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National Surveys
The Mandate on Taxes
Wednesday, December 05 2012
Attachments:
Download this file (dcor.pe.demtaxes.memo.112812.v3.pdf)Memo[ ]179 Kb

 

President Obama won an Electoral College landslide and a 4-point national victory – against the great odds posed by prolonged high unemployment, lack of income gains, a barely perceptible recovery and political gridlock that kept his job approval at just 50 percent at best.  Just as important as his victory is the mandate he won on taxes, according to the major national surveys conducted by Democracy Corps immediately after the election.[1]

While Congress debates the terms of a grand bargain on long-term deficit reduction to avoid the fiscal cliff, voters have clear and strong priorities on taxes – and these contrast starkly with the terms discussed in the President’s negotiations with House Speaker Boehner in the summer of 2011 and with the recommendations of the co-chairs of the President’s deficit commission, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.  We want to bring these priorities to your attention as important choices and decisions are made in the coming weeks.  A strong majority of voters, including support from both parties, want to see taxes as part of any fiscal cliff deal – and it’s important not to ignore this mandate.

·         Almost two-thirds of the voters want tax increases as part of any big bi-partisan deal, and 40 percent believe that it at least half of any deficit reduction should come from revenue.  Just a third of those who voted for a Republican candidate for Congress believe the package should depend only on spending cuts.

·         Most voters (52 percent) would cancel or postpone the sequester, including a third who would postpone the tax increases and spending cuts until the economy is restored.

We asked voters what they would find acceptable and unacceptable in a $4 trillion deficit reduction deal.  Overwhelmingly, voters favor raising taxes on the rich as part of an overall package of deficit reduction.  Three in four found acceptable a plan that would create “a higher tax rate on those earning over one million dollars a year” (including a majority of Republicans).  Seventy percent agreed with the president’s call to raise taxes on the top 2 percent, while keeping them low for the middle and working class.  More than two-thirds found acceptable shutting down corporate tax havens abroad by imposing a minimum tax on overseas profits (including 71 percent of Republicans).  Indeed, more than two-thirds would find an agreement unacceptable if it did not raise taxes on the rich, or if it lowered top rates on the rich and the corporations.

Voters also want cuts in waste and subsidies to special interests -- much of which comes in the form of tax breaks to large corporations and the rich.  For example, 89 percent found acceptable savings from negotiating lower drug prices from drug companies.  Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) favored cuts in subsidies to oil companies, agribusiness and multinational corporations. 

Just as voters will be unpleasantly surprised if a deficit deal costs jobs and slows the economy, they are likely to object to legislators who vote for a deal that fails to raise tax rates on the rich and on corporations, or to take on wasteful corporate subsidies. 

 


[1] This memo is partly based on a national post-election survey of 811 2012 presidential voters, conducted November 6-7, 2012 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps and the Economic Media Project. Unless otherwise noted, margin of error= +/- 3.46.  Survey results were weighted to reflect the National Exit Survey.  The memo is also based on a data from a combined set of surveys partnering with several other progressive groups, including Campaign for America’s Future, Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund and Human Rights Campaign.

 
The Role of the Rising American Electorate in the 2012 Election
Wednesday, November 14 2012
Attachments:
Download this file (110712 wvwv fq.pdf)Frequency Questionnaire[ ]58 Kb
Download this file (dcor.wvwv.memo.111412.FINAL.pdf)Memo[ ]662 Kb
Download this file (WVWV post-elect (final).pdf)Graphs[ ]489 Kb

Barack Obama won because he recognized a New America.  The President managed only 39 percent of the white vote, the lowest white percentage recorded for a winning national candidate, and suffered a 12-point swing against him among independent voters, but won both the popular vote and an Electoral College landslide by energizing voters we describe as the Rising American Electorate.  These voters—unmarried women, young people, Hispanics, and African Americans—not only delivered huge margins to the incumbent—nearly matching 2008 totals among unmarried women and African Americans, exceeding 2008 among Hispanics—but also turned out in ever greater numbers.  Collectively, these voters made up nearly half (48 percent)  of the 2012 electorate according to national exit poll estimates, up four points from 2008, including a 3 point increase among unmarried women. 

Read more... [The Role of the Rising American Electorate in the 2012 Election]
 
The real election and mandate
Tuesday, November 13 2012
Attachments:
Download this file (dcor.caf.postelec.graphs.111312.FINAL.pdf)Graphs[ ]1265 Kb
Download this file (dcor.caf.postelec.memo.111312.FINAL.pdf)Memo[ ]605 Kb
Download this file (dcor.cafpe.fq.110812.UPDATED.pdf)Frequency Questionnaire[ ]300 Kb

President Obama won an Electoral College landslide and a 3 or 4-point national victory – against the great odds posed by prolonged high unemployment, lack of income gains,  a barely perceptible recovery and political gridlock that kept his job approval at just 50 percent at best.   He won because he was able to engage the diverse national coalition of Latinos, African Americans and Asians, young people and unmarried women who formed nearly half the electorate, despite the fact that these groups suffered the brunt of recession and have benefited least from the halting recovery. 

He also succeeded because he waged class war and won.  That was how he was able to define the choice, winning back voters who had been hammered by the economy and getting them mobilized again.  That he waged class warfare successfully has critical consequences for what is the mandate in the weeks and months ahead.

Read more... [The real election and mandate]
 
Voters Push Back Against Big Money Politics
Tuesday, November 13 2012
Attachments:
Download this file (dcor.pcaf.postelect.memo.111312.final.pdf)Memo[ ]768 Kb
Download this file (dcor.pcafpe.fq.110812.UPDATED.pdf)Frequency Questionnaire[ ]236 Kb
Download this file (dcor.pcafpe.graphs.111312.FINAL.pdf)Graphs[ ]1690 Kb

In 2012, campaigns and outside groups spent a breath-taking $6 billion at the federal level, more than one billion of it was by Super PACs. A post-election survey conducted November 6-7, 2012 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps and Public Campaign Action Fund shows that voters are fed up with big money politics that they believe undermines democracy.  In an otherwise intensely partisan and divided electorate, concerns about money in politics unite voters across parties and demographic groups.[1] Changing money and politics is central to the mandate for change in this election – and unlike the potential bi-partisan deal on the budget – voters are united in their contempt for the corruption of money, clear about how the money is used to influence politicians, and open to major reforms to change it. Indeed, the more information voters hear about the scale of spending, the more open they are to major policy reforms. Among the survey’s findings:

·         Voters are deeply concerned that all of this money purchases influence in Congress and drowns out the voices of ordinary voters.  When asked who has the most influence on Congressional votes, the views of constituents ranked at the bottom of the list, while 59 percent of voters said “special interest groups and lobbyists” and almost half (46 percent) said campaign contributors.

Read more... [Voters Push Back Against Big Money Politics]
 
Post-Election: The Real Mandate
Thursday, November 08 2012
Attachments:
Download this file (dcor.cafpe.fq.110812.UPDATED.pdf)Frequency Questionnaire[ ]300 Kb
Download this file (dcor.cafpe.graphs.110812.FINALWEB.pdf)Graphs[ ]1232 Kb

Democracy Corps and Campaign for America's Future collaborated on this post-election survey of 2012 voters to establish their views of the priorities for the nation moving forward. 

 
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