Writing in The Washington Post, journalists Erica Werner and David Weigel point to a surprising new trend: Republicans trying to stave off midterm defeat by mimicking traditionally Democratic stances. “A growing number of Republican candidates are sounding a lot like Democrats as they face midterm elections, co-opting Democratic talking points on issues from health care to education funding to the #MeToo movement,” Werner and Weigel write.
Many Republican politicians now say they support making insurance companies take people with pre-existing conditions, despite the party’s push to repeal Obamacare. In practice, this is an unsustainable position, since protecting those with pre-existing conditions combined with repealing Obamacare would lead to skyrocketing costs for both consumers and the federal government.
“Health care is not the only issue where Republicans are offering proposals that are more typically heard from Democrats,” Werner and Weigel write. “After a national wave of teacher walkouts, a number of Republican governors and gubernatorial candidates are running on promises of maintaining or increasing education spending. These include Walker in Wisconsin, Gov. Doug Ducey in Arizona and Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt in Nevada.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz has jumped on both bandwagons, saying he favors protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions and also arguing that, “It’s time to give teachers and other public servants fair retirement pay.”
Some Republicans are also hoping to minimize the gender gap by borrowing from the language of #MeToo. As Werner and Weigel note, “And amid fallout from the Kavanaugh hearing, with surveys showing a growing gender gap that favors Democrats among women voters, Republicans in a number of races have portrayed Democrats as hypocrites on women’s rights by pointing to allegations that they have committed abuse or sexual assault—in each case, borrowing the language of the #MeToo movement.”