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PPP poll finds Heller approval rating falling to 22 percent

Greg Nash

A new poll from a Democratic firm suggests support for Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) is cratering amid disapproval of the GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

A Public Policy Poll survey released Tuesday found that only 22 percent of Nevada voters who responded to the survey approve of Heller’s job performance, compared with 55 percent who disapprove. Twenty-three percent said they weren’t sure.

{mosads}The poll showed strong opposition and minimal support for the Senate’s effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Just 35 percent of Nevadans surveyed supported the effort to repeal ObamaCare, compared with 54 percent who oppose it.

Heller is considered the most vulnerable Republican up for reelection in 2018. He’s running in a state where President Trump was defeated in 2016 by Democrat Hillary Clinton.

According to the PPP poll, 50 percent of respondents would support an unnamed Democratic opponent, compared with just 31 percent who said they would definitely support Heller.

That’s a sharp decrease from his support in the same poll in June, when Heller enjoyed 39 percent support compared with 46 percent for a generic Democratic opponent.

Heller voted in favor of a slimmed-down ObamaCare repeal bill that Senate GOP leaders presented as a way of getting to a conference with the Senate. He had publicly criticized an earlier repeal-and-replace bill, but his support for the “skinny” bill appeared to put him at odds with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), who criticized it.

A spokesman for Sen. Heller’s office dismissed the poll results, and accused Democrats of trying to “steal a Senate seat” from Nevada’s voters.
“Dean Heller has always put Nevadans first and will continue to. Liberal groups with an agenda are only looking to steal a Senate seat from the people of Nevada,” spokesman Tommy Ferraro said in an email to The Hill.

The opposition to Senate Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare extends to every major provision in the Senate bill, according to the PPP poll.

Sixty-two percent of Nevada voters in the poll said they opposed any effort to waive insurance companies from being required to cover pre-existing conditions. Fifty-nine percent oppose cutting Medicaid by more than $700 billion over 10 years. And 65 percent oppose any tax cuts for the wealthiest tax brackets in the country.

The strongest opposition came to allowing insurance companies to go back to capping the amount of health coverage a person could receive in their lifetime under their health plan. An overwhelming 74 percent of respondents opposed this in the poll, compared with just 16 percent who supported it.

Politico reported in June that Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) plans to run against Heller for his Senate seat. 

PPP conducted the poll between July 26-27 among 847 Nevada voters. It did not list a margin of error.

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