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Huh!? 43% of conservatives say handouts trump tax cuts?

A significant minority of self-identified conservatives think the federal government should provide health care coverage for low-income Americans, according to a new Washington Post–ABC News poll.

The poll, conducted July 10-13, found that President Trump’s overall approval rating has dropped to 36 percent from 42 percent in April. It also found that twice as many Americans support Obamacare as support the current GOP replacement plan, 50 percent to 24 percent, and that nearly two-thirds of Americans — 63 percent — believe it is more important for the federal government to “provide health care coverage for low-income Americans” than to “cut taxes.”

Filtering the results to those who identify as “conservative,” 43 percent of those poll respondents said it was more important for the federal government to provide health insurance coverage for low-income Americans than to cut taxes. Additionally, 21 percent of conservatives support Obamacare as standing law instead of the Republican plan to replace it, while 50 percent support the GOP repeal plan.

Republican leadership came under fire from conservatives for breaking the GOP’s promise for full repeal by keeping the vast majority of Obamacare while eliminating several taxes. Facing near universal criticism from both the Right and the Left on the content of the phony repeal bill, the GOP has backed off from those tax cuts, functionally abandoning the only part of Obamacare the Republicans were universally willing to repeal.

These poll results indicate that a significant portion of the GOP base may be content with this decision and illustrate how a larger-than-expected minority of conservatives think there is a role for government to provide health insurance coverage.

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