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Biggest Threat to Trump's Agenda Comes from Fellow Republicans

12 August 2017

The chart below, from Emory political scientist Alan Abramowitz, shows how many seats Republicans would be expected to lose based on how far behind they are in the generic ballot.

A large majority of the public disapproves of Trump's suggestion that Republicans "let Obamacare implode" and move on to other policy priorities - 78% of those polled said Trump should do what he can to make the law work.

Around 4 in 5 want the Trump administration to take actions that help Obama's law function properly, rather than trying to undermine it. Trump has suggested steps like halting subsidies to insurers who reduce out-of-pockets health costs for millions of consumers. Trump wants to move on to tax reform and infrastructure but the Affordable Healthcare Act, an imploding law that Republicans can not fix and will not repeal, stands in the way.

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In the wake of Trump's comments on Thursday, several Republicans said his words could instead backfire, making it more hard to get his agenda passed on Capitol Hill, where McConnell is a key figure and still popular among fellow GOP senators.

About 60 percent of people says that Trump and congressional Republicans are responsible for any problems with the health law. However, most Republicans (61%) and Trump supporters (63%) see continuing plans to repeal and replace the ACA as more important than helping the marketplaces work better (38% and 33%, respectively). Just 39 percent of Americans now view the law unfavorably, compared to 44 percent last month.

A KFF poll released Friday finds that 52 percent of Americans now have a favorable view of the 2010 healthcare law, a 2-point increase from the same poll last month.

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And around two-thirds from those groups want Trump to stop enforcing the tax penalty Obama's law levies on people who don't buy coverage. But the revised bill didn't pass after three Republicans opposed it in a dramatic July 28 Senate vote.

Similarly, six in 10 (60%) say that insurers' decisions not to sell insurance plans in certain marketplaces will affect everyone with insurance, and three-quarters (76%) say so about insurers charging higher premiums in certain marketplaces. The poll illustrates that the American people aren't as stupid as Trump believes they are.

Designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation, the poll was conducted from August 1 - 6 among a nationally representative random digit dial telephone sample of 1,211 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full sample.

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