As for the president, Smith says it's very consequential that Obama's signature law was not overturned.
"When you're running for president as the incumbent, it's really a judgment on your performance in office," Smith says. "And the economic issues haven't been really good--this can be the one thing he can point to as a significant accomplishment."
Obama tried to downplay the politics of the decision in his statement following the ruling and pledged to work with those who don't like parts of the law.
"I respect the concerns that millions of Americans have shared," he said. "I know a lot of coverage throughout this healthcare debate has focused on what it means politically. Well, it should be pretty clear by now that I didn't do this because it was good politics. I did it because I believed it was good for the country. I did it because I believed it was good for the American people."
Ultimately, Smith says more time will need to pass before it becomes clear how the decision impacts the White House race.
"What we're going to have to see is how both campaigns take advantage of it, make arguments that are both logically plausible and more importantly are easy to sell to their supporters," he says.
Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.
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