Academic journal article AEI Paper & Studies

Political Report: A Monthly Poll Compilation

Academic journal article AEI Paper & Studies

Political Report: A Monthly Poll Compilation

Article excerpt

2017: Hot Topics in a Frigid Political Year

In this issue, we look at the public's verdict on some hot topics this year. A change in leadership hasn't shifted overall views of the country much. Throughout the year, majorities said things in the country were off on the wrong track, as they usually have since pollsters began asking the question in the 1970s. Opinion on how well things are going in the country has been more volatile historically, but the 2017 assessments--with Americans divided--were similar to responses given in the past few years.

Views about the economy improved. Americans continue to say Donald Trump is doing more to divide the country than to unite it.

Q: Do you feel things in this country are generally going in the right
direction or do you feel things have pretty seriously gotten off on the
wrong track? (CBS News) Q: How well are things going in the country
today--very well, fairly well, pretty badly or very badly? (CNN/SSRS)

         Wrong   Very/Fairly   Pretty/Very   Right
         track   well          well          direction

Jan-17   61%     50%           50%           29%
Feb-17
Mar-17
Apr-17
May-17
Jun-17
Jul-17
Aug-17
Sep-17
Oct-17   64%     61%           46%           31%

Source: For right direction/wrong track, CBS News, latest that of
October 2017. For how well things are going, CNN/SSRS, latest that of
October 2017.

Note: Table made from line graph.

Q: Would you describe the state of the nation's economy as ...?

           Excellent/  Not so good/
           Good        Poor

January    46%         53%
November   58          41

Note: Samples are registered voters.
Source: Quinnipiac University, latest that of November 2017.

Q: Do you feel that Donald Trump is doing more to __ as president?

           Unite the   Divide the
           country     country

February   36%         58%
October    37          58

Note: Samples are registered voters.
Source: Quinnipiac University, latest that of October 2017.

Hot Topics: Health Care and Taxes

Support for the Affordable Care Act has inched up in most polls this year. The Kaiser Family Foundation's trend shows that favorable opinions of the law have outweighed unfavorable views in almost all their 2017 surveys, a shift from the previous year. More people name health care costs as the most important financial problem facing their families than say that about taxes. Health care policy ranks above tax policy in questions about priorities for the president and Congress.

Q: As you may know a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010,
known commonly as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Given what you
know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or
generally unfavorable opinion of it? Is that a very
favorable/unfavorable or somewhat favorable/unfavorable opinion?

          Very/Somewhat favorable   Somewhat/Very
          opinion of the ACA        unfavorable

Jan-16    44%                       46%
Mar-16
May-16
Jul-16
Sep-16
Nov-16
Jan-17
Mar-17
May-17
Jul-17
Sep-17
Nov-17    51%                       50%

Note: Earlier surveys not shown. Prior to May 2017, the question did
not include the phrase "known commonly as the Affordable Care Act or
Obamacare."
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, latest that of November 2017.

Note: Table made from line graph.

Q: What is the most important financial problem facing your family
today?

Health care costs               17%
Too much debt/paying debts      11
Lack of money/low wages         10
College expenses                10
Cost of owning/renting a home    9
High cost of living/inflation    8
Retirement savings               6
Taxes                            5

Note: Responses shown are those volunteered by at least 5 percent of
those surveyed.
Source: The Gallup Organization, June 2017.

Q: Which of these should be a higher priority for Congress and the
President to address right now?

Tax policy           23%
Health care policy   74%

Source: CBS News, September 2017. … 
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