Donald Trump’s voters say they’ll support him in arguments against the congressional GOP. Americans have low opinions of Trump’s transition, but expect him to boost the economy. And the public isn’t too fond of Vladimir Putin...or Congress. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, January 17, 2017.
TRUMP VOTERS ARE MORE LOYAL TO HIM THAN THE GOP - HuffPollster: “President-Elect Donald Trump has never exactly been a paragon of Republican Party orthodoxy. Even before he takes office, he’s been at odds with politicians in his own party over everything from infrastructure and trade policy to strategy on Obamacare and attitudes toward Russia. Voters who elected Trump largely are inclined to take his side in such disputes against congressional Republicans and traditionally conservative pressure groups, according to a new poll….Unsurprisingly, Trump voters overwhelmingly say they’d back him in a dispute against Democrats in Congress. Eighty-four percent say they’d be more likely to agree with the president-elect, with fewer than 1 percent saying they’d be inclined to side with Democrats. But a majority also say they’d be likely to support Trump over both congressional Republicans generally and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in particular….Other traditionally powerful voices on the right also fared badly in a hypothetical argument against Trump. Just 13 percent of Trump supporters say they’d be likely to side with conservative commentators, like Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingraham, over the president-elect, and just 23 percent that they’d be inclined to support evangelical Christian leaders….The one voice that Trump voters prioritized over the president-elect was that of the military.” [HuffPost]
TRUMP WILL TAKE OFFICE WITH RECORD UNPOPULARITY - Dan Balz and Scott Clement: “After a tumultuous campaign and transition, President-elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office Friday as the least popular incoming president in at least four decades, but a majority of Americans nevertheless express optimism that he will be able to fulfill campaign pledges to boost the economy and deal with threats of terrorism, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll….As in the campaign, Trump is a polarizing figure who generates great enthusiasm among those who supported him and deep hostility among those who did not….One pattern first seen during the presidential campaign continues to shape attitudes as Trump prepares to become president, which is a division among white Americans based on levels of education. In general, on a series of questions in the new poll, whites without college degrees expressed considerably more support for Trump than whites with college degrees.” [WashPost]
Americans OK with Trump keeping his businesses, bothered by his failure to release taxes - More from The Washington Post: “A narrow majority of Americans say Donald Trump should not have to sell his businesses to separate them from his duties as president — but a large majority say the president-elect should release his tax returns, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The poll finds 52 percent of those surveyed say Trump’s decision to hand over control of his businesses to his adult sons and another executive ‘is enough’ to separate his business interests from his obligations as president. A somewhat smaller share, 42 percent, say Trump should sell his businesses outright...Trump’s continued refusal to release his tax returns continues to be an unpopular decision, with 74 percent of Americans saying he should make the documents public, including 53 percent of Republicans.Trump said last week that he believes only reporters, and not the broader public, care about his tax returns. The Post-ABC poll finds that roughly 2 in 5 Americans both want to see Trump release of tax returns and say they ‘care a lot’ about him doing so.” [WashPost]
CONGRESS REMAINS UNPOPULAR - Riley Brands: “The 115th U.S. Congress begins its term with a 19% job approval rating, similar to the level measured for the institution in recent years and in line with the 18% to 20% ratings it received in the final months of 2016….Although Republicans control both chambers of Congress and are about to control the White House, the party faithful are no more likely than Democrats to approve of the institution, at 20% and 19%, respectively. Independents have a similar view of Congress, with 17% approving of how it is handling its job. This pattern of similarly low party ratings of Congress has generally held for about the last year…. This suggests there is no reservoir of goodwill for Congress to fall back on as it attempts to enact its agenda in the coming months.” [Gallup]
PUTIN IS DEEPLY DISLIKED, ESPECIALLY AMONG OLDER AMERICANS - Grace Sparks: “Only 9 percent of voters nationwide have a favorable opinion of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released Friday. Sixty-eight percent say have an unfavorable view of the Russian leader…. Only 12 percent of Republican respondents have a favorable view of him, compared to 3 percent of Democrats and 10 percent of independents. However, the gap in skepticism about Putin seems to be less of a partisan issue and more a matter of age. Sixty-two percent of people between 18 and 34 years old ― a group that tends to be more Democratic ― have an unfavorable view of Putin. But three-quarters of people over 65 ― who are more likely to remember the Cold War, and to be Republican ― don’t have a favorable view of him.” [HuffPost]
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TUESDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-Julia Azari lays out expectations for Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. 
-A new CNN/ORC poll shows that most Americans don’t think the Russian hacking changed the election’s outcome. [CNN]
-Barack Obama has a 57 percent approval rating in his last week in office. [Gallup]
-Sean Trende and David Byler break down how the south voted in 2016. [RCP]