Washington, D.C.—Today, Benenson Strategy Group and SKDKnickerbocker launched the firms’ first collaborative polling project, “Beyond the Beltway Insights.” The new venture aims to dig deep into voters’ thinking on a range of hot-button topics, including tax reform, immigration, race relations, the economy, and possible 2016 candidates, as well as offer insights into the cultural trends shaping our public policy debates.
Key findings from the inaugural poll reveal broad dissatisfaction among voters with the state of our national politics. Gridlock is the top source of frustration and voters are unhappy with the lack of action in Congress, particularly because a majority of voters across party lines agree on the solutions to several of our top policy challenges. The report shows that there is broad support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents on tax cuts for the middle class, closing corporate loopholes and corporate tax reform. A majority of respondents indicated that regardless of how they felt about President Obama’s executive action on immigration, Congress’s next step should be to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, rather than penalizing the president. Voters have also been deeply affected by recent incidents where white police officers were involved in the deaths of unarmed African-Americans. Our survey shows clear divisions along racial lines on matters related to the justice system. A majority of African American voters believe that discrimination and prejudice remain prevalent.
In the wake of grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers involved in the deaths of unarmed African-Americans in Staten Island and Ferguson, African-American voters listed racism as their top concern facing the country. While sixty percent of all voters indicated that these were isolated events that did not reflect on the fairness of the system, more than 80 percent of African Americans believe that these recent decisions by grand juries indicate that our law enforcement system treats African-Americans differently than white Americans.
“These findings give us insight into the reactions of the American people and highlight the consensus and divide within our nation,” said Pete Brodnitz, Benenson Strategy Group. “With Beyond the Beltway, we are pushing the envelope on current thinking and offering a tool for politicians, thought-leaders and industry experts to develop effective messaging and strategy that resonates inside and outside of the beltway.”
“Beyond the Beltway Insights takes a deep dive into hot-button issues affecting Americans in all walks of life,” said J.B. Poersch, SKDKnickerbocker. “This is not your grandfather’s poll. With the New Year approaching, Beyond the Beltway Insights gives legislators and industry leaders a comprehensive blueprint of American thought and expectation for the months to come.”
The first in a planned series, the Beyond the Beltway Insights Initiative will pinpoint what Americans are thinking about the most-discussed issues of the day and opportunities to advance our national conversation. To see and download a full report please go to: http://beyondthebeltwayinsights.com/. The pulse of the nation is always evolving and Beyond the Beltway is too. Follow Beyond the Beltway Insights on Twitter: @Beyond_Beltway