Research

Independents Support Conservative Policies in Health Care, Energy, and Fiscal Issues Posted on July 7, 2010 | Polling Analysis


With Independent voters siding overwhelmingly with Republican voters again in our latest survey, conservative and market-oriented policies now consistently trump the liberal and government-oriented policies pursued by President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. In three key policy areas – health care, energy, and fiscal issues – conservative policies are more popular than liberal ones, according to Resurgent Republic's analysis.


Resurgent Republic's most recent national survey of 1000 likely voters was conducted June 20 – 23, 2010.

Health Care

Likely voters agree that the health care reform law should be repealed, even in the face of a strong counterargument. The argument for keeping the reform law intact featured an attack on health insurance companies, but fell short. (It should be noted, however, that the repeal argument includes a conservative alternative to the status quo, not a return to it.) Voters agree that we should repeal the health care reform law by a 53 to 41 percent margin, including a 52 to 39 percent margin among Independents.

"We should repeal the Obama health care reform law, and replace it with a system that lowers costs, allows people to keep the coverage they have now, and give individuals the same tax breaks businesses get to provide health care insurance. Obama’s law will drive health care costs through the roof and bankrupt the country."

Do voters believe health insurance should be sold across state lines? And how do these voters respond to medical malpractice lawsuits? Read the full report here.

Energy and the Environment

Voters support the continuation of offshore oil drilling despite the Gulf oil spill. The argument supporting offshore drilling, focused on jobs and energy independence, wins majority support over an argument against new offshore drilling, focused on threats to the environment, by a 56 to 37 percent margin, including a 56 to 36 percent margin among Independents. Despite living closer to the oil spill, voters in the South agree that offshore drilling should continue by a 60 to 33 percent margin, compared to a 56 to 40 percent margin in the West, a 54 to 36 percent margin in the Midwest, and a 53 to 42 percent margin in the Northeast.

Those who say we should not let one bad accident in the Gulf divert us from the importance of more offshore drilling to create jobs and make us less dependent on foreign oil.

Do likely voters believe a carbon tax, clean coal and nuclear power play a role in the nation’s energy strategy? Also are tax subsidies for energy worthwhile? Read the full report here.

Fiscal Issues

Likely voters say the federal government should freeze spending for five years. Even when voters are given a counter-argument that a spending freeze would mean deciding between cutting benefits or defense spending, they agree that a spending freeze is a good idea by a 54 to 38 percent margin, including a 52 to 35 percent margin among Independents.

We should freeze total federal spending at 2010 levels for the next five years... [to] get the budget deficit back under control, and stop bankrupting the country and mortgaging our children's future.

Do likely voters believe the capital gains tax should be raised? How do these voters respond to cutting the corporate tax rate, implementing a balanced budget amendment and income tax fairness? Read the full report here.

Education

Voters have a middle-of-the-road attitude when it comes to education, with arguments on either side splitting the electorate. For example, voters agree that the federal government should not set national education standards by a narrow 49 to 47 percent margin, (51 to 44 percent among Independents) given these statements.

The federal government has no business setting national education standards. Education is a state and local responsibility, and the states are best able to meet the needs of their own students.

What do likely voters think about sending federal education money to private schools and tying teacher pay to student performance? Read the full report here.

Conclusion

Voters seem not only to be rejecting big government policies in response to the actions of the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress, but also seem ready to embrace conservative policies. That movement is driven by Independents, who have been moving away from liberal policy choices for more than a year. The Obama Administration’s policy choices have created very fertile ground for conservative alternatives this fall.

Read the full report here.

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