Democrats see backlash over Republicans’ tax bill as a key to winning in the suburbs

For decades, the battle lines in New England’s most politically conservative state were clear. Republicans ran on tax cuts. Democrats ran on targeted tax credits. Both parties kept New Hampshire free of a state income or sales tax, blurring some distinctions for suburban voters.

Then came the Republican tax plan in Congress. CONT.

David Weigel, Washington Post

Here’s the incredibly unpopular GOP tax reform plan — in one graph

A Republican tax plan has passed the House, but obstacles remain in the Senate. One of those obstacles: The plan appears to be not just unpopular, but also distinctively — almost historically — unpopular.

My fellow George Washington University political scientist Chris Warshaw compiled public polls capturing support for major legislation dating back almost 30 years. Here’s what he found: CONT.

John Sides, Monkey Cage

Recent polls: Tax reform

Trump’s Tweets Are Hurting Him With the Voters He Needs Most

… Ten months into his presidency, the failure of any one single scandal to sink his administration has led some in the media to suggest that Trump is like “Teflon,” with the grime that would stick to (and ruin) other politicians simply slipping right off. But the numbers show that nothing could be further from the truth—Trump’s scandals aren’t just damaging him, they’re causing swing voters to reevaluate both his priorities and the very health of the economy.

The Messina Group recently completed a long-term research project looking at a specific group who helped decide the 2016 election: white voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin who supported Barack Obama in 2012 but in 2016, did not vote for Hillary Clinton, instead choosing to either stay home or vote for Trump or a third-party candidate. What we found—combined with this month’s election results—should worry Trump and every ally who has hitched their wagon to his fast-burning star. CONT.

Jim Messina (Messina Group), Politico Magazine

Trump still loves polls

As a TV host, Donald Trump loved ratings. As president, he loves polls—as long as they show him on the upswing. …

Aides in the White House often show Trump polls designed to make him feel good, according to aides and advisers. Usually they’re the ones that focus just on voters who cast ballots for him in 2016 or are potential Trump supporters —Trump’s base—but occasionally include public polls like Rasmussen, depending on what the numbers say. …

But while Trump’s aides sometimes go out of their way to give him the rosiest view, Trump himself tracks the Gallup data almost every day, two advisers say, and always knows what the numbers say. When Trump decided to shake up his senior staff this summer, he frequently cited his sinking poll numbers to advisers and friends as a reason he needed to make a change. CONT.

Josh Dawsey & Steven Shepard, Politico

Older Americans Were Sicker and Faced More Financial Barriers to Health Care Than Counterparts in Other Countries

An international survey of older adults finds that seniors in the United States are sicker than their counterparts in 10 other high-income countries and face greater financial barriers to health care, despite the universal coverage that Medicare provides. Across all the countries, few elderly adults discuss mental health concerns with their primary care providers. Moreover, nearly a quarter are considered “high need” — meaning they have three or more chronic conditions or require help with basic tasks of daily living. CONT.

Commonwealth Fund

Myths of the 1 Percent: What Puts People at the Top

Income inequality inspires fierce debate around the world, and no shortage of proposed solutions. …

In the United States, the richest 1 percent have seen their share of national income roughly double since 1980, to 20 percent in 2014 from 11 percent. This trend, combined with slow productivity growth, has resulted in stagnant living standards for most Americans.

No other nation in the 35-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is as unequal, and none have experienced such a sharp rise in inequality. CONT.

Jonathan Rothwell (Gallup), New York Times

Republicans’ beliefs are bending to Trump. Here’s why they might not even notice.

If you look at polling data, there are a few issues on which Republican voters seem to have changed their beliefs since Donald Trump began his campaign for the presidency. …

It’s easy to look at these changing poll numbers and see something blatantly hypocritical — that these Americans are knowingly giving in to Trump rhetoric praising Putin and belittling free trade, betraying their former ideals.

But new research from psychology suggests something else is probably going on: Many political beliefs are fickle, and people probably don’t realize it when they change their minds.

Michael Wolfe, a memory and learning researcher at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, recently published an experiment in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology that found when people change their mind on a subject, they have a hard time recalling that they ever felt another way. CONT.

Brian Resnick, Vox

Priorities USA Poll: Republican Tax Plan Spells Electoral Disaster

The Republican tax proposals currently moving through Congress are more than just bad policy, they are politically toxic for Republicans and will further cement voters’ views that Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are looking out for the interests of the wealthy and big corporations, not the regular people they were elected to represent.

A new, nationwide survey conducted by Priorities USA finds that the lines of messaging for Democrats about the plan will be plentiful and highly effective. These messages are particularly potent reinforcing voters’ belief that Republicans aren’t looking out for regular people: the proposal’s cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, the elimination of medical expense deductions and the creation of new incentives for companies to send jobs overseas all make at least 73 percent of voters feel less favorably about the plan. CONT.

Priorities USA, Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group & Global Strategy Group

Holiday Spending Plans: Online Up, Discount Stores Down

Sixty-five percent of U.S. adults say they are likely to shop online for Christmas gifts this year, up 12 percentage points from four years ago and continuing steady growth in this form of shopping over the past two decades. Still, more Americans, 72%, say they are likely to shop at department stores this year, more than any of the other four shopping options tested in the survey. CONT.

Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup

Poll Hub: What’s in an Approval Rating?

President Donald Trump has certainly been in the thick of things during his first 10 months in office, but his job approval rating has changed little since he took the Oath of Office.

As this episode of Poll Hub explains, President Trump maintains the support of his base and focuses on issues that interest his core group of supporters. But, a majority of Americans consider the president’s policies to mostly favor the wealthy. As the president’s policy initiatives move forward, could that impact public opinion and President Trump’s job approval rating? Poll Hub takes on the question.

Marist Poll