Popularity of Republican Tax Bill Rises Dramatically, Senator Heidi Heitkamp Hardest Hit


After Obamacare became law Democrats assured us that, as Americans became more familiar with the policy, it would become more popular.

That didn’t really happen, mostly because the most visible impacts the law had on people were mostly negative. A lot of people lost their existing coverage or saw big increases in the cost of their insurance. Those hoping the government’s health care exchanges would help them find coverage were treated to a website that was an absolute disaster for months on end. The state-level implementation of the policy in many parts of the country was a train wreck as well.

The reverse seems to be the case for the recently-passed tax bill. Though it, like Obamacare, was the rushed product of a hyper-partisan environment in Congress it’s actually proving to be more popular as Americans learn more about it.

Particularly as a lot of the hyperbolic, apocalyptic predictions from the left about the legislation prove fundamentally untrue.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s some reporting from the New York Times, that fortress of right wing talking points:

Americans are warming to the Republican tax law, and becoming more confident in the economy as a whole. They just aren’t sure that President Trump deserves much credit.

The tax overhaul that Mr. Trump signed into law just before Christmas remains relatively unpopular and highly polarizing, according to a new poll conducted for The New York Times by SurveyMonkey. But support for the law has grown significantly over the past month, and more Americans believe that they will receive a tax cut. Forty-six percent of Americans strongly or somewhat approved of the law in early January, up from 37 percent when the bill was nearing passage in December.

At the same time, falling unemployment, accelerating economic growth and a surging stock market have made Americans increasingly positive about both their own finances and the overall economy. That could be good news for Republicans hoping to overcome Mr. Trump’s unpopularity in the midterm elections.

Here’s the Times reporting on the previous polling which showed just 37 percent of Americans approving of the law while 58 percent disapproved, and here’s a graphical representation of just how much public sentiment on this bill has shifted:

The NYT/Surveymonkey poll isn’t the measure by which the tax bill has gained popularity. A Marist poll sponsored by NPR/PBS shows a remarkable 21 point swing in the tax bill’s popularity as well.

Public opinion is still very divided, of course, but then Americans mostly haven’t seen the tax bill’s impacts on their take-home pay. I expect the legislation will continue to trend more popular as time goes on.

Which will be a headache for Democratic incumbents like Senator Heidi Heitkamp who not only voted against the legislation but made a lot of dire predictions about it to the public.

Heitkamp told us the legislation wouldn’t help middle class Americans, yet each new day brings us news stories proving that talking point wrong.