Donald Trump Issue Agenda: Year One’s Potential Successes

As Donald Trump is set to become the 45th President of the United States, a divided American public shows little signs of a partisan cease fire.  However, Americans are united on a number of issues that they want to see Donald Trump address in the coming year.

A recent survey for NBC News/The Wall Street Journal conducted January 12-15, 2017, tested a litany of important issues facing the country, asking voters whether or not each issue should be addressed by the incoming President as an absolute priority, if it could be delayed until next year, or if the issue should not be pursued at all.

Of a total of 17 issues, a majority of Americans said that seven of them should be addressed in 2017.  Each of these are issues that President-elect Trump took a strong position on during his campaign – ranging from keeping U.S. jobs from going overseas to cutting taxes for individuals.


For five of these issues, across party lines, there is at least a plurality of support for addressing the issue as a priority this year.  (The two holdouts are that just 34{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Democrats support a first-year focus on cutting taxes on individuals and 25{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Democrats that support an appointment of a conservative Supreme Court justice in the next year.)

The issue that President-elect has the most bi-partisan support to pursue is one he’s already made some progress on – keeping U.S. jobs from going overseas.  The below chart shows in ranked order, these seven issues where Trump has the broadest support for action across party lines:


And, when it comes to leading the policy charge for the country – 47{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Americans prefer that Republicans – either President-elect Trump (28{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) or Republicans in Congress (19{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) – take the lead role, compared to 41{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} who want Democrats in Congress to lead.  This comes within a poll that has a +6 Democratic party ID advantage – key here are Independents who say by a margin of 49{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-16{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} that Republicans in D.C. should take the lead role in setting policy in the country over Democrats.

While action on these issues is strongly supported by Trump’s Republican base, Independents and Democrats also support action in his first year in office.  With successful action on these issues, President-elect Trump could see a strengthening of his approval ratings – if he is able to accomplish these policy goals in Washington.

Polling for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal is conducted by Republican pollster Bill McInturff and Democratic pollster Fred Yang. This analysis is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of NBC, The Wall Street Journal, or Hart Research Associates.

Public Opinion Strategies