Watch CBS News

Can Trump make deals with Congress? Americans weigh in

Trump on bipartisan health plan
Trump on bipartisan health plan 01:36

By Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna and Anthony Salvanto            

Can Trump make deals with Congress?

After the failure of the health care bill, looking ahead, there’s a large partisan divide on President Trump’s legislative prospects: most Democrats (83 percent) and independents (55 percent) are not confident in his ability to make deals with Congress, but nearly eight in ten Republicans are confident.


Most Americans (60 percent) would like to see Congress and the president move on from health care. Republicans in particular are more mixed, and just over half -- 54 percent -- want to see another attempt at a bill.  

Over half of Americans -- 53 percent -- do say they are optimistic about the next four years with Donald Trump as president, only slightly down from what they said at the start of his presidency. This is boosted mostly by Republicans, and independents are split.

If tax reform becomes the next legislative push, Republicans (86 percent) express overwhelming confidence in the president’s ability to make the right decisions about it, as they do with his legislative approach overall; most Democrats (18 percent) and independents (42 percent) do not.


Fifty-six percent of Americans think the current income tax system isn’t fair to people like them, and this feeling cuts across income levels.

President Trump and Congress

Both parties in Congress get mostly positive marks from their own rank-and-file. However, Republicans are more mixed about Congressional Republicans than Democrats are about Congressional Democrats. 

At 29 percent, Congressional Republicans have a lower approval rating than President Trump, but Presidents typically enjoy a higher approval rating than that of Congress. President Trump’s overall job approval is at 40 percent. Fifty-two percent disapprove. 

Most Americans, including partisans of all stripes, would like to see President Trump reach out to moderates in both parties when trying to get things done in Congress. Very few would have him stick to just what he wants.


On balance, most would prefer their own member of Congress vote with a mix of support and opposition toward President Trump’s policies. Four in ten Republicans would prefer their member of Congress to usually vote to support Trump’s policies, and about a third of Democrats want opposition to be the norm.

Most glad, but Republicans frustrated about failure of GOP bill

Fifty-eight percent of Americans are glad the Republican repeal and replace bill didn’t make it through Congress. Most Republicans are frustrated, though almost one-third are also glad.


Most who are glad it failed think the bill went too far. That’s especially true of those who approve of the Affordable Care Act. One third of Republicans, the bulk of them conservatives, disapproved of the party’s reform bill, and those glad it didn’t pass mostly thought it didn’t go far enough.

Similar to the low marks for the bill, which got just 29 percent approval, the president gets low marks for his handling of health care in general. Thirty-two percent approve of his handling of health care. Most Republicans do still support him on that issue, as they do on others.


Meanwhile approval of the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in 2010, has inched up into positive territory. More now approve than disapprove. Last month, that was reversed.


Most Americans -- 63 percent -- think the 2010 health care law needs changes, but only 23 percent think the entire law needs to be repealed.


Americans divide over which is more of a concern: possible improper communications with Russia by the Trump campaign (42 percent), or possible leaks from the intelligence community (46 percent). There are sharp partisan splits on this.

Fifty-nine percent believe it is at least somewhat likely that Trump associates had improper contact with the Russian government, with Democrats (85 percent) especially likely to think so. 

Two-thirds of Americans say it is necessary for the FBI to investigate possible links between Trump’s associates and Russia.

With most Republicans skeptical about improper communications between Trump associates and Russia, three in four say the way President Trump deals with Russia has no effect on their views of him.

Many Americans across partisan lines think the U.S. should keep dealings with Russia as they currently are.

This poll was conducted by telephone March 25-28, 2017 among a random sample of 1,088 adults nationwide.  Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Media, PA.  Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. 

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables.

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

CBS News poll toplines

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.