Poll: Voters Still Trust GOP More on Spending, Jobs, Healthcare

Republicans also take the lead in voter trust on national security, taxes, and immigration.


Pollster Scott Rasmussen released numbers Monday showing that voters still trust the GOP to better handle most of the critical issues facing the country.

It’s somewhat astounding, given the way the information coming out of Washington has almost uniformly presented the Republicans as the “black hats” and the Democrats as the “white ones,” especially when it comes to cutting special interest spending—not to mention the negative press the national GOP got as a result of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s battle with the public employee unions.

[Read the U.S. News debate: Should public employees keep collective bargaining rights?]

In the latest Rasmussen survey, 47 percent of likely voters said they trusted the Republicans more to handle the issue that is routinely identified as being most important to them—the economy—than they trusted the Democrats. And 46 percent of likely voters said they trusted the GOP more on healthcare, suggesting the House Republicans are on the right track in their efforts to repeal Obama’s healthcare package—and to limit the funding for it on their way to total repeal—while Senate Democrats are more likely to be seen as standing the way of what the voters want.

“Early last month,” Rasmussen said, “the issue of education jumped in importance,” and now 42 percent of voters—perhaps having all seen the documentary Waiting for Superman—“trust the GOP to handle this issue.” [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on Democrats.]

Republicans also continue to be seen—by five points—as more ethical and better able to fight government corruption, and they have a 48 percent to 37 percent lead over the Democrats when “it comes to trust on taxes.”

In the one place where the GOP does not have a clear lead—the issue of Social Security, once the third rail of American politics—the voters trust both parties evenly. “In early January,” Rasmussen said, “the GOP held a 10-point advantage over the Democrats on this issue,” meaning something has happened to undermine the voters’ trust of the GOP. [See a roundup of political cartoons on the budget and deficit.]

The GOP continues to lead the Democrats—and the White House—on its handling of immigration and on various critical national security issues like the War on Terror and Iraq and Afghanistan.

The data was compiled from two surveys of 1,000 likely U.S. voters conducted between March 10-11 and March 14-15, with a margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence.

  • Check out a roundup of political cartoons on Democrats.
  • Read the U.S. News debate: Should public employees keep collective bargaining rights?
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