Congressional Republicans are fulfilling President Donald Trump's wish for a pre-Christmas tax cut in the face of strong public resistance, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has found.
The survey shows that just 24 percent of Americans believe the president's tax plan is a good idea – barely more than half of the 41 percent who call it a bad idea. Majorities say they expect their own taxes and those of middle-class families to stay the same or go up under the bill, while taxes for corporations and the wealthy go down.
Indeed, by an overwhelming 63 percent to 7 percent margin, Americans say the plan was designed to help corporations and the wealthy rather than the middle class. And there are signs that the tax debate has taken a political toll on Republicans and the president alike.
In June, the NBC/WSJ poll showed that Americans preferred Republicans over Democrats in handling the tax issue by 4 percentage points. Now, Americans prefer Democrats by the same margin. On handling the economy, Republicans have moved from a 7 percentage point advantage to a 5 percentage point deficit over the same period.
Those shifts help explain why Democrats have moved out to a wide 50 percent to 39 percent edge over Republicans when Americans are asked which party they want to control Congress after the 2018 elections. Looking ahead to the 2020 presidential race, 36 percent say they would definitely or probably would vote to re-elect Trump, while 52 percent say they definitely or probably would not.
The NBC/WSJ telephone poll of 900 adults was conducted Dec. 13-15. It carries a margin for error of 3.27 percentage points.