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ELEVEN BATTLGEROUND STATES, ELEVEN TAKEAWAYS

FROM HART RESEARCH ASSOCIATES Election Night Voter Survey of 803 general election voters in
11 Senate battleground states[1]

For a link to survey highlights visit: http://bit.ly/1s5rhMa

  • This election was about the economy: Asked to choose one or two priorities from a broad list, economic issues such as “the economy and jobs (42),” “Healthcare” (29), “Social Security” (18), and “Government spending and the deficit” trumped “Terrorism and national security” (17) and Taxes (11).
  • Raising wages is good for workers and the economy:  68% of voters said that “raising wages and salaries is good because it improves people's standard of living and boosts the economy by putting money in people's pockets.” Voters supported “raising the federal minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents per hour” by 62-34%.
  • Congress and the president must invest in key economic priorities: The electorate’s economic focus is underscored by the answer to this question: “Which one of the following do you think should be the higher priority for the president and Congress right now–(A) reducing taxes on businesses and individuals or (B) investing in key priorities like education, healthcare, and job creation?” “Investing in key priorities” (67%) dominated “Reducing taxes.” (29%)
  • The 2014 electorate remains deeply pessimistic about Republicans in Congress and whether they can fix the economy: Asked “Do you think that Republicans in Congress have a clear plan for strengthening the economy and creating jobs?,” only 29% of the electorate said yes, while 62% said no.
  • The electorate is struggling economically: 54% say their income is falling behind the cost of living while only 8% say that there income is going up faster than cost of living.  33% say their income is staying about even with the cost of living.
  • Voters “feel that corporations had too much influence over this year’s elections” (62%): whereas only 5% said corporate influence was “too little.”

Along the same lines, 55% strongly agree with the statement that “politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties do too much to support Wall Street financial interests and not enough to help average Americans, while 25% somewhat agree, and only 13% disagree (only 4% strongly).

  • Empowered union members supported working family candidates: While the non-union electorate voted 6% more for Republicans than Democrats, union voters preferred Democrats by 26%. That difference continued over key demographic groups: while non-union seniors (65+) voted 21% more for Republicans than Democrats, union seniors voted Democratic by a margin of 35%. Similarly, Republicans won non-union white women voted by 25%, and union member white women voted for Democrats by that same margin – 25%.  Non-union voters who make less than $50,000 per year voted for Democrats 1% more than Republicans, while their union counterparts voted for Democrats 35% more than Republicans.
  • Corporations should pay their fair share of taxes: 66% supported using tax revenue from closing corporate loopholes to reduce the budget deficit and make public investments while only 22% were in favor of reducing tax rates on corporations.

That’s consistent with the finding that 73% of voters support “increasing taxes on the profits that American corporations make overseas, to ensure they pay as much on foreign profits as they do on profits made in the United States,” while only 21% oppose such a plan.

  • More funding is needed for public schools and higher education: “Increasing funding for public schools from preschool through college was supported 75-21%,” while “raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations to fund priorities like education, job training, and deficit reduction” was ahead 62-32%.
  • No fast-track authority for NAFTA style trade agreements: By 49% to 36% voters oppose having Congress give the president fast-track authority for a new Pacific trade agreement.
  • Social Security benefits should be increased rather than cut: Increasing Social Security benefits, paid for by having high-income people pay Social Security taxes on all of their wages was supported 61-30%, whereas raising the Social Security retirement age won only 27% support, with 66% opposed.

    Along similar lines, voters are opposed 76-18% to the idea of raising the age at which seniors are eligible for Medicare and oppose “Cutting the Medicaid health program” by a similarly overwhelming margin of 76-17.

For More Information Contact Jeff Hauser (202) 637-5018

 [1] The 11 States surveyed are as follows: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire

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