Consumer confidence may be at a two-year nadir, but voter confidence in Republicans’ ability to bring the economy back online is increasing. A new Rasmussen Reports
survey finds that 45 percent of those polled trust Republicans more on the economy, compared with 35 percent for Democrats.
And 19 percent don’t know which party to trust, according to two national phone surveys of 1,000 likely voters July 18-21. Of course, the poll took place before the debt negotiations imploded during the weekend, so folks might feel a little differently this week.
The gap was the closest in years in May, when the GOP held just a 46-42 percent lead on the economy, which voters consistently regard as the most important of 10 issues Rasmussen tracks regularly.
Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on nine of those 10 issues. In May, Republicans led on just six issues, after being trusted more on all 10 in early January. Two years ago, Democrats were trusted more than Republicans on most issues. Still, the parties are close on several issues.
Healthcare, which voters rank second behind the economy in terms of importance, is an issue the GOP holds a tight 46 percent to 43 percent advantage on. Before Barack Obama was elected president, Democrats had a huge advantage on this issue. During Election 2010, the advantage switched to the GOP. In May, the parties were essentially tied.
A majority of voters continues to support repeal of the national healthcare law and believe it will increase the federal deficit.
Taxes are a big part of the debt ceiling debate, and voters trust Republicans more than Democrats by a 46-40 percent margin on that issue.
Most voters are worried that the final debt ceiling deal will raise taxes too much and cut spending too little. Three-fourths believe that, even if the deal includes tax hikes on only the wealthy, ultimately taxes will be raised on the middle class, too. Still, the majority of voters don’t care much for the way either political party is performing in the debt ceiling debate.
The one issue Democrats do hold an advantage in trust on is education, 42 percent to 38 percent, while 19 percent don’t know.
The parties are nearly tied on the issue of Social Security, with Republicans holding a statistically insignificant 42-40 percent lead. In May, Democrats barely edged the GOP on this issue.
Republicans hold a slight 38-35 percent edge in the area of government ethics and corruption, a reversal from the modest lead Democrats held in May. But 27 percent of voters don’t know whom to trust more on this issue.
On immigration, Republicans hold a sizable 47 percent to 33 percent advantage, with 21 percent of voters undecided.
Two-thirds believe that gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of illegal immigrants already living in America when it comes to immigration reform policy. More voters continue to favor tougher laws against employers who hire illegal immigrants than against landlords who rent to them. But support for strong sanctions against both employers and landlords is at record highs.
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