Republican legislators who ignore the Donald Trump policy agenda will be vulnerable to primary challenges in the 2018 midterm elections, according to a new McLaughlin and Associates poll. In fact, close to two-thirds of all voters measured indicated that voting to increase the debt ceiling would make them less likely to vote for a Republican incumbent.
This poll of likely voters uses a sample modeled on the November 2016 election turnout, and shows that legislators following the path of least resistance in Washington are on a collision course for primary defeat in the 2018 election cycle.
When asked if they would be more or less likely to vote for their legislators based on specific votes, the sample including Republicans (33%), Democrats (36%) and Independents (31%) said they would be less likely to vote for their legislator by the following margins:
- 62% if they voted to increase the debt ceiling; among Trump voters 69%.
- 53% if they voted to bail out the health insurance companies without repealing Obamacare; among Trump voters 67%.
- 52% if they knew they voted against the effort to stop the Obama policy of recruiting transgendered persons for the military and paying for sex change surgeries; among Trump voters 69%.
- 50% if they refused to repeal the Obamacare mandates and taxes; among Trump voters 68%.
- 47% if they voted to fund Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio, while refusing to build the border wall and to try again to repeal Obamacare; among Trump voters 66%.
- 47% if they failed to investigate President Obama and Secretary Clinton’s well-documented collusion with the Russians; among Trump voters 64%.
- 46% if they failed to support President Trump’s efforts to more carefully vet immigrants in order to protect against terrorism; among Trump voters 67%.
Thirty-five-year veteran pollster John McLaughlin noted that this poll reflected a political environment unlike any he has ever seen. “In contrast to President Obama, this poll shows that President Trump’s personal approval rating of 46% lags behind his job approval rating of 48%, but despite the polarizing personal ratings that are prompting many legislators to back away from him, voters are highly motivated to vote against those hindering his policy agenda,” said McLaughlin.
Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning noted, “This poll indicates that the mainstream media-dictated “Washington wisdom” is, once again, misreading voters. If Congressional leadership continues to push an agenda of retreat from the Trump campaign promises, they are rushing headlong into the danger of unprecedented defeat in the primary season.”