TO: Interested Parties
FR: John Murray, YG Network
DT: March 26, 2014
RE: March Battleground Tracking Survey
This YG Network Congressional District Poll was conducted from March 10-13, 2014, among a sample of 1,012 likely voters across the 90 most competitive U.S. House districts, as defined by The Cook Political Report. As we work to advance our organization’s public policy agenda, the YG Network chose to survey the 90 most competitive districts because of their importance as battlegrounds in the public policy debate. Interviews were completed online using Survey Sampling International, Inc., and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of midterm voters based on age, gender, educational attainment, race, and marital status. This poll should be viewed as a representative sample of these 90 competitive Congressional districts. This sample is not a representation of the entire United States. Note, the numbers do not always add up to 100% because they are rounded to the nearest percentage point. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
- Obama’s approval among key Battleground constituents critical to advancing his party’s agenda suggests he will continue to be an anchor.
- Battleground constituents want compromise from their member of Congress. And, a majority (57%) of them oppose the President’s use of Executive Order to get things done, including 70% of independents who share that sentiment.
- ObamaCare is a huge weight on Democrats across Battleground districts:
- A majority of Battleground constituents (52%) disapprove of the law;
- The implementation has created doubt among these constituents – 57% say the rollout of the law has made them less confident in government’s ability to address national problems
- 48% of Battleground constituents say they are less likely to support their member of Congress who voted for the law, while just 25% say they are more likely to support their member who voted for the law.
- A majority of Battleground constituents disapprove of Obama’s job performance on foreign policy, but do not support any military assistance to Ukraine.
Battleground constituents strongly believe the country is off on the wrong track – when asked to rank the direction of the country on a 1-10 scale (10 meaning things are really moving in the right direction and 1 meaning things are seriously off on the wrong track), just 13% of Battleground constituents rank the direction of the country between 8-10, while 44% rate the direction of the country between 1-3.
Obama’s approval is inverted (40-58) among Battleground constituents— perhaps unsurprising, considering the President’s approval is inverted nationally. Importantly, 63% of independent and 68% of undecided constituents in Battleground districts disapprove of the President’s job performance.
As is the case nationally, jobs and the economy is the top issue of concern for Battleground constituents — 33% indicate it is their top issue of concern. More than 4 in 10 younger constituents (18-44) state jobs/economy as their top issue. Healthcare (20%) and retirement (16%) are the next two issues of concern for Battleground constituents, with debt/deficits behind them (14%).
When it comes to America’s future, Battleground constituents are most concerned about the decline of working middle class families — when asked what makes them worry most about America’s future, 33% say the decline of working middle class families, followed by 22% who say the increasing role of government and 18% who say the decline of moral values.
- Women are more inclined to worry most (38%) about the decline in working middle class families than men (28%).
Battleground constituents believe Republicans will do a better job on creating an environment for businesses to grow, reducing the federal deficit and handling national security and the military.
- Battleground constituents believe Republicans will do a better job creating an environment for businesses to grow and add jobs, 55-45. It’s important here to speak directly to younger constituents (18-44), whose top issue concern is the economy/jobs and who are divided in which party they think will create an environment to foster job growth.
- By a 61-39 margin, battleground constituents believe Republicans will do a better job of reducing the federal deficit.
- Reflecting growing concerns about international events, 58% of battleground constituents believe Republicans will do a better job of handling national security and the military.
A majority (55%) of Battleground constituents say the President is not a factor in their vote for Congress— 27% say their vote is against Obama and just 18% say their vote is for Obama. Among those who have made up their mind about their vote this fall, 52% who are voting for a Republican candidate are doing so to oppose the President. Only 36% voting for a Democratic candidate are doing so to support the President.
THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
Battleground constituents are open to compromise — 80% say they prefer their member of Congress to compromise on their positions to get things done, while just 20% want their member to stick to their positions no matter what. More than two-thirds of Republicans across Battleground districts prefer compromise.
The rollout of ObamaCare has not instilled confidence in Battleground constituents— 57% say the rollout has made them less confident in the government’s ability to address national problems – 70% of seniors have lost confidence in the federal government as a result of the rollout.
Battleground constituents want smaller government— 64% of battleground constituents say they prefer smaller government providing fewer services, while just 36% say they want a larger government providing more services. Younger Battleground constituents are most divided here, with 53% preferring smaller government compared to 47% who say they want a larger government. Over 70% of middle aged and senior Battleground constituents want smaller government.
Battleground constituents are evenly divided (42-42) in their opinion of whether Obama can still get things done or has reached “lame-duck” status— Again there is a noticeable age divide here. A plurality of younger constituents believe the President can still get things done, while a majority of seniors believe he is a lame-duck. Interestingly, 43% of undecided constituents think the President is a lame-duck while just 31% think he can get things done still.
But, a majority of Battleground constituents oppose the President’s use of executive orders— 57% of battleground constituents oppose the President acting on his own through executive orders (with 43% strongly opposing). Just 39% say they support the President’s use of executive orders. And, among Independents, 60% oppose Obama resorting to the use of executive order.
Battleground constituents believe in the private sector— 71% say the government’s role should be to create an environment to help the private sector add jobs. Just 29% say the federal government should spend more money to create jobs.
A majority of Battleground constituents think boosting the minimum wage will either hurt or have no impact on the economy— While nearly on half of battleground constituents say they are receptive to increasing the minimum wage, a slim majority of respondents feel that doing so will either hurt the U.S. Economy (33%) or have no impact (18%).
Battleground constituents disapprove of ObamaCare (44-52)— 52% say they disapprove of the president’s signature health care law.
Battleground constituents don’t support raising taxes and premiums to provide healthcare coverage — 78% say ObamaCare should ensure everyone can buy affordable policies to protect them but that people should pay for many smaller expenses out of their own pocket. Just 22% say ObamaCare should make sure everyone has coverage that pays for almost all expenses, even if it means raising taxes and premiums.
A majority of Battleground constituents support a free market form of healthcare instead of a government mandated one— 53% believe the government should play a limited role in healthcare, allowing the market to work, but provide a safety net for some. 27% believe the government should have no role, except to license doctors, ensure drug safety and provide Medicare coverage for seniors. Just 20% believe the government should play an active role, including to determine what insurance products can be sold in the market and requiring individuals and businesses to buy a certain level of product.
Battleground constituents don’t buy the argument that ObamaCare reducing employment is a good thing— After the February CBO report indicated Americans would work less under ObamaCare by the equivalent of 2 million jobs, many argued this was a good thing because it allowed people the freedom to pursue a career they were interested in, instead of being trapped by work they didn’t want to do just to receive healthcare benefits. Battleground constituents are not buying that argument. Just 22% agree with that concept – 57% believe it is a bad thing because people are being discouraged from working for a living.
A majority of Battleground constituents don’t believe we should limit the tax break on employer-provided insurance— 54% agree that limiting the tax break is another way of raising taxes and we should not raise taxes on employee health benefits, while just 29% say we should limit the tax break.
ObamaCare continues to be a millstone around the neck of Democrats— 48% of Battleground constituents say they are less likely to support their member of Congress if they voted for the law. Just 25% say they are more likely to support their member, if the member voted for the law. Among undecided constituents, 37% say they are less likely to support the member, while just 6% say they are more likely to support the member.
A majority (52%) of Battleground constituents disapprove of Obama’s handling of foreign policy— Just 37% approve of the President’s job performance on foreign policy. His approval among undecided constituents is 26-57.
Battleground constituents do not support any military assistance to Ukraine— 57% say we should not provide military assistance to Ukraine, while just 21% indicate they believe we should provide assistance.