Republicans retain some important advantages as both sides look ahead to 2018. By 18 percentage points, Americans say they prefer Republicans over Democrats for dealing with ISIS; they also prefer Republicans for changing Washington (by 9 points), dealing with the economy (7 points), and dealing with taxes (4 points).
As the Senate takes up its version of a GOP health bill, Americans prefer Democrats on that issue by 17 percentage points. They also favor Democrats for helping the middle class (13 points), handling immigration (6 points), and dealing with infrastructure (2 points).
The segment of government Americans want controlling the issue debate least is the White House. Just 21 percent say Trump should have the lead role setting policy for the country. That’s third behind Congressional Republicans (25 percent) and Congressional Democrats (45 percent).
Underlying that assessment is the public’s negative view of Trump’s personal characteristics. Majorities give the president low marks for his temperament (62 percent), his knowledge and experience (55 percent) and his honesty (55 percent).
Only on changing business as usual in Washington does Trump draw higher positive (39 percent) than negative (37 percent) ratings.
The NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll was conducted June 17-20 of 900 adults. It has an overall margin of error of plus-minus of 3.27 percentage points.