Both camps – President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s – can find something positive in the Supreme Court’s decision upholding most of the Affordable Care Act. That something is energy. “This is a real psychological shot in the arm” for Obama’s campaign, says David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He notes that Obama has not had much to cheer lately, and the national enthusiasm for his campaign does not match that of 2008:
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“So far, he hasn’t been able to (generate enthusiasm). This may help fire up the Democratic base for Obama.” “These sort of things tend to motivate the opposition more than they motivate the proponents,” says Chris Mooney, a political science professor with the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Springfield. However, Mooney says, Obama does have a sort of stamp of approval in the decision that nobody can take away. “When the Supreme Court rules on issues, there is a legitimizing effect for many people, because people think, ‘Oh, the Supreme Court said it was OK, it must be OK.’” One of Mooney’s IGPA colleagues agrees. “Obama has just an incredibly strong argument here in that he can point to a conservative chief justice as basically supporting his whole law,” says Jim Kuklinski, a political science professor at the Urbana-Champaign campus.