BUSINESS
Your Thanksgiving dinner is cheaper this year. Here's why
Politics ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

A look at President Trump's administration and the rest of Washington:

Among Republicans, Trump is more popular than congressional leaders

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) walk together. (Matt Rourke / Associated Press)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) walk together. (Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

Amid strain between the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress, the White House holds the high ground, a new survey indicates.

Among Republicans, President Trump has greater popularity than the party's congressional leaders. Asked specifically who they would trust if the two sides disagreed, most Republicans chose Trump over their party's leadership.

The findings, from a new survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center underscore Trump's continued sway with the Republican congressional majority. Although the president has historically low job approval ratings among the public at large, he remains highly popular among Republican partisans and in Republican districts.

As for Democrats, they're strongly in an oppositional mood. Asked if they were more worried that Democrats in Congress would go too far in opposing Trump or not go far enough, more than 70% of Democrats said they feared their party would not go far enough. Only 20% said they worried the party would go too far.

Republicans in Congress have eyed Trump warily on several fronts. His positions on trade and entitlement reform break with years of the party's positions. His reluctance to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin has generated tension. And the administration's lack of clarity on healthcare and tax policy have Republican leaders guessing which way to turn on major issues.

But Republican partisans have fewer reservations than their elected representatives. Eighty-six percent to 13%, those who identify as Republicans or as independents who lean Republican have a favorable view of Trump, the Pew survey found.

By comparison, 57% have a favorable view of Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, with 22% unfavorable and 21% having no opinion. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is slightly better known, with 65% of Republicans holding a favorable view, 23% an unfavorable view and 13% having no opinion.

Asked who they would trust if the two sides disagreed, 52% of Republicans said they would side with Trump and 34% with the Republicans in Congress. Republicans younger than 40 were the only major exception; 52% to 36%, they said they would side with Congress.

At the same time, Republican partisans now have a warmer opinion of their party leadership than they had during most of President Obama's tenure.

During the Obama years, GOP partisans tended to be frustrated that their side could not reverse the president's initiatives, even with a majority in the House, starting in 2010, and then in the Senate for Obama's last two years. Their view of the GOP leadership has rebounded strongly since the election.

Democrats' view of their congressional leadership has been more stable. And both sides widely dislike the other party's leaders.

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
69°