BREAKING: New data on NFL & health care

September 27, 2017

What do voters think about Trump’s fight with the NFL, and how do voters view the Republicans’ latest policy priorities? To find out, Firehouse Strategies partnered with 0ptimus to do a 2-night poll this week surveying swing-state voters on the latest NFL controversy and the Senate Republicans’ agenda.

Two major takeaways for President Trump and Senate Republicans:

  • The nation is divided on Trump’s call to fire NFL players, but voters overwhelmingly (64%) say that the President should focus on other issues.
  • The politics of tax reform could prove easier than health care — at least in terms of public opinion. Only 27.5% of voters thought the Senate should pass the GOP’s latest Obamacare repeal and replace plan. In contrast, when given the choice of only having Congress pass Obamacare repeal and replace or major tax reform, 43.7% say tax reform, while 24.8% of those surveyed say healthcare — and only 31.5% want neither.


Digging deeper:

  • The nation is deeply divided about the issues that Donald Trump has exposed regarding the NFL and player protests. 38.1% of those surveyed agree with Trump’s assertion that players who kneel should be fired, while 39.1% disagree. The remaining 22.8% are not sure.
  • However, there is a strong majority belief that Donald Trump should be focused on other issues. 35.9% of those surveyed believe it is important for him to highlight this issue, while 64.1% say he should have his focus elsewhere. A slight majority of Republicans say it is important (54.0%), but Independents (41.1%) and Democrats (13.4%) don’t believe so.
  • The most recent version of Obamacare repeal and replace is not gaining much traction with the public. Only 27.5% of those surveyed believe the Senate should pass it. 43.2% of Republicans say the Senate should pass it (23.2% say no), but only 30.5% of Independents want it passed (43.6% say they’re against).
  • A big reason for opposition appears to be how the bill handles pre-existing conditions. 58.4% say the bill should be rejected on the basis of experts (like the CBO) saying the bill does not guarantee affordable coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.
  • Finally, tax reform appears to be much more popular than the health care bill. When given the choice of only having Congress pass Obamacare repeal and replace or major tax reform, 24.8% of those surveyed say healthcare, 43.7% say tax reform, and only 31.5% want neither.
  • This provides an opening for bipartisan legislating. 37.5% of Democrats indicated they were in favor of tax reform, while only 52.2% said they wanted neither bill passed. Republicans also want to move on from the failures in Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare, with 49.4% indicating they’d prefer tax reform over healthcare (35.0% prefer healthcare, 15.6% want neither).


Methodology: Between 9/24-9/25, we surveyed 1,801 modeled likely midterm voters in Florida (N = 683), Wisconsin (N = 294), Pennsylvania (N = 413), and Ohio (N = 411) via IVR, landline only. Likely voters were defined as anyone having voted in the 2010 or 2014 midterm elections, plus the 15% additional most likely to turnout based on in-house turnout score modeling. Margin of error varies by question and segment, but is generally +/- 2.4% for topline results. Sample was weighted by state, age, gender, and party based on 2014 midterm turnout in L2 voter file (Summer 2017) for each state. Results were then re-balanced based on these cohorts.