Conservative media falsely claim "Missouri" rejected health care reform

››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

Conservative media falsely claimed that the state of Missouri overwhelmingly rejected "Obamacare" because 71 percent of those who voted in the August 3 election supported a ballot measure rejecting the individual mandate in health care reform. In fact, the results were skewed "by a heavily Republican turnout in a relatively low-turnout primary."

Election results were "skewed" by high Republican turnout for competitive primary races

Election returns indicate that turnout favored Republicans. The election results from the Missouri Secretary of State show that only 35 percent of the voters for the Senate candidates took a Democratic ballot.

Kansas City Star: Republican candidates received "almost 65 percent of the votes cast." An August 4 Kansas City Star article noted: "The proposition's success was bolstered by a heavily Republican turnout in a relatively low-turnout primary. In the U.S. Senate race, for example, Republican candidates received almost 65 percent of the votes cast."

Politico: "Competitive Republican primaries" are "likely skewing support for the proposition" On August 4, Politico reported that the proposition passed in Missouri, then wrote "--BUT WAIT -- Missouri's ballots had more competitive Republican primaries than Democratic ones, likely skewing support for the proposition."

TIME: GOP primaries "practically [guarantee] a turnout heavily skewed against health care reform." Time reported on August 3:

Prop C is a gimme for the GOP base. In polls, Republicans strongly oppose Obamacare -- and Tuesday's primaries are far more interesting on the GOP side, practically guaranteeing a turnout heavily skewed against health care reform. Republicans barely need to raise more money to get out the vote.

St. Louis Today notes that the proposition had "no organized opposition." As a July 23 St. Louis Today article noted:

There is little doubt in Missouri political circles that Proposition C is going to pass.

The initiative has no organized opposition. The largest turnout among the two major parties on primary day is expected to be among Republicans, who have more hotly contested primaries, including the race for state auditor and a crowded field in the 7th Congressional District race.

NYT: "The referendum seemed not to capture the general population's attention." An August 4 New York Times article reported "The referendum, known as Proposition C, was seen as a first look at efforts by conservatives to gather and rally their forces over the issue. In the end, though, the referendum seemed not to capture the general population's attention. Instead, Republican primary voters (who had the most competitive races on Tuesday) appeared to play a crucial role in the vote's fate."

Conservative media falsely suggest election results represent statewide attitudes toward health care reform

Fox Nation: "Obamacare Mandate Defeated by Missouri Voters." Fox Nation linked to a FoxNews.com article with the headline "Obamacare Mandate Defeated by Missouri Voters." From the Fox Nation:

National Review Online calls election "Missouri's July Bellwether." In an August 3 National Review Online post, titled "Missouri's July Bellwether," Daniel Foster wrote that "perhaps the most interesting news comes out of Missouri. No, not the easy victory of Rep. Roy Blunt in the Republican Senate primary. I'm talking about the referendum on the individual mandate in Obamacare -- the first of its kind." Foster failed to note the party identification disparity in the results, instead writing, "They say Missouri is a -- perhaps the - bellwether state. If so, the Democrats had better start typing up résumés. At time of posting, support for the the [sic] measure stood at between 75 and 80 percent."

Big Government: "Show Me State Shows Obamacare the Door - In a Rout!" In an August 3 Big Government post, titled "Show Me State Shows Obamacare the Door -- In a Rout!", Jim Hoft wrote: "Prop C passes in Missouri! Over 70% of voters reject the democrat's nationalized health care plan." Hoft noted that "Republicans today were out in force to vote in the primaries. This likely helped Proposition C in Missouri," but repeatedly suggested the decision was universal, saying "Missouri rejects the Pelosi-Obama Rationed Health Care Plan," and "Missouri showed Obamacare the door." Hoft also posted this blog on Gateway Pundit.

Carlson: "An overwhelming no, that's what Missouri voters are saying about Obama's health care plan." On the August 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson claimed "An overwhelming no, that's what Missouri voters are saying about Obama's health care plan," and asked "[W]hat does Missouri's referendum mean for the rest of the country?"

Doocy: "Is the President's health care law unraveling?" On Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy claimed that "Missouri voters overwhelmingly reject the president's health care plan," and asked: "is the President's health care law unraveling?" Fox Business host Stuart Varney responded by saying, "unraveling may be a little bit strong," but later said it is "unraveling politically more than anything else," citing the recent decision by a federal judge in Virginia not to dismiss Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's lawsuit challenging the health care reform law.

Doocy later added: "[Y]esterday, in the state of Missouri, the show-me state, they effectively said show me where it says that the federal government can mandate that I buy something, it's not there. Seventy percent of Missourians said we want that thrown out."

Ingraham: "If anything was a bellwether, this referendum on Obamacare was devastating." Later on Fox & Friends, guest Laura Ingraham said: "If anything was a bellwether, this referendum on Obamacare was devastating."

Hemmer: "Missouri voters sending a message to Washington, the first state to reject a key part of the new health care law." On the August 4 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Bill Hemmer claimed "Missouri voters sending a message to washington, the first state to reject the key part of the new health care law at the ballot box. Seventy-one percent, and last night's referendum, passing a measure basically allowing the state to ignore that government mandate to buy health insurance."

Malkin: "The revolt against Obamacare: Missouri opts out." In an August 4 post, Michelle Malkin wrote "The other day, it was Virginia and Colorado moving forward with their efforts to protect their citizens against Obamacare coercion. Last night, Missouri voters voted with their feet."

Hot Air: "Missouri pops the ObamaCare-media bubble." In an August 4 Hot Air post, Ed Morrissey wrote "One meme had materialized over the last couple of weeks that ObamaCare had begun to get more popular with voters ... That meme died in Missouri, where almost three-quarters of the voters who came to the polls cast votes for a largely symbolic measure repudiating one of ObamaCare's key provisions."

Drudge: "Blow to O: MO says No." On August 4, the Drudge Report linked to a St. Louis Today article with the headline "Blow to O: MO Says No." From the Drudge Report:

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.