America is not a center-right nation

The map above (blue = Democratic and red = Republican) shows voting shifts from 2004 to 2008. According to corporate-owned-media pundits, America is a “center-right” nation. We hear this repeated so often by talking heads on both the right and left, it’s easy to assume it’s true. Yet, for years, polls have shown that Americans, if anything, are solidly progressive in their policy attitudes. This collection of poll results is from Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics by Paul Street (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2008). Street in turn, summarized them from a chapter in The New Feminized Majority by Katherine Adams and Charles Derber (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2008).

The polls cited are a few years old and were taken during the Bush administration. In the meantime, we have elected a Democratic President and given Democratic majorities to both Houses, suggesting that the progressive trend continues. The map shows a blue country, not a red country. And these polls show why the country shifted blue in 2008.

69 percent of U.S. voters agree that, “government should care for those who cannot care for themselves.” (Pew Research, 2007)

54 percent of voters agree that, “government should help the needy even if it means greater debt.” (Pew Research, 2007)

58 percent of Americans believe the U.S. government should be doing more for its citizens, not less. (National Elections Survey, 2004)

64 percent of Americans would pay higher taxes to guarantee health care for all U.S. citizens (CNN Opinion Research Poll, May 2007)

69 percent of Americans think it is the responsibility of the federal government to provide health coverage to all U. S. citizens. (Gallup Poll, 2006)

80 percent of Americans support a government mandated increase in the minimum wage. (Associated Press/AOL Poll, December 2006)

86 percent of Americans want Congress to pass legislation to raise the federal minimum wage (CNN, August 2006)

71 percent of Americans think that taxes on corporations are too low. (Gallup Poll, April 2007)

66 percent of Americans think taxes on upper-income people are too low. (Gallup Poll, 2006)

52 percent of Americans generally side with unions in labor disputes. Just 34 percent side with management. (Gallup Poll, 2006)

57 percent of Americans want to keep abortion legal in all or most cases. (Washington Post/ABC News 2007)

78 percent of Americans think “women should have an equal role with men in running business, industry, and government.” (National Elections Survey, 2004)

57 percent of Americans support programs which “give special preference to qualified women and minorities in hiring. (Pew Poll, 2003)

A majority of American voters think that the United States’ “most urgent moral question” is either “greed or materialism” (33 percent) or “poverty and economic injustice” (31 percent). Just 16 percent identify abortion and 12 percent pick gay marriage as the nation’s “most urgent moral question.” (Zogby, 2004.) Thus, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the population think that injustice and inequality are the nation’s leading “moral issues.”

67 percent of Americans think the U.S. should emphasize diplomatic and economic means over military methods in combating terrorism. (Public Agenda and Foreign Affairs, 2007)

Just 15 percent of Americans think the U.S. should play “the leading role in the world” (Gallup Poll, February 2007)—a remarkable rejection of U.S. global hegemony and empire.

58 percent of Americans think the U.S. should play “a major role but not the leading role in the world” (Gallup Poll. February 2007)

62 percent of Americans in September of 2007 thought the invasion of Iraq was “a mistake.” (CBS News, September 2007)

A majority of Americans want a firm deadline for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. (Washington Post/ABC News, February, 2007)

70 percent of Americans want a multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty (Pew Poll, November 2005)