A new survey out of Quinnipiac University is the bearer of bad news for House Republicans eager to hold on to their seats after the midterm elections this November. Survey respondents were asked which party they would prefer to take control of the House in 2018: 52 percent said Democrats, while 35 percent said Republicans. 13 percent were undecided. The results were nearly mirrored when respondents were asked which party they would prefer to take control of the Senate: 53 percent said they want to see Democrats win control, versus 36 percent who said Republicans.
The highly controversial GOP tax plan––which passed both chambers of Congress in December––is largely responsible for Republicans' low marks:
Voters disapprove 52 - 32 percent of the recently enacted Republican tax plan. Support is 76 - 7 percent among Republicans. White voters with no college degree are divided, with 41 percent approving of the tax plan and 38 percent disapproving. White men are divided at 46 percent approve of the plan and 43 percent disapprove. Every other listed group disapproves.
The tax plan will increase their taxes, 33 percent of voters say, as 24 percent say the plan will reduce their taxes and 37 percent say it will not have much impact.
The wealthy will benefit most from this plan, 66 percent of American voters say, while 22 percent say the middle class will benefit most and 4 percent say low income people will benefit most.
The poll demonstrates a sharp repudiation of not just the GOP, but President Donald Trump and his policies.
- ON DACA: 79 percent of American voters believe so-called "Dreamers"––undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children––should be allowed to remain in the United States and apply for citizenship. 7 percent say Dreamers should be allowed to stay but not apply for citizenship. 11 percent say Dreamers should be required to leave the country altogether. 64 percent of Republicans support allowing Dreamers to stay, compared to 92 percent of Democrats.
- ON THE PROPOSED BORDER WALL: 63 percent of American voters do not support building a wall along the border with Mexico, compared to 34 percent who do. "Republicans support The Wall 78 - 19 percent and white voters with no college degree are divided with 47 percent supporting The Wall and 49 percent opposed," the poll notes. "Every other party, gender, education, age and racial group opposes The Wall."
- ON MARIJUANA: 58 percent of Americans believe marijuana use should be made legal. 36 percent oppose making marijuana use legal. Among voters 18 to 34 years old, 79 percent favor legalizing marijuana; 17 percent are opposed. The survey also found that voters support 91 - 6 percent the legalization of medical marijuana. Even more significant: "Every party, gender, education, age and racial group supports legalization of marijuana except Republicans, who are opposed 62 - 33 percent, and voters over 65 years old, who are opposed 50 - 41 percent. Hispanic voters are divided 48 - 48 percent."
- ON ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS: 47 percent of American voters have an unfavorable opinion of Sessions; 14 percent have a favorable opinion. 37 percent say they haven't heard enough about Sessions to form an opinion of him.
"Looking at immigration, voters insist emphatically, 'Don't dash the dream.' Voters say that immigrants who were brought here as kids should be allowed to live out their adult lives here as citizens," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "The demographics say pot is here to stay, either for fun or to provide medical comfort," Malloy added. "And the message to Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Hands off."
Nuclear tensions with North Korea are at an all-time high, and American voters say 61 - 36 percent they "do not have confidence in President Donald Trump to handle the situation with North Korea."
By contrast, voters say 59 - 27 percent that the U.S. "will be able to resolve the situation with North Korea diplomatically, rather than through military force." However, voters say 66 - 26 percent that it is "not likely the U.S. will get into a nuclear conflict with North Korea in the near future."
Last week, the public, the media, and members of Congress alike excoriated the president after he threatened nuclear war with North Korea via Twitter. ("None of this is stable behavior," CNN's Jake Tapper said at the time.)
Speaking of Trump's tweeting: 69 - 26 percent, including 49 - 44 percent among Republicans, believe Trump should stop tweeting from his personal account. Ratings on his overall job performance haven't fared much better.
Complicating matters even further for Republicans: The string of Republican retirements which threaten their political majority. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), the House Oversight Committee Chairman, will retire at the end of his term, for example. Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) are others who've announced they will not seek another term. House Republicans will have to defend at least 30 open seats in 2018 due to retirements, resignations or lawmakers seeking other offices.
Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,106 voters nationwide from January 5 - 9 with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers called respondents' landlines and cell phones.