Majority of Middle Class Supports Progressive Policy
August 19, 2008
Today the Drum Major Institute released its first annual Survey on the Middle Class and Public Policy. The nationwide poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group, aimed to learn how those Americans who see themselves as middle class (the vast majority of us, it turns out) think about the direction of the country, public policy ideas that could improve the nation, and their relationship with their own elected representatives. What we found were middle-class households filled with â€œfearful familiesâ€: Americans worried about the present, pessimistic about the future, but not nearly so divided on issues of public policy as the typical media reports of country divided by red and blue might lead us to believe. In fact, thereâ€™s broad bipartisan support for a range of progressive policies.
First, as DMI has often said, the American people arenâ€™t stupid. We know a country headed in the wrong direction when we see it. 77% of middle-class households think things are off on the wrong track in America now. With stagnant wages and unemployment on the upswing, jobs and the economy were the top concern. And with skyrocketing costs to fill up at the pump, high gas prices ranked #2 overall. Nor do people think gas prices are coming back down anytime soon. Despite regular reports of Hollywood break-ups, middle-class respondents say itâ€™s far more likely that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will last long enough to celebrate their 25th anniversary (56%) than gas prices reach $3 a gallon again (19%). (18% say neither one is going to happen).