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Trump Family Leave, Infrastructure Proposals Widely Popular

Trump Family Leave, Infrastructure Proposals Widely Popular

Story Highlights

  • Republicans and Democrats strongly endorse family leave, infrastructure
  • Majorities of Americans also agree with middle-class tax cuts, school choice
  • More disagree than agree with border wall proposal, cutting federal regulations

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans are far more likely to agree than disagree with President Donald Trump's proposals to require companies to provide family leave for parents of a newborn and to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure. A majority also agree with his proposal to significantly cut income taxes for the middle class and to provide federal funding for school-choice programs.

At the same time, Americans disagree more than agree with Trump's proposals to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, to cut federal regulations, to freeze federal civilian hiring and to eliminate funding for international organizations that provide abortions.

Republicans and Democrats Disagree on Most of Trump's Proposals

These results are based on a March 9-29 Gallup poll, which asked Americans if they agreed, disagreed or didn't know enough to have an opinion about 15 actions that Trump has taken or proposed. Complete results and question wording are at the bottom of this article.

A key but not unexpected finding is the vast partisan gulf in opinions about most of the proposals. Republicans and independents who lean Republican are more likely to agree than disagree with all 15 proposals, although to varying degrees. Democrats and Democratic leaners are more likely to disagree than agree with all but four of the proposals.

Americans Show Net Agreement With Four Trump Proposals

Americans overall show net agreement with four of the proposals tested, which constitute the clear winners for Trump's nascent administration.

Requiring companies to provide family leave to parents after the birth of a child is highly popular with Americans. This is one of only two proposals with majority net agreement among Democrats, and the only proposal that is more popular with Democrats than with Republicans. Trump included a family leave proposal in his January address to Congress. Democratic leaders have since introduced a family leave bill in the Senate and have challenged Trump to support it, but he has not recently included it as one of his major policy emphases.

There is also little disagreement from Americans about spending $1 trillion on infrastructure, the other proposal that finds overall net majority support. Trump is aware of this strong support, telling The New York Times this week that "Infrastructure is so popular that I might want to use it for another bill," indicating that he might leverage it to help pass healthcare or tax reform.

The other two Trump proposals that generate more agreement than disagreement from Americans are cutting taxes for the middle class and providing federal funding for school-choice programs that allow students to attend any private or public school. Republicans strongly support both of these proposals, and Democrats are more likely to agree than disagree with them, although by slim margins.

Trump often called for middle-class tax cuts during his campaign, and recently Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has reiterated the administration's support for the idea. The Trump administration team is attempting to move forward on tax reform, but it is not clear when such legislation will be finalized in Congress. Trump's 2018 budget proposal included $1.4 billion for school-choice programs, a policy strongly advocated by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Trump Actions/Proposals With Net Agreement
National adults net agreement* Republicans/Leaners net agreement* Democrats/Leaners net agreement*
pct. pts. pct. pts. pct. pts.
Require companies to provide family leave for parents after the birth of a child 71 62 79
Enact a $1 trillion program to improve U.S. infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and tunnels 64 78 54
Significantly cut federal income taxes for the middle class 35 70 12
Provide federal funding for school-choice programs that allow students to attend any private or public school 33 60 8
*% agreeing minus % disagreeing
Gallup, March 9-29, 2017

Mixed Views of Seven Proposals

Americans overall have generally mixed sentiments about seven other proposals tested, all of which generate significant support from Republicans but net disagreement among Democrats.

Two of these are the controversial Trump executive orders to impose a 90-day ban on issuing new U.S. travel visas for citizens of six predominantly Muslim nations, and to stop all refugee resettlement in the U.S. for 120 days. Americans are slightly more likely to disagree than agree with these, reflecting the mix between strong Republican agreement and strong Democratic disagreement.

Trump's executive order implementing these policies is currently on hold as a result of a ruling from a federal judge in Hawaii.

Americans break even in their views of the proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a new healthcare plan, fueled by the biggest partisan gap of any of the 15 measures tested. Republicans strongly agree with the idea, while Democrats strongly disagree. Trump and the Republicans failed to agree on a replacement plan late last month, and efforts to move forward are now on hold until after Congress' forthcoming Easter break.

Americans are also mixed in their agreement with the proposal to spend $54 billion more on defense, to authorize construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and to withdraw from participation in the Trans-Pacific trade Partnership. Trump has included the defense spending increase in his budget proposal and has issued orders greenlighting the pipelines and withdrawing U.S. participation from the TPP.

Americans tilt slightly more negative than positive about Trump's promise to reduce the corporate income tax rate, an effort that has become bogged down in negotiations and planning with Republican leaders in Congress to pass broad tax reform.

Trump Actions/Proposals on Which Americans Are Divided
National adults net agreement* Republicans/Leaners net agreement* Democrats/Leaners net agreement*
pct. pts. pct. pts. pct. pts.
Increase military spending by $54 billion 5 70 -46
Replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, with a new healthcare plan 0 72 -62
Authorize construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines -3 53 -47
End U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific trade Partnership or TPP -3 29 -25
Reduce the corporate income tax rate -5 43 -46
Stop all refugee resettlement in the U.S. for 120 days -6 56 -56
Impose a 90-day ban on issuing new U.S. travel visas for citizens of six Muslim-majority nations -7 64 -62
*% agreeing minus % disagreeing
Gallup, March 9-29, 2017

Net Disagreement With Four Proposals

Significantly more Americans disagree than agree with four of Trump's proposals, resulting from strong disagreement among Democrats and relatively tepid agreement among Republicans.

Americans give their lowest overall net agreement of any of the 15 actions tested to the proposal to begin the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Democrats evaluate this proposal more negatively than any other, and the proposal scores well below average among Republicans.

Trump has signed an executive order authorizing the beginning phases of the construction of a wall, although his administration has admitted that it is unlikely that a physical wall will be built along the entire 2,000-mile border.

Americans also have net-negative views of Trump executive orders that froze most civilian hiring by the federal government and that required that two federal regulations be eliminated for every new regulation proposed. They also show net disagreement with the executive order that eliminated U.S. funding for international organizations that provide abortions.

Trump Actions/Proposals With Net Disagreement
National adults net agreement* Republicans/Leaners net agreement* Democrats/Leaners net agreement*
pct. pts. pct. pts. pct. pts.
Put a hiring freeze on most civilian jobs in the federal government -13 36 -51
Eliminate U.S. funding for international organizations that promote or provide abortions -18 43 -59
Require that for every new federal government regulation put in place, two existing regulations must be eliminated -19 35 -58
Begin the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico -20 46 -73
*% agreeing minus % disagreeing
Gallup, March 9-29, 2017

Implications

The implications of these measures of public opinion about a number of Trump's actions and proposals depend on the president's philosophical position on the role of the presidency.

To the degree that Trump believes he should represent the wishes and desires of all Americans, he would focus on pushing through an infrastructure bill, cutting middle-class taxes, providing family leave and allocating federal funds for school-choice programs. He would pull back from his promises to build a wall, his efforts to streamline federal government and vetting international organizations based on their funding of abortion.

If Trump views himself as primarily representing Republicans, then he is essentially on target with all of his proposals, particularly passing an infrastructure bill, repealing the ACA, spending more on the military and cutting taxes for the middle class.

Practically speaking, Trump has been able to move forward on a number of the proposals using executive orders, bypassing the need to seek bipartisan agreement or agreement within the factions of his own party. But for his major proposals to replace the ACA, reduce taxes on the middle class and businesses, and increase infrastructure spending, Trump needs congressional legislation.

As the effort to come up with a new healthcare bill has shown, arriving at a consensus on such legislation presents a significant challenge that the president will need to continue addressing in the weeks and months ahead if he is to see these promises come to fruition.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted March 9-29, 2017, with a random sample of 1,526 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

For results based on the total sample of 632 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, the margin of sampling error is ±5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. For results based on the total sample of 710 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, the margin of sampling error is ±5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

View survey methodology, complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

Americans' Views of President Trump's Proposals and Actions
Agree Disagree No opinion
% % %
Require companies to provide family leave for parents after the birth of a child 81 10 9
Enact a $1 trillion program to improve U.S. infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and tunnels 76 12 12
Significantly cut federal income taxes for the middle class 61 26 13
Provide federal funding for school-choice programs that allow students to attend any private or public school 59 26 14
Increase military spending by $54 billion 47 42 11
Replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, with a new healthcare plan 44 44 12
Impose a 90-day ban on issuing new U.S. travel visas for citizens of six Muslim-majority nations 40 47 13
Stop all refugee resettlement in the U.S. for 120 days 40 46 14
Reduce the corporate income tax rate 38 43 19
Begin the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico 36 56 7
Authorize construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines 36 39 25
Eliminate U.S. funding for international organizations that promote or provide abortions 35 53 12
Put a hiring freeze on most civilian jobs in the federal government 33 46 20
Require that for every new federal government regulation put in place, two existing regulations must be eliminated 27 46 27
End U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific trade Partnership or TPP 27 30 43
Each item asked of a randomly selected subsample of approximately 800 respondents; margin of error ±4 pct. pts.
Gallup, March 9-29, 2017

Republicans' Views of President Trump's Proposals and Actions
Agree Disagree No opinion
% % %
Require companies to provide family leave for parents after the birth of a child 76 14 10
Enact a $1 trillion program to improve U.S. infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and tunnels 85 7 8
Significantly cut federal income taxes for the middle class 79 9 12
Provide federal funding for school-choice programs that allow students to attend any private or public school 74 14 12
Increase military spending by $54 billion 81 11 8
Replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, with a new healthcare plan 81 9 10
Impose a 90-day ban on issuing new U.S. travel visas for citizens of six Muslim-majority nations 76 12 12
Stop all refugee resettlement in the U.S. for 120 days 71 15 14
Reduce the corporate income tax rate 63 20 17
Begin the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico 68 22 10
Authorize construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines 66 13 21
Eliminate U.S. funding for international organizations that promote or provide abortions 65 22 13
Put a hiring freeze on most civilian jobs in the federal government 58 22 20
Require that for every new federal government regulation put in place, two existing regulations must be eliminated 54 19 27
End U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific trade Partnership or TPP 43 14 43
Each item asked of a randomly selected subsample of approximately 800 respondents; margin of error ±4 pct. pts.
Gallup, March 9-29, 2017

Democrats' Views of President Trump's Proposals and Actions
Agree Disagree No opinion
% % %
Require companies to provide family leave for parents after the birth of a child 87 8 5
Enact a $1 trillion program to improve U.S. infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and tunnels 70 16 14
Significantly cut federal income taxes for the middle class 50 38 12
Provide federal funding for school-choice programs that allow students to attend any private or public school 46 38 16
Increase military spending by $54 billion 22 68 10
Replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, with a new healthcare plan 14 76 10
Impose a 90-day ban on issuing new U.S. travel visas for citizens of six Muslim-majority nations 15 77 8
Stop all refugee resettlement in the U.S. for 120 days 16 72 12
Reduce the corporate income tax rate 19 65 16
Begin the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico 12 85 3
Authorize construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines 16 63 21
Eliminate U.S. funding for international organizations that promote or provide abortions 17 76 7
Put a hiring freeze on most civilian jobs in the federal government 17 68 15
Require that for every new federal government regulation put in place, two existing regulations must be eliminated 9 67 24
End U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific trade Partnership or TPP 16 41 43
Each item asked of a randomly selected subsample of approximately 800 respondents; margin of error ±4 pct. pts.
Gallup, March 9-29, 2017


Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/207905/trump-family-leave-infrastructure-proposals-widely-popular.aspx
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