Two months ago Nancy Pelosi announced that the GOP tax cut was Armageddon. “No, it is the end of the world. This—Health care, the debate on health care is life-death. This is Armageddon,” Pelosi said at a press conference. For a while, the bad-mouthing by Democrats was effective in driving polling on the bill underwater, but there is evidence that is changing. A Monmouth poll Allahpundit covered yesterday showed the public’s opinion of taxmageddon is now evenly split, 44-44. Today, the Associated Press adds some anecdotal color to what might be moving those numbers in a positive direction: People are starting to see the lower tax rates reflected in their paychecks.
Wayne Love, who works in managed care in Spring Hill, Florida, got an extra $200 in his paycheck last week, which he said will help offset a $300 increase in the cost of his health insurance.
“I have heard time and again that the middle class is getting crumbs, but I’ll take it!” Love said by email.
Julia Ketchum, a secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said she was pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week. She didn’t think her pay would go up at all, let alone this soon. That adds up to $78 a year, which she said will more than cover her Costco membership for the year.
And Todd Anderson of Texas and his fiance, who are both educators, got an extra $200 in their paychecks combined that they plan to use to cover the costs of a second baby on its way.
The AP did find one person who still had a negative view of the tax cut. Aerospace engineer Jefferey Snively said the bill would mostly help, “the ones who needed it least.” But Snively, who got an extra 4% in his check admitted, “It’s tough to be upset about more money in my pocket.”
All of this could have a real impact on how voters feel about the two parties come November. Back in December, FiveThirtyEight published a piece titled “The Democrats’ Wave Could Turn Into A Flood.” But improving numbers for the tax cut, for Trump, and on the generic congressional ballot has the site’s authors reconsidering their outlook a bit today:
harry: Well, Mr. Silver. I have not a formal model, but I do have something mathematical or statistical. I went back as far as I could and looked at the generic ballot in January of a midterm year versus the results in November.
It essentially shows what you’re getting at: Yes, it matters, but there is a natural reversion to the mean. Ergo, a movement of say 5 points now does roughly translate into a 2-point movement come November, on average.
natesilver: And maybe less of an impact than that if you’re also looking at other indicators and not just the generic ballot. Like, if Democrats start to perform less well in special elections, then it’s more concerning for them.
Of course, almost anything could happen between now and November, but it’s noteworthy that the GOP’s position isn’t looking quite as dire as it was just a 6 weeks ago. Part of that is people revising their opinions of the tax cut.