An overwhelming number of independent voters oppose the GOP tax reform plan, Gallup reported Tuesday. A slim 25 percent of non-affiliated voters say they support the tax plan, while 56 percent say they disapprove of the current bills.
Predictably, partisan voters divided up along party lines in the survey, with 70 percent of Republicans in favor of their party's efforts. Meanwhile, only 7 percent of Democrats feel the same.
Because of the weak support from Democrats and independent voters, overall support among U.S. adults is low. Only 29 percent of all respondents said they approve of the proposed tax reforms.
A significant number of respondents were also undecided or had no opinion at 16 percent overall.
Independents made up the most of this group with 19 percent of independent voters saying they had no opinion. (14 percent of Republicans and 7 percent of Democrats had no opinion.)
As The Hill points out:
"Public uncertainty about the GOP tax plan is largely concentrated among independents and Republicans, a sign that support for the plan could still grow if the GOP can convince holdouts in those two groups. Nineteen percent of independents and 14 percent of Republicans told Gallup they didn't yet have an opinion of the tax plan."
Tweaks to the bill to win over independents and some undecided Democrats and Republicans may be difficult in a Congress that has just set the record for blocking the most debate and amendments to bills of any Congress in history.
This prompted Justin Amash (R-Mich.) - who supports the GOP tax bill - to call this Congress "really broken."
Mass disapproval for the GOP tax bill may also be related to initial Republican promises that their tax plan would not raise taxes on any middle-class taxpayers, followed by backpedaling and an admission that their plan would raise taxes on some middle-class income earners in an apparent bait and switch.
Republican leaders said they "misspoke" when they promised no tax increases on middle-class taxpayers.
But we cannot overlook another likely explanation for the public's reaction to current tax reform efforts.
More voters than ever before are not affiliated with either of the two major parties, and thus are less likely to support legislation simply for partisan reasons. Instead, they are more likely to consider the merits and flaws of a bill without letting partisanship affect their judgment.