G.O.P.’s Health Care Tightrope Winds Through the Blue-Collar Midwest

… It is a daunting paradox for a party that, at least in theory, was once unified around a belief that Washington should be tamed, not empowered. But by winning the White House under the banner of economic nationalism, and carrying a series of Democratic-leaning Rust Belt states, Mr. Trump has left his adopted party struggling to come to terms with the reality of who are now voting for Republicans — and what they expect from their government. …

A new Pew Research Center survey indicated that the number of Republicans making below $30,000 a year who believe the federal government has a responsibility to ensure health coverage for all had risen to 52 percent from 31 percent last year. And while just 14 percent of Republicans who make between $30,000 and about $75,000 last year said the government bore responsibility for health care, now 34 percent of such voters do.

“This is a function of Donald Trump engineering a takeover of the Republican Party,” said Whit Ayres, a longtime Republican pollster. “It was takeover more than assimilation, and this is the eminently predictable result.” CONT.

Abby Goodnough & Jonathan Martin, New York Times