POLITICS
03/28/2017 08:28 am ET

Trump Voters Don’t Blame Him For The Health Care Bill’s Failure

The president's base still expects him to lead a repeal of Obamacare.
President Trump talks to journalists at the Oval Office of the White House after the AHCA health care bill was pulled before
Carlos Barria / Reuters
President Trump talks to journalists at the Oval Office of the White House after the AHCA health care bill was pulled before a vote, accompanied by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price (L) and Vice President Mike Pence, in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2017. 

Most of the public isn’t shedding many tears over AHCA. President Trump’s approval ratings may be headed even further underwater. And more Americans than ever are worrying about climate change. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

FEW ARE MOURNING THE DEMISE OF THE GOP’S HEALTH BILL - HuffPollster: “After Republicans’ attempt to repeal Obamacare failed, a narrow plurality of Americans wants to see the party move on to other issues, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey. The American Health Care Act, which was deeply unpopular during its brief lifespan, is no more popular in its demise. Just 21 percent say they supported it, with a majority, 52 percent, saying they were opposed. The 6 percent who say they strongly favored the bill are outnumbered nearly 6 to 1 by those who strongly opposed it. Americans say by a 7-percentage-point margin, 44 percent to 37 percent, that Republicans should move on to other issues rather than proposing another health care bill...Trump voters were only lukewarmly positive about AHCA ― 45 percent say that they supported it and 31 percent that they opposed it.   But they generally don’t see its failure as a death knell for Republicans’ prospects of fulfilling their promise to repeal Obamacare.” [HuffPost]

Who gets the blame? - More from the survey: “Asked who’s most responsible for the bill’s failure, 27 percent of Americans put the bulk of the blame on its authors, with 17 percent naming the congressional Republicans who opposed the bill, another 17 percent naming Trump and 14 percent citing congressional Democrats. Just 4 percent of Trump voters, however, believe that Trump is most responsible for the bill’s failure, and only 11 percent assign him even partial responsibility. Instead, they cast the blame nearly everywhere else.”

TRUMP’S ALREADY LOW RATINGS MAY BE GETTING EVEN LOWER  - HuffPollster: “In a Gallup survey released Monday, just 36 percent of Americans said they approved of Trump’s job as president. It was a new low for him, and 2 percentage points below former President Barack Obama’s all-time worst numbers, according to Gallup’s polling. That specific number, like any individual data point, doesn’t actually mean all that much. Gallup’s tracking poll is somewhat volatile, as is the public reaction to its findings. When Trump’s approval hit a previous low of 37 percent earlier this month, it kicked off a wave of social media freakouts. Then, it promptly rebounded by several points....But even in the aggregate, Trump’s current approval rating doesn’t look too good. HuffPost Pollster’s average, which combines publicly available polling, puts Trump’s approval rating somewhat higher: It’s about 40 percent as of Monday afternoon, with just under 56 percent disapproving….The aggregate also suggests that Trump’s numbers, on average, are worsening after a period of relative stability. Individual trend lines tell a similar story. Most pollsters who’ve conducted at least two surveys this month, and at least one with field dates as recent as last week, show the president’s net approval declining during the course of March.” [HuffPost]

Some historical context from Gallup - Frank Newport: “Trump’s current 36% is two percentage points below Barack Obama’s low point of 38%, recorded in 2011 and 2014. Trump has also edged below Bill Clinton’s all-time low of 37%, recorded in the summer of 1993, his first year in office, as well as Gerald Ford’s 37% low point in January and March 1975. John F. Kennedy’s lowest approval rating was 56%; Dwight Eisenhower’s was 48%....Presidential job approval ratings are fluid, and all presidents have seen both upward and downward swings in their ratings at various points in their administrations ― a historical precedent indicating Trump’s approval could drop further or recover in the weeks and months ahead. An encouraging sign for Trump, perhaps, is that all presidents whose ratings fell below 36% ― with the exception of Nixon ― saw their ratings improve thereafter.” [Gallup]

A RECORD SHARE OF AMERICANS ARE ‘CONCERNED BELIEVERS’ ON GLOBAL WARMING - Lydia Saad: “With a record number of Americans sounding the alarm on global warming, the share of the U.S. population that Gallup categorizes as ‘Concerned Believers’ on climate change has consequently reached a new high of 50%. This is up slightly from 47% in 2016 but is well above the 37% recorded only two years ago….Concerned Believers worry a great deal about global warming and think human activity causes global warming. Two-thirds in this group also expect global warming to pose a serious threat in their lifetime, while none believe that news reports exaggerate the problem….There has long been a disconnect between the high proportions of Americans who believe global warming is real and even ascribe it to human activity, and the low priority Americans give to global warming as a policy issue and a factor in their vote. This is largely explained by the relatively low percentages of Americans who consider global warming a serious threat in their lifetimes or who say they worry a great deal about it. That may be changing, however.” [Gallup]

SUPPORT FOR SOME LIBERAL POSITIONS MAY BE SOLIDIFYING - Aaron Blake: “For the first time ever, half of Americans say they believe in climate change and that they are very concerned about it, according to Gallup. Thanks, President Trump. Climate change is merely the latest issue on which the American people have moved appreciably and significantly to the left in the Trump era. While it’s difficult to ascribe any one of these shifts to Trump specifically, the pattern is becoming clearer. And there’s growing evidence that Trump is unifying half (or more) of the country against things he has vocally supported — in ways they simply weren’t unified before….A more long-running example of this is Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall. While it had been a somewhat popular proposal for years, Americans have now turned against it pretty strongly….A big reason for the decline, UC-Irvine professor Michael Tesler noted, was that Trump opponents rallied to the view he opposed.” [WashPost]

DID POOR DEMOCRATIC TURNOUT REALLY SINK HILLARY CLINTON? - Nate Cohn: “In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, many analysts suggested that Hillary Clinton lost to Donald J. Trump because of poor Democratic turnout. Months later, it is clear that the turnout was only modestly better for Mr. Trump than expected. To the extent Democratic turnout was weak, it was mainly among black voters. Even there, the scale of Democratic weakness has been exaggerated. Instead, it’s clear that large numbers of white, working-class voters shifted from the Democrats to Mr. Trump. Over all, almost one in four of President Obama’s 2012 white working-class supporters defected from the Democrats in 2016, either supporting Mr. Trump or voting for a third-party candidate. This analysis compares official voter files — data not available until months after the election — with The Upshot’s pre-election turnout projections in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina….These estimates suggest that turnout improved Mr. Trump’s standing by a modest margin compared with pre-election expectations. If the turnout had gone exactly as we thought it would, the election would have been extremely close. But by this measure, Mrs. Clinton still would have lost both Florida and Pennsylvania — albeit very narrowly….It’s important to note that this is just one analysis, based on one set of data.” [NYT]

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

-Most Americans say an FBI investigation of Trump-Russia ties is necessary. [HuffPost]

-Harry Enten and Julia Azari highlight the fractures in the GOP exposed by last week’s health care debate. [538]

-Philip Bump finds Donald Trump losing support among independents. [WashPost]

-Juliana Menasce Horowitz breaks down Americans’ views on paternity leave. [Pew]

-Steven Shepard chronicles Democrats’ post-election assessment of their campaign polling. [Politico]

-Josh Voorhees raises questions about Kellyanne Conway’s ties to her former polling firm. [Slate]

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