It’s been another blockbuster week for the GOP.
After spending seven years slandering Barack Obama’s signature health care law and pledging to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, Republicans woke up this morning to a harsh reality. Their signature promise to replace Obamacare failed abysmally, after four Senate Republicans defected—some because it was too draconian, others because it wasn’t draconian enough. For now, at least, despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s best efforts, it appears as though Obamacare is the law of the land.
This, of course, comes in the wake of news that rocked the party last week, after The New York Times revealed that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign under the assumption he would receive incriminating information about Hillary Clinton—a move some have likened to “treason.”
Considering the above, perhaps it’s not entirely shocking that Republicans and their leader, President Donald Trump, are not faring so well in public opinion polling.
According to a just-released survey by the Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling, health care continues to be a disaster for the GOP, Trump is still unpopular and is even considered more corrupt than Nixon, and House Speaker Paul Ryan and McConnell enjoy just 24 and 18 percent approval ratings, respectively.
The survey also found that most Trump voters have a devil-may-care attitude about the Russia revelations, with more than 70 percent considering the story to be “fake news.” (Forty-five percent of Trump supporters don’t think Don Jr. met with the Russians, even though he’s admitted that he did.)
But that’s not to say that the president is faring particularly well. The survey found that 55 percent of voters disapprove of Trump’s overall job in office, 52 percent call him a “liar,” and 55 percent of those polled say they trust the “failing” New York Times more than the president. And Trump loses by wide margins in hypothetical presidential matches against a range of potential candidates, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris. The only Democrat he manages to eke out a tie against is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook.
But among the poll’s findings, the revelations about health care are the most electorally significant by far. According to the PPP survey, just 20 percent of voters said they supported the health care bill that was being considered by the Senate, and 58 percent said they wanted to keep Obamacare as is. This could carry dire consequences for Republicans who voted in favor of Congress’ proposal. According to the survey, 53 percent of voters said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who supported the bill, and among Republican voters, just 36 percent would be more likely to support a member of Congress if they voted for the bill.
“That suggests bucking the party on health care isn’t the kind of thing that’s so unpopular it would have much chance of leading to a successful primary challenge from the right,” PPP concludes. “The current political climate is already looking dicey for Republicans as the 2018 midterms loom. Democrats have a 50/40 lead on the generic Congressional ballot. Congress overall has an 11% approval rating, to 75% of voters who disapprove of it. Democrats should have the opportunity next year to turn them into bogeymen much as Republicans have with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in recent years.”
Trump’s 41 percent approval rating in PPP’s survey aligns with other recent polls. Trump currently averages a 40.3 percent average approval rating, according to Real Clear Politics.