(CNN) – This year’s first day of reckoning for President Barack Obama’s signature domestic initiative is fast approaching. The second is seven-plus months away.
The big question: Will the math on the first have anything to do with the math on the second?
March 31 is the first benchmark: the first big enrollment deadline for what Democrats prefer to call the Affordable Care Act. The second is Election Day in November.
The administration is all but certain to fall short of its stated enrollment goal of 7 million. But after a disastrous initial rollout, crossing the 6 million mark by the March 31 deadline appears within reach, and the White House will make the case that it is a policy success that leaves the program on a firm footing.
But whether the improving numbers can be used to reshape the political climate as it relates to the health care law depends on whether Democrats on the ballot this year in competitive races have the courage to more forcefully rebut the Republican argument that the health care law is a disaster.
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