Tag Archives: climate change

Degrees of Uncommon Ground

Top issues of the right & left according to Echelon Insight’s recent survey. (To see full report go to: Echelon Insights in the News.)

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 26, 2021Echelon Insights just completed a national issues survey (Feb. 12-18; 1,005 US registered voters) testing Democrats and Republicans about the current events of greatest concern. The analysis reveals particularly deep divisions between the two parties upon respondents from each group being segmented, but there were some areas of agreement.

The pollsters first asked the aggregate group about several issues to gauge the individuals’ degree of concern. They found that economic damage from COVID-19 was the issue of gravest anxiety, with 74 percent of the respondents answering they are extremely or very concerned.

Next, was the spread of COVID-19 infections (69 percent extremely or very concerned); budget deficits and the national debt (58 percent); COVID-19 school closures (56 percent); COVID-19 lockdown policies (54 percent); climate change (45 percent); income inequality (42 percent); and the cancel culture (35 percent).

In some of these issue areas, we actually see a degree of agreement between respondents of the two parties. On the COVID economic damages question, 77 percent of Democrats responded extremely or very concerned as did 75 percent of Republicans. The issue of school closures also found similar responses. A total of 64 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of Democrats said they were extremely or very concerned.

Examining the issues of the COVID lockdowns and national debt, the party respondents fell apart, but are relatively within the same realm. Among Republicans, 66 percent said they are extremely or very concerned about the lockdowns; 50 percent of Democrats concurred. On the national debt issue, 67 percent of Republican and 50 percent of Democrats answered extremely or very concerned.

Their differences, however, were stark. Regarding the spread of COVID-19 infections, 87 percent of Democrats answered extremely or very concerned as opposed to 55 percent of Republicans. The cancel culture was of great concern to 48 percent of Republicans, but only 23 percent of Democrats.

Income inequality and climate change yielded similar opposite intensities. A total of 71 percent of Democrats answered affirmatively to being extremely or very concerned about climate change, but only 23 percent of Republicans responded similarly. Almost the same break occurred for the income inequality issue with 68 percent of Democrats signaling strong concern as compared to only 19 percent of Republicans who share those same feelings.

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Hickenlooper & Inslee:
Former Governor & Governor
Join Democratic Presidential Fray

By Jim Ellis

Left: Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (Photo, Moritz Hager) Right: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

March 6, 2019 — Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper joined the Democratic presidential field over the weekend, following Washington Gov. Jay Inslee who jumped in last Friday. The pair became the 12th and 13th official Democratic presidential candidates, and the first governor and former governor to join the campaign.

But what are the paths to actual nomination for each man? Neither has high national name identification and both are from states moderate in size: Washington has 107 total Democratic National Convention delegates, and Colorado 80. This places them as the 14th and 17th largest states among the 57 voting entities that will comprise the Democratic delegate pool.

It’s hard to see a viable way to the nomination for Gov. Inslee. Without a strong geographical base or high name ID, the two-term Pacific Northwest governor is attempting to carve a niche for himself as the climate change candidate, but that is a space already heavily populated. Sen. Bernie Sanders in particular stresses the climate change issues as part of his portfolio, as do most of the other candidates at least to a degree.

It’s possible Inslee also doesn’t see much of a path for himself, which explains why he answered so vociferously that he is not ruling out running for a third term in his present position when asked during his announcement event. With almost two-thirds of the bound delegate votes likely being decided on or before March 17, 2020, Inslee will have plenty of time to pivot back into a governor’s race because the Washington candidate filing deadline doesn’t elapse until May of that year.

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The Campaign Begins

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 8, 2019 — President Donald Trump used his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night to informally begin his re-election drive.

While some theorized that the president might decide not to seek a second term as we got closer to the primaries, the text of his speech told us just the opposite. In fact, instead of being a State of the Union Address, his subject matter and delivery made it closer to a campaign announcement speech.

In addition to using the address to frame the beginning of his re-election effort, the president also outlined what will likely become his key strategic tenets. In other words, he showcased the speech to begin painting the picture of his Democratic opponents that he wants the electorate to see.

It was clear from his emphasis points that Trump intends to create a clear contrast between he and the Democrats, and certainly the future party nominee whomever that may be, by attempting to position himself as the center-right candidate and driving his opponents into the far left ideological realm.

He also displayed the key points that will likely serve as the foundation for his campaign offensive: increasing jobs, economic prosperity, and the number of small businesses; re-emphasizing his America First theme with both the country’s allies and adversaries in relation to foreign affairs and trade issues; and, how the Trump Administration has made the world a safer place because of its foreign policy decisions and initiatives.

The president also used the speech as a tool to put the Democrats on the defensive, and even apparently shocked them at least a couple of times if their initial reaction is any indication.

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The Policy Divide in 2019

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 31, 2019 — The Pew Research Center for US Politics and Policy released the results of its annual “Public’s Priorities” survey (Jan. 9-14; 1,505 US adults) and found areas of both consistencies and great change from within the aggregate responses.

In terms of stability, the top priorities remain almost unchanged from last year:

  • The Economy
  • Healthcare Costs
  • Education
  • Terrorism
  • Social Security
  • Medicare

However, the stark partisan divide among some of these and other issues is worthy of further examination.

For example, while 70 percent of the respondents believe the economy should be a top priority for the president and Congress, there is a 15-point gap between the positions of Republicans and Democrats. On the GOP side, 79 percent said the economy should be a top priority, while only 64 percent of Democrats agreed.

The ratio is reversed when contemplating healthcare costs. While 77 percent of Democrats said this should be a top governmental priority, only 59 percent of Republicans answered the same.

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Analyzing the 2018 Vote

By Jim Ellis

Dec. 5, 2018 — The Pew Research Center recently released a series of reports about the 2018 electoral patterns that allow us to better understand what happened in last month’s voting.

Clearly, the election produced mixed results: Republicans gained two seats in the Senate; Democrats reached near-wave proportions in the House; Democrats converted a net seven governorships, yet only scored new majorities in six legislative chambers and produced at least temporary redistricting control in just one state (Colorado).

But, why did these unusual results happen? The Pew findings provide us clues.

Among college-educated women, according to the Pew research, 59 percent voted Democratic for the House of Representatives as compared to only 39 percent choosing the respective Republican candidate. College-educated men broke 51-47 percent for the Republican congressional candidate. Compared to other years, college-educated women, who normally break Democratic, did so to a greater degree in 2018, whereas college-educated men failed to reach Republican margins typically found.

Therefore, Democratic strategists, who heavily weighted the highly educated segment believing a turnout surge within this sector would occur, proved correct.

Perhaps indicative of how the Republicans performed, the Pew study uncovered a segment of voters that showed that only 10 percent of Republican voters mentioned economic policies in explaining their vote motivation with only two percent citing the “good economy.”

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