POLITICS
04/06/2017 06:04 pm ET

Trump Voters Say They'd Side With Him Over Their Own Member Of Congress

But as the GOP's health care bill shows, reality can be more complicated.

Voters who backed President Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election overwhelmingly say they’d be likely to take his side in a dispute against various congressional factions, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds.

Sixty-eight percent of Tump voters say they’re more likely to support the president than congressional Republicans in a political dispute, compared to 9 percent who say they would back the legislators. Sixty-four percent of Trump voters say they’re more likely to support the president over their own district’s representative, and 72 percent say they’d back Trump over House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). 

Responses favored Trump even more heavily than in a previous poll, conducted just before he took office in January. In the earlier survey, 52 percent of Trump voters said they’d take his side over Republicans in Congress, compared to 11 percent who picked the legislators. Fifty-seven percent of Trump voters in that poll also said they’d back him over Ryan, with 8 percent in Ryan’s favor.

The question, of course, is a broad one, and the results don’t necessarily mean that it’s politically impossible for Republicans to break with their president.

One of the first case studies in how such a disagreement might actually play out comes from the fallout over the American Health Care Act, the GOP’s failed attempt at repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law. That effort didn’t play so cleanly in Trump’s favor.

Trump blasted Republicans who opposed the legislation. But while most of his voters were aware that the president backed AHCA, their own support was lukewarm at best. The bill was also deeply unpopular in the districts of many of the House Freedom Caucus members who opposed it, according to an analysis by conservative Republican pollsters.

While Trump’s imprimatur wasn’t enough to activate his base behind the health care bill, its ultimate failure also did relatively little to damage the president in the eyes of his supporters. Few Trump voters laid much blame at the president’s feet, with just 4 percent saying he was most responsible for the law’s demise.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted March 27-28 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.

The Huffington Post 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. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. 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.

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