Purple Points of Agreement

A majority of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents agree on the following.

Campaign Spending,

in a June 2015 article, “Americans’ Views on Money in Politics,” The New York Times reported:

There is strong support across party lines for limiting the amount of money individuals can contribute to political campaigns, limiting the amount of money groups not affiliated with candidates can spend, and requiring unaffiliated groups to publicly disclose their donors if they spend money during a political campaign….

With near unanimity, the public thinks the country’s campaign finance system needs significant changes. There is strong support across party lines for limiting the amount of money individuals can contribute to political campaigns, limiting the amount of money groups not affiliated with candidates can spend, and requiring unaffiliated groups to publicly disclose their donors if they spend money during a political campaign.

Specifically, the following percentages of Republicans agreed with the following:

  • 80 -- Thinking about the role of money in American political campaigns today, ...money has too much influence.

  • 85 -- Candidates who win public office promote policies that directly help the people and groups who donated money to their campaigns … most of the time (54) [or] sometimes (31).

  • 81 -- There are some good things in the system for funding political campaigns but fundamental changes are needed (45). The system for funding political campaigns has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it (36).

  • 71 --  Limiting the amount of money individuals can contribute to political campaigns.

  • 73 -- [Limit spending] on advertisements during a political campaign [by] groups not affiliated with a candidate.

  • 76 -- [Require] groups not affiliated with a candidate that spend money during political campaigns...to publicly disclose their contributors.

  • 55 -- Wealthy Americans have more of a chance to influence the elections process than other Americans.

Concerning that study, the Sunlight Foundation highlighted, “Seventy-six percent of respondents (including identical shares of Republicans and Democrats) say money has a greater role in politics than in the past.”

Criminal Justice Reform

In 2015 the ACLU reported:

Republicans and Democrats alike say that communities will be safer when the criminal justice system reduces the number of people behind bars and increases the treatment of mental illness and addiction, which are seen as primary root causes of crime…. In a sharp shift away from the 1980s and 1990s, when incarceration was seen as a tool to reduce crime, voters now believe by two-to-one that reducing the prison population will make communities safer by facilitating more investments in crime prevention and rehabilitation strategies.

According to that study, 54% of Republicans say it’s important for the country to reduce its prison populations. Eighty-seven percent of all respondents agree that drug addicts and those with mental illness should not be in prison. Given the size of that super-majority, presumably a majority of Republicans agreed as well.

Job Creation Programs

A 2013 Gallup poll found:

Americans widely support each of three job creation proposals, including offering tax breaks to businesses that create jobs in the U.S. and a program that would put people to work on urgent infrastructure repair projects. Support for these programs is only slightly lower in a variant of the question that asks respondents if they are in favor of spending government money to pay for the programs.

Specifically, 63% of Republicans supported “a federal government program that would put people to work on urgent infrastructure repairs” and 56% support “a federal jobs creation law designed to create more than 1 million new jobs.” When government spending is mentioned, Republican support for those proposals declined to 53% and 52%.

Military Spending

In 2016 the Center for Public Integrity reported that in 2012 “two-thirds of Republicans and nine in 10 Democrats supported making immediate cuts.” With voters surveyed between December 2015 and February 2016, “50 percent of Republicans favored decreasing spending or keeping it the same, and 48 percent favored increasing it.”

A 2014 Pew study found that 52 percent of Republicans do not believe military strength is the best way to ensure peace.

Corporate Welfare

A 2011 Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 15% of likely U.S. voters believed the federal government should continue to provide funding for foreign countries to buy military weapons from U.S. companies. Seventy percent opposed this funding to promote U.S. arms sales. Given the size of that super-majority, presumably a majority of Republicans agreed as well.

Immigration

A 2014 Pew study found that 54 percent of Republicans do not believe immigrants are burdening the country by taking jobs, housing, and health care from Americans.

Homosexuality

A 2014 Pew study found that only 43 percent of Republicans still agree with 22 percent of Democrats that "homosexuality should be discouraged by society."

Social Security

A 2014 Pew study found that 65% of Republicans support making Social Security sound. And 67% of all Americans oppose benefit cuts. Given the size of that super-majority, presumably a majority of Republicans agreed as well.

Medicare

A 2014 Pew study found, “Even among consistent conservatives, there is minimal support for the government having absolutely no role in providing health care. Three-quarters of consistent conservatives (75%) say the government should continue Medicare and Medicaid while just 20% think the government should not be involved in providing health insurance.”

Elected Officials

Concerning the 2014 Pew Study, the Sunlight Foundation highlighted these findings:

  • 77 percent say elected officials lose touch with their constituents.

  • 74 percent say elected officials don’t care what people like me think

  • 74 percent say elected officials put their own interests first

Top Priorities

In “Democrats and Republicans Agree on More Than You Think & Why That Matters for 2016, “ William A. Galston wrote:

a closer analysis of the Pew data reveals that in addition to these partisan agendas, there is an American Agenda of “top priorities” supported by majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents and by a super-majority (60% or more) of all Americans. Ranked in order of overall support, they are:

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