Voters are souring on the Republican Party, and they place more trust in the Democratic Party when it comes to health care, according to a Suffolk University/USA Today national poll of registered voters.

Voters’ assessment of the Republican Party has plummeted to 62 percent unfavorable/23 percent favorable, significantly changed from the 55 percent unfavorable/32 percent favorable registered in a June poll conducted by the Suffolk University Political Research Center. The Democratic Party recorded a 48 percent unfavorable/37 percent favorable rating in the most recent poll.

“The Republican Party is in freefall,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “In March the GOP had a 48 percent unfavorable rating, in June the negative swelled to 55 percent. Today the GOP unfavorable is 62 percent. What’s next?”

The poll found that 43 percent of voters trust congressional Democrats to protect the interests of their families when it comes to health care, while 15 percent trust Trump, and less than 10 percent look to Republicans. Forty-five percent said that Congress should leave the framework of the Affordable Care Act intact but fix any problems, while 14 percent said to retain it as is.

Trump scorecard

Over 56 percent of voters said Trump has not delivered on his promises, while 33 percent said he has. Nearly 57 percent say that they want to elect a Congress that mostly stands up to Trump, while 33 percent want a Congress that mostly cooperates with Trump.

Trump’s unfavorable rating has risen to 57 percent, with 34 percent favorable, compared to 55 percent unfavorable in June, 47 percent in March and 46 percent unfavorable in a December poll conducted before he took office.

Some 64 percent said the country is on the wrong track, up from 56 percent in June.

NFL protests

Contrary to findings in other national polls, a majority (51 percent) of registered voters believe that it is appropriate for NFL players to drop to one knee as a protest bringing attention to police brutality and racial injustice. Nearly 42 percent said it is not appropriate.

Trump’s tweets criticizing the players and calling on NFL owners to fire them and for fans to walk out did not sit well with respondents. Sixty-eight percent said that Trump’s tweets were inappropriate, while less than 27 percent agreed. And when respondents were asked if player protests would make them more or less likely to attend a game or watch on TV, 56 percent said it would make no difference, 33 percent said less likely, and 7 percent said more likely.

North Korea

In the aftermath of North Korea’s testing more powerful nuclear weapons and an improved missile system to deliver them, voters prefer that diplomacy and caution prevail as the war of words escalates between the Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jung-un. More than 61 percent of respondents said that the United States should pursue diplomacy rather than undertake military action. And 69 percent said that the U.S. should take military action only in response to an attack, while 15 percent said that the U.S. should strike preemptively. On the issue of using nuclear weapons against North Korea, 62 percent are opposed, and 26 percent support such action.

Facebook ads

Registered voters want Facebook to be more accountable for campaign ads sold for its platform. Over 46 percent said Facebook should have done more to identify and publicize ads from Russian interests during the 2016 presidential campaign, while 26 percent said Facebook acted appropriately at the time. Fifty-eight percent said Facebook should release these ads and any information about them to the public, while 24 percent disagreed. And 77 percent said that Facebook and other social media platforms should be required to label political ads with who has paid for them as TV and radio stations are required to do.

Methodology

The nationwide survey of 1,000 voters was conducted Sept. 27 through Oct. 1 using live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were registered to vote. The margin of error is +/-3 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. Marginals and full cross-tabulation data are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, dpaleologos@suffolk.edu