by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Some states with tight Senate races are seeing their Obamacare rates climbing next year even more than the average 22 percent increase announced by the Obama administration on Monday, as Republicans use the spikes to try to get the upper hand in a close battle for control of the chamber.
Two states with very tight Senate races are facing big increases: Pennsylvania with 53 percent and North Carolina with 40 percent. Incumbent Sens. Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Richard Burr in North Carolina are in close re-election battles.
In Illinois, another close Senate battle between Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth and incumbent GOP Sen. Mark Kirk, the rates will rise by up to 43 percent. While Duckworth is leading by about 7 points, according to RealClearPolitics, she could be hurt by the soaring premiums. …
… The National Senate Republican Committee pounced on the premium results, shooting off press releases pointing out support for the law from Democratic Senate candidates Katie McGinty and Maggie Hassan. McGinty is running against Toomey in Pennsylvania and Hassan against Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire.
The committee didn’t confirm whether it is producing any new ads highlighting the price spikes, but a spokeswoman said it would press the issue in the closing days of the election.