Polling Research

  1. Jobs for All—Created by Rebuilding America
  2. Invest in a Green Economy
  3. Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality
  4. Opportunity and Justice for All—with Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism
  5. Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality
  6. High-Quality Public Education—Pre-K to University
  7. Medicare for All—And Shared Economic Security
  8. Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share
  9. A Global Economic Strategy for Working People
  10. Close Wall Street’s Casino
  11. Rescue Democracy from Special Interests
  12. General Findings and Analysis
  1. Jobs for All – Created by Rebuilding America.

We should commit ourselves to providing a high quality job (with good wages and benefits) for everyone willing and able to work. This cannot be achieved through tax cuts for the rich. We support a large national investment program to put millions of Americans to work rebuilding America, creating useful employment for young people and for the millions of workers made unemployed by the deindustrialization of America. The rebuilding and modernization of our basic infrastructure — from roads to rail to water and energy systems —will stimulate robust growth and it will make our economy more productive. This initiative should be linked to public service jobs — in everything from national service to cleaning up parks and cities. As a first step, the next administration should guarantee that every young person graduating from school can get a decent job.

  • “The results of the Civis polling were nothing short of stunning, showing large net support for a job guarantee: 52 percent in support, 29 percent opposed, and the rest don’t know.”
    • The job-guarantee polls strongly across all racial groups, but through the roof among black voters (net support of 62 percent) and Latinos (55 percent)…The idea enjoys overwhelming support across state lines and has comparable backing among rural and urban voters.”
    • The job guarantee also transcends divisions from the 2016 Democratic presidential primary: Net support among Clinton voters was 54 percent, and 61 percent among Sanders voters
  • The job guarantee polls stunningly well in all 50 states. Even in the state with the lowest modeled support, Utah, support is still 57 percent. Deep-red states like West Virginia (62 percent support), Indiana (61 percent), and Kansas (67 percent) all boast strong support for a job guarantee. Indeed, the places where the job guarantee is most popular might be surprising: DC (84 percent), Mississippi (72 percent), North Carolina (72percent), Hawaii (72 percent), and Georgia (71 percent) have the highest
    estimates, though support is also highin solid-blue states like California and New York (both 71percent).
  • 75% of Americans support spending more federal money to improve infrastructure according to Gallup, 71% according to Economist/YouGov poll, and 84% according to a Harvard-Harris poll.
  • 87% of Americans believe that building, repairing, and modernizing America’s infrastructure (including bridges, railways, airports, water and sewer systems, telecommunications networks, and energy transmission networks) is an absolute critical priority or very important. (Hart Research)
  • 94% of Americans—including 92% of Trump voters—believe we can build and modernize America’s infrastructure, while also maintaining environmental protections for air, water, wildlife, and natural places. (Hart Research)
  • 80% of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia voters believe investment in infrastructure would have a positive impact on the economy (National Association of Manufacturers).


2. Invest in a Green Economy.

Catastrophic climate change is a clear and present danger. The United States should lead the global green industrial revolution that builds strong and resilient communities. That requires strategic public investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency that will replace a carbon-based economy with a clean and sustainable energy system, creating jobs and opportunity, particularly in communities of color that have borne the worst consequences of toxic corporate practices. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are already rapidly expanding. But we need a public commitment to meet clear goals to replace carbon-based energy sources, create new green energy industries, and meet global emission targets. The country that leads in these areas will capture jobs generated from markets across the world.

  • Investment in clean energy is not a partisan issue. According to Gallop in a 2017 poll, 73% of Americans “want the U.S. to emphasize alternative energy rather than oil and gas,” including 81% of Democrats and 51% of Republicans.
  • In a survey by the Republican polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies LLC, 75% of Trump voters supported “action to accelerate the deployment and use of clean energy” — including solar, wind, energy efficiency, and community renewable projects.
  • Over seven in 10 Americans favor development of alternative energy vs. oil, gas, coal. (Gallup, 2017)
  • 80% of Americans prefer to see revenue from a carbon tax (were Congress to pass one) invested in clean energy, rather than spending the money on tax cuts or household rebates. (The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends)
  • 85% of Americans believe that protecting American’s environment (including clean air, clean water, wildlife, and natural places) is either critical or very important (Hart Reseach)
  • 62% of Americans say that the government is doing too little on the environment (highest since 2006). A majority of people prioritize the environment even IF it limits economic growth. And large majorities favor government actions to protect the environments including reducing emissions, enforcing regulations, regulating fracking, investing in alternative energy, and passing carbon taxes. (Gallup, 2018)
  • 61% of Americans say quality of the environment is getting worse. (Gallup, 2018)
  • According to Pew Research in 2017, globally, climate change is about tied with ISIS as the greatest threat to security.
  1. Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality

Inequality has reached new extremes. As the corporate elite pulls in incomes, perks and tax breaks beyond the imaginations of kings, wages for the rest of us have stagnated or declined — and more and more jobs have become contingent and part-time, with low pay and few benefits. Robust economic growth and full employment, if we can achieve it, will force employers to bid up wages. But the key to reversing inequality is strong unions. We pledge to fight for the right of workers to form unions and bargain collectively for better wages and benefits. Guaranteed labor rights should be complemented by action to lift the floor under every worker by guaranteeing a living wage, paid sick and vacation days, and affordable health care. We must curb CEO compensation policies that give executives personal incentives to plunder their own companies. And we should use the tax system to reward companies that pay their workers a decent proportion to what they pay their executives.

  • In 2018, “both the Gallup and the Pew polls show public support for unions at its highest level in years: 61 percent at Gallup; 60 percent at Pew, a good 20 to 35 percentage points higher than the approval ratings of President Trump and the Republican Congress. Among Americans under 30, unions’ approval rating is a stratospheric 76 percent. “
  • As more U.S. adults approve of unions, their interest in wanting unions to have more influence is also on the rise. Thirty-nine percent of Americans would like unions to have more influence — the highest figure recorded in the 18 years Gallup has asked this question. Consequently, those who want labor unions to have less influence is at a record low of 28%. (Gallup, 2018)
  • Three in four [Americans] favored raising the minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $9.00 over a two-year period (Republicans 58%, Democrats 89%),” while 57% of Americans supported a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over a three-year period.”
  • 64% of workers say their wages “aren’t keeping up with the rising cost of living,” and 43% agree with that strongly. (Greenberg Research 2018)
  • In a recent Oxfam survey, almost half of those polled (49%) underestimated how unequal America’s economy is. Even so, the vast majority (77%) of those surveyed want the country to be more equal, including a majority (59%) who think the US government should act on this issue “urgently” or “very urgently”.
  • 74% of Americans believe that CEOs are not paid the correct amount relative to the average worker. Overall sentiment about CEO pay remains high even as the public perceives CEOs to make only a fraction of their actual compensation amounts. (Stanford Rock Center of Corporate Governance)
    • 78% of Democrats, 72% of independents, and 54% of Republicans see executive pay as a problem.
  • By 63% to 34%, voters want to “prevent corporations from avoiding taxes when they award their executives millions of dollars in stock options.” (Hart Research Associates Poll, 2013)
  • As of 2015, the majority (70%) of Americans said they believe that the “gap between the rich and the poor in the United States” has gotten larger, and 60% think that the government should do something to fix that gap. (CBS News Poll 2015)
  • 85% of Americans favor requiring employers to offer paid sick leave to employee who are ill. (CBS News Poll, 2015)
  • 78% of voters support establishing a paid family and medical leave fund that would allow all workers to take up to 12 weeks of leave from their jobs with some pay. (First Five Years Fund)
  • 58% of Americans favor an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. (PEW, 2016)
  1. Opportunity and Justice for All – With Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism.

Full employment should provide opportunity for all.  But special attention must be invested in those communities harmed by the legacy of Jim Crow, segregation, discrimination, deindustrialization, and destruction of the public sector.”  Scapegoating on the basis of race, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation works to the detriment of us all and to the benefit of those minions of corporate and Wall Street power who would divide us. Neglected urban and rural communities, working people victimized by the worst economic and social effects of neoliberalism must be given targeted attention and investment. Fundamental reform of our criminal justice system, an end to mass incarceration, and targeted investment to areas of need are all central to meeting the promise of economic justice.

Establishing a fair and humane immigration policy that stops the criminalization of communities of color should be a top priority. Our immigration policy should put the sanctity of families at the forefront – grounded in human, civil, and labor rights. We cannot allow our communities to be divided by anti-immigrant and xenophobic hysteria. And we must all work hard to end the racism and xenophobia that have historically been used to divide America’s working class majority from working together to win economic justice and prosperity for all

  • Ninety-one percent of Americans support criminal justice reform, with two in three Americans (including 65 percent of Trump voters) more likely to vote for candidates who support reducing imprisonment. (Benenson Strategy Group)
    • 72% of Americans would be more likely to vote for an elected official who supports eliminating mandatory minimums.
    • 84% of Americans believe that people with mental health disabilities belong in mental health programs instead of prison.
    • 71% of Americans agree that incarceration is often counterproductive to public safety
    • The majority or Americans recognize racial bias in the criminal justice system—only one in three say that Black people are treated fairly by the criminal justice system.
    • 61% of Americans believe that people who have committed crimes involving violence can turn their lives around.
  • 64 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization (including 51 percent of Republicans).” (Gallup, 2017)
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) say immigrants strengthen the country “because of their hard work and talents.” Just 26% say immigrants are a burden “because they take our jobs, housing and health care.” Views of immigrants, though little changed from a year ago, are more positive than at any point in the past two decades. (PEW Research, 2017)
  • 75% of Americans support providing individuals facing deportation with legal representation.
  • “The prevailing public sentiment is reasonably clear: People want relief for DREAMers. They don’t want a border wall. And they want immigration levels kept constant or increased, not lowered…findings are remarkably consistent and overwhelming.”
    • “ABC News/Washington Post, January 15-18, 2018: 87 percent support a ‘program that allows undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States if they arrived here as a child, completed high school or military service and have not been convicted of a serious crime; only 11 percent oppose.’
    • ABC News/Washington Post, January 15-18, 2018: 63 percent oppose a wall on the border with Mexico [up from 55 percent when Trump was first elected]; 34 percent support one
    • According to the most recent Gallup polling, 38 percent of Americans want to keep immigration levels constant, 24 percent want to increase them, and 35 percent want to lower them. Not only is there a consistent majority for the status quo or greater immigration, but the share of Americans wanting less immigration has fallen in recent years”
  • The Black community solidly supports immigration reform; 66% of more than 800 African-Americans questioned actively supported a path to citizenship for immigrants currently in the country, including the 11 million undocumented immigrants (Lake Research, 2018)
  • Three-quarters of African Americans say there has been little or no progress on fair treatment by police, and more than half answered the same about fair coverage by the media, political representation, or equal economic opportunities (AP-NORC POLL, 2017)
    • 30% of American adults – 35% of whites and just 8% of blacks— said all or most of the goals of the 1960s civil rights movement have been achieved.
  1. Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality.

Until 1920 most women could not vote in federal and local elections. And until very recently, women’s economic rights — to own a business or even control wealth or property — were severely limited. We have now gone from a society in which women were expected to handle home and family work to one where women are expected to earn money in the workplace — and still take care of home, children, and family. We should guarantee that women earn the same pay, protections and opportunities as men in the workplace and in society – including strengthened laws for reporting and preventing sexual harassment. Women must also be guaranteed affordable health care and the right to make choices about their own health and reproduction. Families must have access to high-quality child care, and all women must be guaranteed paid leave from the workplace for childbirth, illness and vacation, and a secure retirement — with Social Security credit for work in the household.

  • According to a 2017 Pew survey, About eight-in-ten Americans (82%) support paid leavefor mothers following the birth or adoption of a child, while 69% support paid paternity leave for fathers. And while 85% support paid leave for workers dealing with their own serious health condition, fewer (67%) support paid leave for those caring for a family member who is seriously ill.
  • Roughly six-in-ten Americans (62%) say they have taken or are very likely to take time off from work for family or medical reasons at some point. Among adults who were employed in the past two years, 27% say they have taken parental, family or medical leave during this period. In addition, 16% of those who were employed in the past two years say they needed or wanted to take these types of leave during this period but were unable to do so. (PEW, 2017)
  • A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of American Adults think the government should require all employers to provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for full-time employees.
  • 61% of Americans believe the government should take a more active role to ensure equal pay for men and women who are doing the same job. (Civis Analytics, 2016
  • 61% of voters say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 36% say it should be illegal in at least most cases. (PEW, 2016)
  • 85% of voters agree that a woman who can make decisions about her own reproductive health care, including whether and when to have children, has more control over her own economic security. (Hart Research, 2018)
  • 76 percent of voters believe politicians should not be allowed to deny a woman’s health coverage for abortion just because she’s poor (including 76 percent of independents, 66 percent of Republicans, and 89 percent of Democrats). (Hart Research. August 25-31, 2016)
  • Nearly seven out of 10 (69 percent) Americans support upholding Roe v. Wade and roughly two-thirds (66 percent) support women having access to reproductive health care in their community. Meanwhile, “8 in 10 (81%) adults in the US agree that they want their representatives to be more vocal in support of these [women’s health] issues.” (Center of Reproductive Rights, 2017)
  • 69% of Americans say sexual harassment is a major problem, and about four in ten women say they’ve been victim of sexual harassment. (Gallup, 2017)
  • Twenty-two percent of employed women in a late summer 2017 Pew Research Center pollsaid they had personally experienced sexual harassment at work. Thirty percent of women told Economist/YouGov online pollsters in October that they had been a victim of sexual harassment at work. And in a November NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey of registered voters, 35 percent of women said they had personally experienced sexual harassment or abuse from someone in their workplace. In an October ABC News/Washington Post poll, 30 percent of women said they had experienced unwanted sexual advances from a man who worked at the same company as they did, and 23 percent said they had experienced this from a man who had influence over their work situation.
  • More than two-thirds of parents (69%) say there is a fee for their child care. Child care arrangements among parents surveyed include many different types of care, representing a range of costs, but nearly a third of parents (31%) who have a fee for their child care say the cost has caused a financial problem for their household. Approximately three-quarters of those parents (71%) say it has caused a “very” or “somewhat” serious problem. When asked to rate the cost of their child care, most parents (60%) say is it not “excellent” (NPR poll, 2016)
  • Two out of three parents struggle to find childcare that meets their safety and health standards. (University of Michigan poll, 2017)
  1. High-Quality Public Education – Pre-K to University.

Every young person must have the right to high-quality, free public education from preschool through college. Public education must be controlled by the public — not by corporations — and not by charter school hucksters who take public subsidies without assuming the responsibility to educate all kids, regardless of special needs. This requires that every community, in partnership with the Federal Government must have the financing necessary to strengthen public schools, providing the necessary basics – preschool, smaller classes, summer and after-school programs, and skilled, well-paid teachers with rights on the job. College education or skills training should be available without tuition at all public universities as a right of civic membership — as was the policy in many states in the 1950s and 1960s. Education should be a public good that benefits all of society, not a commodity that indentures students to debt. We call for a national student debt jubilee that will forgive the debt burden imposed upon several generations seeking an education. Free college and debt forgiveness will not only allow students and former students to live their lives without that burden, but it will also stimulate economic growth and unleash new civic activism.

  • 71% of adults favor making public 2- and 4- year college tuition-free for all households. (Demos, 2018)
  • 78% of Americans, including 86% of African Americans, 84% of Latinos, and 90% of young voters, support proposals that a public 2 or 4 year college without debt. (Demos, 2018)
  • 83% of adults believe that students be able to work their way through college, but only 21% say someone like themselves would be likely to be able to graduate without debt. (Demos, 2018)
  • “Voters across the country overwhelmingly support policies that allow student loan borrowers to refinance their loans (91% in favor), enroll into affordable payment options based on income (90% in favor), and have their debt forgiven after 10 years of payments if they work in qualifying public service jobs or non-profit organizations (70% in favor).” (CRL/AFR Poll, 2017)
  • According to a recent survey by Pew Research, 72 percent of the American public rank education as a top priority for the country, behind only one other issue, terrorism, and ahead of the economy and healthcare.
  • In a 2016 Gallup survey, “the majority of Americans back free early childhood education: 59 percent favor it and 26 percent are opposed. Just 36 percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican favor it, compared with 81 percent of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic. Free college tuition is the more controversial with only 47 percent supporting it and 45 percent opposed. Majorities of 18- to 34-year-olds (63 percent), those in lower-income households (61 percent), those without a college degree (52 percent) and Democrats (67 percent) agree with the [free college] proposal.
  • 69% of Americans would vote for a candidate who “would spend government money to establish federal and state programs making high-quality preschools available to every child in America.” (Gallup, 2014)
  • 49% of Americans say they would NOT send their children to a school run by a private company. (5% were unsure, 32% would consider it, and 14% would definitely do it). (CBS Poll, 2009)
  • 2017 PDK poll indicates increased support for traditional public education (while Trump and Devos continue to denounce them and push their own private alternatives). “52 percent of Americans oppose using public funds to send students to private school and opposition rises to 61 percent when the issue is described in more detail.”
  • 72 percent of voters in the deep red state of Oklahoma, where teacher’s pay is near the bottom among U.S. states, supported the walkout (CBPP poll, 2018)
  • A 2018 CBS News pollfrom March found that 68 percent of Americans believe that teachers in their community are paid too little.
  • 87% of public school parents say cutting local school budgets is a serious concern, including 62% who say it is a very serious concern. (Hart Research, 2017)
  1. Medicare for All — And Shared Economic Security.

Health care is a right, not a privilege. And that requires moving to a Medicare for All universal public health care system. Our fight to defend Obamacare from Trump and his allies is a crucial first step to a promise of quality health care for everyone. In addition, America needs a more robust social insurance system.  Every worker deserves a secure retirement— and we will work to create new pension systems, while we secure Social Security by “lifting the cap” that now exempts wealthy people from paying their fair share of Social Security taxes. We will strengthen and expand America’s shared security programs — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment, food support and housing assistance. No one in America should go hungry or homeless. Greater shared security makes the economy more robust by making our society more fair – and giving all people the confidence that comes from solidarity.

  • In 2017 Lake Research poll, “almost three-quarters of voters surveyed…supported Medicare for All.”
  • 2017 Gallup poll: 58% of US supports replacing ACA with fed-funded healthcare system
  • Among Democrats, three-quarters or more of those in all educational and income groups both approve of the Affordable Care Act and say ensuring health care coverage is a government responsibility. (PEW, 2017)
  • Nine out of ten voters say that “health-care costs are out of control,” and 73% agree with that strongly. (Greenberg Research 2018)
  • While the future of the Affordable Care Act is in question, the public increasingly thinks the law has had a positive impact on the country. Today, more Americans say the 2010 health care overhaul has had a mostly positive than mostly negative effect on the country (44% versus 35%). (PEW, 2017)
  • In a separate survey in January, 60% said the government has a responsibility to provide health coverage for all, the highest share in nearly a decade. And about half [of lower income Republicans] (52%) say the government has a responsibility to ensure health care coverage. (PEW, 2017)
  • Of six possible ways to address concerns with the Social Security system, large majorities of Americans favor two, both of which would affect only wealthy Americans: “requiring higher-income workers to pay Social Security taxes on ALL of their wages” and “limiting benefits for wealthy retirees.” (Gallup, 2010)
  • CBS poll 2014: 73% of Americans believe that the benefits of Social Security are worth the costs of the program for taxpayers.
  • PEW 2011: 60% of Americans say that preserving Social Security and Medicare benefits are more important than reducing the budget deficit.
  • Solid majorities of liberals, conservatives, and independents alike say that social security is important and they are willing to pay more in taxes to sustain it.
  • “Large majorities of Americans across demographic and partisan lines overwhelmingly reject congressional Republicans’ so-called ‘Welfare Reform;’ i.e. proposals to cut Medicaid, nutrition assistance, affordable housing, and other programs that help ensure basic living standards for low-income families. Overall, “opposition to all but one of these specific ideas ranges from 60 to 80 percent of voters.” (CAP/GBA Strategies, Feb 2018)
  1. Make Corporations and Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share.

Our public investment/growth and justice agenda requires tax revenues. Yet the corporations and the rich do not pay their fair share in taxes — even though they pocket the greatest benefits from public investments. Our tax code rigs the rules to favor the few. Multinationals pay lower tax rates than small domestic businesses. Billionaire investors pay lower rates than their secretaries. Top income tax rates have been lowered even as working people face ever-higher sales taxes and fees. It is time for the rich and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. It is time to shut down the tax havens and tax dodges that enable companies to avoid taxes altogether. We should lift the cap on Social Security taxes, so rich people pay the same percentage of their income as the rest of us. We should tax the income of investors at the same rates we tax income from work. We need clear, simple, progressive corporate and individual taxes, closing loopholes and exemptions. And a tax on financial transactions and can produce significant revenues. A fair tax system will allow us to invest in an economy that will work for all.  

  • “Half of the Republicans surveyed agree the US government should increase taxes on the richest 1%, along with 75% of Democrats.” (Oxfam, 2018)
  • “Just 24% say taxes on incomes over $250,000 should be reduced; 43% say they should be raised, while 29% favor keeping them the same as they are currently.” Also, majorities of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents favor raising tax rates on both corporations (69%) and high incomes (57%), while Republicans are more divided.” (PEW, 2017)
  • “Slightly more than six in 10 Americans in recent years have consistently said that upper-income people pay too little in taxes…two-thirds of Americans today say corporations pay too little in taxes, with less than one in 10 saying corporations pay too much.” (Gallup, 2017)
  • 52% of Americans say taxes on corporations should be raised (PEW, 2017)
  • 73% of Americans believe the current US tax system favors the wealthy (ABC News/Washington Post Poll, Sept 2017)
  • In January, 55% of voters actively disapproved of Trump and the GOPs new tax plan (Gallup, Jan 2018)
  • Most Americans (62%-66%) said America’s wealthy will benefit disproportionately from the GOPs recent spending bill (Quinnipiac UniversityCNN, Jan 2018). Relatedly, 63% of Americans believed Donald Trump and his family will be better off due to the bill (and only 5% said worse off) (CNN, Jan 2018).
  1. A Global Economic Strategy for Working People.

Our global trade and tax policies have been created for and by multinational companies. We must renegotiate trade deals and rethink tax policies that benefit the already-wealthy, while they encourage the export of whole American industries, drive down pay and worker protections, and harm the environment. We need more but balanced trade, and global standards that protect the rights of workers, consumers and the environment. That requires a crackdown on tax havens, currency manipulation, and deals that allow corporations to trample basic labor rights here and abroad. Finally, we need new policies that allow us to help existing US industries, by having our government buy American, policies that are now outlawed by trade deals. And we need active investment policies that grow new cutting-edge industries, like green energy systems.

Our current national security policies commit us to policing the world. The result costs lives and drains public resources. We need a real security policy that makes military intervention a last resort, and focuses on global threats like climate change, poverty and inequality. We should reduce military budgets and properly support humanitarian programs. 

  • “A September 2014 Pew poll showed that only 20 percent of Americans think that status quo trade has led to U.S. job creation, while 50 percent of Americans — half of Democrats and more than half of Republicans — say it has spurred job losses. The same poll confirms what Gallup found and reinforces what polls have consistently shown for years: Americans support trade in general but oppose the NAFTA model of trade that has offshored U.S. jobs, spurred massive deficits, stagnated middle-class wages and contributed to unprecedented levels of U.S. income inequality.”
  • Americans are split on whether NAFTA has been good or bad for the US (46% say bad, 48% good). (Gallup, 2017)
  • A May 2015 Reuters/Ipsos poll found that a majority (56%) of the U.S. public supports the concept of “new international trade agreements to promote the sale of American goods abroad.” 
  • According to a 2017 Gallup poll: “A record-high 72% of Americans see foreign trade as an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports. This is up sharply from 58% last year, after much debate about trade during the presidential election cycle.”
    • “All political party groups show an increase from last year in the view that trade is an economic opportunity. Among Democrats, this view has increased 17 percentage points to 80%, while among Republicans it has risen 16 points to 66%. The increase is smaller among independents — up eight points to 71%.”
  • In 2014, 73% of Democrats and 25% of Republicans wanted the government to “close loopholes that allow corporations and wealthy individuals to avoid paying U.S. taxes by shifting income to overseas tax havens.” (Hart Research Associates, 2013)“76% of Democrats, 69% of Republicans, and 80% of Independents disapprove of corporate tax inversions when they were asked “Do you approve or disapprove of tax inversions, a practice where one company becomes a subsidiary of another company in a foreign country for the purpose of reducing its taxes?” (Morning Consult poll, 2014)
  • 82% of Americans believe that “reform[ing] the tax system by closing corporate loopholes and limiting deductions for the wealthy” should be used to “reduce the budget deficit and make new investments” rather than to “reduce tax rates on corporations and the wealthy.” (Hart Research Associates Poll, 2013)
  • 79% of Americans want to “close tax loopholes to ensure that American corporations pay as much on foreign profits as they do on profits in the United States.” (Hart Research Associates Poll, 2013)
  • 73% of Americans support “raising taxes on businesses that move manufacturing jobs overseas.” (ABC News/Washington Post poll, Feb 2012)
  • 67% of Americans believes that “we should end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs and profits offshore, and level the playing field for small businesses that create jobs in America.” (Hart Research Associates Poll 2013)
  • 68% of Americans believe Trump’s trade war with China would be bad for the US economy. And 64% do not agree with Trump’s statement that a trade war can be easily won. (Quinnipiac University Poll, April 6-9 2018).
  • Most Americans are not convinced that defense spending should increase. A Gallup Poll in Feb 2018 indicated that 34% of all respondents believed too much is being spent on defense, while 31% said it is fine where it is.
  • 58% of Americans are opposed to the Trump budgets increase on military spending amid cuts to the State Department, the EPA, and other non-defense agencies (CNN/ORC Poll, 2017).
  1. Close Wall Street’s Casino.

Financial deregulation has devastated our economy and protected banks that are too big to fail, too big to manage, and too big to jail. The financial casino fosters ever more dangerous speculation, while investment in the real economy lags. The resulting booms and busts devastate families and small businesses. We need to break up the big banks, levy a speculation tax, and provide low-income families with safe and affordable banking services. We should crack down on payday lenders and other schemes that exploit vulnerable working families, offering instead safe and inexpensive banking via the postal system.

  • “Voters overwhelmingly favor regulation of Wall Street and strongly support the work of the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB, 2017).
    • Seventy-eight percent of likely voters say that tough rules and enforcement are needed to prevent the kinds of practices that led to the financial crisis, with 85 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of Independents, and 67 percent of Republicans holding this view. Majorities in all parties favor more rather than less regulation of finance.
    • The mission of the CFPB, created in 2010 to shield consumers from shady industry practices, is extremely popular, with 74 percent of voters backing its work. The poll shows majority support from Democrats (85 percent), Republicans (66 percent), and Independents (77 percent). The Dodd Frank reforms writ large are supported by very similar portions of voters.
    • Substantial majorities of all parties — 78 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of Republicans — say that Wall Street exerts too much influence in Washington.
  • According to a 2017 joint poll conducted by the Republican Chesapeake Beach Consulting and the Democratic Lake Research Partners, voters favor strict regulation of financial institution and the goals of the controversial CFPB:
    • 91% of the respondents believe that it is important to regulate financial services, with 71% said it is very important.
    • When Dodd-Frank was explained to respondents, 74% of the respondents said they support the law, including 67% of Republicans.
    • When the CFPB was explained to voters, 77% said they favored continuation of the agency’s activities, including 80% of Democrats, 77% of independents and 66% of Republicans.
    • When the CFPB’s arbitration rule was explained, 66% of the respondents said they favored the rule, with 19% saying it would result in frivolous law suits.
  • 3% of registered voters have a favorable view of payday lenders, compared to 51% with an unfavorable view. (GBA Strategies, 2018)
  • A large plurality of Americans (49%) said in 2017 that the “government has not gone far enough in regulating financial institutions and markets, leaving the country at risk of another financial crisis. (PEW, 2017)
  • Americans offer greater support when the issue is more specifically framed as regulating “Wall Street banks,” as opposed to “banks” more generally. (Gallup, 2010)
  • 78% of likely voters say that tough rues and enforcement are need to prevent the kinds of practices that led to the financial crisis, with 85% of Democrats, 81% of Independents, and 67% of Republicans. (AFR/CRL Poll 2017).
  • Americans reject the idea that some banks are so important to the US economy that they should receive taxpayer dollars when facing bankruptcy, 65% saying that “any bank and financial institution should be allowed to fail if it can no longer meet its obligations. (CATO, 2017)
  • In 2010, Americans’ confidence in banks hit a historical low, with four in ten saying they had “very little” confidence in U.S. financial institutions (while a mere 20% said they had “a great deal” of confidence) (Gallup 2010).
  • Americans offer greater support when the issue is more specifically framed as regulating “Wall Street banks,” as opposed to “banks” more generally. (Gallup, 2010)
  1. Rescue Democracy from the Special Interests.

Big money has corrupted our democracy. Some might say democracy is not part of an economics agenda. But the same financial elites and corporations that buy and sell politicians use that political power to rig the economy so the top .01 percent gets massively richer while incomes decline for the rest of us. The Citizens United decision gave corporations the right to spend unlimited money in politics. We pledge to reverse it, through a constitutional amendment, if necessary. We will stop the attack on voting rights which has escalated to just as a new majority of people of color, young people and working women has begun to exercise new power. We will fight for public financing of elections that bans corporate and big money – and for electoral reforms, like public matching of small donations, so people’s candidates to compete with the candidates of the plutocrats. Finally, we pledge to change national and local political party structures so that progressive candidates get a fair shake in the nominating process and in general elections. And we will build a new progressive majority that can take back our democracy and our economic system.                            

    • According to Pew, most Americans want to limit campaign spending, and believe new laws would be effective in reducing role of money in politics (May 2018).
    • A large majority of Americans (76%) – including identical shares of Republicans and Democrats – say money has a greater role on politics than in the past. Moreover, large majorities of both Democrats (84%) and Republicans (72%) favor limiting the amount of money individuals and organizations can spend on campaigns and issues [77% of all Americans]. (PEW, 2015)
    • A similar 74% say most elected officials “don’t care what people like me think”; just 23% say elected officials care what they think. (PEW, 2015)
    • Polls consistently show that over 70 percent of both Democrats and Republicans want Citizens United overturned, and more than a dozen states have already called for an amendment to address the decision in one way or another.” (2017)
    • “Opposition to a [Supreme Court] nominee who’ll throw out contribution limits and give big donors and corporations more influence in elections is both broad and deep. Overall, 78 percent are more likely to oppose the nominee (56 percent much more likely to oppose), including 92 percent of Democrats, 84 percent of Independents, and 59 percent of Republicans.” (Greenberg Research, 2017)
    • A Rasmussen Reports poll shows that just 32% of Democrats believe Hillary Clinton wont the Democratic nomination fairly, while 47% say that the Democrats’ electoral system was rigged against Sanders. (Nov 2017)
    • According to a 2017 bipartisan poll conducted by Democratic research Celinda Lake and Republican analyst Ashlee Rich Stephenson, 80 percent of Democrats, 68% of independents, and 65% of Republicans would back action by the Supreme Court to define a standard that ends extreme partisan gerrymandering.
    • 2017 poll by the non-partisan group Democracy North Carolina, found that 80% of North Carolina voters think “it’s not fair for politicians to draw their own districts (inlcuinding 85% of Democrats, 74% of Republicans, and 80% of independents). A majority of both Democrats and Republicans said they would be more likely to vote for candidates who support an impartial method of drawing voting districts


12. General Cross-Plank Polling Findings & Analyses

  • Polling for the Left Agenda, Data for Progress
    • “We find that the punditry has vastly underestimated the potential of an unabashedly left progressive agenda. Four issues stood out in our polling as issues that have strong and durable support.”
  • From The Intercept: Polling Shows Running on Progressive Policies Would Work In Swing Districts:
    • “Policies dealing with cheaper prescription drugs, infrastructure, protecting Social Security and Medicare, and cracking down on Wall Street, are exceedingly popular with swing and surge voters alike, the survey found.”
    • “A majority of voters (52 percent) said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate talking about the progressive policies we mentioned, while only 26 percent would be less likely.”
    • “The results show enthusiastic support for progressive policies in 30 swing districts, mostly held by Republican incumbents. “Our polling shows running as a bold progressive is a political winner.’”
    • “A majority of the voters surveyed preferred a bold economic vision, as opposed to an incremental approach. When asked, 52 percent said they prefer “a bold and comprehensive agenda to rewrite the rules of the economy,” compared to the 36 percent of voters who would choose to “make our economy work for everyone by building on the success of the past.”
    • “Majorities of Americans say the federal government does not provide enough help for older people (65%), poor people (62%) and the middle class (61%). By contrast, nearly two-thirds (64%) say the government provides too much help for wealthy people.”
  • From Greenberg Research study, 2018: At a Breaking Point?:
    • “Democrats only reach House-control level margins when they: Make Donald Trump, not the GOP, the focus of their attacks and focus not on his temperament, but rather on his failure to keep his promise to end politics as usual, passing trickle-down tax cuts and threatening the middle class with cuts to Medicaid and entitlements.”
    • “Focus groups have shown that “the best mid-term attacks include Trump’s broken promises: contrary to his vow to not be a typical politician, he has made a series a U-turns, enriched himself, given massive tax cuts to the rich and him personally—and hurt the most vulnerable, like massively cutting Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare. These attacks on Trump’s “broken promises” raised very serious concerns with over 50 percent of African Americans, Hispanics, unmarried women and millennials.”
    • “…it is critical that Democrats run as change agents who want to take on the way Washington works so it finally helps the hard-working middle class, not the rich and powerful and corporations who are rigging politics so they get more trickle-down economics – like the new tax cut. This evolution of this ‘better deal’ message has been developed over several waves of focus groups and survey research…it is particularly strong with the African American and Hispanic voters who are so desperate for change, but also the unmarried women and millennials who are turnout targets.”
  • From Oxfam study, Polls Show Trump Economic Agenda Deeply Unpopular:
    • “…the four most popular policies for decreasing inequality among the Americans surveyed include providing free and high quality education and medical care for all, raise taxes on the rich, raising the minimum wage, and increase funding for safety net programs like social security, Medicaid and nutrition assistance.”
      Pledge Polling Research 041818Pledge Polling Research 041818Pledge Polling Research 041818
  • The Democrat’s “Working Class Problem”, The American Prospect, 06/01/17
    • “When we tested a bold Democratic economic agenda against the Republican agenda, white unmarried women embraced the Democratic offer with great enthusiasm, and this agenda trailed the Republican offer by only 8 points among all white working-class women. The results were so promising, we proposed at the outset of the 2016 cycle that progressives adopt an “RAE+” strategy to reach the working class more broadly.”
    • “Not surprisingly, white working-class women form a big portion (40 percent) of the independents and Democrats who voted for Trump in the end”
    • “‘Jobs don’t pay enough to live on and it is a struggle to save anything,’ said 70 percent of minorities and 65 percent of unmarried women in our postelection survey.”
    • “The failure to see that the problems of working America run right through the new American majority cost the campaign a chance to produce a very different result in this election.”