A majority of the public backs the key elements of the tax reform plan outlined by President Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress, including a sharp reduction in the corporate income tax rate and the doubling of the standard deduction, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll.
But Trump's approval rating took a tumble this month, dropping to 33% and nearly erasing the gain he made last month.
The poll also found that nearly half say athletes should be disciplined by the NFL for protesting during the national anthem, and 33% say they're less likely to watch an NFL game because of the protests by football players.
The national poll was conducted from Sept. 29 through Oct. 8, and includes a sample size 887, giving it a margin of error = +/-3.4 percentage points.
Public Backs Tax Cut Specifics
The October IBD/TIPP poll asked several questions about specific proposals in the GOP tax plan, and found that each one gained majority support.
- 51% support lowering the business income tax rate from 35% to 20%; while 43% oppose it. On a partisan basis, this gets 81% backing from Republicans, 52% from independents and 26% from Democrats.
- 52% support the GOP plan to cut the number of tax brackets from seven to three. That includes 75% of Republicans, 51% of independents and 32% of Democrats. Thirty-seven percent oppose.
- 81% support lowering the "pass through" tax rate on small businesses and file taxes using the individual income tax form from 39.6% to 25%. On a partisan basis, this idea gets 91% support from Republicans, 86% from independents and — surprisingly — 68% from Democrats.
- Nearly two-thirds (64%) support the idea of doubling the standard deduction for tax filers. Just 28% oppose. This, too, gets a majority support across the partisan spectrum, with 77% of Republicans backing it, 62% of independents and 56% of Democrats.
These findings stand in stark contrast to polls that showed limited support when the public was asked about "Trump's tax plan" in general. An ABC News poll found that just 44% backed the plan when described that way.
A Morning Consult poll also found little support when the public is asked generically about the Trump tax plan (47% approved). But it, too, found strong support for most of the individual pieces: 62% say doubling the standard deduction should be in the tax bill, 61% cutting small business taxes, 60% boosting child tax credit, 52% getting rid of the death tax.
Trump Support Drops
Trump's approval rating took another beating, dropping five points to 33%, while 61% disapprove. Last month, 38% approved while 57% disapproved. That drop brings Trump close to where he was in August, when his approval rating stood at a low 32%.
"The most significant declines in Trump's approval rating, according to our data, came from southerners, conservatives, millennials and women," noted Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, which conducts the IBD/TIPP poll.
Trump's support in the south plunged 14 points, going from 48% in September to 34% in October. Among conservatives, it went from 72% to 63%; millennials, 33% to 22%; women, 34% to 26%.
Trump's favorability rating went from -20 points in September (38% favorable to 58% unfavorable) to -26 points in October (33% favorable, 59% unfavorable).
More than half (53%), say Trump is providing weak leadership.
As a result, the proprietary IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index dropped 9.2% in October to 36.5, the second lowest of Trump's presidency.
"Trump's feud with the mayor of San Juan provided his critics with an opportunity to criticize his ability to lead during a crisis. On the national anthem controversy, many Americans disapprove of the president's harsh language in his criticism of professional athletes who kneel during the anthem, though they may agree with his overarching message of patriotism," Mayur said.
The failure to get ObamaCare repealed and Trump's outreach to Democrats hurt his ratings among conservatives, he noted.
"Finally, his public disapproval of cabinet officials like Jeff Sessions and Rex Tillerson, along with the recent revelation of Tillerson's criticism of the president, does not reflect the high expectations many have assigned to Trump's dream cabinet."
NFL In Trouble
The public was fairly evenly split on the question of whether football players should face disciplinary action, such as a fine, for not standing during the national anthem, as allowed for in the Game Operations Manual.
Nearly half (49%) said the league should punish those athletes, while 46% said it shouldn't.
More than three-quarters of conservatives (79%) favor punishing those athletes, but just 17% of liberals do.
Generationally, support for punishing those athletes climbs with age, with only 35% of millennials backing punishment, compared with 46% of Gen-Xers, 56% of young boomers, 58% of old boomers, and 62% of those over age 71.
Regionally, enforcing the national anthem guideline gets its strongest support from rural Americans (63% of whom say the athletes should face disciplinary action), and the least support among urban dwellers (41%).
By gender, the split is 55% men vs. 44% of women who favor enforcing the policy.
Meanwhile, a 33% say they're less likely to watch NFL games because of the protests, nearly three times as many as say they're more likely to watch (12%). Fifty-four percent say it makes no difference.
NFL ratings have declined since the controversy erupted last month.
In other findings:
- ObamaCare support is now at 59%, with opposition at 39%. This is one of the highest approval ratings ObamaCare has received since IBD/TIPP began asking that question. Support for the law had shown a decline in the monthly Kaiser Family Foundation survey.
- Just 20% say they are satisfied with the direction the country is going when it comes to morals and ethics. That's down from 23% in September and is the lowest number in 17 years of IBD/TIPP polling.
- 45% say the economy is improving, while 49% say it isn't. Last month, 51% said the economy was improving while 45% said it wasn't.
Methodology: The October IBD/TIPP Poll was conducted Sept. 2-Oct 8. It includes responses from 887 people nationwide, who were asked questions by live interviewers on cell or landline phones. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.4 percentage points.
The IBD/TIPP Poll has been credited as being the most accurate poll in the past four presidential elections, and was one of only two that correctly predicted the outcome of the November elections.
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