What Voters Think of Keynes

What Voters Think of Keynes

Note: America’s Majority Foundation which I work with, held several polls over the past three months including post-election.  In August, the foundation polled 1100 Hispanics, and in a national post-election poll, we polled 1000 whites, 1000 blacks and 1000 Hispanics.  Finally we polled black and Hispanic voters in New Mexico, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Illinois; states where Americas PAC was involved.  (We polled 3500 Hispanic voters in three states: Illinois, Wisconsin and New Mexico, and 2800 black voters in two states: Wisconsin and North Carolina.  This is the first in a series to be based upon our polls.

For the past two years, a trend has developed in various polls; the average American is starting to fear the power of their government and has lost faith in our government to promote economic growth.   America’s Majority Foundation has been asking one question and we have received a consistent answer from most voters and demographics, does increase government spending help or hurt the economy?  The answer is that increase government spending hurts the economy almost every time we ask and the only exception to this are black voters.  Voters have rejected Keynesian economics.


In Illinois, we asked in two separate surveys this question and in one survey  the pollster we used ask the question, does increase government spending hurt the quality of life and 55% said yes.  56% of White voters along with 49 % of Black voters and Hispanics voters believed it hurt the quality of life whereas only 19% of White voters along with 32% of black voters and 14% of Hispanic voters said it helped the quality of life.

A second poll had the numbers even higher across the board with 70% of Illinois voters saying increased government spending hurts the economy.  A national poll of Hispanic voters in August showed that 85% agreed with this assessment.

We did a follow up polls in selected states that we were involved in as well as a national poll to test this theory even further.  Among nearly 2800 black voters in Wisconsin and North Carolina as well as nearly 3500 Hispanic voters in New Mexico, Wisconsin and Illinois, we found that while black voters supported Keynesian economic primp pumping, Hispanic voters did not.

In Illinois, 52 percent of Hispanic voters oppose the notion that Keynesian economics helped the economy along with 55% of Hispanic voters in Wisconsin and 52% of New Mexico Hispanics.  Among black voters, 47% of Wisconsin black voters rejected Keynesian economics along with 39% of North Carolina Black voters.  Since both groups vote heavily Democratic, this represented a significant rejection of a key Democratic platform.

It should be noted that in New Mexico, Illinois and Wisconsin, Republican governors won significant victories and carried a high percentage of Hispanics.  In North Carolina, Thom Tillis upset Kay Hagan and our data shows that he obtained a higher number of black voters than what exit polls showed.

In our national poll post-election, 60% of White voters and 53% of Hispanic voters rejected the notion that additional government spending was helpful to the economy along with nearly 40% of black voters.  What we could conclude from our polling is that even many key members of the Democratic coalition rejected Keynesian economics.

Going into the 2016 elections, the one issue that the GOP will have to manage will be the majority of voters’ view that the system is unfair to the Middle class.  While the nearly three out of four voters still believe hard work is rewarded, two out of every three voters, regardless of race, believe the system is rigged against the middle class.  This does appear contradictory but it does show that the vast majority want to believe the American dream is alive and want a fair opportunity to succeed!  For Republicans, it means checkmating the left’s war on capitalism and their emphasis on inequality.

The good news for Republicans is that Americans prefer politicians who talk economic growth as opposed to talking simply economic inequality and the GOP has to talk fair opportunity to succeed while talking expanding the economic pie.  The biggest weakness of Democratic economic policies is that the Middle Class has not benefited from this recovery and more Americans have been forced to depend on welfare, longer bouts of unemployment and food stamps.  American families and the Middle Class along with minorities have seen their income drop in this recovery.  Six years of failure and greater inequality has weakened the left’s argument about the efficacy of their policies to even obtain their own stated goal.

The GOP has a unique opportunity to make their economic argument as voters are rejecting Keynesian economics and restoring faith in the American dream.

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2 Responses to "What Voters Think of Keynes"

  1. There was a recent article in the Atlantic, I believe, that mentioned the greatest economic disparity exists in the Blue, not Red, states. In fact the Atlantic pointed to San Francisco, that great liberal and “enlightened” bastion of “intellectual progressives” as a City with the least affordable housing and the greatest disparity between rich and poor. Could it be that liberal Democratic policies have at the very least partially accounted for this? Duhhh, ya think?


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