January 18, 2017

Americans Overwhelmingly Reject the Trump-GOP Tax Plan

Despite national polling that has steadily shown widespread disapproval among most Americans, Republicans have passed a deeply unpopular and partisan tax bill. American voters have strongly opposed nearly every iteration of the Republican tax plan in poll after poll. According to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight on November 29, the Trump-GOP tax plan is the least popular tax bill since 1986—even ranking below bills that raised taxes during the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.



Recent Date Approve-Disapprove Previous Date Approve-Disapprove Approval Change Notes

Jan. 11, 2018

32% – 52% Dec. 5, 2017 29%-53% 3%

Live-caller poll


Jan. 10, 2018

33%-55% Dec. 2, 2017 29%-56% 4%

Live-caller poll

The Economist/ YouGov

Dec. 31-Jan. 2, 2018

37%-39% Dec. 17-19, 2017 32%-41% 5%

Online poll

Politico/Morning Consult

Jan. 11-16, 2018

45%-34% Dec. 14-18, 2017 42%-39% 3%

Online poll

Survey Monkey

Jan. 1-5, 2018 37%-58% Dec. 11-13, 2017 46%-49% 9%

Online poll


  • In a NBC News/WSJ poll released December 19, just 24% of Americans said that the Trump-backed tax plan is a good idea, versus 41% who believe it’s a bad idea. The bad idea response is up 6 points from an October poll.
  • In a CNN poll released December 19, more than half—55%—of respondents disapproved of the tax proposals put forth by Republicans in Congress, up 10 points from a CNN poll in early November, where just 45% of those surveyed opposed the plan. While opposition to the plan has skyrocketed in the last month, its favorability hardly increased. In the November CNN survey, the plan had 31% favorability, and the December survey saw a mere 2-point increase.
  • In a survey from Monmouth University released December 18, nearly half the public (47%) disapproved of the Senate and House tax bills, with just 26% approving of them.
  • A Quinnipiac University poll released December 5 found that voters disapproved of the Republican tax plan pending in Congress by a 2-to-1 margin, with 29% approving and 53% disapproving. This is slightly worse than a November 15 Quinnipiac University poll showing voters disapproved of the plan 25% to 52%. This low favorability matches the level of approval the failed Republican health care bill had when it was defeated in August.
  • Reuters/Ipsos poll released December 11 showed that of those who were aware of the tax bill being negotiated in Congress, 49% opposed the plan, consistent with polling from previous weeks.
  • A Gallup poll from Dec. 1-2 had 29% in favor and 56% opposed. Just 25% of independents and 7% of Democrats approved.
  • Even the most favorable polling on the Republican tax plan conducted by Politico/Morning Consult, initially had the bill garnering 48% support in early October, but in late November if got only 36% support—a drop of 12 points in less than two months.
  • A Washington Post analysis in November found that the Republican tax plan is the second most unpopular piece of major legislation considered by Congress in the last thirty years—second only to the Republicans’ failed health care effort earlier in 2017.


Most voters believe the benefits will go to large corporations and wealthy Americans at the expense of the middle class:

  • The January 11 Quinnipiac poll showed that 66% of voters believe the wealthy will benefit most. Only 26% believe that middle-class or low-income people will benefit. The same Quinnipiac poll shows that 33% of voters believe their taxes will rise and 37% believe the tax bill will not have much of an impact. Only 24% of voters believe they will receive a tax cut.
  • The January 4 YouGov poll shows that 53% of voters believe that wealthy people will pay less in taxes, but only 21% of voters believe they will personally receive a tax cut.
  • In a NBC News/WSJ poll released December 19, 63% say the tax plan was designed to mostly benefit the wealthy and corporations; just 22% say it will help everyone equally and 7% say it’s designed to help the middle class. Also, 37% say they believe the middle class will pay more if the bill becomes law and a majority believes the wealthy and corporations will pay less.
  • In a CNN poll released on December 19, two-thirds (66%) of respondents said they see the bill benefitting the wealthy more than the middle class.
  • USA TODAY/Suffolk University pollreleased December 10 showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans, or 64%, say the wealthy will get the most benefits—just 17% think the middle-class will.
  • A November Quinnipiac University surveyfound that 61% of voters think the wealthy will benefit most from this plan, compared to just 24% who say the middle class will benefit most. Even more striking, 59% think the Republican tax plan favors the rich at the expense of the middle class.
  • An ABC/Washington Postpoll from November showed 60% think the tax plan will favor the rich above everyone else, compared to just 13% who think the interests of the middle class are put first.
  • In a Marist poll released December 12, six in ten people surveyed (60%) believe the tax bill will mostly benefit the wealthy. About one in five Americans (21%) thought it will help the middle class, while only 4% say it will mostly aid lower-income Americans, and 15% remain unsure of who Republicans seek to assist with this legislation.
  • A CBS News poll from December 7 reported that a plurality of voters from all political leanings believe the Republican plan will help large corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and only one in three think it will help the middle class.
  • A conservative-leaning electorate from several 2018 Senate battleground states surveyed by GSG and Hart Research Associates in October noted that about six of every ten people polled said they thought the plan would benefit the wealthy more than the middle class, with only two in ten saying they believed it would benefit them personally.
  • Even small business owners oppose the plan, despite Republican claims that the measure is aimed at helping them. According to a Public Policy Polling survey released on November 27, 51% of small business owners oppose the plancompared to just 34% who support it. And 58% of small business owners believe that the wealthy and big corporations will benefit most, compared to just 32% who say the middle class and small business owners like themselves with gain under the plan.

Americans are skeptical of the fundamental arguments that Republicans have made in selling the bill:

  • A poll conducted by Monmouth University in December found that half the public (50%) anticipate their own taxes would increase under the Republican plan, and more than half of respondents said they would like Congress to abandon the current measure and start over with a bipartisan approach in 2018.
  • In the same Monmouth University survey, only 17% of respondents believed Republicans were making genuine effort to reform the current tax system, while 35% said the attempt to pass this bill is motivated by the Republicans’ desire to achieve a political victory.
  • According to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll, 53% of those surveyed predicted their own families would not pay lower taxes as a result of the measure, with an equal 53% saying it would not boost the economy in a significant way.
  • A Marist poll released December 12 reported that 52% of those surveyed thought the Republican legislation would mostly hurt their personal family finances rather than help.

While passage of the Trump-GOP tax law is a big legislative win, it is a public relations nightmare that is likely to have significant repercussions throughout 2018. Its effect could be comparable in scale to the public opposition engendered by passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

Thanks to Not One Penny for providing a summary of polling research.