Poll: Voters Still See Trump as a Successful Businessman

President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks during a July 25, 2017, rally at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CN) – A new poll released Wednesday finds the majority of Americans consider President Donald Trump to be a successful businessman, but that changed when respondents learned of a report last week showing Trump lost more than a billion dollars over 10 years.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll found 54% of Americans said they think Trump has been successful when asked, “Generally speaking do you think President Donald Trump has been successful or unsuccessful in business?” That is in contrast to 36% who said he was unsuccessful and another 10% who said they had no opinion.

The results of the survey show an expected partisan divide on the topic, with 85% of Republicans saying the president was a success. Only 30% of Democrats said the same, while 61% of Democratic voters said Trump had been unsuccessful.

The responses changed, however, when respondents were told about a report released May 8 by The New York Times that said Trump reported $1.17 billion in losses to the IRS from 1985 to 1994, during the time which he gained national attention for his deal-making. Trump called the report “a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job” on Twitter shortly after its release.

After being told of the report, those surveyed split on the question of his success, as 43% maintained he was successful and 42% who said he wasn’t. Trump declined to release his tax returns to the public during his 2016 campaign, breaking with a long-standing tradition of presidential candidates since the 70s.

Trump had said that he could not release them since he was being audited by the IRS, although the agency has no rule to block a candidate under audit from releasing tax returns.

The Trump administration currently faces a May 17 deadline to respond to a subpoena for the president’s more recent tax returns issued by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Senate panel Wednesday that the demand for Trump’s tax returns would lead to “weaponization” of the IRS.

“We haven’t made a decision, but I think you can guess which way we’re leaning on our subpoena,” Mnuchin said.

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