The prevailing media narrative is that Democrats seeking elected office in November will put as much distance as possible between themselves and the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. 

There’s plenty of reasons why this tack toward self-preservation seems prudent. According to a Pew Research Center/USA Today poll taken in early April, 50 percent of respondents had an unfavorable view of the 2010 law. Republicans also believe that the issue will resonate with voters in the mid-term elections and will allow the party to take control of the U.S. Senate. 

In Maine, Republicans believe the health care law could hurt Democratic candidate U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud. On April 15, the Republican Governors Association slammed Michaud for a variety of votes during his tenure in Congress, including 21 for the Affordable Care Act that the RGA says resulted in raising taxes.

But so far, Michaud isn’t running from his support of the ACA. Neither is U.S. Rep Allyson Schwartz, D-Penn.. Schwartz, who is in a competitive Democratic primary and seeking to unseat Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, released an ad in which she touts her support of the ACA, specifically a provision that prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Schwartz also criticizes Corbett for rejecting Medicaid expansion, a key component of the ACA that was designed to provide health coverage for low income Americans.

Schwartz’s ad is interesting because she’s championing the ACA and bucking the national narrative, but also because it may foreshadow the type of message that Michaud could run in Maine. Michaud has already blasted the governor for rejecting Medicaid expansion. While Republicans here are not yet convinced that the Medicaid votes in the Legislature will have much of an impact in November, they’ve taken precautions by messaging the issue as "Obamacare welfare expansion," which rolls two pejoratives into a big one.

Democrats in Maine also believe that Medicaid is a base mobilizer that may help the party offset Republicans’ usual turnout advantage in midterm elections. 

Nonetheless, Democrats in other states probably need more convincing that the ACA isn’t politically perilous, let alone an issue to champion. President Obama appears to agree. Last week, while touting new ACA enrollment numbers at a White House press conference, Obama slammed Republican governors for rejecting Medicaid expansion. 

“States that have chosen not to expand Medicaid for no other reason than political spite,” Obama said. “You’ve got 5 million people who could be having health insurance right now at no cost to these states – zero costs to these states. Other than ideological reasons they have chosen not to provide health insurance for their citizens. That’s wrong. It should stop. Those folks should be able to get health insurance like everybody else.”

Obama also said that Democrats should run on and defend the ACA, a statement that implies that many Democrats need more convincing. 

The Schwartz ad: