President Donald Trump is gaining in popularity in New Jersey even as support for the Obama-era health law he and fellow Republicans failed to repeal earlier this month is on the rise, according to a poll released Thursday. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind group found that Trump has seen a significant 10 percent jump in support since January of this year. Despite those gains, the poll also found that support for the Affordable Care Act and especially its accompanying Medicaid expansion is still intact.
Though Trump is still far from having majority favorability and had the approval of just over half of Republican respondents, the poll found that voters are warming up to the president despite a sharp divide between whites and non-whites in the state.
“Donald Trump has the support of 28 percent, up from 18 percent in January,” read the PublicMind report. “Sixty-one percent disapprove of the job he’s doing as president. Majorities of Democrats (88%) and independents (57%) disapprove, with Trump getting the most support from his fellow Republicans (72%).
“Men and women differ significantly in regard to the level of disapproval they have for the president’s job performance, with women more likely to say no to Trump than men. And although majorities of whites and non-whites disapprove, non-whites say they disapprove more than whites to the tune of 28 percentage points. (80 versus 52 percent, respectively).”
As for the ACA, the widely reviled American Healthcare Act that Republicans ultimately declined to put to a vote in the House of Representatives failed to sway the majority from supporting the ACA and especially Medicaid expansion, with 83 percent saying they support keeping Medicaid expansion offering health insurance to those who would otherwise go uncovered—a cornerstone cut in the failed Republican replacement plan.
Support for ACA as a whole was less robust, though an already-insured majority approved of the bill for others who have benefitted from it. Those born after 1980 were most likely to say they had benefitted personally from the law, or approved of it for others who had.
“Even though the majority of Garden Staters with health insurance get it from their employer or their spouse’s employer (63%), and are thus not direct beneficiaries of the ACA, most (67%) believe the ACA helped the lives of those who were previously uninsured before the act was passed,” the group wrote.
“When asked if the act helped those like themselves, 39 percent agreed, with 22 percent who believe the act was harmful, and 37 percent who believe the act made no difference to their lives.
“Millennials are among the most likely to believe the ACA has benefitted both themselves personally (51%) and those without insurance before the act’s passage (73%). The same is true for women as compared to men, and non-whites as compared with whites.”
The poll was conducted by landline and cell phones from March 22-26 among 816 adults in New Jersey with a margin of random sampling error of roughly 4 percentage points.