TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Global Strategy Group
DATE: November 15, 2017
RE: POLL RESULTS: Nationwide and in the battleground, voters favor Congressional bipartisanship
Global Strategy Group recently conducted a nationwide online survey among registered voters, with an eye toward independents and voters in battleground states, on behalf of Center Forward. Results indicate that voters are strongly supportive of bipartisanship efforts between members of Congress and want them to work together. They see Congress as dysfunctional on account of partisanship and are frustrated by the ineffectiveness of government. Moreover, they say that they would be much more likely to vote for candidates who compromise and vote for bipartisan legislation. On issues of national importance, they want members of Congress to work to find compromise with those of the opposite party, ensuring positive results for the American people.
With the partisan divide as strong as ever among members of Congress, the fact that this poll shows voters – not only nationwide, but also in critical battleground states – are more likely to vote for candidates who are willing to work across the aisle is pivotal as we head into the midterm elections. The results clearly demonstrate that for the Republicans to maintain control, or alternatively for Democrats to regain control, it is critical that each party’s members are willing to work in a bipartisan fashion to get things done.
Additionally, with the emerging potential for Democratic takeovers in states like Arizona, Nevada, and Tennessee, it is essential candidates and lawmakers who want to win be bipartisan and willing to collaborate with members of the opposing party in a productive way.
KEY SURVEY FINDINGS:
- Voters think Congress is dysfunctional and reject the suggestion that it is effective: Nationwide, 91% of registered voters claim “dysfunctional” describes Congress well, with over six in ten saying it describes Congress very well. Other adjectives voters believe describe Congress include “broken” (56% describes very well, 87% describes well), “ineffective” (54% very, 89% well), and “gridlocked” (50% very, 88% well). Adjectives least descriptive of Congress include “effective” (2% very, 13% well) and “functioning” (2% very, 18% well). And over eight in ten do not believe Congress “has America’s best interests at heart” (82% does not describe well). Results among voters in battleground states and independents both nationwide and in battleground states are similar, with battleground independents’ ratings being slightly more pessimistic.
- Political frustrations center around politicians’ inability to collaborate in a productive way: 41% of voters nationwide and in battleground states rank “politicians can’t work together to get things done anymore” as their top frustration with the country’s current political system. Concerns over career politicians being in office too long and no longer understanding the needs of regular people follows (nationwide-‐ 29% frustrates more; battleground-‐ 30%). In particular, independents nationwide and in battleground states agree (“Can’t work together”: nationwide-‐ 37%, battleground-‐39%; “career politicians”: nationwide and battleground-‐ 30%).
- Voters are more likely to support Candidates who work across the aisle: Instead of a candidate who will stay true to his/her principles and not make concessions (nationwide-‐ 28%, battleground-‐ 30%), voters maintain that they would vote for a candidate who is willing to compromise to get things done (nationwide-‐ 72%, battleground-‐ 70%). Further, they would back a candidate who will vote for bipartisan legislation (nationwide-‐ 83%, battleground-‐ 82%) over a candidate who will resist bipartisan legislation and stick with his/her party (nationwide-‐ 17%, battleground-‐ 18%). Independents feel even more strongly: 86% nationwide and 88% in battleground states would support the candidate who is in favor of bipartisan lawmaking.
- Across the country, voters agree that they want members of Congress to work together: Almost eight in ten (78% nationwide and 77% in battleground states) strongly agree. And nearly half also say they believe their members of Congress should work in a bipartisan fashion with others across the aisle (45% nationwide and 46% in battleground states). Independents feel similarly, with slightly more battleground independents strongly agreeing (49%).
- Their constituents believe that members of Congress should work to find compromise on the big issues: The hot button topic of fixing health care rises to the top alongside the more practical—and perhaps even easier—task of building and improving roads and bridges, with over three quarters of voters (nationwide, in battleground states, and among independents) wanting compromise on both. Voters indicate similarly strong interest in compromise on tax reform, education policy and school choice, the minimum wage, and immigration policy, as well. Reaching compromise on other issues like open internet/net neutrality is also important, though many voters are unsure about how they feel about the topic.
Congressional leaders of both parties have negative favorability ratings.
|Party Leadership Favorability
ABOUT THIS POLL
Global Strategy Group conducted an online survey of 3,666 interviews among registered voters, including 2,039 nationwide and 2,346 among registered voters in battleground states between October 3 and 11, 2017. Battleground states consisted of Florida, New Hampshire, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, North Dakota, and Montana. Voters considered to be independent were those who identified as independent and did not lean toward either party or indicated that they had split their tickets between Democratic and Republican candidates in recent national, statewide, and local elections.
To download the full results, click here.