Independent voters almost evenly split on which party has a better economic plan

Independent voters are almost evenly divided over which political party has a better economic plan, according to the latest Hill-HarrisX poll released on Thursday.

The nationwide survey found that 53 percent of registered independent voters favored the Republican Party in terms of their economic plans. The other half — 47 percent — named the Democratic Party as the best one up for the task.

The survey comes as President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse and Senate Dems implore McConnell to sign DACA legislation to protect Dreamers White House stresses 'hearsay' in witness testimony ahead of public impeachment hearings Senior official describes cyber workforce shortage as national security threat MORE defends his trade policies on China.

Trump on Thursday dismissed criticism from Republican Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (Pa.) that the trade war could hurt the U.S. economy, claiming that he has no choice but to continue the tit-for-tat dispute.

"What does Pat Toomey want me to say? 'Let me put my hands up, China, continue to rip me off,’ ” Trump told Brian Kilmeade's Fox News Radio show on Thursday.

Earlier this month, the president announced a 15 percent tariff on $300 billion in Chinese products after China announced a tariff on $75 billion in U.S. goods.

Trump has also sought to downplay fears about the possibility of a coming recession, accusing Democrats of trying to sabotage his reelection. He has also frequently targeted the Federal Reserve for withholding stimulus efforts.

“The Economy is doing GREAT, with tremendous upside potential! If the Fed would do what they should, we are a Rocket upward!” Trump tweeted Thursday.

U.S. growth, meanwhile, has slowed slightly in the second quarter. The Commerce Department revised its gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 2 percent. This is down slightly from the 2.1 percent pace that analysts initially forecast last month.

HarrisX researchers surveyed 290 registered independent voters online between Aug. 23 and 24. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.8 percentage points. 

⁠—Tess Bonn