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Healthcare backlash hits Republicans hard on generic ballot, polls find

Young voters also swing heavily toward Democrats in six states as polls suggest GOP congressional candidates are taking brunt of Trump’s base’s dissatisfaction

Support for Republican candidates has significantly declined across much of the country, according to a new series of polls released by the nonpartisan polling firm RABA Research in conjunction with Brown University.

In surveys of five distinct demographic areas that give a cross-section of the American electorate, there has been a significant swing toward Democrats and away from Republicans on the 2018 generic ballot.

The research is an indicator of declining Republican enthusiasm and a potential bellwether for strong Democratic performance in the coming midterm elections.

Younger voters in particular were leaning toward the Democrats; healthcare was cited as one of the main reasons for the swing.

The five demographic areas, which were derived after work on the American Communities Project, consist of: Kent County, Rhode Island, a working-class suburb that shifted from Obama to Trump in 2016; a diverse swath of the rural south across the border between North Carolina and South Carolina; Arapahoe County, Colorado, a wealthy Denver suburb won by both Clinton and Obama; Chester County, Pennsylvania, a suburban Philadelphia county won by both Romney and Clinton; and a chunk of deep red rural northern Iowa.

Democrats improved their performance over the past two months in four of the five regions polled. The most dramatic shift was among voters in the Carolinas cluster, who have shifted from favoring Republicans 49%-37% to a statistical tie (43%-43%) on the generic ballot. The only exception was northern Iowa, in areas Trump won with 68% of the vote. There, in the district held by conservative firebrand Steve King, support for a generic Republican candidate crept up to 47% from 43%.

There were dramatic swings toward Democrats among younger voters aged 18-44. The most dramatic was in the Carolinas, where there was a net…

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