In the middle of the DC frenzy over a contrived “debt crisis” a new, major poll shows what other polls have shown: voters want Washington to act on jobs (and jobs fix deficits), especially in manufacturing, but don’t think that our elected officials are paying attention. By more than two-to-one, voters want Washington to focus on job creation rather than deficit reduction.
The study which included eight focus groups nationwide, along with a random national survey of 1,202 likely voters, finds that across the partisan spectrum, Democratic and Republican voters ranked job creation and rebuilding the nation’s manufacturing base at the top of their list of priorities. In fact, when asked to select the most important task for Congress and the President, “creating new manufacturing jobs,” which ranked just below creating jobs more generally, saw a bigger gain from 2010 (up 9%) than any other option, including deficit reduction, lower government spending, immigration reform, or addressing healthcare. Indeed, by a more than two-to-one margin (67% to 29%), voters prefer that Washington focus on job creation rather than deficit reduction.
Here are some of the key findings from this poll:
- When given an “either/or” choice, just 29% want Washington to focus on deficit reduction while 67% want job creation.
- “Creating manufacturing jobs in the U.S.” and “strengthening manufacturing in this country” are the top voter priorities for the President.
- Only 50% of voters believe that the President is working to create manufacturing jobs – an 11% drop from 2010.
- Congress fares even worse – 41% say Democrats in Congress are working to create jobs, and 32% see the GOP working to create jobs.
- 90% have a favorable view of American manufacturing companies – up 22 points from 2010.
- 97% have a favorable view of U.S.-made goods – up 5 points from 2010.
- 94% of voters say creating manufacturing jobs is either “one of the most important” things government can do or “very important.”
- 90% support Buy American policies “to ensure that taxpayer funded government projects use only U.S.-made goods and supplies wherever possible.”
- 95% favor keeping “America’s trade laws strong and strictly enforced to provide a level playing field for our workers and businesses.”
Dave Johnson (Redwood City, CA) is a Fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about American manufacturing, trade and economic/industrial policy. He is also a Senior Fellow with Renew California. Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped co-found a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.
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