Leading Democrats are being misleading with their language — the companies can't receive a break on taxes that were never collected. (Meg Kelly/The Washington Post)

The Quinnipiac University national poll reports:

The Republican tax plan pending in the U.S. Congress benefits the wealthy the most, 64 percent of American voters say, while 24 percent say the tax plan benefits the middle class and 5 percent say it benefits low-income people …

American voters disapprove of the tax plan 53 – 29 percent. . . Republicans approve of the plan 67 – 10 percent, the only party, gender, education, age or racial group listed to approve. White men are divided as 40 percent approve and 42 percent disapprove.

In a separate question, voters say 61 – 34 percent that the tax plan favors the rich at the expense of the middle class.

Democrats have a healthy advantage (47 percent to 39 percent) as the party best able to handle taxes. Democrats should be rather pleased — they won the political debate on taxes (and much more, as we note below). Unfortunately, Republicans don’t care — foolishly, I think — what voters think and have neither the skill nor the interest in improving their bill to address voters’ concerns.

Perhaps, Republicans should worry more what voters think. Getting the label as the “party of the rich” when you promised to be the populist party has ramifications for the president’s standing and for Republicans’ own chances in 2018. “American voters give President Donald Trump a negative 35 – 58 percent job approval rating, compared to 38 – 55 percent in a November 21 Quinnipiac University poll,” the poll says. “Voters say 56 – 40 percent that Trump is not fit to be president, tying his all-time low score.” This is how voters feel as he is succeeding in getting his tax legislation through. Maybe his “winning” isn’t what voters consider a win for them. It could be that the tax bill is driving his approval ratings down, not giving him an aura of success.

Even the press has the voters’ sympathy, with 63 percent saying Trump treats the press unfairly, while voters are split nearly evenly on whether the press treats him fairly (47 percent, fairly; 48 percent, unfairly). And they aren’t buying his angry spin on the Russia scandal. “American voters believe 59 – 32 percent that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Republicans don’t believe this 65 – 26 percent, the only listed group which does not believe it.” Even more startling, “Voters believe 50 – 40 percent that people in the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the campaign.” Fifty-seven percent say Trump does not respect people of color as much as whites; 38 percent think he does respect them equally.

In this clip from The Washington Post's weekly Opinions roundup, "It's Only Thursday," opinion writers Jonathan Capehart, Jo-Ann Armao and Ruth Marcus discuss the minimal benefits of the GOP tax plan for the middle class. (Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)

Worse, voters think the Democratic Party is preferable to the GOP on a slew of issues. By a 55 percent to 32 percent margin, they say Democrats do better on health care; they also slightly favor Democrats (45 percent to 43 percent) on the economy. They sure aren’t buying Republicans’ populist hooey. Voters say by a 56 percent to 34 percent margin that Democrats are better at “fighting for the working class”; when it comes to “representing your values,” Democrats win again by a 51 percent to 37 percent margin. Now if the 16-point lead in the generic House poll (50 percent to 36 percent) holds up for Democrats, the GOP’s House majority will collapse.

The main takeaway here is that Trump’s accusations, attacks, blame-shifting and attempts to create his own reality have utterly failed with voters in general. By a remarkable 52 percent to 25 percent majority, voters say they are embarrassed rather than proud to have Trump as president. They overwhelmingly don’t believe what’s coming out of his mouth. He retains strength with Republicans (82 percent approve of his performance), but Congress should worry that “Republicans” are a shrinking group — and a depressed one that may not show up in 2018 to vote.