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- A new Monmouth University poll found 44% of Americans approved of the GOP tax law, while 44% disapproved.
- This was a notable increase from a Monmouth poll in December that showed 26% approval and 47% disapproval.
- The gain in the Monmouth poll matched improved image outlooks for the law in other polls and a strong boost for Republicans’ electoral hopes.
The Republican tax law has started to grow on Americans as it begins to be implemented, new surveys have shown, but the GOP still faces a tall odds to sell the public on it ahead of November’s midterm elections.
A new Monmouth University poll released Wednesday found that the tax code transformation received a surge in support in the first month after its passage.
Overall, 44% of Americans surveyed approved of the tax plan, while 44% disapproved. While current support is split, the numbers were a significant improvement over December, when 26% approved of the bill and 47% disapproved.
Americans also are increasingly convinced that the tax law will benefit their bottom line, but a significant portion still believe it would negatively affect their personal financial situations.
“Perhaps more importantly, fewer Americans (36%) believe that their own federal taxes will go up under the plan than felt the same when the bill was in its final legislative stages last month (50%),” a release from Monmouth read. “Still, the number who believe that their taxes will go up (36%) outnumber those who believe that their taxes will go down (24%) or stay the same (32%) under the new system.”
Part of a trend
The Monmouth poll results were similar to boosts for the tax law in other polls. A New York Times/Survey Monkey poll released January 16 found the tax law had 46% approval and 49% disapproval, down from a 37% to 58% approval-disapproval spread in early December. Gallup also showed similar gains in favorability from December to January.
The turnaround is a positive development for Republicans, who are attempting to sell the tax bill as a major achievement in the run up to the midterm elections. President Donald Trump has made a series of appearances to tout the effects of the law, and congressional leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan have applauded moves by businesses to give workers bonuses and wage hikes in part because of the law.
Given that before its passage the plan was the least popular piece of tax legislation in at least 30 years, the improvement appears to indicate the law’s effects – and the GOP’s salesmanship – have gained traction with the public.
Also in the poll, Republicans in Congress saw their fortunes on the generic congressional ballot improve.
Forty-seven percent of voters surveyed said they would vote for a Democratic candidate in their district if the 2018 midterms were held today, while 45% said they would vote for the Republican. That represented a dramatic shift from December, when 51% of people favored a Democrat and 36% favored a GOP candidate. And it reflects a recent rebound for Republicans in other generic polls.
Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said the shift shows Democrats may not be able to rely on the tax bill as a breaking point in the midterms.
“The generic Congressional ballot is prone to bouncing around for a bit until the campaign really gets underway later this year,” Murray said in a release. “But Democrats who counted on riding public hostility toward the tax bill to retake the House may have to rethink that strategy.”