Methodology: Demos sponsored an online survey among 1,536 registered voters, conducted June 5 to June 14, 2017. The research included a base sample of registered voters and, for deeper analysis, oversamples of working-class African Americans, working-class Hispanics, working-class white Obama-to-Trump voters, and progressives, defined as people of all races who identify as extremely or somewhat liberal. The data in this survey is weighted by standard weights to make it fully representative. 

Key Findings

  • Economic and pocketbook issues—including raising the minimum wage, revitalizing infrastructure and debt-free college—ranked among the top issues for Progressives, working-class African Americans, working-class Hispanics, and working-class white Obama-to-Trump voters. 

Here is what the survey asked:

Q. Below is a list of some proposed policies. Please rank and select the THREE you think are most important for politicians to address. Drag the issue next to the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd ranking. 

  • A majority of Americans want government to do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people.

Q. Which of the following statements do you agree with most? 

  • Messages focused on protecting the deals we’ve already made, the pocketbook issues of Americans, and the inequality gap in America (squeezed out) tested the highest.

Q. Below is a list of statements about potential agenda items for elected officials in Washington, DC. For each one, please indicate whether you support or oppose this statement. 

Although not in the top three, the two messages that put forward a combined race and class analysis, (“racial class” and “racial disparities”) were strongly supported by progressive voters and working-class African Americans—and well-received among a significant percentage of all voters, including white working-class Obama-to-Trump voters. 

  • Our research also showed that respondents—including white working-class voters—felt that having to choose between talking about race and talking about class is a false choice.

Q. Which of the following statements do you agree with most? 

This survey has the following distribution among political and education lines: party identification (Democrats 36%, Republicans 29%, Independent/other 35%), ideology (liberal 34%, conservative 35%, moderate/no response 31%), education (high school or less 26%, some college/tech school 35%, bachelor’s or higher 39%).

Click here to see the full results of the economic survey.