Democrats and Republicans seen as equally extreme, new poll finds – NBC4 Washington

About half of all Americans think both major political parties need more moderate candidates, and they are just as likely to view the Democratic Party as extreme as the Republican Party, according to a new poll.

The LX News/More in Common/YouGov poll found large numbers of independent voters — and young Americans — were increasingly turned off by the two main parties, with many citing polarization as a factor as to why they might not not vote this fall.

The poll also found that while 60% of American adults say they will definitely vote in this fall’s midterm elections, the rate was significantly lower for adults under 40, those without a college degree. academic and voters of color — demographics that were also least likely. say that they were registered in one of the two main political parties.

“People are really fed up and they don’t see a ton of moderation happening in either party,” said Dan Vallone, US director of the nonpartisan nonprofit More in Common. . “We describe it as the exhausted majority… who actually want to see more moderation in politics.

“For a lot of Americans out there, the two parties are actually much more similar than they are different when it comes to extremity versus moderation.”

America sees Democrats and Republicans as similar extremes

President Biden has called “MAGA Republicans” too extreme for America. Republicans said the same about the Democratic Party.

But the LX News/More in Common/YouGov poll found a plurality of independent voters thought the Democratic Party (54%) and Republican Party (49%) both needed more moderates.

The investigation also revealed:

  • Democrats were virtually split on whether their own party needed more moderates (38% yes; 42% no), while Republicans were significantly less likely to believe the GOP needed more moderates ( 30% yes; 51% no)
  • Hispanic citizens who were not registered with a party were significantly more likely to say the Democratic Party needed more moderates (net +39%), compared to Republicans (net +11%)
  • Adults under 40 are increasingly likely to distance themselves from big parties

Two-thirds of Democrats and Republicans think their opposing party needs more moderates, according to a new poll.

Democrats were virtually split on whether their own party needed more moderates (38% yes; 42% no), while Republicans were significantly less likely to believe the GOP needed more moderates ( 30% yes; 51% no).

Why some groups aren’t planning to vote this fall

Respondents who said they would “definitely” vote this fall were much more likely to be from the Silent Generation (87%), Baby Boomer Generation (80%) or Gen X (62%) than millennials (48%) or Generation Z (26%).

Respondents who said they would “definitely” vote this fall were much more likely to be from the Silent Generation (87%), Baby Boomer Generation (80%) or Gen X (62%) than millennials (48%) or Generation Z (26%).

But apathy does not appear to be the main cause of young people’s lack of engagement. Instead, the top reason given by young adults for not planning to vote this fall was “lack of knowledge about candidates and issues.”

Researchers have found that young adults are much less likely to hear from candidates and campaigns than older voters, which can become a self-fulfilling prophecy if they turn out.

“If you’re trying to get young Americans to the polls halfway through, we really need to equip them with the knowledge and the resources and the time and the space to go and participate and feel like they know enough.” , Vallone said. . “There are a lot of Americans who could potentially be persuaded to enlist this fall.”

Left-leaning respondents who said they would not be able to vote this fall also cited candidate familiarity as their main reason for not participating in the midterm elections.

The survey also found:

  • Gen Z was more likely than any other generation to say they might not vote because they don’t have time to vote or don’t know how/where to vote
  • White Americans (68%) were much more likely to say they would definitely vote this fall, compared to Black Americans (45%) or other American minorities (49%)
  • Americans without a college degree (56%) were less likely to say they would definitely vote, compared to those with a four-year degree (71%) or those with a postgraduate degree (77%)

Young Americans don’t see voting as the only way to influence politics

Most adults view voting as an effective means of influencing politics, but Gen Z adults and Millennials are more likely than older generations to also view protests and social media as effective tools of political influence. change.

While most generations saw protest as one of the least effective ways to influence politics, young Americans — Gen Z, in particular — saw it as one of the most effective methods, second only to the vote.

“Participating in politics is inherently social,” Vallone said. “We see Gen Z saying that protests and social media, which are inherently social activities, are ways they want to influence politics.”

The survey also found:

  • 65% of Gen Z consider protesting an effective way to influence politics, compared to 52% of Gen Y, 44% of Gen X and 44% of Baby Boomers.
  • 53% of Gen Z see social media as an effective tool for influencing politics, compared to 43% of Millennials, 42% of Gen X and 40% of Baby Boomers
  • A majority of all generations felt it was effective to support or boycott companies that contribute to specific politicians, including 58% of Gen Z, 51% of Gen Y, 53% of Gen X and 54 % of baby boomers.

About the survey:

The LX News/More in Common/YouGov poll surveyed 2,000 American adults between September 27 and October 2. The overall margin of error is 2%, with higher margins for smaller demographic divisions.

More in Common is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works on short- and long-term initiatives to tackle the underlying drivers of divide and polarization, and build more united, resilient and inclusive societies. .

YouGov is an international data research and analytics group headquartered in London.

LX News is a national broadcasting and streaming networkwhich is part of the NBCUniversal family, aims to engage audiences with an innovative storytelling approach to current affairs that is personal, inspiring and empowering for the viewer.


Noah Pransky is LX News’ national political editor, covering Washington and state politics, with a particular focus on young voters. His political and investigative work has been honored with national Murrow, Polk, duPont and Cronkite awards, and you can contact him confidentially at [email protected], or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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