NewDEAL Poll Reveals Heightened Concerns about Democracy, Need for Pragmatic Leaders

Programming at the 2023 Ideas Summit kicked off May 15, 2023, with NewDEAL CEO Debbie Cox Bultan setting the tone for two days of conversations about solutions to the biggest challenges facing state and local policymakers. New polling data presented by Bultan demonstrated the urgency of these discussions and underscored the Summit’s themes of restoring trust in government by getting results on the issues that matter most to people and strengthening our democracy.

The poll, conducted by Mercury Analytics*, found that the state of American democracy is a leading concern among voters, with 44% of respondents across political parties labeling the current state of democracy as “poor” or “terrible,” and only 25% of respondents identifying it as above average.

However, the polling shows that there are impactful solutions popular across parties. 68% of all respondents believe that eligible voters should be able to register on Election Day to cast their ballots, while 77% say harsher penalties should be enacted for threats against election officials, and 78% would like to see harsher penalties for voter intimidation.

The NewDEAL poll also surveyed individuals on the traits they consider most important for an elected leader to have. According to the results, 82% of the respondents want a leader who “gets stuff done,” more than those who selected “authentic,” “bold,” “charismatic,” or “uncompromising.”

Finally, Bultan touched on key results that reveal that a large swath of Americans across parties remain unaware of any of the significant federal legislation funding infrastructure, climate resiliency,  the economy, and more that have passed under the Biden Administration. 45% of respondents across parties are unaware of any legislation like the American Rescue Plan Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Calling on NewDEAL Leaders in the crowd to continue defending democracy while pushing pragmatic, solution-oriented agendas and relentlessly telling stories to champion the results, Cox Bultan urged, “we can make a huge difference with state and local leaders leading the way and changing people’s lives.”

*Mercury Analytics is a global technology-driven online research and data analytics firm that provides comprehensive research services using the most advanced technologies, including the industry’s first integration of OpenAI analysis within Mercury’s Analytics Workbench research platform.