Fox News Poll: Tax reform important to voters, but most doubt it will happen

The latest Fox News poll finds that just 15 percent of voters approve of the job Congress is doing, while about five times as many, 74 percent, disapprove.

That’s a bit worse than in January, when 17 percent approved and 74 percent disapproved. For comparison, Congress hit a low 9 percent approval in October 2013 following the government shutdown over the budget.

Here’s one example of why lawmakers get such low marks: 49 percent of voters feel it is important Congress pass tax reform legislation this year. At the same time, far fewer, 14 percent, think it’s likely to get accomplished.


“Trump could use a win right now, and tax reform probably represents his best opportunity to get something done legislatively,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democratic counterpart Chris Anderson.

“But the public doubts anyone, whether an experienced Washington hand or an energetic outsider, can overcome partisan dysfunction in Congress.”

Nearly 8-in-10 expects a tax overhaul won’t happen this year (78 percent).

Reforming the tax system is much more important to Republicans (70 percent) than Democrats (29 percent). Still, they share doubt it’ll happen: 76 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of Democrats say it is unlikely Congress will pass tax reform.

“If there is good news here for Republican leaders it is expectations are low on this important issue,” says Anderson.

“If tax reform were to be accomplished this year, it could renew faith among some Republicans that Trump can accomplish at least some of what he campaigned on.”

Meanwhile, more voters view Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell negatively than positively by 29 points (20 percent favorable vs. 49 percent unfavorable).

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is viewed negatively by 7 points (27 vs. 34 percent).

House Speaker Paul Ryan has a net negative of 13 (35 vs. 48 percent), while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is at minus 21 (31 vs. 52 percent).

Forty-four percent have a favorable view of President Donald Trump, while 55 percent have an unfavorable opinion (-11 points).

Vice President Mike Pence is in positive territory: 46 percent favorable vs. 43 percent unfavorable.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,006 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from August 27-29, 2017. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.