Americans are closely divided on whether they would rather see President Donald Trump or the Democrats in Congress have more influence over the direction the country takes in the coming year. However, the slight edge goes to the Democrats, 49% to 43%. This differs from sentiment on Barack Obama and Bill Clinton in the first half of their reelection years, when the public tilted toward wanting the president to have the greater influence…

In addition to asking Americans about Clinton, Obama and Trump during their reelection years, Gallup has asked this question about George W. Bush, but not in 2004 when he was running for reelection. Instead, Gallup asked about Bush in 2002, when Democrats held the Senate, and after the 2006 elections. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks in 2002, most Americans wanted to see Bush have more influence than his rivals in Congress over the course of events in the country. This period coincided with a broad expansion of the authority of the executive branch, as the Patriot Act as well as several executive orders significantly increased the influence of the presidency in unique ways.