Economic And Energy Issues, Ending War In Iraq, Top Netroots’ Concerns

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Progressive bloggers and activists are most concerned about solving basic economic problems and our country’s energy crisis as well as ending the war in Iraq, according to a straw poll of participants at this year’s Netroots Nation conference conducted by the Campaign for America’s Future and Democracy Corps. Those polled also believe that ending the war in Iraq and solving our energy and health care crises should be top priorities for the next president.

“This straw poll was designed to help us understand a little more about who our netroots activists are and where they stand,” said Toby Chaudhuri, communications director for the Campaign for America’s Future. “There’s a sea change happening in American politics and it’s growing on the Internet. Progressives are gaining popularity, strength, capacity and political sophistication, far outpacing conservatives online.”

The straw poll helps describe the progressive netroots’ increased involvement in politics, which 68 percent say is because of the Internet.

Nearly half of those who participated said they contributed more than $200 to political campaigns in the last year (47 percent), with about a third saying they had given more than $400 (32 percent). Two-thirds also donated to political campaigns at the federal level (65 percent) and state and local level (67 percent).

Those who responded clocked lots of hours working on campaigns too. Although two-thirds said they don’t work in politics professionally (66 percent), the average blogger spends the equivalent of a part-time work schedule on political activities, averaging 24 hours of work every week.

Although it is widely understood that bloggers are young political beginners, about half have been active in politics for more than a decade (48 percent), with more than three-quarters active for more than 5 years (78 percent). Fifty-two percent have volunteered for state and local campaigns while 41 percent have done so for federal campaigns. Nearly 70 percent said they are 30 or above and about half (46 percent) said they are more than 40.

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**NOTE: Complete straw poll results are available at www.ourfuture.org and www.democracycorps.org.**

NETROOTS NATION 2008
STRAW POLL FQ
Conducted By
Campaign for America’s Future and Democracy Corps
Thursday, July 17 to Sunday, July 20, 2008
Austin, Texas

ISSUES AND CONCERNS

Of the list of concerns below, please indicate which one of these is your top concern at this time.

Energy and global warming – 19%
The growing gap between the rich and the poor – 17%
Loss of constitutional rights – 15%
The war in Iraq – 11%
Corruption and special interests running Washington – 10%
Lack of affordable health care – 9%
The federal deficit and government spending – 3%
High gas prices – 2%
Lack of equal rights for gay and lesbian community – 2%
Terrorism – 1%
Making education more affordable – 1%
Increased debt owed to foreign nations – 0%
Increased taxes and more spending – 0%
Illegal immigration – 0%

Now, please indicate which of the concerns listed below is your next top concern at this time.

The war in Iraq – 17%
The growing gap between the rich and the poor – 12%
Loss of constitutional rights – 12%
Lack of affordable health care – 10%
Energy and global warming – 9%
Corruption and special interests running Washington – 9%
Illegal immigration – 4%
High gas prices – 4%
The federal deficit and government spending – 3%
Lack of equal rights for gay and lesbian community – 3%
Making education more affordable – 2%
Increased taxes and more spending – 1%
Increased debt owed to foreign nations – 1%
Terrorism – 0%

Now something a little different, of that same list of concerns, please indicate below which one of these you feel should be the top priority for the next administration.

The war in Iraq – 23%
Energy and global warming – 20%
Lack of affordable health care – 15%
The growing gap between the rich and the poor – 12%
Loss of constitutional rights – 7%
Corruption and special interests running Washington – 6%
The federal deficit and government spending – 3%
Increased debt owed to foreign nations – 3%
High gas prices – 2%
Making education more affordable – 1%
Illegal immigration – 1%
Terrorism – 0%
Increased taxes and more spending – 0%
Lack of equal rights for gay and lesbian community – 0%

Now, please indicate which of the concerns listed below you feel should be the next highest priority for the next administration.

Lack of affordable health care – 17%
Energy and global warming – 17%
The war in Iraq – 16%
The growing gap between the rich and the poor – 12%
Loss of constitutional rights – 10%
Corruption and special interests running Washington – 8%
The federal deficit and government spending – 4%
Making education more affordable – 3%
High gas prices – 3%
Increased debt owed to foreign nations – 3%
Terrorism – 1%
Illegal immigration – 1%
Increased taxes and more spending – 0%
Lack of equal rights for gay and lesbian community – 0%

CONGRESS

Overall, how much do you think Congress has accomplished this term, that is since January 2007: a great deal, a good amount, not too much, or nothing at all?

Not too much – 68%
A good amount – 16%
Nothing at all – 12%
A great deal -2%


[If ‘Nothing at all’ or ‘Not too much’] On the scale below please indicate who you feel is most to blame for the lack of accomplishment in Congress?

Democrats in Congress are to blame (1) – 5%
2 – 1%
3 – 2%
4 – 2%
The Administration and Republicans and Democrats in Congress are to blame equally (5) – 29%
7 – 17%
8 – 15%
6 -11%
9 -3%
The Administration and Republicans in Congress are to blame (10) – 15%

VICE PRESIDENT

Please choose the statement which comes closer to your view, even if neither is exactly right:

Obama should pick someone politically similar to himself, reinforcing the dynamic nature of his candidacy and the urgent need for change, and keeping true to his liberal roots – 72%

Obama should pick someone more toward the political center in order to help balance the ticket and make him more electable – 25%

INVOLVEMENT

How long, would you say, have you been active in politics?

10+ years – 48%
5-10 years – 30%
3-5 years – 18%
0-2 years – 7%


Do you yourself post or contribute to a political blog?

Yes – 68%
No – 30%

[If ‘Yes’] How long have you been posting or contributing to a political blog?

4-5 years – 23%
3-4 years – 24%
1-2 years – 27%
Less than 1 year – 14%

Please indicate below in what ways you are currently active in state and local politics and campaigns. Please check all that apply.

Donate money to a political campaign at the state or local level – 67%
Volunteer for a political campaign at the state or local level – 52%
Write for a political blog focusing on local or state politics – 26%
Work professionally for a political campaign at the state or local level – 19%
Write for an online publication other than a blog focusing on local or state politics – 12%
Produce other media or “mashups” focusing on local or state politics – 8%
Write for a print publication focusing on local or state politics – 6%

Now, please indicate below in what ways you are currently active in federal politics and campaigns. Please check all that apply.

Donate money to a political campaign at the federal level – 65%
Volunteer for a political campaign at the federal level – 41%
Write for a political blog focusing on federal politics – 30%
Work professionally for a political campaign at the federal level – 12%
Write for an online publication other than a blog focusing on federal politics – 8%
Produce other media or “mashups” focusing on federal politics – 8%
Write for a print publication focusing on federal politics – 3%

Approximately how much money have you contributed to political organizations or campaigns over the past 12 months.

$400 or more – 32%
$300-$400 – 5%
$200-$300 – 10%
$150-$200 – 9%
$100-$150 – 9%
$50-$100 – 12%
Less than $50 – 10%
$0 – I haven’t contributed – 11%
Prefer not to answer – 1%


Do you work with a political organization, campaign or other such entity as part of your occupation?

No – 66%
Yes – 32%

Approximately how many hours a week do you devote to a political organization, campaign or website?

(Mean: 23.5, Median 12.5)

Had it not been for the advent of the internet, do you think your level of activity in politics would be more, less, or about the same as it is now?

Less – 68%
About the same – 25%
More – 6%

DEMOGRAPHICS

What is your gender?

Male – 58%
Female – 40%


What year were you born?

18-29 – 27%
30-39 – 23%
40-49 – 22%
50-64 – 22%
64+ – 2%

Please choose the term that best describes how you think of yourself in political terms.

Progressive – 47%
Liberal – 40%
Moderate – 12%
Conservative – 0%

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