Society

Poll: Voters Want Trump To Release His Tax Returns

| by Robert Fowler

New polling indicates while voters' appetite to see President Donald Trump's personal finances has lessened since he took office, a majority still want him to publicly disclose his tax returns.

On April 10, a new Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll found that 51 percent of registered voters wanted to see Trump's tax returns while 41 percent were disinterested in what they may reveal, Bloomberg Politics reports.

Breaking down the data, 36 percent of respondents said Trump releasing his returns was very important to them while 15 percent said that it would be somewhat important. Meanwhile, 15 percent said that the disclosure was not too important while 26 percent believe it would be not important at all. The remaining 8 percent had no opinion on the matter.

Of registered voters, 53 percent believe Trump should be legally required to release his tax returns while 32 percent did not believe that was necessary. Of those polled, 45 percent said Trump's tax returns were relevant to his ability to serve as president while 48 percent did not believe they had much or any bearing on his duties.

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Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult's chief research officer, noted that the issue of Trump's tax returns remained an intense cause of consternation for Democratic respondents while the majority of Republicans remained unconcerned.

"As we've seen in past polling, voters are mostly split along party lines on the question of Trump's tax returns," Dropp said.

The new polling marks a dip in concern over Trump's finances. In August 2016, a Monmouth University survey had found that 62 percent of registered voters believed it was important for presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns while only 36 percent thought it was not important, according to Time magazine.

While Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton released her tax returns going back to 2000, Trump bucked decades of tradition for presidential candidates by refusing to disclose his own finances. He was the first major party nominee since former President Gerald Ford in 1976 to decline releasing their tax returns during an election season, according to PolitiFact.

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Trump cited that he could not release his returns because they were undergoing an audit by the Internal Revenue Service. As early as February 2016, during the GOP primary, the IRS clarified that an audit would not prohibit Trump from releasing his returns, The Hill reports.

"Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information," the government agency said in a statement.

On Jan. 11, Trump asserted that the American public did not care about his tax returns and that the controversy had been engineered by the media.

"You know, the only one that cares about my returns are the reporters," Trump said during a press conference. "They're the only ones who ask."

On April 15, a planned march in Washington, D.C., will provide Americans with the opportunity to directly ask the president for his tax returns. Titled the Tax March, the demonstration has been organized by a collection of activists and nonprofits urging Trump to disclose his personal finances.

"We march to demand that the president release his returns, as he has repeatedly promised, but failed, to do," the organizers stated on the event's official website, according to Bustle. "We march because it is in the best interest of the American people to know what financial entanglements and conflicts of interest our leaders have."

The Tax March could revive the national discussion over Trump's tax returns and make voters question why he has refused to release them. For now, the polling suggests the U.S. is divided over whether or not the returns matter.

Sources: Bloomberg Politics (2), BustleThe HillPolitiFactTime / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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