For this survey, Democracy Corps and the Campaign for America’s Future surveyed 1,000 people who voted in 2008 on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3, including 114 who decided not to vote in the 2010 election, to determine the issues driving both voters and nonvoters on Election Day.
The survey shows that voter fears about the economy drove this election, as well as deep anger at the failure of government to make it work for middle class families, even as Wall Street got bailed out.
Highlights from the poll include:
- Fifty-eight percent of respondents who voted said they were trying to send a message about how dissatisfied they are with things in Washington. But they were not necessarily embracing the Republican party and its policies: Both political parties received equally poor favorability ratings, as did the Tea Party movement. Twenty-six percent of voters said they were trying to send a message to “both parties” with their vote, while only 20 percent cited President Obama and 15 percent said Democrats in Congress.
- “Too much bickering in Washington” was the top complaint of voters in the poll (39 percent), followed by “too much spending, taxes and deficits” (35 percent).
- Fifty-eight percent of voters said they were much or somewhat more likely to vote for a candidate that promised “to change Washington for the middle class. That means eliminating the special deals and tax breaks won by corporate lobbyists for Wall Street, paid for by American taxpayers and workers’ outsourced jobs. Republicans have pledged to protect those breaks. We should cut taxes for the middle class and small business to create jobs.”
- Compared to a candidate who attacked Democrats for the economic stimulus and health care reform, 57 percent of voters said they were much or somewhat more likely to support a candidate with a “made-in-America” campaign message that points out that Republicans have “pledged to support free trade deals and protect tax breaks for companies that send American jobs to India and China.”
- Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement that “America is falling behind” in the global economy and that “we need a clear strategy to make things in America, make our economy competitive, and revive America’s middle class.”
- Sixty-nine percent said that “politicians should keep their hands off Social Security and Medicare” as they attempt to address the national deficit.
- A majority opposed the Republican plan to cut $100 billion from domestic spending programs while extending the Bush tax cuts to those earning more than $250,000, while 51 percent said they agreed that those top-end tax cuts should expire and with proposals offered by Democrats to reduce the deficit over time.
- Significant majorities in the poll supported new investments in infrastructure through a national infrastructure bank, a five-year strategy for reviving manufacturing in America
Progressive talk show host Rick Smith discusses the Democracy Corps/Campaign for America’s Future poll with OurFuture.org editor Isaiah J. Poole.
More election analysis from OurFuture.org is on our Election 2010 page.