The Latest in Education

New National Survey Results

Washington, DC – A new national poll released today by the conservative policy-advocacy group YG Network shows once again that our conservative message should move beyond simply debt and deficit reduction, and should focus on growing the economy and creating jobs. The center-right movement should also continue the offensive against Obamacare – 72% of respondents are worried about the cost of their healthcare insurance increasing. Additionally, the public has a strong desire for tangible policies that would lower gas and energy prices and reduce the cost of higher education, while also fixing our broken immigration system through border security and incremental reforms.


On The Economy, Budget, Debt and Deficit

  • When given a list of choices, more than three in four (77%) respondents say economic issues would have the most positive impact on them and their families’ future, with “growing the economy and creating jobs” (41%) and “reducing the deficit and debt” (19%) being the highest responses. Fifteen percent (15%) listed a social issue as most important and another 5% said “strengthening our national defense and anti-terror policies.”
  • By a 67% to 28% margin, respondents say a growing free market economy that creates more jobs and better paying jobs in the private sector is more important than a larger federal government that is able to provide more service and benefits to the needy and middle class families.
  • Eighty-five percent (85%) are concerned about the federal budget deficit and increasing national debt, with 52% saying the deficit and debt are hurting current economic growth and job creation and 33% saying they will cause higher taxes and fewer federal programs for the next generation. Only 11% are not concerned about the deficit and debt.
  • Sixty-four percent (64%) agree that “the huge increase of federal debt by $6 trillion to $16 trillion in the last four years is hurting the private sector and costing jobs.”
  • By a 65% to 22% margin, respondents support a federal budget plan that balances the budget in 10 years by raising additional revenue through tax reform and cutting federal spending with a federal budget plan that raises taxes by over $1 trillion to pay for $1 trillion in additional spending with no balance within 10 years.
  • Majorities disapprove of limiting the tax deductibility for personal retirement accounts: Fifty-three percent (53%) of respondents disapprove when hearing the tax deductibility becomes limited for accounts over $3 million. When the tax deductibility is not quantified at a specific number, disapproval rises to 56%.

On Medicare:

  • More than half (54%), disagree that “Medicare spending has to be reduced to get the debt under control,” while 39% agree.
  • By a two to one margin, respondents favor modernizing Medicare by providing choices to consumers so competition can control costs and the economy isn’t burdened by higher taxes (59%) over the federal government raising taxes on wealthy seniors and limiting payments to doctors and hospitals to avoid fundamental changes to Medicare (30%).

On The Affordable Care Act and Implementation:

  • When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, only one in four (24%) believe Congress should let the law take effect and allow it to be implemented as passed. 28% want Congress to repeal the law; Thirty-five percent (35%) believe that Congress should not try to repeal Obamacare and instead focus on making changes to improve the law; Only 7% favor delaying and defunding. Respondents also express concern when thinking about the changes the Affordable Care Act made to the healthcare system. – Seven in ten (72%) are worried, including 46% who are “very worried,” about the cost of their healthcare insurance increasing. – Six in ten (62%) are worried, including 39% who are “very worried,” about not being able to receive care from the doctor of their choice. – Fifty-seven percent (57%) are worried, including 36% who are “very worried,” about not being able to keep their current healthcare plan.
  • Sixty-five percent (65%) agree that “higher health insurance premiums paid by employers mean lower wages for workers.”
  • When it comes to the individual mandate, respondents by a 48% to 32% margin, believe younger Americans should not be forced to buy expensive insurance policies that they don’t want or need rather than having younger Americans pay higher insurance premiums in order to help subsidize the costs for older Americans.

On Immigration:

  • Three in four (74%) agree that enforcement of current immigration laws must precede legalization of undocumented immigrants.
  • After hearing that unemployment for American citizens without a high school diploma is 18%, 59% are concerned that increasing low-skilled immigration will hurt the job prospects of low-skilled, native-born and naturalized citizens.
  • More specifically, 56% believe the immigration system is broken because of previous broken promises about enforcement and support incremental reforms that would require securing the border and verifying legal status before any illegal immigrants are given legal status. One in three (32%) believe large-scale deportations are impossible and the current broken system must be fixed on a comprehensive basis with legal status for illegal immigrants and commitments to enforce immigration laws.
  • Forty-six percent (46%) believe we should offer citizenship to illegal immigrants without a military or college requirement, while 38% support citizenship that requires a military or college commitment.

On Medicaid and Welfare:

  • Fifty-six percent (56%) want to give governors more flexibility with the federal Medicaid program so they can target resources on sicker people and give healthier recipients cheaper basic coverage.
  • Eight in ten (82%) agree that the 3.5 million able-bodied adults with no dependents who receive food stamps risk long-term dependency and should be obligated to work or actively seek employment in exchange for food stamps.
  • Seven in ten (72%) agree with reducing welfare spending to pre-recession levels when the current weak job market recovers and unemployment is significantly lower.
  • When it comes to welfare spending, 63% of respondents say welfare programs should be available to provide temporary assistance, but the safety net can become a dependency trap by discouraging self-sufficiency and hurting those we intend to help. Three in ten (29%) say a compassionate society must provide government benefits to help the poor with their basic needs.

On Government Regulations:

  • By a 55% to 38% margin, respondents favor reducing government regulations and lowering taxes over increasing federal spending on infrastructure, green energy and early childhood education.
  • When looking at federal regulations more specifically, respondents prefer reducing regulations to help businesses grow and increase worker take home pay (53%) over more regulations to protect consumers and the environment and to increase workplace safety (39%).
  • Greater than six in ten (64%) approve of having elected lawmakers, rather than unelected bureaucrats, approve regulations with an economic impact of $100 million or more.

On Education:

  • Nearly nine in ten (87%) agree that “college tuition costs and the level of student debt are too high and need to be reduced.”
  • Respondents, though, are more divided when it comes to limiting federal aid for college to four years, 48% agree to 43% disagree.
  • Nine in ten (89%) approve of requiring school budgets to be posted online so parents can see where money is being spent in their child’s school.
  • Eight in ten (79%) approve of providing parents of children with learning disabilities a tax deduction for the costs associated with their education.
  • A similar proportion, 78%, approve of encouraging community colleges and state universities to offer four year, $10,000 degrees.
  • Seven in ten (72%) approve of increasing online college courses as a way to reduce the cost of college tuition.
  • Fifty-eight percent (58%) approve of increasing the child tax credit to $4,000 per child, while 32% disapprove.

On Energy:

  • Overall, 90% of respondents have experienced higher energy costs. One in four (26%) have experienced higher costs at the gas pump and 17% said in electricity or gas and oil. Nearly half (48%) said both.
  • Sixty-five percent (65%) agree we should expand drilling off-shore and on federal lands after knowing that the United States has enough natural gas to meet our energy needs for 90 years .


The full PowerPoint Presentation is available here.

The entire survey, including crosstabs, is available here.

Toplines are available here