A newly released Gallup poll ranking satisfaction across a range of issues reveals where the political focus will be in 2020. We grouped these issues into satisfied and unsatisfied categories and then into three buckets: issues conservatives tend to focus on and offer solutions to, issues liberals tend to focus on and offer solutions to, and issues with equal attention. This grouping reveals issues where the left and right are succeeding, areas where they’re out of touch with voter priorities, and areas that require improvement. In general, Americans are satisfied with the state of the economy, national security, economic opportunity, and the military, and unsatisfied with healthcare, the size of government, taxes, inequality, corporate influence and race issues.
A majority of the issues Americans are satisfied with are issues conservatives focus on
As we can see below, a majority of Americans are net satisfied with issues that conservatives tend to prioritize, including the military, economic opportunity, national security, the US economy, and religion.
|state of US economy||68%||29%|
|influence of religion in US culture||59%||38%|
Democrats are wasting time with a majority of Americans on gay rights and women’s issues
Only two issues people are satisfied with are issues liberals tend to focus more on: position of women, and gay rights.
|position of women in US||63%||36%|
The fact that people are net satisfied, indicates that while liberals continue to make gay rights and women’s issues central themes, large majorities of Americans don’t believe changes are necessary.
These issues may play well with a smaller demographics, but focusing on these issues in debates, ads, and legislation, instead of issues most Americans want addressed, is actually a losing strategy.
Top conservative issues Americans are unsatisfied with are moral issues, immigration, and taxes
We can also see that many of the issues where Americans are unsatisfied are issues where conservatives focus more than liberals in terms of talking about these issues and offering solutions:
|government in general||43%||57%|
|size of government||38%||62%|
|level of immigration in 2020||35%||57%|
|morals and ethics in US culture||32%||68%|
Top liberal issues Americans are unsatisfied with are poverty, campaign finance, and healthcare
We can see that the top issues people are unsatisfied with where liberals tend to offer more solutions are all domestic non-military issues. Poverty, campaign finance laws, and affordable healthcare receive some of the lowest levels of satisfaction as shown below.
|corporate power and influence||41%||58%|
|campaign finance laws||23%||53%|
|poverty and homelessness||22%||75%|
This demonstrates among issues liberals tend to offer solutions to, issues like power distribution and poverty remain areas for improvement. Of course there are conservative, Republican and libertarian types who also address issues like campaign finance and healthcare, but in general the loudest voices in the arena are on the far left.
The remaining issues Americans are unsatisfied with are non-partisan issues or issues where conservatives and liberals offer equal attention, albeit different solutions. These issues are abortion policies and public education.
|policies on abortion||32%||58%|
If conservatives pick a few of these issues to address, make Americans feel heard, acknowledge the government policies that contribute to these issues, and offer legitimate solutions, they may be able to flip those unsatisfied views to satisfied.
The most quantifiable unsatisfied issues for conservatives to address are public education reform, reducing corporate influence, and healthcare. Conservatives need to speak out more with solutions in these areas. At a minimum, conservative candidates, elected officials, and leaders, should be talking about these issues regularly so that Americans feel their dissatisfaction is noted. In next week’s post, we’ll cover what we see as one of the biggest policy opportunities for conservatives in 2020.