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Voters divide on issues mostly along party lines

April 5, 2016

More polling, interesting analysis and graphs, including a great one showing how different candidates’ supporters break down on the issues. (Most divisive: health care, immigration, abortion. Least divisive: social security, US global involvement, free trade). As Phil points out, “differences among voters are not necessarily reflected in policies of candidates.”.

Quick review of methodology: Looks like it was done with care.

Date: Mar 17-27.
Cel/landline: 75/25.
Sample weighting: corrected for age, race, gender, education, and cel/landline usage
Population being estimated: general population per census*

* – vs the population per historical voter turnout rates, which some polls do. This detail is something that I recently tuned in to, as it makes a 10-20 point difference on some questions.

Phil Ebersole's Blog


I think the current crisis of American politics is the inability to fit three radically different political movements—for change in our capitalist system (Bernie Sanders), for change in our democratic system (Donald Trump, Ted Cruz) and defenders of the status quo (Hillary Clinton, John Kasich).

Evidently voters see things differently.  Recent Pew Research polls, summarized in the chart above, show that the opinions of American voters on most issues are divided very clearly along party lines.

I was surprised that fewer Sanders supporters said they are angry at the government than are supporters of any of the Republican candidates.

I was not surprised that Trump supporters are more united in opposition to free trade than supporters of any other faction, but I was surprised that Sanders supporters favor free trade in almost the same numbers as Clinton supporters.

The only big difference among the candidates that overlaps party lines is…

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