CNBC Survey: Americans Overwhelmingly Approve of Trump Agenda on Infrastructure, Tax Cuts, Trade

President-elect Donald Trump during a rally at the Giant Center, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, in Hershey, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A new survey from CNBC shows that Americans are highly optimistic about the economy and strongly support for President Donald Trump’s economic agenda.

The “CNBC All American Survey” recorded the highest level of economic optimism in its 10 year existence. Thirty-eight percent of the public say the economy is good or excellent, a four point improvement from December. Forty percent expect the economy to improve over the next year, which is close to the record set in 2010–when the economy was in truly dire straits.

The survey also shows overwhelmingly strong support for Trump’s plans to improve America’s infrastructure, cut taxes, and renegotiate trade deals.  Nearly 75 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s infrastructure improvement plans, with just around 10 percent disapproving. More than 60 percent of the public endorse plans to cut individual taxes, with just over 20 percent opposing. Renegotiating trade deals is favored by 58 percent of the public, and opposed by just over 25 percent.

Reducing taxes also wins the approval of most Americans, but it generates opposition from over a third of the public. Cutting business regulations has an approval rating in the high forties, and a disapproval rating in the mid-thirties.

The results on trade show that while Americans are divided over the benefits of free trade–34 percent say it helps the U.S. and 31 percent say it hurts–they aren’t divided on the president’s efforts to strike better trade deals. According to CNBC’s Steve Liesman, even Americans who like free trade say they approve of those efforts.

Fifty-one percent of Republicans say that they want their party to “work to pass Trump’s agenda” rather than “hold the line on conservative positions.” Democrats divide nearly evenly on whether their party should compromise with the president.

The president’s personal popularity is far weaker than his economic agenda. Just 39 percent say they approve of how he is doing his job, compared with 48 percent who disapprove, and 13 percent who said they don’t know or were unsure.

One reason for this may be that many of the most public actions taken by the Trump administration have been in areas where public support is weaker. Nearly half of Americans say they disagree with the Trump administration’s attempt to replace Obamacare.  The border wall also divides Americans, with slightly more Americans opposing it than supporting it, according to the CNBC survey. Efforts to rollback some of the Obama administration’s policies on climate change also have more opposition than support.

The survey is not perfect. It’s results show that nearly half of Americans oppose Trump’s “Immigration Ban,” when there was no ban on immigration. Instead, the administration tried to put in place a temporary halt on travel from certain countries. Perhaps the actual question asked, which CNBC has not released, was less contentious.


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