With the uneasiness of the U.S. economy, the COVID-19 pandemic, influx of unauthorized migrants to the U.S. southern border, and rise in violent crime, Americans’ overall satisfaction in the last few years declined. But on what issues do Republicans and Democrats agree – and disagree – on areas of life satisfaction?
There were some broad aspects that a slight majority of Democrats and Republicans were satisfied with, such as the overall quality of life (R=58%, D=70%) and “the opportunity for a person in this nation to get ahead by working hard” (R=65%, D=53%).
While the above broad aspects achieved satisfaction levels by the majority of both major parties, there were also two issues where partisans largely aligned: on “quality medical care in the nation” (R=52%, D=52%), and on “the acceptance of gays and lesbians in the nation (R=52%, D=51%).
There were many contentious issues where less than half of Democrats and Republicans were satisfied, such as the “state of the nation’s economy” (R=12%, D=41%), the “nation’s policies regarding the abortion issue” (R=39%, D=13%), and the “level of immigration into the country today” (R=10%, D=40%).
Members of both parties were also largely in agreement on dissatisfaction levels regarding “the size and influence of major corporations” (R=29%, D=26%) and the “availability of affordable healthcare” (R=35%, D=39%).
On a more negative note, it may be no surprise to some that some issues had a large partisan gap. The largest – with a staggering 44% gap – is satisfaction on “the nation’s laws or policies on guns.” While a majority (56%) of Republicans said they were satisfied, just 12% of Democrats said the same.
Other areas of contention were “the quality of the environment in the nation” and “the size and power of the federal government” – both of which the majority of Republicans were satisfied and Democrats were not.
Of the 29 aspects and issues surveyed, the highest percentage of Democratic satisfaction was in the “nation’s military strength and preparedness” at 79%, while Republicans’ highest satisfaction was with the “position of women in the nation” at 72%. In both cases, the other party had a majority dissatisfied with that aspect.
On the other hand, Republicans were least satisfied with “the moral and ethical climate” at 8%. Twenty-five percent of Democrats were satisfied with it.
Democrats were least satisfied with the “nation’s efforts to deal with poverty/homelessness” at 11%, compared to 17% satisfaction from Republicans. The American public has found some common ground in arguing its dissatisfaction with this effort.
With political polarization hitting new extremes, AllSides is highlighting stories on efforts to bridge the divide and find common ground. Visit our Bridging Community page to read more.
Andrew Weinzierl is AllSides’ Bias Research Manager & Data Journalist. He has a Lean Left bias.
This piece was reviewed by AllSides’ News Curator Isaiah Anthony (Center Bias), and CEO John Gable (Lean Right Bias).