Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
This release features findings from a national online survey of 1,007 registered voters conducted February 25-March 1, 2021. Additional interviews were conducted among 100 Hispanic voters, 100 African American voters, 100 independents without a partisan lean, and 72 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.
- A majority say Texas’s government “failed its people” in the recent outage and blame “extreme weather,” “state government,” and Texas’s deregulated grid for the outages.
- The public feels America’s infrastructure is “broken” and “outdated” and says rebuilding it is “extremely important.”
- Only two in five say American capitalism is working well, showing a double-digit decline since May 2019.
Vast Majority Heard About Texas Outages, With Blame Placed On Companies and Government
“Utility companies,” “state and local government,” and Texas’s deregulated grid are seen as top culprits of the Texas outages among the 98% of Americans who report having heard “a lot,” “some,” or “not much” about them.
Two in Three Agree Texas’s Government Failed Its People
Only a quarter of Americans say this was a “once-in-a-lifetime storm that nobody predicted.”
Extreme Weather, State Government, and a Deregulated Power Grid Top the List of Blame for Outages
While Republicans are the most likely to blame renewable energy, they are still more likely to blame extreme weather and Texas government.
After Hearing About Texas’s Outages, Safety and Greed Are Top Deregulation Concerns
Among *“government regulation movers,” 40% say messaging on “unreliability” in the marketplace is most convincing as a reason to oppose deregulated markets.
Majorities Say America’s Infrastructure Is “Broken” & “Outdated” and Say Its Rebuilding Is Important
Almost four in five call rebuilding America’s infrastructure important overall, with nearly half saying it is “extremely important.”
Overwhelming Support Exists for Infrastructure Investment – and Specifics of “Roads” and “Bridges” Drives Support Even Higher
While four in five support spending money “rebuilding and repairing America’s infrastructure,” almost nine in ten support spending it “rebuilding and repairing America’s roads, bridges, and public transportation.”
Majority Say Government Not Doing Enough on Infrastructure, With “Roads,” “Electrical Grids,” and “Highways” Top Concerns
More than half say state and federal government are not doing enough to improve America’s infrastructure, with at least two in five citing “roads,” “electrical grids,” and “highways” as the areas needing the most attention.
A Majority Say Government Regulations Are “Mostly a Good Thing”
Three in four Democrats and at least a third of independents and Republicans say they are “mostly a good thing.”
Declining Share Across the Board Say Capitalism Is Working
Since May 2019, there has been a 10-point decline in the share who say American capitalism is working well.
- The decline is most stark among independents (26-point decline, from 55% to 29%), Republicans (20-point decline, 77% to 57%), and 45-64 year-olds (13-point decline, 56% to 43%).