Americans are deeply divided on many major issues facing the country, although a new national survey finds six big proposals are favored by super-majorities in both political parties.
“The research clearly shows that these are the policies that an overwhelming number of Americans, regardless of political party, want,” George Barna, director of the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University, said in a statement accompanying the release of the survey.
“There is a clear path to unity and healing in these common-ground issues.”
The survey interviewed a demographically balanced sample of 1,000 adults immediately following the Nov. 3, 2020, election. The margin of error for the survey is 3 percentage points.
The six issues that attracted the support of at least two-thirds of respondents who identified as Republicans and Democrats included the following:
- Increasing manufacturing jobs within the U.S.: More than four out of five Americans (83 percent) support the idea of expanding the domestic manufacturing base. This idea has strong and nearly identical levels of bipartisan support, with 87 percent of those who voted for Donald Trump and 84 percent of those who voted for Biden in favor.
- Restore the nation’s infrastructure: Four out of five adults (81 percent) support the notion of “heavily” investing in improving the national infrastructure. This commitment draws lofty and equal levels of support from Trump voters (83 percent) and Biden voters (84 percent).
- Make Social Security and Medicare financially solvent: Restoring financial solvency to both Social Security and Medicare is another win-win proposition, with 8 out of 10 adults backing such a concept. More than three-fourths of Trump voters (78 percent) and an even higher proportion of Biden voters (86 percent) see virtue in pursuing this outcome.
- Reduce federal debt: An increasing number of citizens are worried about the future economic effects of the rapidly rising U.S. government debt. The idea of significantly reducing the federal government’s debt has widespread support: Three-quarters of all adults (77 percent) approve of the idea, spread evenly between pro-Trump (82 percent) and pro-Biden (78 percent) voters.
- Reduce federal income taxes for individuals: Three-quarters of adults (73 percent) want a decrease in their personal income taxes imposed by the federal government. While Trump voters were slightly more excited about this possibility (79 percent), almost three-quarters of Biden voters (72 percent) expressed their support, as well.
- Increase school choice: A large majority of Americans (73 percent) want to give parents more school choices for their children. That desire is equally strong among Trump supporters (75 percent) and Biden backers (72 percent).
Another four issues gained majority support from respondents in both parties, but not quite supermajorities:
- Reducing racial discrimination through legal means drew support from 62 percent of voters who said they backed Trump, compared to 87 percent of those who favored Biden. Overall, the proposal drew support from 74 percent.
- Developing and enforcing more stringent environmental standards was backed by 53 percent of Trump voters and 85 percent of Biden supporters. The overall national figure was 69 percent support.
- Strict enforcement of existing immigration laws attracted the backing of 84 percent of Trump supporters and 54 percent of Biden voters. Nationally, the proposal drew the support of 64 percent of respondents.
- Substantially reducing the number of federal government regulations found support among 74 percent of Trump supporters and 58 percent of Biden backers. Overall, 62 percent of those surveyed expressed enthusiasm for the proposal.
At the other end of the results, repealing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion received support from just 50 percent of Trump voters and 38 percent of Biden supporters.
Similarly, increasing the number of members of the high court, as advocated by many liberal Democrats, only generated support overall from 47 percent of the respondents, although 61 percent of Biden voters liked the proposal.
In a separate statement, CRC said its survey results reflect an emerging trend in American public opinion, in which respondents often express support for conflicting policies.
“The research shows that the people want an active government—one that will take action and get things done in a variety of life dimensions (education, economics, government process, etc.),” it said.
“Yet, government action never happens in a vacuum: Changes in the law and public policy always come at a cost. The implications of many of the desired changes identified by the survey respondents [are] that those actions will conflict with some of their expressed desires, such as having fewer government regulations, the elimination of federal government debt, a balanced budget for the feds, and lower personal income tax rates.”