The Republican push to overhaul the US healthcare system has taken a toll on Sen. Jeff Flake’s popularity, according to a new poll.
The poll, from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, found that the Arizona senator’s vote for the GOP healthcare bill has hurt voters’ opinions of him.
Overall, 52% of Arizona voters surveyed for the poll said they were less likely to vote for Flake in his 2018 reelection bid due to his vote in support of the various Republican plans. Meanwhile, 26% said they were more likely to vote for him because of the vote, and 20% said it made no difference.
Additionally, just 31% of those surveyed said they would vote for Flake if the election were held today, compared with 47% saying they would vote for a generic Democratic opponent. No Democrat has announced plans to run for the seat.
The poll also found that 62% of Arizonans disapproved of Flake’s performance while only 18% approved.
By contrast, fellow Arizona Sen. John McCain’s vote against the Republican “skinny” repeal of Obamacare, which derailed the GOP healthcare efforts, drew positive reviews from voters. Fifty-four per cent said they approved of McCain’s vote, while 40% said they disapproved.
The poll provided some of the first concrete evidence that some GOP members could get dinged for their vote on the healthcare push. It may not come as much of a surprise, since the Republican healthcare bill was among the least popular pieces of legislation in decades.
Democrats are capitalising on the public’s distaste for the Republican plans. Rep. Jacky Rosen, the Democratic challenger to Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada in 2018, is already running ads about Heller’s vote for the Republican healthcare bills.
Heller originally came out against the GOP’s first bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), but ultimately supported later plans laid out by Senate Republican leadership.
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