IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Public, GOP not on the same page on health care, Russia scandal

The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is reflected in a puddle on a rainy morning in Washington.
The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is reflected in a puddle on a rainy morning in Washington.
In recent months, Republicans have worked from the assumption that the American electorate wants GOP policymakers to take a sledgehammer to the Affordable Care Act. After all, the thinking goes, Republicans made their contempt for "Obamacare" a key aspect of their 2016 platform, and voters rewarded the party with great power.But the GOP is clearly misreading its mandate. Quinnipiac's latest national poll asked respondents, "Do you think that Republicans in Congress should try to repeal and replace Obamacare again, or do you think they should move on to other issues?" The results weren't close: only 36% of the public wants GOP lawmakers to keep trying, while 60% want Republicans to move on.Other polling is pointing in the same direction.

As President Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress gear up for another attempt at repealing and replacing Obamacare, an ABC News/Washington Post poll finds broad public preference for keeping and improving it -- including high levels of support for some of its key components.Just 37 percent of Americans in the national survey say Obamacare should be repealed and replaced; 61 percent say it should be kept and fixed instead. Even more broadly, the public by 79-13 percent says Trump should seek to make the current law work as well as possible, not to make it fail as soon as possible, a strategy he's suggested.

Making matters slightly worse for Republicans, 62% of Americans support nationwide minimum insurance coverage standards (which the GOP is prepared to eliminate), and 70% support mandatory protections for those with pre-existing conditions (which the GOP is also prepared to scrap).The trend line has to be even more discouraging for the right. As recently as January, this same poll found that 46% of American supporting repealing the ACA, while 47% were against the idea. After listening to the Republicans' pitch and seeing their alternative, it's 37% to 61% -- a striking shift in a short amount of time.As the White House renews its pressure on congressional Republicans to advance the party's woefully unpopular reform package, polling like this is likely to weigh heavily on GOP lawmakers who are on the fence. With a rough midterm cycle on tap for next year, how eager are they to do the exact opposite of what most of the American mainstream wants on an issue of critical significance?Meanwhile, Republicans also find themselves on the wrong side of popular opinion when it comes to the Trump/Russia scandal.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they want an independent, non-partisan commission instead of Congress to investigate Russia's involvement in the 2016 election, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.Seventy-three percent of respondents prefer the independent investigation, versus 16 percent who pick Congress.Still, a majority of Americans -- 54 percent -- believe that Congress should investigate whether there was contact between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, which is essentially unchanged from February's NBC/WSJ poll.

In other words, congressional Republicans are giving the public what it doesn't want (an ongoing ACA repeal crusade), and not giving the public what it does want (an independent investigation of the Russia scandal).It's not exactly a recipe for success.