Thursday, November 8, 2012

Election Night Survey: Voters Conservative on Issues, No Trust in Either Party

The Breitbart News Network and Judicial Watch partnered with Public Opinion Strategies to conduct an election night survey that included 800 respondents contacted by land line (70%) and cell phone (30%). The partisan breakdown was D+3, within the margin of national exit polls, which suggested a D+6 electorate. The margin of error was 3.46%.


Voters’ responses suggest that the American public agrees with conservative policies--but does not trust the Republican Party to implement them.
For example, voters dislike big government, with 71% agreeing (and 49% strongly agreeing) that: “The larger the size of government the more opportunities it creates for possible corruption.” In addition, 85% of voters said they were concerned about corruption in Washington, and 53% described themselves as “very concerned.”
Yet voters do not trust Republicans more than Democrats to deal with corruption. Only 34% said Republicans would do a better job of cleaning up corruption; 37% said Democrats would. That is an indictment of the permanent political class, regardless of party. And despite the President’s talk of cleaning up Washington, his party is not viewed as better able to do so.
Respondents cast a resounding vote of “no confidence” in the media. No less than 77% of voters agreed with the statement: “The press is more likely to favor one candidate for office over another at the expense of their journalistic objectivity.” More than half (57%) strongly agreed, while only 7% strongly disagreed. Republicans were much more likely (92%) to share that view than Democrats, yet even a sizable majority (58%) of Democrats agreed the media showed bias towards one candidate.
In the aftermath of the election, journalists have pushed the idea that the Republican Party needs to change the substance of its position on immigration. However, when asked about Arizona-style immigration laws (“Would you favor or oppose a law requiring local law enforcement to verify the immigration status of people they reasonably suspect of being in the country illegally?”), voters favor them overall 61% to 34%, with only Hispanics disapproving (40% in favor to 58% opposed). Voters were evenly divided on President Obama’s recent immigration policy (as they understood it), with 40% in favor and 37% opposed.
Perhaps most revealing of all were questions on issue of voter fraud. Fully 70% of voters believe voter fraud is a problem, and 76% said that voters “should be required to show a government issued photo identification before being allowed to vote on Election Day,” with 65% expressing that view strongly. Two-thirds of blacks (66%) and three-quarters of Hispanic voters (74%) agreed, as did 59% of Democrats.
In sum, voters agree with conservatives on the issues.
As Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, said:
“The electorate is closely divided on who our nation's political leadership should be. But there is strong voter support for core conservative values: limited, honest and transparent government; the rule of law approach to illegal immigration; and strong election integrity measures, namely voter ID."
Larry Solov, CEO and President of Breitbart News Network, said of the poll results:
“It appears the Republican Party has failed to convince voters it is a better vehicle for their conservative values and policy preferences. The problem is bigger than the challenge of winning elections. It requires a significant re-branding of the Republican Party for a new era.”
As to the substance of that re-branding, it is important to note that even those who depend on federal assistance are potential Republican voters. Of the 23% of voters who reported receiving government benefits, 46% voted for Romney and 51% for Obama--hardly a uniform voting bloc. Writing off those voters is not an option.
Public Opinion Strategies is a national political and public affairs research firm. They have conducted more than six million interviews with voters and consumers in all fifty states and over two dozen foreign countries.
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