When it comes to considering the top political issues facing the country – immigration, health care and gun control among them – politicians in Congress can give the impression that the public is hopelessly divided on policy solutions.
In reality, the polling shows the majority of the public usually backs policy positions preferred by the Democratic Party.
A new Gallup poll released Thursday showed that two-thirds of Americans said protecting the environment should be a higher priority than economic growth and only three-in-10 who said economic growth should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent. This is the highest prioritizing of the environment since spring 2000.
Eight-in-10 Democrats and 71% of independents prioritize environmental protection, versus 35% of Republicans who said the same.
Another poll out this week by Pew Research Center found that Americans’ biggest frustration regarding the country’s tax system isn’t the amount they pay, but that corporations and the wealthy don’t pay their fair share.
Overall, 62% said that the feeling that some corporations don’t pay their fair share bothers them a lot and 60% said the same of wealthy people. Those are both made up of huge majorities of Democrats – 79% of Democrats who said those bother them a lot (on both). Independents were in a majority, as well, 62% who were bothered by corporations not paying their fair share, and 60% wealthy people, while 42% and 37% of Republicans said the same, respectively.
Those are two examples but there are many other issues that fit under this umbrella, including immigration, gun control and abortion.
- Guns, Quinnipiac University poll (March 1-4, 2019): 60% of registered voters support stricter gun laws in the US
- 87% of Democrats support stricter gun control laws.
- The border wall with Mexico, CNN poll conducted by SSRS (January 10-11): 56% oppose building a wall along the entire border with Mexico
- 89% of Democrats oppose building a wall along the whole of the southern border.
- A national “Medicare-for-all” plan, Kaiser Family Foundation (March 13-18): 56% have a favorable view
- 78% of Democrats have a favorable view of a potential national Medicare-for-all program.
- Abortion, Fox News poll (February 10-12): 57% of Americans said the Supreme Court should let Roe v Wade stand, 21% overturn
- 73% of Democrats don’t want Roe v. Wade overturned.
- Same-sex marriage, Gallup (May 1-10, 2018): 67% of Americans thought marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid
- 83% of Democrats want marriages between same-sex couples to be recognized by law.
There are some areas where the positions held by Democrats in Congress are also matters of bipartisan agreement among all voters.
- DACA, CNN poll conducted by SSRS (February 20-23, 2018): 83% of Americans said they want to continue the policy and allow immigrants who meet the qualifications to remain in the US
- 94% of Democrats
- 83% of independents
- 67% of Republicans
- Immigration, Quinnipiac University poll (January 25-28, 2019): 75% of registered voters thought immigration is overall good for the country
- 90% of Democrats
- 79% of independents
- 60% of Republicans
There are issues where Republicans are a majority, but they are few and far between (for example, crime and justice, especially the death penalty). Importantly, the issues where the Republican position is the more popular opinion aren’t the ones that Republicans focus vote on when voting.