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The Sixth American Dream Survey and the 2008 Election: Findings from a survey of 900 non-supervisory workers nationwide including an oversample of workers under 30. Prepared by Lake Research Partners and presented by Celinda Lake 1726 M St., NW Suite 500 Washington, DC 20036

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Presentation Transcript
slide1
The Sixth American Dream Survey and the 2008 Election:

Findings from a survey of 900 non-supervisory workers nationwide including an oversample of workers under 30.

Prepared by Lake Research Partners and presented by Celinda Lake

1726 M St., NW

Suite 500

Washington, DC 20036

Phone: 202-776-9066

Fax: 202-776-9074

1936 University Avenue

Suite 300

Berkeley, CA 94704

Phone: 202-776-9066

Fax: 202-776-9074

www.lakeresearch.com

methodology
Methodology
  • The Sixth Survey in The American Dream Series
  • Interview Dates: November 1 - 4, 2008.
  • 900 interviews of a random sample of voting non-supervisory workers nationwide including an oversample of 200 voting non-supervisory workers under age 30, representing roughly 100 million workers.
  • Sampling error is +/- 3.3% for the full sample, higher among split sampled questions.
  • ‘Non-supervisory workers’ are comprised of workers who are not: full-time students, nor retired persons, nor business owners or CEOs, company executives, managers, or professionals such as doctors or lawyers, but who are: either employed or looking for work, and earn $100,000 per year or less.
key findings
Key Findings
  • In the 2008 election, workers soundly rejected the Republican economic frame of deregulation and government involvement. Our survey shows workers believe Republican policies are to blame for the current economic crisis and could have been avoided with better oversight. Barack Obama has a mandate from American workers to bring back proper oversight and regulation of corporate interests.
  • Workers believe Obama would do a better job of improving wages and conditions of working people and improving their economic situation, while McCain is considered by workers to be the candidate more influenced by corporations and CEOs.
  • The issue driving the vote for President was the economy and jobs.
    • A majority of workers say the economy had a strong influence on their vote for President.
strategic summary
STRATEGIC SUMMARY
  • Working Americans have grown increasingly dissatisfied with the country’s direction, with more than four in five saying we are on the wrong track.
  • It’s the economy, stupid.
    • For workers under 30 the economy and jobs is even more key.
  • A majority of workers say the economy had a strong influence on their vote for President.
  • Barack Obama scored a decisive victory among working Americans, winning them by net 12 points.
    • Among younger workers, the victory was even more convincing, winning by net 24 points.
strategic summary5
STRATEGIC SUMMARY
  • In the last month workers became more enthusiastic about this election compared to previous ones, increasing 19 points from September.
    • Close to 70 percent are more enthusiastic about this election compared to other elections.
  • Almost all working Americans want a President who represents working people, and over four out of five want a President free from influence by corporations and CEOs.
  • Working Americans believe McCain is the candidate more influenced by corporations and CEOs, and they believe Obama would do a better job of improving wages and conditions of working people and of improving their personal economic situation.
strategic summary6
STRATEGIC SUMMARY
  • There has been a complete change in how people view the role of government. Workers simply no longer believe that government is the problem, they believe it must be part of the solution, marking the end of the Reagan era.
  • They believe that the lack of regulation, or the deregulation and lack of corporate oversight led to the current crisis.
  • Despite the current crisis, working Americans are optimistic about the ability to achieve the American Dream, with 3 in 5 believing it is still obtainable for them. Younger working Americans believe this even more so with over seven in ten believing it is obtainable.
  • However, workers overwhelmingly believe it is getting harder to obtain the American Dream, blaming the state of the economy.
strategic summary7
STRATEGIC SUMMARY
  • Working Americans continue to believe it will be harder for the next generation to achieve the American Dream.
  • Working Americans think Obama has the best vision for restoring the American dream and representing the values of the American dream.
  • Almost half say Obama can make a lot of difference in helping people achieve the American Dream.
  • The cornerstones of the American Dream in the eyes of workers remain having a job that pays enough to support a family and ensuring children have the opportunity to succeed.
  • Making sure employers keep their promises to employees with regard to pensions and health care stands out as the most important step that can be taken to help make the American Dream more attainable, followed by enacting health care reform, cracking down on oil speculators and price gouging at the pump, and ensuring equal opportunity and equal pay for America’s workers.
the economy and jobs dominated the agenda in the presidential election
The economy and jobs dominated the agenda in the Presidential election

What is the most important issue right now in determining your vote for president?

  • Under 30
  • The economy and jobs— 77%
  • Iraq—25%
  • Health care and prescription drugs— 20%
  • Gas prices and energy prices— 16%
  • Education— 12%
slide11
The Wall Street crisis specifically influenced workers’ vote for President, but less so for younger workers.

Will the Wall Street crisis influence your vote for president a lot, a little, or not make a difference?

Under 30 Non-Supervisory Workers

All Non-Supervisory Workers

54%

the broad issue of jobs and the economy drove the vote
The broad issue of jobs and the economy drove the vote.

Will the state of the economy and jobs influence your vote for president a lot, a little, or not make a difference?

Under 30 Non-Supervisory Workers

All Non-Supervisory Workers

slide14
Overall workers support Barack Obama by wide margins, with margins among workers under 30 even more pronounced.

PRESIDENTIAL BALLOT

All Non-Supervisory Workers

Under 30 Non-Supervisory Workers

Thinking about the general election this November, suppose the candidates in the election for president are (rotate) John McCain, the Republican, and Barack Obama, the Democrat. If the election were held today, do you think that you would vote for (rotate) John McCain or Barack Obama?

in the last months of this election voters enthusiasm soared
In the last months of this election, voters’ enthusiasm soared.

Thinking about Tuesday’s election for President, and other offices, how enthusiastic are you about voting in this election as compared to previous elections? Are you more enthusiastic about voting than usual or are you less enthusiastic?

All Non-Supervisory Workers

slide16
It is extremely important to workers to have a President who represents working people, even more important than not being influenced by corporations and CEOs.

On scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is NOT AT ALL important and 10 is EXTREMELY important, how important is it to you personally that the candidate for president…

Darker colors=Intensity

mccain is the candidate working americans believe is most influenced by corporations and ceos
McCain is the candidate working Americans believe is most influenced by corporations and CEOs.

Regardless of how you are voting, which candidate is most influenced by big corporations and CEOs, John McCain, the Republican, or Barack Obama, the Democrat?

Under 30 Non-Supervisory Workers

All Non-Supervisory Workers

workers believe obama would do a better job of improving wages and working conditions as president
Workers believe Obama would do a better job of improving wages and working conditions as President.

Regardless of how you are voting, which candidate for president would do a better job of improving the wages and working conditions of American workers if he is elected president: John McCain or Barack Obama?

Under 30 Non-Supervisory Workers

All Non-Supervisory Workers

solid majorities give obama the advantage on improving their personal economic situation
Solid majorities give Obama the advantage on improving their personal economic situation.

Regardless of how you are voting, which candidate for president would do a better job of improving your economic situation if he is elected president: John McCain or _Barack Obama?

All Non-Supervisory Workers

Under 30 Non-Supervisory Workers

slide20
Workers’ preferences for President reflect a shift in attitudes about the role of government in their lives. Workers no longer believe that government is the problem, they now overwhelmingly believe it has to be part of the solution.

Now I’d like to read you a pair of statements about regulating corporations. Of the two, please tell me which statement is closer to your own views.

slide21
In fact, signaling the end of the Reagan era of anti-regulation, a majority believe the crisis is actually due to deregulation.

Now I’d like to read you a pair of statements about regulating corporations. Of the two, please tell me which statement is closer to your own views.

slide23
Despite the current economic crisis, optimism about achieving the American Dream is strong, especially among younger voters.

Thinking about the American Dream and what that means to you and your family, do you think the American Dream is obtainable, you have already obtained it, you may not be able to obtain it, you will not be able to obtain it, or you are not sure?

however workers increasingly believe it is getting harder to achieve the american dream
However, workers increasingly believe it is getting harder to achieve the American Dream.

Do you think it is becoming harder or easier these days to achieve the American Dream, or is it about the same?

All Non-Supervisory Workers

slide25
The current state of the economy is believed to make it harder to achieve the American Dream across the board.

Does the current state of the economy make it harder or easier to achieve the American Dream, or does it not matter?

Under 30 Non-Supervisory Workers

All Non-Supervisory Workers

workers believe it will be harder for the next generation
Workers believe it will be harder for the next generation.

Looking to the next generation, the way things are going now, do you feel the American Dream will be easier to reach than today, harder to reach, or will it be the same?

All Non-Supervisory Workers

slide27
Working Americans, especially younger ones, solidly believe Obama has the better vision for restoring the American Dream.

Which Presidential candidate has the best vision for restoring the American Dream?

Under 30 Non-Supervisory Workers

All Non-Supervisory Workers

Darker colors indicate intensity.

similarly obama best represents the values of the american dream for working americans
Similarly, Obama best represents the values of the American Dream for working Americans.

Which Presidential candidate best represents the values of the American Dream?

Under 30 Non-Supervisory Workers

All Non-Supervisory Workers

Darker colors indicate intensity.

two thirds believe obama can make a difference in helping people achieve the american dream
Two-thirds believe Obama can make a difference in helping people achieve the American Dream.

How much of a difference can Obama as president make in helping people obtain the American Dream? A lot, a little or no difference?

All Non-Supervisory Workers

Under 30 Non-Supervisory Workers

72%

66%

slide30
Having a job that pays enough to support a family and ensuring children have the opportunity to succeed are the most important goals in achieving the American Dream. Retirement, and getting out from under debt follow closely.

I’m going to read some goals that some people say are important for reaching the American Dream. For each one, please rate how important it is for you personally as part of the American Dream. Use a scale from 0 to 10, where 10 means it is an extremely important part of the American Dream for you, and 0 means it is not important at all, and 5 is neutral. You can choose any number between 0 and 10.

Darker colors indicate intensity.

slide31
Making sure employers keep their promises to employees with regard to pensions and health care stands out as the most important step that can be taken to help make the American Dream more attainable.

Now thinking overall about the goal of making the American Dream more attainable. I am going to read some steps that could be taken to help make the American Dream more attainable. For each one, please rate how effective that step would be in making the American Dream more attainable. Use a scale from 0 to 10, where 10 means this step would be very effective, and 0 means the step would not be effective at all, and 5 is neutral. You can choose any number between 0 and 10.

Darker colors indicate intensity.

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