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JSU U.S. poll: Compromise OK on immigration enforcement, minimum wage, gun control

The Polling Center at Jackson State University’s Institute of Government (IOG) has released a national survey of 1,051 adults. The poll was conducted March 3-10, 2017. 

The latest national poll by Jackson State University’s IOG Polling Center measured views on finding ground on the nation’s most controversial issues. 

Among the findings: 

  • Divided Americans are least likely to compromise on many of the same issues — gun control, abortion, illegal immigration, immigration enforcement, climate change and religious freedom

  • Large majority of Americans, 82.9%, are willing to meet with others to find common ground on issues in disagreement

  • Many, 80.1%, say they can argue policy and politics and stay friends

  • Two-thirds, 66.9%, agree that toxic atmosphere among Americans, in large part, are due to media fuel and false stories

  • Over one-quarter, 29.1%, believe Americans really do hate each other 

IOG Poll3The issues Americans feel most concerned about included (in declining order):  healthcare/The Affordable Care Act (64.8%); jobs and the economy (56.5%); terrorism (44.4%); immigration (42.9%); government spending and the deficit (41.3%); homeland security (39.1%); and education (39.0%). 

A second tier of issues Americans expressed concern over include (in declining order): crime (35.4%); gun violence (31.5%); global climate change (29.3%); gun control/Second Amendment rights (28.5%); All Lives Matter (27.5%); Internet/data security/ID theft (26.3%); and declining world status (25.8%). Others, less frequently named, are displayed within this report. 

Poll3A list of the 34 issues, considered to be the most controversial, was developed and presented to national poll respondents. Among this list, respondents reported feeling most strongly about (in declining order): immigration enforcement (41.2%); gun control (41.0%); illegal immigration (40.8%); Obamacare (39.2%); abortion – choice/prolife (33.1%); climate change (29.5%); right to healthcare (28.7%); and the minimum wage (27.4%). 

IOG Poll4A second tier, among the same controversial issues, respondents felt most strongly about included: local public school education support and funding (24.0%); taxation policies (22.5%); religious freedom (22.2%); the press and their role in America today (20.4%); concealed handguns (19.2%); and legalizing marijuana (18.8%). Other issues, named less frequently are held within this report. 

To discover where there may be common ground on these 34 more controversial issues, respondents were asked on which they would be most likely to compromise their own views. The most frequently cited controversial issues open for compromise included (in declining order): immigration enforcement (25.8%); minimum wage (25.8%); gun control (23.3%); legalizing marijuana (19.8%); illegal immigration (19.6%); Obamacare (18.4%); climate change (16.9%); animal testing (16.8%); and safety of cell phones (16.2%). 

A second tier of controversial issues Americans reported willingness to compromise on included: alternative energy (51.8%); worth of a college degree (15.2%); abortion – choice/prolife (15.0%); and taxation policies. Other issues, named with less frequency of mention are held within this report.

Similarly, the controversial issues respondents were least likely or willing to compromise on included (in declining order): gun control (32.2%); abortion – choice or prolife (31.3%); illegal immigration (26.8%); immigration enforcement (26.8%); climate change (21.8%); religious freedom (21.5%); Obamacare (21.3%); right to health care (20.1%).  

A second tier of controversial issues respondents were unwilling to compromise on included: minimum wage (17.5%); concealed handguns (17.4%); vaccines for kids (15.9%); “Under God” in the pledge (15.3%); LGBTQ legal rights (14.9%); local public school education support and funding (14.4%). Other issues names less frequently are cited within this poll report.

Several statements revealed how strongly Americans agree or disagree with the polarization commonly reported.  Interestingly:

  • 82.9% of Americans surveyed agreed that they would be willing to meet with others to find common ground on issues in disagreement
  • 80.1% agree that they can argue policy and politics and remain friends
  • 66.9% agreed that much of the toxic atmosphere, among Americans, is fueled by the media and false stories
  • 60.3% agreed that if you believed the media today, you would think it’s “neighbor against neighbor” in our communities today
  • 55.2% agreed that “they are not talking about me” when they discuss how polarized Americans are today
  • 54.4% agreed the public is as divided as the media depicts
  • IOG Poll552.8% agreed that rather than a red/blue nation, we should be a purple nation
  • 29.1% agreed that Americans really do hate each other

Intensity of the 2016 vote was measured. Just 11.3% of all Americans surveyed described their own presidential vote as casually exercised while 12.3% indicted it was a more neutral act while 70.0% described the exercise of their vote as “intense.” 

ABOUT THE POLL: The poll was conducted by The Polling Center at Jackson State University’s Institute of Government. Polling by the Center is conducted on a regular basis and may also include spontaneous polling on occurring events. For full poll report: Click RESULTS.

METHODOLOGY: The poll sampled opinions of 1051 approximately proportional to state population contribution nationwide. The survey was conducted March 3 – 10, 2017. All surveys were conducted using an online survey instrument. The poll has a +/- 3.0 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level on a composite basis.