Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Huge majority of Democrats want 'fundamental' changes in government


U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

A huge majority of Democrats – 79% – say they want "fundamental" changes in the government of the United States, according to a new Pew Research survey.

In fact, they are so distressed by the constitutional republic that now exists that they are demanding "design and structure" changes that they believe will make "it work for current times."

Overall, the survey found a 62% majority believe "significant changes are needed" in government. For Republicans it was 41% and for Democrats, 79%.

Pew said that that opinion surged among Democrats since the survey last was done in 2018.

"Democrats have grown more likely to say significant changes are needed. In 2018, 68% of Democrats said substantial change was necessary. Today, 79% of Democrats say changes are needed to make government work for current times," Pew saidd.

Two years ago, half of Republicans believed that, but today that is only 41%.

"Though partisanship is the biggest factor in views on whether the fundamental design and structure of American government needs significant changes, there are similar demographic divisions within each partisan coalition – especially among Republicans," the report said.

"Women in both parties are more likely than men to say government needs significant changes to work in current times. Nearly half of Republican women (48%) say such changes are needed, compared with 35% of Republican men. The gender gap among Democrats is more modest: 81% of Democratic women say this, compared with 75% of Democratic men," it said.

"Among Republicans, there are sizable age divides in views of government. A majority of Republicans under 30 years of age (63%) say government needs major changes. This sentiment is far less pronounced among older age groups: 44% of Republicans ages 30 to 49 say this, compared with 37% who are 50 to 64 and just 29% of those 65 and older.

"Majorities of Democrats in all age groups say fundamental changes are needed in the design of government, though this view is more widespread among those under age 50 (82%) than those ages 50 and older (74%)."

The survey also found fewer than half of Americans believe the rights and freedoms of all are respected. Only 41% said that is what the nation has right now, including 52% of Republicans and 30% of Democrats.

"Slightly more than half of adults (54%) say it is very important that the tone of political debate is respectful, down from 61% two years ago. The shift has come about equally among Republicans and Democrats."

Few people in either party believe that is what the nation has now, the survey said.

There's also been a steep drop in the share of Democrats who believe "people are free to peacefully protest."

The two parties have moved further apart, mostly, on issues of the balance of power, equal opportunity for success,  the role of judges and transparency.


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