Health Care Reform and State Elections

Health care reform is not, strictly speaking, much of an issue in the three main races being so closely watched this election eve. But it is certainly a factor.

Obamacare, as it is being called, has galvanized conservative activists and united Republicans, putting them in a far different position than a year ago at this time.

Even Dede Scozzafava, the dropout Republican candidate in that special election in upstate New York, was against the president's health care plans. But she stood with her party on little else, and her subsequent endorsement of the Democrat in the race would seem to validate conservative distrust of her.

Yet her departure from the race has triggered another round of finger-wagging warnings from the left and its friends in the media that the GOP is once again leaning too far right. One New York Times columnist even called the activists who came into the district to work against her "Stalinists."

So, let's look at some numbers: A poll out Monday finds only about 32 percent of Americans call themselves Republicans. About 38 percent say they are Democrats. But 40 percent of Americans in a poll out last week say they are conservative. Only 20 percent say they are liberal, with the rest declaring themselves moderate.

So which way should conservatives be leaning: Toward the 40 percent or toward the 20 percent?

No doubt which way Dede Scozzafava leaned. Were grassroots Republicans really foolish to abandon her?

Brit Hume is the senior political analyst for Fox News Channel.

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