2016 Public Opinion Survey Data

1.

How would you compare the polarization of members of Congress to the polarization among the American public? Is the public…

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

More polarized than Congress

184

18.7

About as polarized as Congress

571

58.0

Less polarized than Congress

229

23.3

 

 

 

Total

984

100.0

 

2.    

How would you rate the following as a way to help reduce the polarization in Congress?

 

-Boosting overall turnout in elections

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Very important

437

53.5

Somewhat important

280

34.3

Not important

100

12.2

 

 

 

Total

817

100.0

 

-Ending gerrymandering of safe congressional districts

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Very important

396

47.7

Somewhat important

350

42.1

Not important

85

10.3

 

 

 

Total

831

100.0

 

-Placing term limits on members of Congress to ensure regular turnover

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Very important

470

56.8

Somewhat important

264

31.9

Not important

94

11.3

 

 

 

Total

828

100.0

 

-Curbing anonymous campaign attack ads

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Very important

420

50.6

Somewhat important

294

35.3

Not important

117

14.1

 

 

 

Total

831

100.0

 

-Changing the congressional calendar so members spend more time in Washington

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Very important

374

45.1

Somewhat important

325

39.2

Not important

130

15.7

 

 

 

Total

829

100.0

 

3.    

Some people believe that polarization, or the movement of members of the two parties to the ideological extremes, is a big problem for the functioning of Congress. Others believe it is not a big problem.

 

How big of a problem do you think polarization is to the overall functioning of Congress?

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Major problem

521

61.8

Minor problem

262

31.0

No problem at all

61

7.2

 

 

 

Total

844

100.0

 

4.    

How important are the following to America’s representative government?

 

-An independent judiciary

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Very important

486

49.1

Important

398

40.2

Not very important

76

7.7

Not important

30

3.0

 

 

 

Total

990

100.0

 

-A Congress with power equal to that of the President

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Very important

299

30.2

Important

492

49.7

Not very important

166

16.8

Not important

33

3.3

 

 

 

Total

990

100.0

 

-A free and independent press

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Very important

531

53.7

Important

349

35.3

Not very important

83

8.4

Not important

25

2.5

 

 

 

Total

988

100.0

 

-A Bill of Rights that guarantees the rights of a political minority

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Very important

418

42.2

Important

456

46.1

Not very important

81

8.2

Not important

34

3.4

 

 

 

Total

989

100.0

 

-Checks and balances in the exercise of power by the Congress, the President and the Supreme Court

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Very important

568

57.4

Important

365

36.9

Not very important

44

4.5

Not important

12

1.2

 

 

 

Total

990

100.0

 

5.    

In general, do you believe that members of state legislatures or members of the U.S. Congress are more ethical in conducting official duties?

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Members of state legislatures are more ethical

607

64.6

Members of the U.S. Congress are more ethical

333

35.4

 

 

 

Total

940

100.0

 

6.    

How responsive do you think that your state legislature is to the concerns of people like you?

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Very responsive

62

6.2

Moderately responsive

479

48.0

Not very responsive

318

31.9

Not at all responsive

138

13.9

 

 

 

Total

997

100.0

 

7.    

We’d now like to ask you some questions about your state government and the federal government:

 

-If you had a problem are you more likely to seek assistance in solving the problem from your state or the federal government?

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Federal government

241

24.6

State government

736

75.4

 

 

 

Total

977

100.0

 

-Should the federal government or state governments exercise more power in term of policymaking?

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Federal government

411

41.9

State government

570

58.1

 

 

 

Total

981

100.0

 

-Do you pay more attention to news about the federal government or your state government?

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Federal government

676

69.0

State government

303

31.0

 

 

 

Total

979

100.0

 

-Do you believe that the economy in your state is more affected by the policies of your state government or the policies of the federal government?

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Federal government

453

46.0

State government

532

54.0

 

 

 

Total

985

100.0

 

8.    

What do you think is the main thing that influences what members of Congress do in office?

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Personal self interest

423

42.5

Interests of the people in their state

192

19.3

Interests of the country as a whole

89

8.9

Special interests

290

29.2

 

 

 

Total

994

100.0

 

9.    

Should members of Congress stand up for their principles no matter what, or compromise with their opponents in order to get something done?

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Stand up for their principles

415

49.2

Compromise to get something done

428

50.8

 

 

 

Total

843

100.0

 

10. 

Do you believe that the delays in Congress are due to serious differences on the issues, or that members just like to bicker and score political points?

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Serious differences on the issues

324

38.6

Like to bicker and score political points

515

61.4

 

 

 

Total

839

100.0

 

11. 

Who do you think is more responsible for the policymaking gridlock in Washington, DC?

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

President

106

12.5

Congress

397

47.0

Both equally

342

40.4

 

 

 

Total

845

100.0

 

12.

How responsive do you think that Congress is to the concerns of people like you?

 

 

Obs.

Percent

 

 

 

Very responsive

43

5.1

Moderately responsive

168

19.9

Not very responsive

343

40.7

Not at all responsive

290

34.4

 

 

 

 Total

                        844

100