The Democracy Corps-Campaign for America’s Future straw poll of Take Back the American Dream conference participants found strong support for President Obama and the jobs bill but also reveals a strong desire to go further and strong support for independent action. Almost one-quarter of attendees took the survey, which was administered via iPad, laptop, and smartphone during the first two days of the conference.
Participants continue to support President Obama; 72 percent approve of his performance as president and three-quarters give him a warm personal rating— down from when he took office but nearly unchanged since last year’s straw poll. However, their support for the Democratic Party on the whole is more muted, though impacted by the intense opposition to the Republicans in Congress and the Tea Party.
Their frustration is not that the agenda has been too liberal, too bold, or “socialist.” Rather, these progressives are concerned that the Democrats’ agenda has not been big enough or implemented fast enough to meet the moment. Given the reality of the economy (90 percent give the economy a cool rating), progressives would like to see a stronger, more activist and progressive agenda from Washington.
- Two-thirds want President Obama to not compromise on his policy positions on the jobs bill and are eager to see Obama stand up to the Republican-led House.
- A striking majority (89 percent) believe that Washington should focus on creating jobs “even if it means more spending in the short term.” As a result, 90 percent agree that “the deficit is not the problem, lack of growth and shared prosperity is the problem.
- Large corporations and the wealthiest Americans have prospered over the last few years, but the economy has suffered because that growth has not been widely shared.” This is a conference of Keynesians.