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For GOP, health is only one battle on road to 2010 elections

Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2009

For Republicans, the Saturday vote on healthcare in the Senate was the first skirmish in a longer battle aimed at frustrating White House ambitions and ensuring that Democrats bear full responsibility for legislation the GOP sees as increasingly unpopular with Americans. With the 2010 election year looming, Republicans forced Democratic leaders to demonstrate that they can pull together a 60-vote majority for the bill. All 58 Democrats and the two independents allied with the party joined together, voting to avert a Republican filibuster that threatened to stall action. The defeat isn't likely to cause a fundamental rethinking in Republicans' strategy of delaying the bill and pointing to what they see as its flaws. Even if a bill ultimately passes, Republicans hope to delay that moment until well into 2010—when all seats in the House and one-third of those in the Senate will be contested.