featured insight

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Health Care

Getting to the Heart of the Most Important Issue for Voters in 2020

Kayla Dunlap

With so much focus on impeachment, recession fears, and conflicts in the Middle East, it’s easy to overlook one important data point. Health care remains the most important issue for voters who are deciding how they are going to vote for U.S. Congress in November.  

In fact, health care far surpasses any other voter issue. And it’s not even close.

Most Important Voter Issues

Overall, 40% of voters nationwide say health care is one of their top three most important issues.  The next closest issue, jobs and the economy, is more than 10 percentage points below health care (29%). Immigration and the border (27%), Social Security (24%), and gun violence (21%) round out the the top five issues.*

Meeting Street Insights graph showing top issue for voters in 2020 U.S. Congressional elections

Issue Importance by Political Party

We do see a partisan division related to health care. Almost half of independents (46%) and Democrats (48%) say they are especially focused on health care. Only 27% of Republicans consider it their top priority, instead focusing on issues related to immigration, the economy, and national security. 

Meeting Street Insights chart showing the most important issues to voters in 2020 U.S. Congressional election.

Party lines aside, plenty of data points to the health care debate as being measurably impactful on the 2020 elections.  Among voters who report being undecided on their choice for the generic U.S. Congressional ballot, health care is the top priority (42%).  Higher educated white women (one of the most dissected voter groups from 2018) say they are especially concerned about health care. In fact, 43% consider it the most important issue on the ballot. It is also the top issue with less-educated white women (38%) and white men (38%).

Comparing the Economy and Health Care

Even voters who report dissatisfaction with the current U.S. economy cite health care as the most important issue (47%) — ranking it above the economy and jobs (27%). This disparity is also true among those who are dissatisfied with their own personal financial situation (50% health care, 26% economy/jobs).  

Meeting Street Insights graph showing that health care is more important to voters in the 2020 election, even when they are dissatisfied with the economy.

It would appear that the majority of voters across almost every category are considering the rising cost of health care to be the most significant impact factor on their personal situation, even over a strong economy.

This tells us that there’s every reason to believe that health care will continue to be important for the foreseeable future. That’s a critical point for Democratic and Republican congressional candidates, particularly as the future of Obamacare hangs in the balance in the courts.

*It is important to note that this survey was fielded before the United States attacked and killed Iranian Major General Soleimani and Iran’s retaliation strike against military bases in Iraq where U.S. troops were being housed.

This data comes from a Meeting Street Insights online survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted December 28 – 30, 2019.

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know the winning issues,
targets, and positioning