The Note: Can Democrats beat Trump’s GOP with Obamacare?

Trump has said the fight over Obamacare continues. 2018 candidates welcome that.

August 21, 2018, 6:00 AM

The TAKE with Rick Klein

Obamacare once sparked a political backlash that cost Democrats control of a chamber of Congress.

Eight years later, it just might be what gives them a fighting chance at taking another chamber back.

The political potency of health care will be on fresh display in West Virginia on Tuesday. President Donald Trump is making his sixth visit to the state as president, as he seeks to oust an incumbent Democrat who wants his campaign to be about saving Obamacare.

Sen. Joe Manchin is attacking his GOP opponent, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, for his attempt to get Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions guarantee ruled unconstitutional. Manchin says 800,000 West Virginians could lose health care if the Trump administration effort – joined by 20 state attorneys general - succeeds.

Sen. Joe Manchin looks on during a news conference to discuss the national opioid crisis, on Capitol Hill, June 27, 2017, in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images, FILE

Tellingly, Manchin’s arguments are being echoed by Democrats in tough re-election fights in states including Missouri, North Dakota, and West Virginia. Trump has said the fight over Obamacare continues – and the men and women he’s trying to defeat are welcoming that.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Democratic women are poised to make history again on Tuesday.

The frontrunner in Wyoming’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, Mary Throne, could be the tenth Democratic woman nominated in a governor’s race this year. That number would set a record for the two major political parties.

Throne, a former state representative and minority leader, is facing two other Democrats in the primary. She says she is running to protect public education, invest in infrastructure and stabilize the local government budget and spending.

Of course, Wyoming is a deep-red Republican stronghold. Should Throne win her primary Tuesday night, she will likely be considered the underdog almost instantly in the general election.

The GOP primary field is jam-packed with five men and another woman, a lawyer and state rights advocate, Harriet Hageman.

Nationwide, Republicans have nominated four women in governors’ races this year, compared to nine for Democrats. Both parties have more women on gubernatorial primary ballots still to come.

The TIP with Elizabeth McLaughlin

While the president's call to cancel the military parade he wanted was abrupt, the details of how he decided have been slow to surface.

Pentagon spokesperson Col. Rob Manning acknowledged Monday that nobody at the Pentagon had informed Trump of the latest estimates for the November 10 event beforehand -- or of the range of options prepared.

"The president was not briefed by any member of the Department of Defense on any cost associated with the parade," Manning told Pentagon reporters, before referring questions to the White House, which didn’t respond to an ABC News request for comment.

Defense Secretary James Mattis introduces Vice President Mike Pence before he announces the Trump Administration's plan to create the U.S. Space Force by 2020 at the Pentagon, Aug. 9, 2018, in Arlington, Virginia.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE

So, the president apparently canceled the parade he ordered either after seeing news reports about a new $92 million estimate, or after a member of his staff told him about new cost figures but didn't inform or check with the DoD.


  • Jurors in the Paul Manafort trial begin their fourth day of deliberations at 9:30 a.m.
  • The president meets with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley before traveling to West Virginia for a campaign rally Tuesday night.
  • The president’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is expected to meet with at least five Democratic senators as well as moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivers a speech on ending corruption in Washington at the National Press Club at 10 a.m.
  • ABC News will provide updated results of the Alaska and Wyoming primary elections throughout the evening.

    “Let's face it, most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media than some adults.” - First lady Melania Trump at a cyberbullying summit outside Washington, D.C., Monday.


    ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Tuesday morning's episode features ABC News Chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas with the latest on where things stand in the Manafort trial. And, ABC News’ Chris Vlasto discusses why some politicians are concerned by a newly-released memo, which shows some of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s interactions while working on the Ken Starr investigation.


    High drama in low-profile Alaska, Wyoming gubernatorial races. Voters in Alaska and Wyoming head to the polls Tuesday, states that offer a look at the role of self-funders in the midterm cycle and the enduring power of political dynasties. (John Verhovek)

    Nazi labor camp guard arrested by ICE, deported to Germany: Authorities. A man who authorities believe is the last known Nazi collaborator living in the U.S. has been arrested and deported to Germany. (Tara Palmeri)

    Kavanaugh urged graphic questions to President Clinton about Lewinsky affair. “IS IT TOO GRAPHIC?” Kavanaugh asked in an Aug. 31, 1998, memo to other lawyers in the Office of Independent Counsel, run by Kenneth Starr. “SHOULD IT BE MORE GRAPHIC (kidding)?” The memos detailing the Supreme Court nominees questions emerge as Democrats prepare to grill Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing next month about his views on the extent to which presidents should be subjected to investigative scrutiny – especially in light of the possibility that question could shortly come before the Supreme Court. (Devin Dwyer)

    EPA's response to Obama climate policy includes fewer restrictions on coal plants. The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday is expected to formally announce its replacement for the Clean Power Plan, a signature policy designed to fight climate change that was supported by President Barack Obama. (Stephanie Ebbs)

    McGahn does not believe he incriminated Trump in Mueller interviews: Sources. “He did not incriminate him,” attorney William Burck wrote in an email to Trump's lawyers, described to ABC News by sources with knowledge of the email. (Katherine Faulders)

    Papadopoulos could decide to withdraw guilty plea this week, wife says. George Papadopoulos, the embattled former foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump’s campaign, is strongly considering backing away from the agreement he struck with special counsel Robert Mueller that led him to plead guilty to lying to the FBI, his wife told ABC News. (Matthew Mosk)

    Trump taunts former CIA director to sue over revoked security clearance. Labeling former CIA director John Brennan "the worst CIA Director in our country’s history" in a tweet, President Donald Trump on Monday challenged Brennan to file a lawsuit over the president's stripping of his security clearance last week. (Jordyn Phelps)

    Trump calls on Hispanic-American immigration officer to speak, saying he 'speaks perfect English.' In introducing the officer to speak about his role in an operation in which 78 undocumented immigrants were arrested, Trump – seemingly trying to encourage him – noted the officer “speaks perfect English.” The smiling officer thanked Trump as he stood beside him at the lectern but made no comment on the president's remark. (Alexander Mallin)

    Trump goes after Mueller, calling him 'disgraced and discredited' and his investigators 'thugs.' The tweets – of which there were three in total on Monday – were sparked by a report that his White House counsel, Don McGahn, has been cooperating extensively with the special counsel's investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible links to Trump associates. (Meghan Keneally and Nataly Pak)

    First lady Melania Trump speaks out against cyberbullying. President Donald Trump may be notorious for using his Twitter handle to bully and insult, but that’s not deterring first lady Melania Trump from speaking out against cyberbullying. (Jordyn Phelps)

    US Navy hospital ship to head to Colombia amid Venezuelan humanitarian crisis. The U.S. is sending a Navy hospital ship off the shores of Colombia this fall to provide urgent medical care for Venezuelan refugees. (Elizabeth McLaughlin)

    Will backing Trump’s Supreme Court pick help Or hurt red-state Democrats? FiveThirtyEight analyzes a recent poll that’s a point in favor of the argument that some red-state Senate Democrats have more to lose by voting for Kavanaugh than by voting against him and risking a loss of Republican support.

    Who is John W. Dean and why is he back in the limelight? The New York Times explains the history of Dean, a former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon who was blasted in a tweet from the president Monday, and obstruction of justice cases against U.S. presidents.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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