Infrastructure isn’t exactly a hot button issue, but it’s gaining national attention. When commonplace things like even driving surfaces or reliable public transportation fall apart or their maintenance is taken for granted, people start to care. They want someone to take action. But with a national constituency who is constantly divided on many political, economic, and social issues, how do registered voters actually perceive government spending on the country’s infrastructure?
We surveyed over 9,600 people and found that concern for top infrastructure priorities – roads, bridges, railroads, and waterways – was evenly distributed among registered republican and democratic voters. Interest in mass transit, however, leaned significantly more left. Sixty-one percent of registered Democrats were also in favor of increasing infrastructure funding compared to only 47% of registered Republicans. However, the majority of all registered voters, in general, skewed in favor of increased investment in infrastructure. Among those supporters is an evenly stratified distribution of age and income brackets. Furthermore, this audience believes that other noteworthy public policy issues include civil liberties, gender/race equality, and alternative energy.
Tapping into the issue positions of voters and understanding where their priorities lie helps political candidates speak to the needs of the people. It also invites the public into a proactive involvement and constructive dialogue with the government that represents them. If we can truly identify the perspectives of those willing to cast their vote, and pinpoint what drives them to take action in the political arena, we can ultimately better serve the mass constituency.