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Survey: From Impeachment to Issue Priorities, Democrats and Republicans Inhabiting Increasingly Different Worlds

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Amidst the backdrop of an impeachment inquiry and the Democratic Presidential primary, a landmark survey released today by PRRI finds Democrats and Republicans increasingly divided on major issues.

PRRI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy. (PRNewsfoto/PRRI,The Atlantic)

PRRI's 2019 American Values Survey explores this partisan polarization across a broad range of issues, examining staunch support among President Trump's base such as white evangelical Protestants. Despite this increasing polarization, the survey also finds one-third of voters reporting that their vote choice in the 2020 presidential election depends on the Democratic nominee.

Health care (65%) and terrorism (54%) are the only two issues a majority of Americans agree on as critical issues. There is no overlap in the top three critical issues cited by Democrats and Republicans.

"Republicans and Democrats are increasingly inhabiting different cultural worlds," notes PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones. "They see different problems, prioritize radically different issue agendas, and tend to see the worst in the opposite party."

One-third of Americans (33%), including similar numbers of registered voters, report that their choice for president in 2020 depends on who the Democratic Party puts forward to run against President Donald Trump.

Among those still uncommitted, 43% say the factor most important to them is the candidate's position on key issues.

Although Trump's job approval rating among all Americans is underwater at 43% (compared to 56% disapproval), an overwhelming 89% of Republicans approve of his performance. A large majority of white evangelical Protestants approve of his job performance (76%), including 37% who strongly approve. Among those who approve of Trump's job performance, 41% of Republicans and 30% of white evangelicals say there is virtually nothing Trump could do to lose their support.

A majority (51%) of Americans now favor impeaching President Trump and removing him from office, compared to 47% in mid-September before the impeachment proceedings were announced.

Opposition to impeaching President Trump and removing him from office is nearly unanimous among important Republican subgroups: 98% of Republican white evangelical Protestants and 94% of Republican whites with a college degree oppose impeachment. 

Among the general population, nearly four in ten (37%) whites without a college degree support impeaching Trump and removing him from office, up from 31% in mid-September. This change is driven by white women without a college degree, 40% of whom favor impeachment, up from 29% in mid-September.


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