Latest Polling on the Economy and Tax Cuts

As you know, Citizens for a Sound Economy and our 280,000 members are mobilizing in support of the president’s tax plan. Grassroots members like you are already calling their Representatives and demanding that Congress pass President Bush’s Economic Growth and Jobs Creation package.

Effectively mobilizing the country in favor of tax relief also means needing to know what’s going on. Most important is the feedback we receive everyday from our members at meetings, through phone calls, and the web site. CSE members help set our agenda in the fight for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.

On occasion, we also employ national polling. CSE is not like a politician that uses polls to decide on matters of principle and conviction. We’re absolutely certain that tax cuts are need today, and that’s not going to change! Instead, we use polling to help us pass reforms like tax cuts and Social Security personal retirement accounts. Polls tell us who is aware of these proposals, and in which states. We also use polling to determine what types of messages work, and which ones don’t.

On CSE’s behalf, the Tarrance Group just completed a nationwide survey of voter attitudes on the economy and the President’s economic tax cut plan. The poll interviewed 1,007 registered voters nationwide and was conducted March 4-6, 2003. The margin of error is +3.1%, which means the poll is pretty scientific. This March poll follows a similar CSE/Tarrance poll conducted in January 2003. Follows are our key findings:

The more voters hear about the plan, the better they like it

  • Awareness of the President’s economic plan has not yet penetrated the American public; the focus is on Iraq. Currently, only 53% of American voters have heard something about the President’s economic plan; and initial support for the economic plan is 44% favor to 37% oppose. However, once people hear the facts about the plan, support moves 13-points to 57% favor.
  • While overall awareness of the President’s plan slipped 6% from January, conservative grassroots efforts are working. Most of the drop in awareness of the plan has been among Democrat voters, and GOP messaging is gaining traction. Among those who have heard of the plan, 49% say they are more likely to support it and 42% say they are less likely. That’s significant movement away from January’s numbers (44% more likely – 47% less likely).
  • Plan details are popular

  • In most cases, voters have not heard the specifics of the plan; however, once they are given the facts, most Americans like the plan and find the proposals to be “good ideas.” When asked about specific outcomes of President Bush’s tax cut plan, voters feel the tax cuts would be helpful and benefit American families.
  • President Bush’s economic growth messaging trumps Democrat messaging about the budget deficit and tax cuts for the wealthy by 50-44%. However, Democrat messaging about temporary tax cuts narrowly edges the President’s message about permanent tax cuts by 48-46%.
  • Republicans hold advantage on economic issues

  • When asked to rate the current state of the economy 17% say it is good, 42% say it is just fair and 40% feel the economy is poor. Yet, even with a plurality saying the economy is currently poor, people have a fairly positive view of the future. Thirty-four percent (34%) say they will be better off financially a year from now, and 44% say they will be about the same.
  • Democrats aren’t trusted on the economy. Fully 53% of voters disapprove of the way the Democrats in Congress are handling the economy (31% disapprove “strongly”). Nineteen percent (19%) are unsure and only 27% approve of the job they are doing.
  • There’s a Congressional GOP surge. On the generic ballot, the Republicans have a 5-point lead with 44% choosing the Republican candidate and 39% choosing the Democrat. Seventeen percent (17%) are undecided. Republicans are doing well among the self-employed, women at home (54%), white men, and among married voters with whom they have a 17-point lead (50% Rep to 33% Dem). The Democrats are doing well among younger voters, African Americans (86%), and single voters. Seniors are split with 40% choosing the Republican, 37% choosing the Democrat and 22% being unsure.
  • Hopefully, you’ve found this information to be useful and interesting. More detailed analysis from the Tarrance Group is available at