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Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

There is now a 12-point gap in support for the GOP tax law, according to a new pre-election poll conducted by Greenberg Research and Democracy Corps for the American Federation of Teachers.

The big picture: It's another alarm bell that Republicans may not be able to win the midterm elections on what they hoped would be their signature legislation of this Congress. In September, a Republican National Committee survey showed more than 60% of voters believe the GOP tax law benefits "large corporations and rich Americans" over "middle class families."

Background: Stanley Greenberg of Greenberg Research was Bill Clinton's pollster. The polling memo, obtained by Axios, declares: "Failing GOP tax scam opportunity for big closing attack" by Democrats.

  • The memo also claims that "embracing the public’s anger with other leaders' out-of-touch portrayal of their economic lives genuinely shifts vote support toward Democratic candidates and increases turnout."

By the numbers: In an April poll conducted by the same groups, 46% supported the GOP tax law while 44% opposed it. The September survey found that support has dropped to 40% and opposition has jumped to 52%.

  • 75% of Republicans support the tax law — compared to 84% in April. Meanwhile, Democrats' opposition increased from 73% to 84%.

The bottom line: Democrats have three weeks to try to use the GOP tax law against Republicans in tough races around the country — even at a time when the economy is far better for Trump's first midterm election than it was for Barack Obama's.

Methodology: The survey was conducted between Sept. 9–23 among 1,000 registered voters over the phone (both landline and cell phone). The margin of error is ±3.1%.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with First Lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.