All-Star Panel: ObamaCare impact on future elections

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 5, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: The big race is tonight. Virginia, the polls closing at the top of the hour, and in New Jersey polls close at 8:00 p.m. eastern time.  Virginia, the governor's race there, on the issue of health care and how ObamaCare played, 48 percent support ObamaCare, 50 percent oppose. And those who support the law overwhelming are voting for Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat. Those who oppose it voting for Cuccinelli.

In New Jersey it's an interesting split there too, 49 percent support, 50 percent oppose. Like in Virginia, those who oppose the law overwhelmingly support Chris Christie and those who support it supporting Buono. One more interesting one from New Jersey, possible matchup in 2016.  If you vote for President Hillary Clinton, 49 percent, Chris Christie, the current governor who looks like he is heading towards re-election, 43 percent.

So with that we're back with the panel. Mara, the last one is interesting, obviously. But as you look to ObamaCare as a political issue not only this time but in 2014, what's the --

MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: Well, a lot of Republicans are talking about Virginia in terms of what if we hadn't had the shutdown, would there have been more focus on ObamaCare? What if the rollout problems had have happened a little bit earlier? Would you have had more time? It's the reason why Ken Cuccinelli closed in the end because he was the first attorney general to sue ObamaCare.

I actually think that ObamaCare as an issue in a governor's race, its utility is limited for Republicans. I think in 2014 in Senate races where you have got these vulnerable red state Democrats who all voted for ObamaCare, then it's going to be a real issue. And you can see that Democrats are already nervous about that. But I think the governor's race, it has less of an impact.

BAIER: You could see if it all had happened earlier that the attorney general who first went after ObamaCare could have probably capitalized more. We don't know how it's going to pan out tonight. But it does seem like it closed in recent days.

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: He might win and if he loses but loses by say three or fewer, he is going to say I ran out of time, that the shift was underway and the shift was catalyzed by this. Governors don't have much to do with ObamaCare but the brand of the Democratic Party is bound up with this absolutely now.

BAIER: And the government shutdown happened obviously just a week before all of this transpired. Your thoughts on ObamaCare as a political issue not only 2014 but beyond?

DR. BEN CARSON: Well, I think we're looking at something that's migratory right now. It's just going to continue to pick up steam. Recognize that, you know, a lot of physicians are not going to want to be involved. There was a report out within the last 48 hours that a lot of the top hospitals are not participating in a lot of the ObamaCare. And that's going to cause a tremendous amount of distress for all kinds of people, not to mention the fact that when the employer mandate disappears, we have got huge problems.  So, it's going to be --

BAIER: The problems being, doctor, that some employers will choose to pay the fine, the penalty --

CARSON: Exactly.

BAIER: -- instead of providing the insurance.

CARSON: Right. So there will be a lot more people who are now affected by the broken promise.

BAIER: Do you agree?

WILL: I absolutely agree. But again, there is a question here can Democrats separate themselves from the basic message of ObamaCare is you are not very competent. We're smarter than you are. Be quiet and eat your spinach.

BAIER: Hillary Clinton said that this was a debacle about the Affordable Care Act, but it was passed by two houses of Congress, signed by the president, affirmed by the Supreme Court. People need to be able to judge whether they like it or not in the midterm election, in other words, give it a chance.

LIASSON: They will.

BAIER: It's that the message?

LIASSON: Well, they will be judging it. And this is the first election -- ObamaCare has been an issue now in three elections, but this -- well, at least two. But this is the first one where we are actually having a referendum on the real thing, not just the plan or the theory.

BAIER: 2014, things to come. Thank you very much, Dr. Carson. Thank you. That's it for the panel. But stay tuned for a look at the president perfecting his golf game.

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