• Polling

How Americans Perceive the Political Parties Today

Friday, September 24, 2021 By Bryan Bennett
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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.

Key takeaways

  • Americans split evenly on ratings of Biden and the Democratic Party, while Trump and the Republican Party are underwater.
  • The Republican Party is seen as standing for the rich, conservative values, and freedom; concerns about the party focus on Trump, its stances on abortion, and its failure to work with Democrats to get things done.
  • The Democratic Party is seen as standing for equality, helping those in need, and big government, while top concerns about the party’s direction focus on spending and socialism.

Biden and Democrats Breaking Even on Popularity While Trump and Republicans Are Underwater By Double Digits

While the current and former presidents and both parties are underwater with independents, net favorability of Biden among independents is 7-points higher than Trump (-11 versus -18), and net favorability of the Democratic Party is 17-points higher than the Republican Party (-21 versus -38).

Republican Party Seen as Party of Rich, Conservatives, Freedom

Democrats and independents share common views of the Republican Party as representing Trump and the rich, while independents and Republicans share views of the party representing conservative values and small government. Republicans also see their own party representing freedom and the Constitution.

Concerns About the Republican Party Focus on Trump, Abortion, Voting Rights, Working with Democrats

Democrats show the greatest concerns about the Republican Party trying to roll back voting and abortion rights; both Democrats and independents express concerns about Trump’s influence on the party, while independents also share worries about Republicans working against Democrats. Republicans are most concerned about their party’s internal squabbles and ability to oust Democrats in 2022 and 2024.

Democratic Party Seen as Focused on Middle Class and Equality, Though Republicans See Socialism, Government Control

Democrats see their party as standing for equality, helping the average American, and taking care of the middle class. Independents focus more on size of government, progressivism, and equality, and some mention socialism – though not nearly to the extent that Republicans do.

Concerns About the Democratic Party Focus on Spending and Socialism

Democrats are most concerned their party is not doing enough to stop Republicans, while Republicans and independents both express the most concerns about Democratic spending and socialism. Independents again express concerns about the parties not working together.

About The Study

This release features findings from a national online survey of 995 registered voters conducted September 9-13, 2021. Additional interviews were conducted among 100 Hispanic voters, 100 African American voters, 100 independents without a partisan lean, and 79 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org