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Voters Rate Jobs Most Important on Trump’s Agenda

Monday, March 06, 2017

Voters agree with President Trump’s emphasis on new jobs in his speech last week to Congress, and most expect him to achieve at least some of the ambitious agenda he laid out.

Given six specific action items from the president’s speech, 26% of Likely U.S. Voters say creating more jobs is most important, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey. In second place is Trump’s proposed infrastructure plan to rebuild America’s roads, bridges and tunnels, rated most important by 19%.

Fourteen percent (14%) think reducing illegal immigration should be the priority, followed by 11% each who rate cutting taxes and repealing and replacing Obamacare that way. For eight percent (8%), defeating radical Islamic terrorism is most important, while six percent (6%) opt for something else. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among voters who Strongly Approve of the job the new president is doing, 24% say creating more jobs is most important, but just as many (23%) feel reducing illegal immigration should be tops. Twenty-one percent (21%) put the emphasis on repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Rebuilding infrastructure is number one for 33% of voters who Strongly Disapprove of Trump’s job performance so far, followed by 28% who rate creating more jobs as most important.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of all voters think the president is likely to accomplish at least some of the agenda he proposed in the speech to Congress, with 32% who expect him to accomplish most of it. Just 20% say Trump is likely to achieve none of what he has proposed.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 2 and 5, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

In a television interview just after his election in November, Trump made it clear that repealing and replacing Obamacare and nominating a strict constructionist to the U.S. Supreme Court were high on his list of action items, and voters said that was a good place to start.

Despite opposition from most Senate Democrats, a sizable majority of voters continues to believe Trump’s nominee, federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, is likely to be the next justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. A congressional plan for dealing with Obamacare is expected in the next few weeks.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters say the president set the right tone in his speech last week to Congress. Thirty-three percent (33%) disagree, while 14% are undecided.

Eighty-two percent (82%) of Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major political party by a 45% to 35% margin approved of the tone of Trump’s speech, compared to just 31% of Democrats. Fifty-five percent (55%) of Democrats did not like the tone of the president’s speech.

Republicans rate creating more jobs, reducing illegal immigration and repealing and replacing Obamacare as most important. For Democrats, more jobs and launching an infrastructure plan rate of equal importance, with cutting taxes at a distant second. Unaffiliateds rate jobs and infrastructure about equally but not as emphatically as Democrats do and put reducing illegal immigration in third place.

Sixty percent (60%) of GOP voters think Trump is likely to accomplish most of his agenda, but just 13% of Democrats and 23% of unaffiliated voters agree

Fifty percent (50%) of all voters think Trump will do better than President Obama when it comes to protecting U.S. jobs and creating new ones. Thirty-four percent (34%) say the new president will do a worse job in this area than his predecessor.

The president in his speech last week proposed an additional $54 billion in defense spending by cutting some foreign aid and some funding for the State Department, the Education Department and other domestic programs. Forty-four percent (44%) of voters favor the proposal, while 48% are opposed. Republicans are far more supportive of the defense plan than Democrats and unaffiliated voters are.

Nearly one-in-four Americans (23%) rate the safety of infrastructure – roads, bridges, dams, tunnels and the like – as poor in the area where they live, while 38% consider their local infrastructure to be good or excellent. If Trump moves ahead with the infrastructure plan, most Americans don't think they should have to pay any extra taxes to fund it.

Most voters continue to expect significant government spending cuts over the next few years and agree that any new spending should be offset by budget cuts elsewhere.

Most also agree that it’s bad for America and bad for the Democratic Party if Democrats continue to flat out oppose everything Trump does. Even Democrats are conflicted about their party’s scorched earth policy.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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