Planned Parenthood, Democratic pollsters say Coffman tempts political fate on defunding

Author: Joey Bunch - May 2, 2017 - Updated: July 31, 2017

A Democratic polling firm and Planned Parenthood have a message for Rep. Mike Coffman: 58 percent of the voters in the 6th Congressional District don’t want him to cut funds for Planned Parenthood.

Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning firm based in North Carolina that tends to find what Democrats like to hear, released surveys from 13 swing districts across the country Tuesday. On the face of the results, Republican congressional members should take pause before voting on a new health care plan that takes political shots at Planned Parenthood.

“These results make it clear that targeting Planned Parenthood — or trying to replace the Affordable Care Act with the American Health Care Act more generally is politically perilous for swing-district Republican members of Congress,” Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement.

“Voters in these districts like Planned Parenthood, they like the Affordable Care Act, and efforts to hurt those things will imperil the Republicans in these districts as they look toward reelection next year.”

Team Coffman, unsurprisingly, doesn’t agree.

“Obamacare has made a mess of healthcare in Colorado,” said campaign spokesman Tyler Sandberg. “Mike is taking a methodical, studious approach in trying to fix it.

“These tired attacks from special-interest groups have failed year after year, despite literally tens of millions of dollars being spent to promote them. Mike is just going to keep doing his thing — listening, leading, trying to be part of the solution in a city where name-calling special-interest groups never stop thinking about the next election long enough to do what’s right for the country.”

None of this seems relevant now, however. President Trump said Monday he would sign a bipartisan budget that includes money for Planned Parenthood (and doesn’t include money for a wall that he said Mexico would pay for.)

Pollsters talked to 581 voters in the 6th Congressional District on April 26 and April 27, but Public Policy Polling didn’t cite a margin of error.

The complete poll is here.

The new poll shows 55 percent of voters in Coffman’s district oppose the GOP’s yet-to-be-defined health care plan, while 30 percent support it.

Republicans are working on their third attempt to repeal Obamacare. Coffman told the Washington Post Monday that he’s undecided on the latest health care bill.

House Speaker Paul Ryan told the Washington Examiner in a story Tuesday the House would need only 51 votes and could use qa procedural move to strip away Planned Parenthood funding for one year.

“It’s incredibly unpopular for politicians to block women from accessing birth control and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood,” Whitney Phillips, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado, said in a statement touting the new poll. “Coloradans have been showing up at Coffman’s office, jamming his phone lines, and making their voices heard.

“Rep. Coffman needs to listen to his constituents and protect their access to health care.”

Editor’s note: This blog was updated to include Paul Ryan’s point about using the Obamacare repeal to defund Planned Parenthood for one year.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.


  • Jan Zinkl

    May 2, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Don’t vote to repeal Obamacare unless it is replaced with something more inclusive. In fact, single payer is the way to go. In fact, world-wide it seems the only way to go. Remember, Japan has had that tupe of system since before World War II.

  • Cathy

    May 2, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Defund Planned Parenthood… If you want to murder your child, do it on your own dime.

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