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Trump Voters and Clinton Voters Differ Dramatically in Health Care Policy Tradeoffs and Priorities, Survey Finds


New national poll also finds that nearly half of Americans say they have a serious medical issue that requires regular doctor visits or medication

SALT LAKE CITY and PROVO, Utah, Nov. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The results of a comprehensive national poll released today provide insights into how Trump voters, Clinton voters and non-voters view health care policy, showing the different health care tradeoffs each group is willing to make. For example, by large margins, Clinton voters favor making health insurance accessible to all (90%) over giving people more flexibility to opt out of insurance; guaranteeing coverage of pre-existing conditions (75%) over lowering monthly costs; and helping the poor to secure insurance (80%) over lowering taxes for most Americans. Trump voters, by contrast, make different tradeoffs: they want more flexibility to opt out of insurance (57%), favor keeping monthly insurance costs low (73%), and emphasize tax cuts (76%).

The third annual American Family Survey, a nationwide Deseret News/Brigham Young University study conducted by YouGov, found that there is one area of agreement among all voters: about three quarters of Clinton voters, Trump voters and non-voters prefer lower deductibles over a wider network of doctors. And for both Trump and Clinton voters, family health challenges are associated with significantly greater support for the principle of guaranteeing coverage of pre-existing conditions, even if that means sacrificing lower monthly costs. Among Trump voters, the effect is nearly 18 percentage points: only about one third of Trump supporters without a family medical challenge prioritized covering pre-existing conditions, but among Trump supporters whose families have serious medical challenges, more than half support covering pre-existing conditions.

"As health care coverage continues to occupy a prominent position in our national conversation, our research shows how much more complicated the issue becomes when individual Americans weigh the various tradeoffs," said Allison Pond, editor of the Deseret News In-depth team and a former Pew Research Center staffer. "We hope that this comprehensive look at our nation's views on health care will add to the conversation and shed some light on what is important to Americans when it comes to medical insurance and expenses."

The survey also examined the state of Americans' health, and found that 44 percent of adults believe they have a serious health problem that is "ongoing or serious … that requires frequent medical care — for example, regular doctor visits, or daily medications." Forty-three percent of respondents said their spouse fit into that category, and a quarter believe that statement applies to their child. Overall, close to six in 10 people believe that description fits themselves or someone in their immediate family.

In addition to unveiling Americans' thoughts on health care, the American Family Survey uncovered new attitudes on marriage, relationships and family, and how those experiences relate to people's opinions on a wide variety of political and social issues, including phones and social media usage, immigration, addiction and government programs. More results from the poll are at, along with a full report for download.

The poll was designed by Christopher Karpowitz and Jeremy Pope of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University; Doug Wilks, Editor of the Deseret News; Allison Pond, Editor of the Deseret News In-depth team and a former Pew Research Center staffer; and Sam Sturgeon, President of Demographic Intelligence. They consulted an advisory board which included Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; Sara McLanahan, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton; Richard Reeves, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and former strategy advisor to the deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom; and W. Brad Wilcox, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia and Director of the National Marriage Project.


Between August 1 and August 7, 2017, YouGov interviewed 3,264 respondents who were then matched down to a sample of 3,000 to produce the final dataset. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, race, education, party identification, ideology, and political interest. The frame was constructed by stratified sampling from the full 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) sample with selection within strata by weighted sampling with replacements (using the person weights on the public use file). Data on voter registration status and turnout were matched to this frame using the November 2010 Current Population Survey. Data on interest in politics and party identification were then matched to this frame from the 2007 Pew Religious Life Survey. The matched cases were weighted to the sampling frame using propensity scores. The matched cases and the frame were combined and a logistic regression was estimated for inclusion in the frame. The propensity score function included age, gender, race/ethnicity, years of education, and ideology. The propensity scores were grouped into deciles of the estimated propensity score in the frame and post-stratified according to these deciles.


Founded in 1850, the Deseret News ( and offers news, analysis and commentary for family-oriented audiences across the country. The award-winning writers at the Deseret News keep their growing readership informed with real-world solutions that can make a positive difference in families and communities. The Deseret News, the first news organization and longest continuously-operating business in the state of Utah, is a top-25 online national newspaper.


The Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy (CSED) at Brigham Young University is a nonpartisan academic research center seeking to increase knowledge about the practice of American democracy. CSED is committed to the production and dissemination of research that meets high academic standards, is useful to policy makers, and informs citizens. CSED-sponsored research has been published by leading academic journals and presses in the areas of campaign finance, voting technology and election reform, presidential and congressional elections, religion and politics and democratic deliberation.

For further information, contact:

Christina Gillham


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