Trump Aides Hope Win On Taxes Will Stem Slide In Poll Numbers

Near the end of President Donald Trump’s rocky first year in office, White House aides view imminent victory on a tax overhaul as a starting point to strengthen his weak approval ratings ahead of key congressional elections next November.

Some Republicans said any effort at a political turnaround must include reining in Trump's habit of lashing out at critics on Twitter.

White House aides said they recognized that Trump's poll numbers needed to start rising to limit the damage in 2018 elections in which his fellow Republicans' continued control of Congress will be at stake.

A Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives and Senate could jeopardize Trump's agenda.

Republican strategist Ford O'Connell said Trump had done much to keep his conservative base of support happy but had to expand his popularity. To do that, he needs to ease voters' concerns about his fitness for office.

"What he has to do to win over people like independents and never-Trumpers is make the American people feel comfortable with him as president," said O'Connell. "His achievements are quite striking, but he’s just not connecting (with the public).”

Read more from Steve Holland and James Oliphant at Reuters

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