Majority of Americans believe House Dems should release Trump's tax returns: poll
Published December 3, 2018
A majority of Americans believe the incoming Democratic House majority should be allowed to obtain and release President Trump's tax returns, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill on Monday.
Among all registered voters, 63 percent say that House Democratic leadership in the next session of Congress should be allowed to publicize the president's tax returns, while 37 percent say it shouldn't.
Only 35 percent of Republican voters believe the House should disclose Trump's tax returns, while 86 percent of Democrats believe the House majority should.
Meanwhile, 64 percent of independents say Trump's tax returns should be obtained and released to the public.
"In a first impression, here the public clearly favors disclosure of the tax returns of their president. This came through loud and clear so expect Democrats to be requesting them from the IRS," said Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll co-director Mark Penn.
Prior to the November midterms, House Democrats vowed to get their hands on Trump's tax documents if they won back the House.
Democrats are set to retake the majority next year for the first time since 2010 as the party is expected to flip at least 40 seats after all the election results are determined.
Democrats on tax-writing committees like the House Ways and Means Committee argue it's in their purview and existing law allows looking into a president's taxes.
Trump's tax returns have been a major issue since he announced his candidacy in 2015. He became the first president since Richard Nixon not to release his tax returns as a presidential candidate.
He's repeatedly made the argument that an ongoing audit from the IRS prohibits him from disclosing those documents. But the IRS has pushed back, saying he can release his returns regardless of an audit.
Democrats are floating a bill that would mandate presidential nominees to release tax returns from "the three most recent taxable years," a Democratic aide told CNN last week.
But Democrats will likely run into roadblocks trying to pass this kind of legislation since Republicans slightly expanded their Senate majority to 53-47 seats after the midterm elections and Trump can veto the bill if it makes it to his desk.
The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,407 registered voters was conducted November 27 to 28. The partisan breakdown of the tax return question included: 437 Republicans, 526 Democrats, 382 independents and 62 listed as other.
The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard/Harris Poll throughout 2018.
Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.