Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

NEW POLLS: Voters Blame Congress, Not Trump, for Health Care Failure

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Last Friday, the country learned House Republicans’ attempt to repeal Obamacare had been officially abandoned, at least for the time being. Paul Ryan later admitted their failure, declaring Obamacare to be “the law of the land” and that Republicans would have to live with the former president’s healthcare law “for the foreseeable future.”

Since last week’s events, various mainstream media outlets have used the GOP’s failure to push the narrative that voters are likely to hold President Trump to blame for the failure of the repeal effort as they continued to focus on his negative approval ratings. A Politico headline yesterday, for example, proclaimed “Health care debacle takes toll on Trump,” in explaining a 4-point dip in the president’s approval rating, though it was far from clear whether the “debacle” was, in fact, responsible. Nonetheless, that didn’t stop a number of other outlets from echoing Politico’s take. And New York Magazine earlier this week cited two other polls to show how the repeal effort’s failure hurt Trump, though the author later notes that one of those polls — Rasmussen — shows the president’s approval has actually improved slightly since last Friday.

I’ve written previously about how the media’s focus on approval ratings has blinded them to voters’ actual opinions about President Trump and the state of the country, and this seems to be just another example. Need more proof? Just consider these two polls:

  • A new Huffington Post poll from earlier this week showed that only 17 percent of all Americans — and only 4 percent of Trump voters — blame the president for the health care bill’s failure. Contrast this with the combined 58 percent who believe the blame lies in some way with Congress.
  • A new CBS News poll released today shows only 14 percent of all Americans believe President Trump’s inability to compromise was to blame for the failure to repeal Obamacare. Almost half of respondents (49 percent) blamed the bill’s overall unpopularity for its defeat. (Also of note: the CBS poll showed Trump’s approval rating essentially unchanged from where it has been since last month.)
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So much for the healthcare bill “taking a toll” on Trump. While the media seems intent on taking every opportunity to malign the president, it would appear American voters are much more willing to cut him some slack.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore


Dominic Morris

Dominic Morris works for American Principles Project.