Poll: High Numbers of Americans Think America in Decline; Infuriated with Elites on Obamatrade, Immigration

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

MIAMI, Florida — Polling data from Caddell & Associates shows that Americans across the political spectrum are infuriated with the permanent political class pushing through trade deals that don’t serve the interests of American workers.

The online survey of 1,950 conducted Feb. 23 to March 3, with a margin of error under 3 percent, found that 85 percent of voters rated “American jobs moving overseas because of the loss of American manufacturing” between a 6 and 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 as being an “extremely important problem.”

The polling results were provided exclusively to Breitbart News ahead of their public release by Pat Caddell, along with Americans for Limited Government’s Rick Manning and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) at a National Press Club press conference on Thursday morning.

The poll comes on the day of the next GOP presidential debate in Miami. There has yet to be a single question focused on the Trans Pacific Partnership and Trade Promotion Authority in previous debates. The issue has been treated like an afterthought by the mainstream media and by the political class, despite widespread anger among the electorate at elites over it.

A whopping 70 percent thought the same thing when it comes to “trade deals with other countries that make it easier to import their products into the U.S.”

The polling found similarly surprisingly high interest in controlling immigration to the United States. It found 64 percent of all voters thought the same when it comes to “increasing border security and controlling immigration.”

When it comes to wage stagnation, something both bad trade deals and endless immigration negatively affect, an astonishing 81 percent of voters rated it between a 6 and 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 when asked if “stagnation of lower-to-middle-income wages” was either an “extremely important problem” or “not at all an important problem.”

Those aren’t the only issues voters consider important. Eighty-five percent rated “the budget deficit and the national debt” between 6 and 10 on that scale, as well 85 percent finding the same for “fighting ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorism.”

But the trade and immigration statistics seem to explain why political outsiders like Donald Trump in the Republican primary and Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary are succeeding—especially in places like Michigan, where Trump and Sanders both just won big on Tuesday. Part of that, too, is that voters are feeling in their wallets and pocketbooks the disdain they think politicians in Washington, D.C., have for them.

Eighty-one percent of voters surveyed agreed that “the power of ordinary people to control our country is getting weaker every day, as political leaders on both sides fight to protect their own power and privilege, at the expense of the nation’s well-being. We need to restore what we really believe in – real democracy by the people and real free enterprise.” Only 12 percent disagreed. 19 percent, meanwhile, agreed that “politicians really care about people like me” while 75 percent disagreed.

Seventy-two percent of voters think “powerful interests from Wall Street banks to corporations, unions and political interest groups have used campaign and lobbying money to rig the system for themselves” and that “they are looting the national treasury of billions of dollars at the expense of every man, woman and child” while only 17 percent disagreed with that statement.

When asked if they agree or disagree that “political leaders are more interested in protecting their power and privilege than doing what is right for the American people,” 82 percent said they agreed while 12 percent disagreed. Sixty-eight percent, meanwhile, said they agreed that “America is in a state of decline” while only 25 percent disagreed.

It’s so bad that 63 percent said they would vote to throw out every single member of Congress, saying they agreed that “if there was a place on my ballot where I could vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including my own representative, I would do so.” A mere 26 percent said they wouldn’t.

Up and down these polling documents found similar answers no matter how questions were worded. Fifty percent replied that they think their children will find a worse off America than they currently experience, while only 23 percent think children will be better off than them.

When asked if they think “there are different rules for the well-connected and people with money,” 83 percent said yes. Only 10 percent said “everyone more or less plays by the same rules to get ahead” while 7 percent said they didn’t know.

Getting back to trade policy, 72 percent said they would support significant corporate tax cuts to prevent inversions—where companies move their operations overseas to avoid high U.S. tax rates.

“Because the United States has the highest corporate tax rate, many American corporations have chosen to keep their profits overseas,” respondents were asked. “Would you favor or oppose a proposal to allow that money to be brought into the United States at a lower or no tax rate if the corporations agree to invest the great majority of that money in increasing U.S. manufacturing and adding jobs?” In response, 72 percent said they either strongly or somewhat favored it—28 percent strongly favoring it and 44 percent somewhat favoring it—while just 14 percent, 9 somewhat and 5 strongly, opposed it.

Forty-six percent of those surveyed believe that “over the last two decades do you believe the free trade agreements signed by the United States with other countries were” more of a benefit to other nations, while just 9 percent think it benefits the U.S. more—and 18 percent think benefits were equal while 27 percent were unsure.

When asked which is more important, “protecting American jobs and industries from being outsourced to other countries” or “allowing free trade so you can buy products at low prices no matter what country they come from,” 72 percent said the former while just 16 percent said the latter and 12 percent didn’t know.

Fifty-seven percent similarly said “protecting American jobs by raising tariffs on countries with unethical trade practices even if it harms America’s global reputation,” is more important than “fostering good relations between America and other countries through free trade agreements at the loss of some American jobs.” Twenty percent were unsure.

Vast majorities also don’t care about cheaper goods access if trade deals drain jobs out of America. “While increasing international trade has led to cheaper goods, it doesn’t matter how cheap they are if I don’t have a good paying job,” respondents were asked, to which 74 percent agreed and just 14 percent disagreed—with 12 percent unsure.

Sixty percent agreed when asked if “increasing international trade has hurt America” and that “it simply results in more and more good paying U.S. jobs moving to other countries and forcing American workers to accept lower wages in order to compete.” Only 25 percent disagreed, and 15 percent were unsure.

Seventy five percent said that they agreed “our economic and trade policies should always put American needs and American jobs first, before the needs of other countries or big corporations” while only 13 percent disagreed and 12 percent were unsure.

Throughout the cross tabs, no matter how many other ways the pollsters asked similar questions, they got similarly high remarks in response. And the numbers were similar when it comes to how voters view immigration policy and how they view America’s standing in the world.

On immigration, 67 percent agreed either somewhat or strongly when asked if “our immigration policies are being written by the same corporate elite that want cheap labor anywhere they can find it” and if “they send our jobs and factories overseas and at the same time want to bring lower-paid immigrant labor into our country.” Only 18 percent disagreed, 12 somewhat and 6 strongly, while 16 percent were unsure.

When asked about visas, Americans expressed widespread opposition when posed this question: “America has a special visa program that allows companies to bring in varying levels of high skilled foreign workers. Similarly they are able to bring in workers for low wage jobs. Last December behind closed doors, Congress quadrupled the amount of these kind of visas, critics were shocked saying this would only come at the expense of jobs and lower wages for American workers. Do you agree or disagree with the decision to increase the number of these visas?” Fifty-eight percent said they either somewhat or strongly disagree, while just 25 percent said they strongly or somewhat agree and 16 percent didn’t know.

Fifty-six percent of Americans believe that “in the 15 years since 9-11, do you think the power and prestige of the United States as an international leader and power” has declined while only 9 percent believe it has increased. A quarter think it has remained the same, and 9 percent don’t know.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.