Let me explain why there was an uptick in the president’s and the republicans’ generic poll numbers in February 2018. This is where it pays to have one’s ear plugged into what is going on around them.
It turns out that in February 2018, many companies chose to take the step across the board to award employees, their 2018 tax savings because of the GOP tax-cuts, in a one time lump sum payment. Businesses did this instead of having it divided over the employees’s pay periods throughout the year.
This can be confirmed by having researchers contact some of the larger companies. In short, the republicans have just received a short term, one time big bang for their 2017 tax cuts for the middle class. But this welcome windfall will become a fading memory.
Unfortunately for republicans, this uptick will be short lived. After the president’s handling of the 2/14/18 mass shooting and with the DOJ’s 2/16/18 announcement of indictments against 13 Russian nationals and entities because of Russia’s meddling in 2016 US elections, the president’s poll numbers will go south.
I did not find a source providing this information but the below Slate report came close.
Here’s the rest of the story…
On February 14, 2018, Isaac Chotiner of Slate penned by the following report, “Republicans Rising” (“Why things are looking up for Trump and his party.”)
“On Tuesday (2/13/18), the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA released a poll showing President Trump’s approval rating rising several points and Republicans making gains in the race for Congress. Trump’s numbers are still very low, and Republicans are still set to lose a number of seats in the House. But the poll nevertheless lines up with polling averages we have been seeing over the past several weeks and raises questions about just how well Democrats will do in November and just why Trump’s message on taxes and the economy seems to be working.”
To discuss the state of the polls and the parties, I spoke by phone with Harry Enten, a polling expert and senior political writer and analyst at CNN. During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed why Trump’s approval rating has ticked up, why immigration is a dangerous issue for Democrats, and what remains the Republican Party’s biggest weakness.
“Isaac Chotiner: It seems like the conventional wisdom attributes Trump’s slightly better numbers to economic conditions and changing views of the tax cut. Is that your take?”
“Harry Enten: I think what’s very clear is that the uptick for Republican fortunes on the generic congressional ballot has been correlated very much with an uptick in Trump’s approval rating. I don’t think that there’s really anyone who’s doubting that. I think the question is: What is causing Trump’s approval rating to tick up a few points? Is it the tax bill, or is it merely that the tax bill is a confounding variable—that, in other words, it’s not surprising that the tax bill Trump is associated with has had its popularity rise as Trump’s own popularity has risen. It’s not clear which is causing the other.”
“That being said, the fact that the tax bill isn’t as unpopular as it was, say, a few months ago, just before it was passed, is certainly not a bad thing for Republicans. But if you look at the overall average of polls, I think you still see that the tax bill is not all that popular.”
“The memo that accompanied the Priorities USA poll theorizes that Democrats have been hurt by moving away from talking about the economy and health care. There has been more of a microfocus on scandals in the White House and so on, and that has allowed Trump some breathing room, because when his approval rating has been weakest, it’s been when the focus is on plutocratic—that’s my word—policies or taking health care away from people. Do you agree?”
“I’m not sure that a focus on the economy is a good thing for the Democratic Party. If you look at poll after poll after poll, Donald Trump’s approval rating is highest on the economy, more so than pretty much any other issue. That’s in good polls and bad. In fact, his approval rating overall has been significantly lower than you might have predicted otherwise, given his approval rating on the economy.”
“I do think that the fact that we’re no longer focused on health care, which was obviously a very bad issue for the president and Republicans at large, is probably a good thing for him. But I would argue that perhaps if you’re looking for one cause over another over the past few months, look at the Quinnipiac University survey. What I thought was very interesting was the question of who you credit for the gains in the economy, or who’s most responsible for the state of the economy. Is it President Trump or former President Obama? What we see over the past few samples that Quinnipiac has taken is that the percentage who say that Trump is more responsible has climbed. In fact, more voters now say that Trump is responsible than Obama, and given that the state of the economy is generally seen as pretty good by voters, it shouldn’t be too surprising that then we see an uptick in Trump’s approval rating, and vis-a-vis that, we see an uptick in the Republicans’ position on the generic congressional ballot.”
“Is that something you would expect to see the further you get away from a former president’s term?”
“If we go back and look at Obama vis-a-vis Bush, it took a number of years for people to start to credit Obama or blame Obama for the state of the economy. Remember, the economy back then wasn’t so good. It took considerably longer than it took for people to start crediting Trump on the economy. Yeah, I would say that that happened rather suddenly.”
“I’m not necessarily sure what the cause of that is, although it should be pointed out that Donald Trump, when he’s in control of his message, at his best, is really trying to be the “jobs president.” He’s the businessman. That was the thing that generally he tried to get voters to trust him on versus Clinton.”
“If we look at these other issues, like the Russia investigation or these small scandals, they have not tended to move voters that much, with maybe a few exceptions. I think that if Democrats can somehow make this again about Trump and make this again about health care or some other issue where Republicans don’t do so well, then that’s where they’re probably in a better position. It remains to be seen, for instance, if the recent scandals involving different members of the White House have an effect.”
It does seem like the variety of stories, the Michael Wolff–type stories, the Stormy Daniels–type stories, are baked into the cake a little bit.
I think that’s completely baked into the cake. I think that anyone who voted for Donald Trump after the Access Hollywood tape came out isn’t going to be offended because perhaps he had an affair with Stormy Daniels. I don’t think they even care.
For Link to Entire Report: Trump and the Republican Party’s uptick, explained