Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

October 19, 2013 11:59 AM

There is a Middle and This is What they Think

NBC News and Esquire Magazine have conducted a fascinating study entitled the “New American Center.” The summary of the research is that there is a “large group of American voters -- even a majority -- who make up a ‘New American Center’.”

Through a variety of screens the survey develops a picture of America’s political spectrum today as 21% on the left, 28% on the right, and 51% as the “New American Center.”

Here are selected findings from the survey of the attitudes of the people in the New Center.

When it comes to political issues:

  • 28% identify as Republican
  • 36% identify as Democrats
  • 36% identify as Independents
  • 75% (58% strongly,17% somewhat) support requiring all registered voters to show a photo ID, such as a valid driver’s license, at the polling booth
  • 54% (38% strongly,16% somewhat) support providing illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship, even though they have broken the rules
  • 54% agree that the Constitution can’t provide guidance for many of the modern problems we face now
  • 49% agree that the two-party system we have in this country is broken and out of date, and America would be better off if there were more than just major two parties
  • 58% are pessimistic about the politics in this country
  • 72% say that in deciding who to vote for, the fact that they agree with the candidate on important issues is most important
  • 65% say they are willing to vote for someone they personally dislike if they strongly agree with his or her positions on the issues
  • 71% say that, more often than not, they feel as though they are voting for the lesser of two evils
  • 34% own a gun or live in a household where someone owns a gun
  • 45% think that background checks do not violate the Second Amendment
  • 59% agree that churches and religious organizations should have no role in politics
  • 67% (44% strongly,23% somewhat) agree that government should guarantee that people get equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender or race
  • 44% believe that marriage is between two people who love each other and are committed to each other, regardless of whether they are men or women. An additional 11% believe that preventing the marriage of gay people is discrimination. Further, 23% would support civil unions that give gay couples the same rights as married couples.
  • When it comes to government spending
    • 40% believe it is wasteful and inefficient
    • 39% believe gov’t spending should never exceed what it takes in
    • 77% (50% strongly/27% somewhat) support a Constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget each year
  • 78% (59% strongly,19% somewhat) support raising taxes on those who make more than $1 million a year
  • 80% (54% strongly/26% somewhat) believe the government should expand exploration for U.S.-based oil and gas reserves.
  • 64% (46% strongly,18% somewhat) oppose ending the death penalty
  • 58% agree that, when it comes to politics, they often agree with some ideas that Democrats have and some ideas that Republicans have
  • 44% agree that, when it comes to politics, both Democrats and Republicans get it wrong most of the time, and they rarely agree with the ideas of either Party
[Research was conducted in August by The Berenson Strategy Group (Obama’s pollster) and Public Opinion Strategies (Romney’s pollster)].

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