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Polling & Research

Candidate Qualities and Elected Officials Job Performance – June 2024

Published on July 10, 2024

Center Forward commissioned a poll with Morning Consult to explore the qualities voters seek as we head toward Election Day. The personality and characteristics of candidates often hold as much value as their policy ideas. This polling looked at what voters use to determine who they cast their ballot for, including the most desirable characteristics, how closely the candidates align with their political views, and the value they place in bipartisan efforts. The main takeaways from the survey show voters believe in working across the aisle and care about the characteristics of their elected officials as well as their transparency.

Key Takeaways:


1. Of the candidate qualities tested, being a ‘problem solver’ is the top quality selected, with 40% of voters saying it is among their top three. The other top qualities were responsible (37%) and dependable (35%). At the bottom, voters are less likely to want candidates who are described as stalwarts (2%), pragmatic (5%), or authoritative (8%).

2. Just over half (54%) prefer a candidate that represents their political views, regardless of character, while 46% prefer a candidate with excellent character, irrespective of their political views.

3. Three-in-four (76%) voters want their elected officials to work together to craft legislation that benefits everyone. This is true across party lines as well.

4. When grading elected officials, voters mainly consider responsiveness and transparency on legislative issues. 60% said the number of bills passed is a way of grading their elected officials, while 23% said it was unimportant.

Survey Methodology:

This poll was conducted by Morning Consult for Center Forward between May 30 and June 1, 2024, among a sample of 1,786 registered voters. The full survey results have an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.