What issues are important to voters this November? According to a recent CBS News/YouGov Battleground poll, 70% of voters say health care is very important to their ballot this year, including 76% of women voters and 64% of Independents. Twenty-three percent say it is somewhat important. Only 5% of voters say health care is “not very important,” and just 2% say it is not important. While over 60% of total voters say Supreme Court appointments, immigration, and guns will be “very important” in their vote, not as many women (63% SCOTUS appointments, 64% immigration, 64% guns) or independents (63%, 62%, 56%, respectively) believe those issues are “very important,” much smaller numbers than those who say they feel health care is very important.”
Republican candidates ignore the importance of health care at their peril. While immigration and Supreme Court appointments are important, health care – especially the false attacks against Republicans over pre-existing conditions – will be front and center over the next six weeks. Republicans must answer these attacks head on, deploying significant resources and energy for them to prevail. They must also offer solutions (instead of simply calling for repealing and replacing Obamacare) and present ways to help more Americans get access to quality health coverage by making insurance more affordable and available.