Intercept Chief: Democrats’ attention to Affordable Care Act in Barrett hearings part of larger election strategy

Ryan Grim, the Washington, D.C., bureau chief of the online news website The Intercept, said Tuesday that Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are hoping to rally support from voters ahead of next month’s general election by focusing on questions surrounding the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings this week. 

Grim said on Hill.TV’s “Rising” that because the Supreme Court will hear a case on the ACA the week after the November election, Democrats focusing their questioning on the legislation at this week’s hearing could be an effective electoral strategy. 

“The biggest success that Democrats had in 2017 was saving the ACA from repeal and they saw how that brought so many volunteers, so much energy out into the field and then helped carry them to their majority in the House in 2018,” Grim explained. 

“They’re trying to make the most electorally out of this as they can and you’re seeing Senate races tighten all across the country: South Carolina, Kansas, Alaska, Iowa,” he added. “All of these places are now competitive that weren’t before, and that’s what [Sen.] Chuck Schumer [D-N.Y.] cares about more than anything else.” 

On Tuesday, the Cook Political Report shifted Senate races in Georgia, Texas and Alaska, all with Republican incumbents, toward Democrats. 

While previous polling in South Carolina showed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison neck-and-neck, a Morning Consult poll released Tuesday showed Graham ahead of Harrison by 6 percentage points.

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