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Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at Trump Tower. Greg Allen / AP

Protect Our Care — the coalition fighting the GOP efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — held a briefing call about their latest poll for more than 100 progressive leaders and advocacy groups last Friday, Axios has learned from a source on the call.

Two key findings:

  1. Health care is the top issue across party lines. 57% of voters said it's what they care about most in the 2018 election.
  2. Public support for Republicans' plan to repeal the ACA has significantly fallen overall. Voters are now opposed by 35 percentage points, compared to just 3 and 14 percentage points in March and May, respectively.

Why it matters: Strong majorities of those surveyed said they would not re-elect their Senator or Congressman if they support Trump's push to "sabotage" the Affordable Care Act and destabilize the insurance markets.

Hart Research, the company that conducted the poll of 1,017 voters for Protect Our Care, suggested key messaging strategies for Democrats ahead of 2018, based on their results. Doubling down on an anti-Trump health care message is the main strategy suggestion from Hart Research's findings, which were given to Axios from a source on the briefing call.

  • Blame Trump and congressional Republicans for increasing premiums and insurers opting out of the health insurance marketplaces due to uncertainty and instability.
  • Remind voters of Trump's original intention to let ACA fail, citing his own declarations to do so, and give concrete examples of how he has followed through on this.
  • Point out Trump's anti-Obama motivation for repealing and replacing ACA, specifically citing things that voters are unhappy about, like Trump's "egomania" and "political spitefulness." (More on that below.)
  • Bring up the GOP alternative, which would weaken protections for those living with pre-existing conditions, leave millions more uninsured, and gut Medicaid funding.

Hart Research President Geoff Garin encouraged everyone in the briefing to "lean in" to making health care a main issue ahead of 2018, according to a source on the call.

"Even though Congress's attention may move on to other things, we want to keep the issue of health care front and center for voters well into the future," he said. "We want to be super aggressive in shining a spotlight on everything that Donald Trump and Republicans do that contribute to higher premiums and instability in the health care markets."

More from the survey:

  • Those who are most unhappy with the GOP health bill are most committed to voting in 2018. 78% of people with "very unfavorable" views of the GOP plan are "certain to vote," per the poll.
  • 65% of people think the ACA is working well or can work well in the future with proper support.
  • 57% would prefer Trump to do what he can to make the ACA work, but 42% believe he is trying to undermine it and 52% think he is "sabotaging" people's health care. 61% disapprove of Trump's handling of health care reform overall and 57% believe he's "taking revenge" on ACA simply to oppose Obama.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker
7 hours ago - Sports

Novak Djokovic loses Australian visa appeal

Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a forehand during a practice session ahead of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2022. Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Tennis star Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday evening, facing a three-year visa ban after an appeals court in the country revoked his visa.

Driving the news: Djokovic will not be able to defend his Australian Open title when the tournament starts in Melbourne. The World No. 1 is looking to break a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most Grand Slam men's singles titles.