The FINANCIAL — Despite their failure to advance President Trump’s agenda, congressional Republicans aren’t happy about his outreach to Democrats in the House and Senate, but most voters think it’s a great idea.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 66% of Likely U.S. Voters say it is good for the country if Trump works with congressional Democrats to advance his agenda. Just 13% think the bipartisan cooperation is bad for the country, while 21% are undecided.
Only 19% believe the president should continue to rely on congressional Republicans to pass his agenda. That’s down from 29% in early April. Sixty-five percent (65%) now feel he should reach out more to Democrats in Congress for help versus 58% who felt that way five months ago. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.
Republicans (72%) are even more enthusiastic about the president working with congressional Democrats than Democrats (62%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (63%) are.
Trump surprised his fellow Republicans when he bypassed them last week to strike a deal with congressional Democrats to move quickly on aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey and to raise the ceiling on government money borrowing until mid-December.
Voters are more likely to believe Republicans in Congress are the bigger problem for Trump than Democrats are.
Only 35% of GOP voters believe the president should continue to rely on congressional Republicans to pass his agenda. Fifty-one percent (51%) say he should turn instead to Democrats in Congress, a view shared by 79% of Democrats and 64% of unaffiliated voters.
Men and those 40 and over believe more strongly than women and younger voters that it’s good for the country if the president works with congressional Democrats to advance his agenda.
Even among voters who believe Trump should continue to rely on Republicans in Congress, 55% say it’s better for the country if he works with Democrats.
Among voters who Strongly Approve of the job the president is doing, 71% say it’s better for the country if he works with congressional Democrats, and a plurality (49%) feels he should reach out more to Democrats. Those who Strongly Disapprove of Trump’s job performance strongly agree.
Trump has been critical of Republican congressional leaders for their failure to repeal Obamacare and to advance other items on his agenda. By a 50% to 32% margin, Republican voters think the president’s criticism of senators in his own party is good for the country.
Republican voters say they relate more to the president’s political views than those of their party’s representatives in Congress.
Most Republicans also say the majority of GOP members of Congress have lost touch with the party’s voters from throughout the nation.
Most Republican voters don’t care much these days for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, making him now the most unpopular of the top congressional leaders.
Republicans are in charge of both houses of Congress, but only 14% of voters rate the way the House of Representatives is doing its job as good or excellent, while 11% say the same of the U.S. Senate.
Trump was at odds with the Republican establishment through much of last year’s presidential campaign, and just a month before the election, 51% of GOP voters believed that most Republican leaders did not want him to be elected president.