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Republicans stay loyal to Trump despite concerns about his taxes
[NEW YORK] A sizable minority of Republicans say US President Donald Trump has not paid his fair share of taxes and worry that his family business has influenced his decisions in office, yet most are still voting to give him a second term, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Tuesday.
The national online poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday, followed a New York Times investigation that found Mr Trump, a self-described billionaire, is deeply in debt and has regularly paid little to nothing in federal income taxes over much of the past two decades.
The poll found that three in 10 Republicans were concerned that Mr Trump's personal finances have influenced his decisions as president, and two out of 10 Republicans said they do not think Mr Trump has paid his "fair share" of income taxes.
But the revelations about Mr Trump's personal taxes do not appear to have weakened his standing overall among his party's rank-and-file.
Only about three in 10 Republicans said they believed the Times report, and seven in 10 Republicans said they saw the president as "a successful businessman who knows how to avoid taxes."
A separate Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 88 per cent of registered Republicans said they were still backing him over Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the Nov 3 election.
Among all likely voters, Reuters/Ipsos polling showed Mr Biden with a 9 percentage point advantage nationally, which is unchanged from the previous week. Fifty-one per cent said they backed Mr Biden while 42 per cent said they would vote for Mr Trump. The remainder are undecided ahead of the Nov 3 election.
The picture is much different outside of the Republican Party, however.
The poll on Mr Trump's taxes found that 51 per cent of American adults said they believe that Mr Trump has not been paying his "fair share" of income taxes, while 26 per cent said that Mr Trump has paid the appropriate amount.
And 56 per cent of all Americans said they are "very" or "somewhat" concerned that Mr Trump's decisions as president were influenced by his personal interest in making money, while 33 per cent said they were not concerned.
The responses were somewhat split along party lines.
Nine out of 10 Democrats said they felt Mr Trump was not fairly paying his share of taxes, compared with about six out of 10 Republicans who felt that Mr Trump was paying the right amount.
Among independents, four out of 10 said Mr Trump was not paying his fair share, while two out of 10 said that he was.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States.
The Sept 28-29 poll gathered responses from 1,005 American adults, while the Sept 25-29 poll surveyed 864 likely voters. The surveys have a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 4 percentage points.