Muftic: Trump loses independents mostly because of the Obamacare repeal replace fiasco (column)
April 27, 2017
Donald Trump won the electoral vote while losing the popular vote. His overall approval rating this month is at 40 to 42 percent, down from his 46 percent popular vote in 2016. Polls show now that, while he has kept his base happy, he is losing independent voters mostly over the Obamacare repeal/replace effort.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC in a mid April poll found 24-point swing in disapproval of Trump by independent voters versus his disapproval rate in February. While President Trump retains support of 96 percent of his 2016 voters, per an ABC/Washington Post poll, the problem is that his base alone is not enough to get him reelected nor is it enough to give the GOP helpful coattails in Congressional races in 2018. His leverage over those GOP senators and representatives to support his legislative agenda until then is weakened, too. He needs those independent voters
In the recent Georgia House District 6 and in the recent Kansas election, there has been a 20-percent swing against the GOP even in traditional deep red districts. While it may not be enough to turn many of those red districts blue, it signals some Republican incumbents in less deeply red districts are vulnerable and are feeling freer to distance themselves from Trump and his positions.
So far Trump's followers are giving him an A for effort regardless of limited success. They approve of his legislative agenda, his appointee's approval for the Supreme Court, a saber rattling foreign policy, and use of executive orders. His draining the swamp promise has been kept, though limited to purging Obama's loyalists and leaving those positions vacant or replacing them with an invasive species of Wall Streeters and foxes to guard the hen house door pledged to sabotage the Obama legacy.
So why the swing in the mood of independent voters? Per the WSJ poll, "more believe the government should do more to help them." Why? Their poll showed the repeal/replace Obamacare legislative fiasco dramatized that Trump had promised to replace Obamacare with something better but instead the GOP plan he backed was harmful to millions and to them, too. The debate also reminded non-ideological independents that the federal government's role after could have value to their own health, life, and family finances.
Only 17 percent of all voters now approve of the GOP plan that would have made access to affordable health care insurance and benefits dramatically worse and would cost them more from their own pockets. Rumors of compromise details in a plan reboot reveal improvements could be undone by states.
Voters also became better educated about the health insurance issue with the focus of media coverage on the Congressional machinations. At the beginning of the year, 35 percent of voters wanted Obamacare repealed but in their ignorance had not realized their newly acquired, and about to be lost, affordable insurance obtained through the ACA and the exchanges was the same as Obamacare. For others, longer experience with the benefits of the ACA helped them understand small government ideology does not pay their medical bills or keep them healthy as well as the ACA (Obamacare) does. What also helped educate them? Chalk it up to the Resistance and Indivisible movements waving message signs while marching and raising a ruckus at legislators' town halls in red and blue districts and the media coverage that they generated.
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