Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Is America a conservative country?

This is the question that Media Matters wanted to find out. It is a claim that has been made on numerous occasions and is repeated so often by the media it's become conventional wisdom. Media Matters for America and the Campaign for America's Future recently came together to examine 20 years of independent, nonpartisan polling data to see if conventional wisdom was actually true.

They feel that this polling data proves that the claim that America is a conservative country is completelyFALSE.

In their new joint report -- "The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth" -- they show that the conventional wisdom that Americans are overwhelmingly conservative is simply wrong.

On issue after issue, a majority of Americans agree with progressives and have for decades.
» Read the Report and Spread the Word!

Here are some of the key findings from the report:

The role of government -- 69 percent of Americans believe the government "should care for those who can't care for themselves;" twice as many people (43 percent vs. 20 percent) want "government to provide many more services even if it means an increase in spending" as wanted government to provide fewer services "in order to reduce spending."

The economy -- 77 percent of Americans think Congress should increase the minimum wage; 66 percent believe "upper-income people" pay too little in taxes; 53 percent feel the Bush tax cuts have failed because they have increased the deficit and caused cuts in government programs.
Social issues -- 61 percent of Americans support embryonic stem cell research; 62 percent want to protect Roe v. Wade; only 3 percent of Americans rank gay marriage as the "most important" social issue.

Security -- 43 percent of Americans say we are spending too much on our military; 60 percent feel the federal government should do more about restricting the kinds of guns that people can purchase.

The environment -- 75 percent of Americans would be wiling to pay more for electricity if it were generated by renewable sources to help reduce global warming; 79 percent want higher emissions standards for automobiles.

Energy -- 52 percent of Americans believe "the best way for the U.S. to reduce its reliance on foreign oil" is to "have the government invest in alternative energy sources;" 68 percent of the public thinks U.S. energy policy is better solved by conservation than production.
Immigration -- 57 percent of Americans feel "most recent immigrants to the U.S. contribute to this country" rather than "cause problems." 67 percent of Americans feel that "on the whole" immigration is a "good thing for this country today."

Health care - 69 percent of Americans think it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have access to health coverage; 76 percent find access to health care more important than maintaining the Bush tax cuts; three in five would be willing to have their own taxes increased to achieve universal coverage.

As you can see from these numbers, this report covers a broad range of issues. And despite the perception given by the media, Americans hold progressive positions on all of them.

This is independent, non-partisan polling data -- gathered over the course of 20 years by sources such as American National Election Studies, the General Social Survey, and Gallup Polls

Media Matters for America and Campaign for America's Future both examined not only the top-level conclusions, but the underlying questions asked in each of the surveys. You can click here to view their full findings, complete with supporting materials.

» Read the Report and Spread the Word!

Even in light of their new report, the media may not be quick to change their tune. That is why it is so important that we all help to spread the word.

Information is power. Click here to let your friends, family members and colleagues know about Media Matters for America and Campaign for America's Future's findings.

By spreading the word we can help expose the myth that we live in a conservative America and show people -- by using the facts -- that you truly are among America's Progressive Majority.

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