- The mood is still “grim,” with worries about America facing “the end times.”
- Awareness of the new Republican House majority’s priorities is mostly thin.
- Many proposed investigations sound like “tit for tat” or “revenge” and are not in line with voters’ priorities.
- Although some priorities and investigations either sound confusing or economic-driven.
- Cuts to Social Security and Medicare seen as a deeply problematic component of House Republicans’ legislative agenda.
Most Voters Still Feel Pessimistic About the Country’s Political and Economic Climate
Few Can Say Much About the New Republican Majority’s Priorities, but Most Heard About the Failed Speaker Vote
Many Have Awareness and Strong Negative Reactions to Marjorie Taylor Greene and George Santos
Specific Knowledge of Other Members Is Thin
The Term “MAGA” Evokes a Sense of Blind Loyalty and Cultishness
Most Assume Congress Won’t Get Anything Done and Yearn For Members to Compromise
We Presented Respondents With a Series of Potential Investigations, Drawing on Republicans’ Own Language
Congressional Investigations Seem Like a “Revenge List”
Hunter Biden’s Laptop Is the Most Egregious Example of “Tit for Tat” Investigations
There Is Openness to Investigating China, Immigration, Wasteful Spending, But List Broadly Not in Line With Voters’ Priorities
We Explored a Series of Republican Legislative Priorities and Actions
Many Are Confused By Investigations Into Domestic Terrorism, CRT, and the IRS
Across the Board, Cuts to Medicare and Social Security Are the Most Problematic
Revoking Abortion Rights Still Tied to Republican Identity and Still at Odds With Voters’ Views
Looking Ahead to 2024, Independents Are Not Happy With Their Options
About The Study
GBAO conducted three online focus groups on January 18, 2023 with independents who closely follow national politics in state of Virginia, independents who are less engaged with national politics in the La Crosse/Eau Claire region of Wisconsin, and independents with mixed levels of following national politics in Tarrant County, Texas. Some quotes have been lightly edited for brevity. Qualitative results are not statistically projectable.