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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

10 mins ago - Health

Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that the Biden administration will allow fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the U.S. beginning in November.

Why it matters: The move marks the end of the ban on most European visitors put in place under former President Trump in March 2020.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
25 mins ago - Economy & Business

Gen Z breaks into VC

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

When Meagan Loyst joined VC firm Lerer Hippeau, less than two years out of Boston College, she was still living with her parents. She had virtually no online brand presence, and the pandemic made it impossible to build a professional network via in-person meetings.

Why it matters: Loyst wasn't alone. Venture firms have accelerated hiring in line with record deal activity, often seeking younger investors who can spot trends that fly below the radar (or intrinsic understanding) of older partners.

White House aims to protect workers from extreme heat

Two pear pickers in Hood River, Oregon on August 13, 2021. (Michael Hanson/AFP via Getty Images)

The White House announced a slew of actions Monday, including the start of a rule-making process at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to protect American workers from extreme heat.

Driving the news: The U.S. just had its hottest summer on record, with triple-digit-temperatures killing hundreds in the Pacific Northwest and exposing outdoor workers to dangerous conditions.