd do it.

That is a conversation, BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbying World 'Ready for Michelle' PACs urge 2020 run News Flash: Trump was never going to lock Clinton up MORE said last month, for after the elections.