You are on page 1of 29

Celinda Lake

Lake Research Partners


Washington, DC | Berkeley, CA | New York, NY
LakeResearch.com
202.776.9066
The Populist Majority
Americans Want An End To Business As Usual
May 22, 2014
THE SHRINKING MIDDLE CLASS
Three-quarters of voters say their own economic situation has
gotten worse or stagnated over the past four years.
22%
36%
40%
1%
1%
Gotten better
Gotten worse
Stayed the same
Combo/Other
Unsure/Refused
Do you think that your personal economic situation has gotten better, worse, or stayed
the same over the past four years?
The Tarrance Group/Lake Research Partners March 2014 Battleground Poll
March 16-20, 2014/ N=1,000 Registered likely voters / 3.1% M.O.E.
3
Fewer Americans now classify themselves as middle-class,
and more are using the lower class description.
Survey of 1,504 adults conducted Jan. 15-19, 2014.
4
Voters are extremely skeptical about their ability to attain the
American Dream and overwhelmingly do not agree that the
next generation will be better off than they are.
65
20
70
65
2
4
1
4
34
76
29
31
In America, anyone can get ahead if they work
hard enough.
I think the next generation will be better off
economically than I am now.
Our economy makes it too tough for the middle
class to make ends meet.
I am optimistic about where I will be financially
five years from now.
Agree Unsure Disagree
The Tarrance Group/Lake Research Partners March 2014 Battleground Poll
March 16-20, 2014/ N=1,000 Registered likely voters / 3.1% M.O.E.
Please listen carefully as I read each statement and tell me if you would agree or
disagree with that particular statement.
5
THE URGENCY OF INEQUALITY
The wealthy are largely seen as doing very well in the current
economy, while women, the middle class, and particularly
those living in poverty are not doing well.
68
19
10
8
4
5
13
34
27
25
18
8
The
wealthy*
Men
You and
your family
Women
The middle
class
Those living
in poverty*
Very Well Fairly well
Source: NBC/Wall Street Journal Survey. Conducted by Hart Research Associates & Public Opinion Strategies. January 22-25, 2014
Im going to mention a number of groups of people and for each one, please tell me how well the
economy works for that type of person very well, fairly well, just somewhat well, not that well, or
not well at all.
*Asked of half the sample
39
7
Americans resoundingly believe income inequality is a
significant problem in todays society.
49%
30%
8%
9%
4%
Big problem
Somewhat of a problem
Not much of a problem
Not a problem at all
Unsure/Refused
How big of a problem would you say that income inequality is? Would you say it is a big problem,
somewhat of a problem, not much of a problem, or not a problem at all?
The Tarrance Group/Lake Research Partners March 2014 Battleground Poll
March 16-20, 2014/ N=1,000 Registered likely voters / 3.1% M.O.E.
8
There is striking consensus around the desire the need for
government to intervene on grounds of economic fairness.
54
64
72
59
1
2
3
3
45
34
25
38
People who work hard for a living and play by the rules
never seem to get ahead.
The economic rules in this country unfairly favor the rich.
Middle class people have it the toughest in our economic
system. There are assistance programs for the poor and
tax breaks for the rich, but no real help for middle class
people.
The government should be doing something to reduce the
gap between the rich and everyone else.
Agree Unsure Disagree
The Tarrance Group/Lake Research Partners March 2014 Battleground Poll
March 16-20, 2014/ N=1,000 Registered likely voters / 3.1% M.O.E.
Please listen carefully as I read each statement and tell me if you would agree or
disagree with that particular statement.
9
A FOCUS ON JOB CREATION
Creating jobs and reducing the deficit are voters top
priorities for the Obama administration and Congress.
27
38
39
45
49
49
51
54
56
57
59
60
66
74
91
Addressing the issue of climate change
Enacting pension and entitlement reform
Passing new immigration legislation
Reducing income inequality
Reforming the nation's intelligence system
Using federal aid $ to encourage colleges to offer
Increasing the minumum wage
Fix and keep the new health care law
Reforming Social Security and Medicare
Withdrawing almost all combat troops from Afghanistan
Closing corporate tax loopholes
Addressing Iran's nuclear program
Ensuring all children have access to pre-school education
Reducing the federal budget deficit
Creating Jobs
Should this be an absolute priority for the Obama administration and THIS years Congress, is it something that can be
delayed until next year, or something that should not be pursued?
% Saying
Absolute
Top Priority
For This Year
NBC/Wall Street Journal. January 2014
11
12
62
59
68
54
58
37
40
31
45
41
24
22
26
24
23
20
21
15
29
21
Total
Non-college men
Non-college women
College educated men
College educated women
Majorities of Americans with and without college degrees
want the government to focus on job creation, even if it has
short-term deficit impacts.
Darker colors
indicate intensity
(Strongly disagree/
Strongly agree)
Disagree
Agree
LRP survey of 1,515 adults, including oversamples of African American women, Latinas, Asian/Pacific Islander women, and men and women ages
18 to 29, conducted on behalf of the Ms. Foundation for Women. March 15-24, 2011.
Now, here is a statement about the economy. Please mark whether you agree or disagree with the following
statement: The government should focus on creating jobs even if it means increasing the deficit in the short-term.
13
45
13
10
9
6
4
3
3
5
2
Education
Health care
Affordable housing
Crime and public safety
Public transportation
Public water systems
Sidewalks and street lighting
Other
None of these
Don't know
A strong plurality (45%) of Americans consider education the
area most worthy of government investment to create jobs.
LRP survey of 1014 adults nationwide, on behalf of Corporate Accountability International. January 27-30, 2012.
Most Likely to Prioritize Education:
Independent, Lean Democrat63%
Homemakers60%
African-American women59%
African-Americans <5059%
African-Americans57%
Hispanics57%
Mothers55%
Now I am going to read you a list of services in which government invests to create jobs and
rebuild the economy. Please tell me which ONE of these you think is the MOST important for
government to invest in to create jobs and rebuild the economy.
Turnout targets are responsive to a range of messages that
focus on concrete efforts to help working people and
expand opportunity by raising wages, improving schools,
and creating jobs.
Hart Research Associates, Ten Things Democrats Need to Know about the Economy to Win in 2014.
14
TAX FAIRNESS
The Republicans have a strong message on cutting taxes
and removing regulations, which will continue to be their
counterargument to populist economic policies.
43%
45%
4%
3%
5%
Closing the gap
Cutting taxes/removing regulations
Combo/Other
None
Unsure/Refused
What do you think would be the best way to make sure that everyone can move up
economically? Would you say it is reducing the gap between the wealthiest Americans
and the rest of the country or cutting taxes and removing unnecessary regulations?
The Tarrance Group/Lake Research Partners March 2014 Battleground Poll
January 12-16, 2014/ N=1,000 Registered likely voters / 3.1% M.O.E.
16
But two-thirds of voters believe that the richest 2% should
be paying more in taxes.
I'm going to read you descriptions of different groups of people and institutions, and for each one, I would like you to tell me whether you feel this
group should be paying more in taxes than it does today, should be paying less in taxes than it does today, or is paying about the right amount
today.
Americans for Tax Fairness survey among 1,009 voters. Conducted October 25-30, 2013 by Hart Research Associates.
April 2012 January 2013 October 2013
*darker shade indicates intensity
17
Voters agree that tax loopholes are the result of a system rigged
in favor of the special interests.
REPUBLICANS: America has the highest income tax rates on businesses in the world. We need
tax reform that broadens the base by eliminating loopholes, which will allow us to reduce
corporate tax rates. This kind of pro-growth tax reform will make the system simpler, more fair,
grow our economy, and raise more revenue."
Agree strongly
50%
Agree strongly
21%
62%
30%
+32 Democrats
DEMOCRATS: The tax systemis rigged in favor of special interests against the middle class. Large
companies like General Electric and Verizon pay no federal income taxes some years, while Apple
avoids billions in taxes by stashing profits in offshore tax havens. It's about time big corporations
started living by the same rules as the rest of us.
Americans for Tax Fairness survey of 1,009 voters. Conducted October 25-30, 2013 by Hart Research Associates.
Concerning corporate tax reform, with which statement do you agree more?
18
Voters approve of policies that would eliminate tax loopholes
for millionaires and large corporations and move us closer to
tax fairness.
Policy
Strongly
Approve
Approve
Close tax loopholes to ensure that American corporations pay as much
on foreign profits as they do on profits made in the United States.
59 79
Eliminate tax loopholes for corporate meals and entertainment.
54 69
Eliminate the loophole that allows Wall Street hedge fund managers to
pay a lower tax rate than middle-class taxpayers.
53 68
Pass the Buffett Rule, which sets a minimum income tax rate of thirty
percent for millionaires to ensure they do not pay a lower tax rate than
the middle class.
51 71
Close loopholes that allow corporations and wealthy individuals to
avoid paying U.S. taxes by shifting income to offshore tax havens.
50 62
Now I'd like to get your reaction to some tax and spending policies that may be considered by Congress for reducing the federal budget deficit. For
each one, please tell me whether you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of this proposal.
Americans for Tax Fairness survey among 1,009 voters. Conducted October 25-30, 2013 by Hart Research Associates.
19
In fact, swing voters are more likely to support public
investments aimed at creating jobs if those investments are
funded by closing tax loopholes for big corporations and the rich.
Hart Research Associates, Ten Things Democrats Need to Know about the Economy to Win in 2014.
Which candidate would you be more likely to support? (Swing Voters)
50 50
Republican candidate Democratic candidate
39
62
Favors cutting govt spending to
bring down deficit and reduce debt
Favors investment in schools, research,
and transportation that create jobs
Favors cutting govt spending to
bring down deficit and reduce debt
Favors investment in schools, research, and
transportation that create jobs, funded by closing
tax loopholes for big corporations and the rich
20
Voters are especially supportive of closing tax loopholes
for companies that ship jobs overseas.
Message
Very
Convincing
Very/Fairly
Convincing
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.
55 67
We should close tax loopholes for large corporations that
ship jobs offshore, and instead use that money to invest in
jobs in America by improving our roads and bridges and
rebuilding manufacturing.
54 68
Instead of cutting education funding for our children, we
should ask millionaires to pay at least as high a tax rate as
their secretaries.
50 64
It's better to end huge tax subsidies to oil and gas companies
making record profits than to make seniors pay more for
Medicare.
48 58
I'm going to read some statements made by people who support the Democrats' budget priorities. For each
statement, please tell me whether you think it is a very convincing, fairly convincing, just somewhat
convincing, or not a convincing reason to support the Democrats' budget priorities.
Americans for Tax Fairness survey among 1,009 voters. Conducted October 25-30, 2013 by Hart Research Associates.
21
REGULATING BIG BUSINESS
Nearly all voters believe it is important to regulate financial
services and products. This is a core value.
93
6
1
73
Important Not important Don't know
+87
How important is it to regulate financial services and products to make sure they are fair for consumers? Is it
very important, somewhat important, a little important, or not at all important?
Lake Research Partners survey of 1,004 likely 2014 voters conducted on behalf of the Ford Foundation, the Center for Responsible Lending,
and Americans for Financial Reform. The national survey was conducted from July 8 11, 2013 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.
23
More than 8 in 10 voters support tougher rules and
enforcement for Wall Street financial companies, while just
9% believe they dont need further regulation.
83
9
2
6
Tougher Rules &
Enforcement
Don't Need Further
Regulation
Neither Don't Know
Tougher Rules for Financial Companies
Should Wall Street financial companies be held accountable with tougher rules and enforcement for the
practices that caused the financial crisis, or have their practices changed enough that they dont need further
regulation?
Lake Research Partners survey of 1,004 likely 2014 voters conducted on behalf of the Ford Foundation, the Center for Responsible Lending,
and Americans for Financial Reform. The national survey was conducted from July 8 11, 2013 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.
24
While trade is seen more as an opportunity for growth than a
threat to the economy, voters worry that unregulated
globalization puts the American economy at a disadvantage.
54
38
4
3
Opportunity
for growth
Threat to
economy
Both Unsure
What do you think foreign trade means for America?
Do you see foreign trade more as an opportunity for
economic growth through increased U.S. exports or
a threat to the economy from foreign imports?
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll of 500 registered voters nationwide conducted by Hart Research Associates (D) and Public
Opinion Strategies (R). April 23-27, 2014.
43
48
5
4
Good Bad Equal Unsure
Do you think the fact that the American economy
has become increasingly global is good because it
has opened up new markets for American products
and resulted in more jobs, or bad because it has
subjected American companies and employees to
unfair competition and cheap labor?
Gallup Poll. Feb. 6-9, 2014. N=1,023 adults nationwide
25
TAKING BACK OUR DEMOCRACY
Voters are fed up with members of Congress and the Big
Money Campaign Donors that help them win elections to
rig the system in their favor.
Net
23
12
67
72
4 36
51
Members of Congress
Big Money Campaign Donors
Unfavorable Favorable
-43
-60
Now Id like to ask you about some groups. For each, please tell me whether you have a VERY
favorable, SOMEWHAT favorable, somewhat UNFAVORABLE, or VERY unfavorable impression.
Public Campaign Action Fund survey of 804 likely 2014 voters nationwide. Conducted December 14-17, 2013 by Lake Research Partners.
The margin of error is +/- 3.3%
27
There is a growing sense of urgency behind changing the way
campaigns are funded.
72%
June 2010 December 2013
83%
Major Changes Needed
Democrats: 55% (10) 64% (13)
Independents: 56% (10) 66% (13)
Republicans: 45% (10) 54% (13)
Changes to the Way We Finance Campaigns
When it comes to the way we finance election campaigns, do you think we need to make major changes, minor
changes, or should we not make any changes to the way election campaigns are financed, or arent you sure?
Public Campaign Action Fund survey of 804 likely 2014 voters nationwide. Conducted December 14-17, 2013 by Lake Research Partners.
The margin of error is +/- 3.3%
28
Celinda Lake
clake@lakeresearch.com
Washington, DC | Berkeley, CA | New York, NY
LakeResearch.com
202.776.9066