2008_08_11_Desire for Change Opens Door for Bold Policies


Stan Greenberg and Andrew Baumann
Public Interest Projects, Inc.

Downloads

"Bold Policies" Memo (PDF - 8 K)

Survey Results (PDF - 7 K)

Survey Methodology (PDF - 1 K)

 

Executive Summary

Dissatisfaction with the direction of the country is at a historic level, leaving the public desperate for a fundamental change of direction. Voters believe that America could be on the verge of a new chapter in our nation’s history.

In a new report commissioned by the Public Interest Projects, Inc., Stanley Greenberg and Andrew Baumann take a different approach to examining the depths of the American voter’s dissatisfaction by putting today’s problems in a historical context, comparing them to three other political eras: the 1930s FDR “New Deal” Era, the late 1970s and early 1980s when Reagan was elected, and the early 1990s of Bill Clinton.

 

Key Findings

  • When asked to compare the current times, and the types of solutions needed to deal with their problems to the three historical periods, voters’ preferences are striking: By significant margins voters believe Roosevelt’s times and solutions are more analogous to ours than Reagan’s, but that Reagan’s are closer to ours than Clinton’s. These feelings center largely around a desire to restore an American middle class that has declined steadily in recent decades.
  • Voters are looking for dramatic action. Just 35 percent of voters say we can solve America’s problems with minor changes, while nearly two-thirds believe it will take “major changes” to bring about solutions.