Results from a recent 10-state poll of likely voters found concern over government spending second only to anxiety about the nation’s economic situation.
The series of surveys, sponsored by Public Notice and conducted by the Tarrance Group and Hart Research, found that a majority believes government spending is too high, and will make the issue a key consideration in their vote on Nov. 2. The poll also revealed that an overwhelming majority believes government spending affects their own financial situation.
"It’s not just the economy people are so upset about, it’s the spending. All of the waste, the irresponsible choices, the lack of accountability from those in Washington – voters have been seeing this behavior for the past decade; looks like they’re finally fed up,” Gretchen Hamel , executive director of Public Notice, said in a statement. "This bipartisan poll not only confirms that voters will make government spending a top issue in deciding their vote, it also reveals that a striking majority believe it’s a factor in their own financial situation. In other words … government spending has become personal."
The poll was fielded Sept. 12-15 and the results are an aggregate of 5,500 registered "likely" voter responses from the 10 state polls taken in: California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington.
• 71% of likely voters say government spending is too high; only 8% say it is too low.
• The issue of government spending is important to voters of all political stripes: Republicans (87%); Independents (67%); and Democrats (42%).
• Nearly two thirds (65%) named government spending among the most important issues to their vote. This finding reached across income levels, from voters making less than $30,000 (60%) to those making $100,000 or over (65%).
• Voters not only place a great level of concern and importance on the issue of government spending, they perceive it as having an impact on them personally. More than two thirds (68%) say government spending is a factor in their own financial situation.
• A plurality (40%) say government spending is very much a factor in their own financial situation; this received a higher number of responses than a number of other potential factors tested, including the high unemployment rate (36%).
• The perceived impact of government spending reaches across all income levels, from those making less than $30,000 per year (61%) to voters making $100,000 and over (68%).
• Controlling government spending (at 21%), was second only to creating jobs and growing the economy (at 40%) as the issue voters say should be the top economic priority.
• Voters are cynical about the nation’s fiscal future: less than half (40%) believe they will see another federal budget surplus in their lifetime.