Republicans have high hopes for the tax bill

Republicans have high hopes for the tax bill
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But only 24% of Republicans think it will lower their taxes

Congressional Republicans say they are looking for a win. While they look for one, their partisan base has become frustrated with the party in Congress and its leaders. That’s especially true when it comes to the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s approval rating among Republicans is an anemic 28% in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, while Speaker Ryan’s rating has once again fallen below 50%.

The problem has always been results. Although these are not the lowest rating GOP Congressional leaders have received from Republicans this year, ratings drop when there is no progress on GOP legislation. So Ryan and (especially) McConnell have faced problems when repeal attempts on the Affordable Care Act failed, and when other legislation goals cannot be met. In the latest poll, only 9% of Republicans say Congress has accomplished more than usual this year; four times that number say it has accomplished less. Two-thirds of those Republicans blame – at least in part -- the Republicans in Congress.

So passing the Republican tax bill is important, and three in four Republicans believe it will become law.

 

Is the current version a bill Republicans like? They like it much more than the public at large does, and this poll suggests that elements of the bill are extremely popular with the party’s base. Still, there is a lot of unsureness, as well as fairly low expectations among Republicans that the bill will benefit them personally. 

Overall, only 29% of adults support the bill while 38% oppose it. Unlike the rest of the country, a majority of Republicans (59%) say they support the bill. However, 14% of Republicans don’t and more than a quarter aren‘t sure. More Republicans believe the bill won’t meet the original goal of cutting income taxes for everyone (40%) than think it will (31%), and there is no certainty – even among Republicans – that their own tax liability will drop.

More than a third of Republicans say most Americans will see their personal taxes drop if the bill passes, but fewer say the same about their own taxes. The most popular answer among Republicans about their own situation is that little will change.

 

About the same proportion of Republicans believe wealthy people (including Donald Trump) will pay less as think they personally will. 

Still, there is a lot in the bill Republicans love. They are overwhelmingly supportive of the elimination of the individual healthcare mandate in the bill, which could be the only step Republicans in Congress take this year to repeal and replace Obamacare. Many Republicans are happy to have the property tax deduction be limited to $10,000 (in the House bill) and many are willing to eliminate state and local tax deductions completely (in the Senate bill). They are divided on eliminating the tax deduction for student loan interest (in the House bill).

 

All of those changes are linked to increasing the standard deduction. While Republicans are more likely than the public overall to itemize their tax returns, half of Republicans say they take the standard deduction. (Itemizing deductions is far more common among those with incomes above $100,000 a year, though that group is only slightly more Republican than the public in general). Support for the tax bill among Republicans is not much different between those who itemize and those who take the standard deduction.

Read the full results and tables here.

Image: Getty

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