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These poll numbers were released earlier today by Rasmussen Reports -- "an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information."


Tax Cut Bill Makes Headlines, But Many Still Not Sure How Their Congressman Voted On It

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The deal to extend the Bush tax cuts alienated the president from many in his own party and made a lot of conservative Republicans unhappy, but nearly one-in-three voters don't even know how their local congressman voted on the recent legislation.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters say they are aware of how their representative in Congress voted on the deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans for two more years, cut the Social Security payroll tax rate for one year and renew long-term unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months.

But 31% say they do not know how their congressman voted on the tax cut package, and another 18% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here .) 

These findings highlight how voters in the real world often don't share the passions of the nation's political movers and shakers and how legislators can often push agendas completely out of touch with the desires of their constituents.

"While a few are obsessed with politics and political intrigue, most voters have a life that is far more focused on family, friends, and events in the real world," noted Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports.

Most voters, for example, didn't think their representative in Congress deserved reelection if he or she voted for the national health care law, the auto bailouts or the $787-billion economic stimulus plan, all of which Congress took great pride in passing. 

While it's a hot topic in Washington. D.C., only 33% of voters are Very Closely following recent news storie s about the Census and congressional redistricting. That puts it way below the level of interest in the top stories of 2010 .

Among those who have followed Census/redistricting news Very Closely, 72% know how their congressman voted on the tax cut deal, compared to only 22% of those who are not following the Census news at all.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on December 27-28, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See methodology.

Most voters approved of the tax cutting deal between President Obama and senior congressional Republicans, but support began to fall in some surprising places just before Congress passed it in mid-December.

Male voters are much more aware of how their legislators voted on the tax cut deal than women are. Voters 40 and older are more likely to know than those who are younger.

Republicans and voters not affiliated with either of the major parties are slightly more likely than Democrats to know how their congressman voted on the tax cut proposal.

Sixty percent (60%) of  Political Class  voters know how their legislator voted, compared to 50% of those in the Mainstream.

Following the tax cut deal and the passage of the START nuclear treaty in the recently ended lame duck session of Congress, most voters continue to believe congressional Republicans and Democrats are behaving in a partisan manner , but the number who believe the president is governing like a partisan Democrat has fallen below 50% for the first time since May 2009.

The number of voters who expect their own personal taxes to increase under the Obama administration has fallen to its lowest level since April 2009.

Nearly two years into the Obama presidency, voters still believe the nation's continuing economic problems are due more to President George W. Bush than to the policies of the current occupant of the White House.

A plurality (43%) of voters believes that neither Democrats nor Republicans in Congress are the party of the American people .

Additional information  from this survey and a full demographic breakdown  are available to Platinum Members  only.