Support for GOP Tax Plan Slips. Do Republicans Have a Messaging Problem?

Support for GOP Tax Plan Slips. Do Republicans Have a Messaging Problem?


Public support for the Republican tax plan has dipped a bit but remains relatively positive, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll found. Among registered voters who said they have seen, read or heard about the tax plan, 45 percent support it, down from 48 percent in the same poll last week. Nearly four in 10 registered voters surveyed said that passing tax reform should be a top priority for Congress. (By comparison, 50 percent said health care reform should be a top priority, and 36 percent said the same about reforming entitlement programs.)

The elements of the tax plan that find the most support in the poll are the increased child tax credit (60 percent approve) and the higher standard deduction and lower rate for pass-through businesses (59 percent each). The proposed elimination of the deduction for state income taxes gets only 30 percent support, though, and support for a crucial part of the plan – cutting the corporate tax rate to 20 percent – is notably weak: 37 percent oppose the reduction, while just 35 percent approve.

If those details suggest, unsurprisingly, that Americans like the idea of getting tax cuts, another recent poll might signal some trouble for the GOP’s messaging. A Washington Post-ABC News poll taken just before the official release of the House Republicans’ tax plan found that just five of 1,005 Americans used the word “cut” to describe the Trump tax plan.

The poll asked respondents to describe the plan in just one word, given what they knew about it. Overall, 22 percent of those polled used positive words such as “fair,” “good,” or “excellent.” Almost twice as many people used negative terms like “unfair,” “biased,” “bad,” “stupid” or “idiotic.” Views of Trump almost inevitable colored the responses, with 75 percent of Trump supporters approving the plan and 78 percent of those who disapprove of his overall performance also negative on the tax proposal.