Republicans Have ‘Lost the Messaging Battle’ Over Tax Cuts, GOP Poll Finds

Republicans Have ‘Lost the Messaging Battle’ Over Tax Cuts, GOP Poll Finds

Jonathan Ernst

Republicans have “lost the messaging battle” over their tax cuts, according to a survey commissioned by the Republican National Committee. The poll, conducted early this month by GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies and reported Thursday by Bloomberg News, found that 61 percent of voters said the law benefits large corporations and the rich more than middle-class families, while 30 percent said the opposite is true. By a 36-point margin, independents said the law benefits corporations and the wealthy more.

Overall, public opinion of the tax law was split, with 44 percent favoring it and 45 percent opposing.

According to Bloomberg, the RNC-commissioned report says that “most voters believe” that Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare “in order to provide tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.” The survey report attributed those beliefs to “a fairly disciplined Democrat attack against the recent tax cuts.” An analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center found that 65 percent of the benefits of the GOP tax cuts this year will flow to the top 20 percent of earners, and more than 20 percent of the gains will go to the top 1 percent.

The Bloomberg report also reminds readers that, after the tax law passed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “If we can’t sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work.”

Republicans haven’t given up on their messaging fight, though. House Republicans are expected to vote next week on a second round of tax changes that would make permanent the individual tax cuts enacted last year.