The ways in which the Romney-Ryan ticket beat Democrats on Medicare talking points are detailed in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.
Dan Senor and Peter Wehner say the Republicans won on one major issue, Medicare, despite losing the presidential election:
That was supposed to be impossible. Republicans were warned that if their nominee made even sympathetic noises about Medicare reform, it would be politically poisonous. Mitt Romney, to his great credit, ignored the warnings. He not only endorsed structural reforms for Medicare, he chose as his running mate the main congressional advocate for those reforms, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Romney and Ryan presented serious solutions to save Medicare from insolvency while President Barack Obama and the Democrats attacked their plans, refused to present proposals of their own, or even acknowledge Medicare’s funding issue.
The Romney-Ryan ticket ended up winning two groups highly likely to be impacted by Medicare reform: Voters age 65 and older (by 17 points) and voters age 45-64 (by four points).
Senor and Wehner argue this happened because Republicans finally went on the offensive when it came to Medicare.
The message was clear: Messrs. Romney and Ryan were the ones whose reforms would save Medicare, while doing nothing will eventually destroy it.
Fighting Democrats to a draw on Medicare—including the fact that Republicans retained comfortable control of the House—may well be seen one day as a key moment in American politics, when “Mediscare” attacks finally lost their potency. The campaign showed Republicans that it pays to deal with attacks head-on rather than run from them, that treating the American people in a mature fashion pays dividends, and that calm, persistent and well-reasoned arguments can overcome demagoguery.