|Donald Trump versus Republicans in Congress: Where are GOP sympathies?
AEI Political Report, November 2017
Karlyn Bowman and Eleanor O’Neil
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How do Republicans feel about their party’s leaders? The November issue of AEI’s Political Report compares Republicans’ views on Donald Trump to their ratings of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Republicans in Congress generally. We also look at what Americans think the goals of tax reform should be and whether the public believes it will happen.
Trump’s on top with Republicans
- Trump versus Republicans in Congress: Republicans have more confidence in Trump to deal with major issues (63 percent) than they do in the Republicans in Congress (29 percent) (CNN/SSRS). They also give him much higher marks on handling his job than they give the Republicans in Congress on handling theirs (Quinnipiac). A majority of Republicans think Trump is doing enough to cooperate with Republicans in Congress, but they don’t think Republicans in Congress are doing enough to cooperate with Trump (CNN/SSRS).
- McConnell and Ryan: Republicans’ net approval of Trump has remained fairly stable since January, while their ratings of McConnell and Ryan have fallen (YouGov/Economist). In CNN’s surveys, both Ryan and McConnell lost more ground among Republicans between January and September than Democratic congressional leaders did among Democrats between January 2009 and January 2010 when their party controlled Congress and the White House.
- Party support: Republican registered voters’ approval of their party in Congress rose to 66 percent in Quinnipiac’s February 2017 survey, exceeding Democrats’ approval of theirs (59 percent) for the first time in five years. In Quinnipiac’s October poll, 37 percent of Republicans approved of the way Republicans in Congress were handling their job, compared to 53 percent of Democrats who approved of the way Democrats in Congress were handling theirs.
Taxes, tax reform, and tax cuts
- Reform: Nearly 90 percent nationally say tax reform is necessary (Harvard/Harris), and only 8 percent of registered voters believe the system works well (Fox), but most polls show that tax reform is not a top priority now. In a September Fox News survey, registered voters were divided about whether it was extremely or very important (49 percent) to pass it this year or somewhat or not at all important (46 percent).
- Who should pay? People like the idea of reducing taxes across the board (Quinnipiac). In separate questions about specific taxpayers, people wanted to increase taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Virtually identical numbers favored keeping taxes on the middle class the same as they are now (48 percent) as wanted to decrease them (47 percent). A majority wanted to reduce taxes for them and their families and, separately, for small business (NBC News/Wall Street Journal).
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