Fifty-two percent of Arizona voters surveyed said they were less likely to vote for Jeff Flake in 2018 because of his vote supporting various Republican plans.
The Republican push to overhaul the US healthcare system has taken a toll on Sen. Jeff Flake's popularity, according to a new poll.
The poll, from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, found that the Arizona senator's support of the GOP's healthcare push had hurt voters' opinions of him.
Overall, 52% of Arizona voters surveyed for the poll said they were less likely to vote for Flake in his 2018 reelection bid because of his vote in support of the various Republican plans. Twenty-six percent said they were more likely to vote for him because of the vote, and 20% said it made no difference.
Just 31% of those surveyed said they would vote for Flake if the election were held immediately, compared with 47% saying they would vote for a generic Democratic opponent. The poll also found that 62% of Arizonans disapproved of Flake's performance, while only 18% approved. Just one Democrat, political newcomer Deedra Abboud, has entered the race to challenge Flake
In contrast, Flake's fellow Republican Arizona senator, John McCain, voted against the latest Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, derailing the GOP healthcare efforts but drawing positive reviews from his state's voters. Fifty-four percent said they approved of McCain's vote, while 40% said they disapproved.
The poll provided some of the first concrete evidence that some GOP members could get dinged for voting in favor of the healthcare push. It may not come as much of a surprise, since the Republican healthcare bill was among the least popular pieces of legislation in decades.
Democrats are capitalizing on the public's distaste for the Republican plans. Rep. Jacky Rosen, the Democratic challenger to Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada in 2018, is already running ads about Heller's vote for the Republican healthcare bills.
Heller originally came out against Senate Republicans' first bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, but supported later plans laid out by Senate Republican leadership.