The nationwide Health Care Voter campaign released a new poll from Democratic-aligned but trustworthy Public Policy Polling that shows an opportunity for Democrats looking to make big gains in what’s expected to be a wave election year–in the form of vulnerability for Rep. Scott Tipton, the incumbent Republican representing the Western Slope and southern Colorado in Congress:
One year after Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to strip 23 million Americans of their health care, Health Care Voter has released a new battleground poll showing that voters in Colorado’s 3rd congressional district are poised to hold Congressman Scott Tipton accountable for cruel and careless attempts to undermine the health care system.
The new polling shows that voters in the district are less likely to vote for Congressman Tipton following his attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The survey also shows that most voters believe lawmakers should strengthen the existing law, rather than repeal it.
From PPP’s poll memo:
When it comes to the ACA, voters are supportive of the law: 47 percent approve compared to just 37 percent disapproving. However, when it comes to fixing the ACA or repealing it and starting over with a new health care law, there is a much greater appetite among voters to improve the ACA: 62 percent think it should be made stronger rather than repealing it. Moreover, a plurality (47 percent) agreed Republicans are trying to undermine and sabotage the ACA because of their failure to repeal it…
[I]]t is clear from this survey that Scott Tipton is viewed unfavorably, will face a tough re-election campaign, and remains burdened by the issue of health care.
• Approval rating: Just 32 percent of voters approve of Tipton’s job performance, while 44 percent disapprove.
• Election matchup: Tipton is supported by 44 percent [of voters] compared to 42 percent supporting his Democratic opponent – a statistical dead heat.
• Health care repeal vote: 44 percent are less likely to support Tipton because of his vote for repeal, compared to 34 percent who are more likely to support him.
Apropos, Tipton is taking fire on this very issue from a six-digit-buy TV spot running in his district:
Last year’s (mostly) failed assault on the Affordable Care Act is broadly acknowledged to be a political disaster for Republicans no matter where you stand on the law itself. The failure to pass repeal angered conservative opponents of the law, while the attempt to repeal–which Tipton made no attempt to distance himself from unlike some other representatives in competitive districts–fully alienated the majority of voters either in support of the ACA or at least not already indoctrinated against it. The result is a major sore point with voters on both sides that Scott Tipton has no good answers for.
Tipton’s vulnerability is a warning to a large number of what would be considered second-tier incumbent Republican targets that they are vulnerable too in this historically negative environment for their party. If the 2018 wave grows large enough to sweep Tipton from office, enough Republicans will precede him in defeat to flip the House to Democrats by a healthy margin.
These numbers say it can happen.