Here are the highlights of PPP’s first public national poll of the year:
Democrats have a solid 49-41 lead on the generic Congressional ballot, although that’s down a shade from December when it was 51-40. Beyond their overall lead, they’re also benefiting from an enthusiasm advantage- 65% of Clinton voters say they’re ‘very excited’ to vote in the election this fall, compared to 58% of Trump voters.
Paul Ryan’s seen a bump in his approval rating after the passage of tax reform- in December it was 23-58, and now it’s 29-53. There’s been no such boost for Mitch McConnell though- he was at 13-61 then and he’s at 14-59 now.
Public opinion is more split about the tax bill now than it was before the holidays. 38% of voters say they support the plan to 41% who are opposed to it. Voters are still skeptical about how much they will personally benefit from it though. 35% think it will help their family’s finances, 29% think it won’t have much of an impact on their family’s finances, and 28% think it will hurt their family’s finances. That skepticism voters have about how much the tax bill will help them is probably rooted in the fact that 56% think it will mostly benefit the rich to 31% who think it will mostly help the middle class.
One interesting finding is that only 17% of voters realize that more than 80% of the benefits from the tax plan will go to the wealthiest 1%. It will be interesting as Democrats message around that in the midterms this year to see how much increasing awareness of that fact will impact feelings about the bill.
While the tax issue isn’t hurting Republicans quite as much as it was a couple months ago, the party’s failed effort on health care last year continues to hurt it quite a bit. Voters support the Affordable Care Act 47-35, and only 34% think the best path forward on health care is to repeal it compared to 60% who prefer to keep it in place and make fixes to it as necessary. A majority of voters nationally- 51%- think that the Trump administration is actively taking steps that will hurt people’s health care and raise costs to only 42% who don’t think it’s trying to do that.
Trump has the highest approval rating we’ve found for him in a long time this month, with 44% of voters approving of him to 50% who disapprove. Even so he trails Joe Biden 51-42, Bernie Sanders 48-44, Cory Booker 46-42, and Joe Kennedy 46-43 in hypothetical contests. He ties Elizabeth Warren at 44 and Kamala Harris at 43, and has a slight edge over Kirsten Gillibrand at 43-42. Although Trump is stuck at 42-44% in all of the match ups they do at least look better for him than they did at the end of the year.
The not doing great- but doing better than he was- theme for Trump carries over to his battles with the media. Voters trust the Washington Post more than him 51-40, trust NBC and CBS more 50-41, trust ABC more 49-41, trust the New York Times more 49-42, and trust CNN more 47-41. Although Trump is not winning these fights, he’s in a better position with them than he was before Christmas as GOP leaning voters unify around him.
There are still plenty of bad numbers for Trump in the poll though. Only 42% of voters think he’s honest to 53% who say he isn’t, and by a 49-44 spread voters outright call him a liar. Just 39% think he’s delivered on his signature promise to ‘Make America Great Again,’ to 54% who don’t think he has. Voters still narrowly want to impeach him, 45/44, and they wish Barack Obama was still President instead of him 52-43.
67% of voters support the Dream Act to just 21% who are opposed. Democrats support it 81/7 and Republicans support it 50/36. Only 40% of voters support the wall with Mexico to 53% who are opposed to it. Democrats (81%) are more unified in opposition to it than Republicans (74%) are in favor of it.
Nothing that’s happened in the last 6 months has really moved the needle on public opinion when it comes to the Russia issue. In August 43% of voters thought Trump’s campaign team colluded with Russia to help him in the election to 38% who didn’t think so. Now it’s 45% who think there was collusion to 42% who think there wasn’t. In August 34% of voters thought Trump should continue as President even if collusion was proven to 54% who thought he should resign. Now it’s 36% who think Trump should continue if collusion is proven, to 54% who think he should resign.
49% of Trump voters want Robert Mueller fired to bring the investigation to an end, compared to 25% who disagree with taking that action. Overall only 26% of voters think Mueller should be fired with 55% saying the investigation should continue. The unhappiness with Mueller among Trump voters is having a big impact on overall perceptions of the FBI- its 46/34 approval rating breaks down as 71-14 among Clinton voters but 17-61 among Trump voters.
51% of Trump voters claim Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win the election to just 25% who grant that it helped Trump.
Only 20% of voters think members of Congress who didn’t stand and applaud for Donald Trump during the State of the Union address were committing treason, to 68% who say they weren’t. Among Trump voters 36% do consider it to have been treason though to 48% who disagree with that characterization. By a 63-14 spread voters say that coordinating with Russia to win a Presidential election is more treasonous than not standing and applauding for Donald Trump.
Cultural History Months
Overall 57% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Black History Month to 18% with a negative view of it. It’s seen favorably 75-10 by Clinton voters but only 38-25 among Trump voters, likely because it exacerbates their economic anxiety. A plurality of Trump voters- 37%- think there should be a White History Month to 35% who are opposed to such a concept. Clinton voters oppose that 8-77. 8% of voters dislike Black History month but think there should be a White History month- they give Trump a 77% approval rating.
Only 32% of voters support the proposed military parade in Washington DC later this year, 55% are opposed.
One thing there is a national consensus on across party lines is the need for nonpartisan redistricting when it comes to Congressional and legislative maps- independents support it 64-6, Democrats support it 58-12, and Republicans support it 46-17.
52% of voters think flu shots generally keep you from getting the flu to 34% who don’t think so. This is somewhat of a partisan issue with Clinton voters believing 65-21 that flu shots generally work and Trump voters narrowly believing 44-45 that they do not.
37% of voters think Donald Trump’s hair is all natural, 30% think he wears a toupee, and 33% are not sure.
The verdict is out for Americans when it comes to sharks- 21% see them favorably, 14% unfavorably, and 64% are not sure. Voters are split on what is scarier to them between sharks (43%) and Donald Trump (42%).
There may be an internet debate on the merits of Nutella versus peanut butter but in the greater world it’s not close- peanut butter wins out 76-12.
Full results here