Republicans Didn't Convince Many People That They Were Really Trying To Fix Health Care

And more of the latest polling news.
The sun begins to rise behind the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
The sun begins to rise behind the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.

Americans are about twice as likely to think that Senate Republicans introduced their health care bill to make an effort at political grandstanding as they are to see the legislation as a legitimate attempt to improve health care, according to a new Monmouth University poll.

Just 21 percent of Americans say they think the bill introduced by Senate Republicans is mostly a genuine attempt to fix the health care system, finds the survey ― which was conducted before the legislation’s latest iteration was sunk on Monday night. Another 44 percent say Republicans want to pass the bill largely so they can claim a political victory, with 30 percent saying both reasons apply equally.

Just 42 percent of Republicans say they believe their party’s bill was primarily intended to reform health care rather than to score political points.

Public reactions to the GOP’s attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare this year have largely ranged from unenthusiastic to apoplectic. A new HuffPost/YouGov survey, also taken before the the latest developments, found that only 27 percent of Americans wanted Republicans to keep working to find the votes to pass a health care bill, while 45 percent wanted them to move on.

Eighteen percent of Americans favored the House’s American Health Care Act, according to the poll, and 15 percent favored the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act. (Just one-third say they had even a somewhat good understanding of the differences between the bills.)

Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups:

Other recent surveys have similarly found little support for any form of an Obamacare repeal bill.

In the aftermath of the Senate bill’s collapse, President Donald Trump said Republicans should “let Obamacare fail,” and that “I’m not going to own it,” according to The Associated Press.

But that may prove politically risky. Three-quarters of the country believes Trump and his administration should “do what they can to make the law work,” according to a spring Kaiser Family Foundation poll, with just 19 percent saying the White House should “do what they can to make the law fail so they can replace it later.” Even Republicans say by a 13-point margin that the Trump administration should try to make the Affordable Care Act successful.

And if the law fails, most Americans say, they’ll hold the president responsible. Fifty-nine percent of the public believes Trump and congressional Republicans are responsible for any problems with the Affordable Care Act going forward, a June KFF poll found.

Many Republicans, meanwhile, will likely be disappointed if their party fails to uphold their promise to scrap Obamacare. While It’s not yet clear to whom they’ll will attribute the Senate repeal bill’s failure, a HuffPost/YouGov poll taken after an earlier version of the AHCA failed to pass the House in March offers some hints, finding that Trump voters largely blamed Congress, but not the president himself.


NATIONAL POLLS SHOW TRUMP MIRED IN UNPOPULARITY -- HuffPollster: “There’s little good news for President Donald Trump in a blizzard of new polling data published over the last few days….The bleakness of the latest round of numbers on Trump is all the more remarkable since Americans’ economic views, traditionally among the strongest drivers of presidential approval, are relatively optimistic….About the best news for the president is that his numbers have remained relatively stable since June. While the demise of the first round of the GOP’s unpopular health care bill appeared to take a toll on his numbers, the latest debate has shown little sign of doing so. The ongoing controversy over the Trump administration’s relationship with Russia has also done seemingly little to move the needle….Trump took office with substantially lower approval than his predecessors, and the intervening months have done nothing to improve that difference.” [HuffPost, full results from WashPost/ABCBloomberg/Selzer and Monmouth]

Historically low ratings ― Harry Enten: “Trump’s early-term unpopularity is unusual. In the decades since World War II, the average first-term president before Trump had an approval rating of 62 percent on his 175th day in office, 23 percentage points higher than Trump’s. Only two other presidents have had an approval rating south of 50 percent at this point in their terms, and only Gerald Ford, at 35 percent, had an approval rating lower than Trump’s….Trump, who was historically unpopular as a presidential candidate, has become more so as his term has gone on: His net approval rating was slightly positive (+4) when he first took office, and he averaged a net approval rating of -2 over the first month of his term. That means his net approval rating has fallen 14 points since his first month in office, or a bit less than three points per month. Taken on its own, that decline isn’t surprising: Most presidents have a so-called honeymoon period in which their approval ratings are initially inflated but then start to drop once they start making official decisions.” [538]

Particularly low scores for temperament, not policy ― Jeffrey M. Jones: “Americans who disapprove of how Donald Trump is handling his job as president primarily base their views on his character and personality. By contrast, U.S. adults who disapproved of Barack Obama’s job performance in July 2009, during his first year in office, focused mainly on his policies and stances on issues. In mid-2001, Americans who disapproved of George W. Bush were significantly more likely to explain their views with broad or general negative evaluations of his job performance….These results make it abundantly clear that Trump’s unique style, flouting of convention and non-normative patterns of White House behavior are driving his high disapproval ratings among the American public ― rather than disagreement with his policies or issue stances. The results also show that these same traits are not highly likely to be mentioned by those who approve of the job he is doing.” [Gallupmore on Trump from Frank Newport]

MOST THINK TRUMP JR.’S MEETING WAS INAPPROPRIATE, BUT FEW ARE CHANGING THEIR MINDS ON RUSSIA ― HuffPollster: “Most Americans believe it was inappropriate for Donald Trump Jr. to agree to meet with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer who was said to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds….A majority of poll respondents, 53 percent, said it was inappropriate for Trump Jr. to take the meeting. Just 22 percent considered it appropriate, with the remaining quarter unsure….Views about the Trump administration’s Russia connections remain deeply segmented along political lines, with Trump voters largely unbothered by the issue, Clinton voters almost universally outraged and the rest of the nation concerned, but paying relatively little attention. Even among Trump voters who think that the meeting was inappropriate or who aren’t sure about its propriety, just 24 percent consider the administration’s Russia ties to be even a somewhat serious problem.” [HuffPost]

‘OUTLIERS’ ― Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

- Americans still don’t like Congress. [Gallup]

- China is seen internationally as more of a leading economic power than the U.S. [Pew]

- David Byler questions whether Trump’s approval rating could serve as a ceiling for the GOP in 2018. [RCP]

- Andrew Gelman argues that the swings in Trump’s ratings are overstated. [WashPost]

- Amy Walter highlights the areas where Americans agree ― and disagree ― about democracy. [Cook Political]

- Shereen Marisol Meraji interviews former Census Bureau head John Thompson about the forecast for the 2020 census. [NPR]

- Adrian Gray charts “right direction/wrong track” polling against presidential approval. [@adrian_gray]

- Americans have some thoughts on characters from “Game of Thrones”... and what ice cream they might like. [Ipsos, SurveyMonkey]

- Americans also have some thoughts about hot dog condiments. [SSRS]

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Monmouth University surveyed 800 adults between July 13 and July 16, using live interviewers to reach both landlines and cell phones.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted July 12-14 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.



Health Care Reform Efforts In U.S. History