There's no question that ObamaCare isn't the political golden ticket that Republicans had once hoped it would be. 

Though the law's poll numbers remain poor, the insurance exchanges managed to recover this spring and the issue was all but absent from summer headlines.


That doesn't mean that there won't be some competitive House races where outrage over the Affordable Care Act could shape the outcome, though.

In several campaigns around the country, Republicans are still hoping that ObamaCare helps them eke out a win.

Here are five vulnerable Democratic incumbents to watch whose chances could be hurt by the healthcare law.


Georgia’s 12th District : Rep. John BarrowJohn Jenkins BarrowRepublican wins Georgia secretary of state runoff to replace Kemp The most important runoff election is one you probably never heard of Our democracy can’t afford to cut legal aid services from the budget MORE (D)

As one of the House's longest surviving Blue Dog Democrats, Barrow is a perpetual GOP target.

This year, he's up against Augusta businessman Rick Allen, who introduced himself as a candidate who will "gut ObamaCare" in his latest television ad.

Allen also sought to tie Barrow to the healthcare law, noting that the five-term incumbent split with Republicans 28 times on votes to repeal, replace or dismantle it.

The trouble is, Barrow never supported the reform in 2010, and Allen can only get so far by suggesting he did.

But the GOP hopeful has help from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has spent years blasting Barrow for each vote that didn't fully undermine the law.

It's Georgia's only competitive House race and both sides are spending heavily, though political handicappers still give Barrow the edge.

"I think [Republicans] have to make a different case than they're making now," Barrow told The Hill on Wednesday.

"They're making the same case they've made five times in a row."


New Hampshire’s 1st District: Rep. Carol Shea Porter (D)

Shea Porter lost her seat in 2010 because of her support for ObamaCare, so it's not surprising that she's trying to get ahead of the issue this year.

The New Hampshire Democrat reportedly confronted President Obama in a meeting last August to say the law wasn't working for the Granite State.

Months later, she called for heads to roll at the administration after and several state exchanges failed to launch.

And she introduced legislation to extend a payment deadline for consumers unable to complete their applications because of the exchanges' technical problems.

The tide is turning for New Hampshire's marketplace, which started with one insurer offering plans and will have five next year.

But it may not be enough for Shea Porter after former Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) won his primary this week.

Guinta ousted her in 2010 and has already shown he's ready to use the healthcare law to motivate his base.


Arizona’s 1st and 2nd Districts: Reps. Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickHouse Democrats jam GOP with coronavirus bill Eleventh Democratic presidential debate to be held in Phoenix Arizona Democrat to get treatment for alcohol dependence after suffering fall MORE (D) and Ron BarberRonald (Ron) Sylvester BarberKavanaugh nomination a make or break moment to repeal Citizens United Latina Leaders to Watch 2018 Principles and actions mean more than Jeff Flake’s words MORE (D)

Broadly speaking, Arizona is not good territory for ObamaCare supporters.

The state's Democratic House members have consistently voted with Republicans to change or dismantle parts of the healthcare law.

The latest example came this week, when Rep. Bill Cassidy (D-La.) offered a bill that would allow insurers to continue offering non-compliant health plans to small businesses.

The measure would destabilize ObamaCare's small business exchange, according to analyses, but it still gained support from 25 Dems.

That group included Reps. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), who are both running Democratic-leaning toss-up races.

Barber was not a member when ObamaCare passed, but he was serving as a senior staff member for former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who supported the law.

Kirkpatrick, meanwhile, voted for the Affordable Care Act and lost her seat as a result in 2010.

That makes her a tough sell in the Flagstaff-based 1st district, which sided with Republicans in the last three presidential elections.

House GOP leaders showed they're dialed into the race this week by tapping Kirkpatrick's opponent, Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, to deliver the weekly Republican address.


California’s 7th District: Rep. Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraDemocrats ask Trump for evidence that medical supplies are available Pelosi stands firm amid calls to close Capitol Trump, Congress struggle for economic deal under coronavirus threat MORE (D)

Bera wasn't in Congress to vote for ObamaCare, but the law has weighed him down politically since before he won his first election.

A physician, Bera faced constant questions about ObamaCare before losing to Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) in one of 2010's most closely watched races.

After winning in 2012, he's up against former Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.), who is focused on making healthcare the center of yet another election cycle.

In one recent statement, Ose called ObamaCare an "absolute train wreck" and painted Bera's position on the law as "erratic" and confused.

Attacks like these are generally a tougher sell in California than in other parts of the country.

The Golden State was called one of ObamaCare's biggest success stories after its exchange beat expectations for 2014 enrollment.

But in Bera's suburban Sacramento district, the issue could turn out voters for Ose.