In an election year dominated by the illegal immigration issue, are there any other hot-button topics capable of moving the needle among America’s angry electorate? Yes, according to a new survey from veteran pollster Pat Caddell.
Conducted on behalf of Americans for Limited Government (ALG), Caddell’s latest survey explored public sentiment regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a massive global trade deal currently being pursued by U.S. president Barack Obama and certain Republican members of Congress. At first blush, a majority of respondents (51 percent) said they “didn’t know enough” about TPP to form an opinion of it – hardly qualifying the issue for “hot button” status. Meanwhile 22 percent oppose the agreement (9 percent strongly) compared to 15 percent who support it (3 percent strongly). Another 11 percent were undecided.
Informed of the deal’s potential to “open the door for more foreign workers to enter the American job market without any restraints” and to “benefit entrenched global corporations but hurt working Americans, small businesses and startups,” public perception on the agreement changes dramatically. Even when coupled with positive statements about the TPP – including the claim that it will “lead to improved wages, economic growth, and access to other markets” – the informed vote on the trade deal becomes decidedly negative.
After hearing both positive and negative information on TPP, opposition to the deal more than doubles from 22 to 45 percent – including 17 percent who strongly oppose it. Meanwhile the percentage of respondents who support the bill peaks at 32 percent – including just 5 percent who strongly support it.
That’s a big intensity gap – one that continues expanding the more people learn about the controversial pact.