By Jim Ellis
Feb. 26, 2021 — Echelon 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.