While immigration and guns serve as paramount issues affecting communities across the country, something else has emerged as the most important issue to voters ahead of consequential midterm elections.
As ABC News reports, health care is now the top issue for voters as 71 percent of people who participated in the poll marked it as “very important” to their voting choice.
The economy and jobs ranked second at 64 percent, and guns rounded the top choices at 60 percent. Immigration, tax cuts, and foreign policy issues were still considered significant to voters at 55 percent, 53 percent, and 51 percent, respectively.
Another question on the poll limited participants to just choosing one issue. Even then, health care topped the list as the “most important” issue and garnered 30 percent of the vote. The rest of the vote went as followed: economy and jobs (21 percent). gun policy (15 percent). immigration (15 percent), tax cuts and tax reform (7 percent), and foreign policy (6 percent).
The election tracking poll was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation from September 19 to October 2, 2018.
Here’s more on the poll, from ABC News:
The poll results in two battleground states — Florida and Nevada — also underscored voters’ interest for keeping the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with preexisting conditions, one of the most popular provisions in the law.
Democrats have made that a key part of their campaign, pointing to Republicans’ votes to repeal the entire law and trying to drive home the message that the GOP’s efforts would strip that guarantee.
Nonetheless, Republicans have recently sought to fight back on that issue, promising on the stump and in campaign ads that they understand the need to keep the protections and would work to do that.
ABC News also clarifies: Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
The KFF reported that these results vary drastically by party affiliation:
Health care is also chosen as the “most important” issue by Democratic voters (40 percent) and independent voters (31 percent) but ranks lower for Republican voters (17 percent) behind immigration (25 percent) and the economy and jobs (23 percent) and similar to gun policy (17 percent).
Health care is also the top issue chosen by voters who live in battleground areas (28 percent), ranking above the economy and jobs (22 percent), immigration (16 percent), gun policy (15 percent), tax cuts and tax reform (8 percent), and foreign policy (5 percent).
While health care is the top issue for voters living in battleground areas overall, similar to the national picture – the ranking of issues varies by partisanship. Nearly four in ten Democratic battleground voters (37 percent) chose health care as the “most important issue” in their voting decision for Congress this year as did three in ten independent battleground voters (28 percent), making it among the top issues for both groups. However, among Republican battleground voters, immigration is the top issue (29 percent) while health care ranks among other issues such as gun policy (16 percent) and the economy and jobs (15 percent).
While voters are most concerned with health care, many of them said, per the poll, that health care issues are largely not being discussed: such as costs, prescription costs, increased access, the ACA, and Medicare.
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.