As we enter the closing stretch leading up to the 2018 midterms, the contours of the election are becoming even clearer — the one issue that poll after poll has consistently shown to top the list of voters’ concerns is health care. And these voters are predominantly choosing Democrats over Republicans.
Republicans’ war on health care has turned into a political liability for them. And for good reason. Voters remember how since day one of the Trump presidency, Republicans in Washington have been trying to do everything they can to repeal our health care. Most of last year they spent trying to ram a partisan bill through Congress that would have ripped coverage away from tens of millions of people, raised costs, gutted protections for pre-existing conditions, imposed an age tax on people over 50, and decimated Medicaid. Voters remember how Republicans are trying to get the courts to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Democratic and Republican candidates alike recognize that health care is the driving issue of the 2018 elections:
- Fifty percent of Democratic ad spending is on health care. In September alone, Democrats ran more than 130,000 ads on health care;
- Health care is a top Google search in more than three-quarters of congressional districts;
- Polling confirms that health care is the top issue to voters and that Democrats have an advantage on the issue;
- Polling also confirms that voters reject the Republican health care agenda; and
- A deep dive into key Senate and House races shows that health care is the defining issue in the race, is putting Republican incumbents and challengers firmly on the defensive and is the closing argument for Democrats,
This report is intended to synthesize the polling and media around key races showing how health care is driving the election. The evidence is clear and mounting — 2018 is a health care election.