Reports on the Electorate

Research and analysis by the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group is intended to help thought leaders and influencers listen more closely, and respond more fully, to the views and concerns of the American people.

Each report represents the views of its respective author(s) and not the collective views of Voter Study Group. However, reports are intentionally reviewed by Voter Study Group members spanning the political spectrum who may comment and advise prior to publication.

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Report Racing Apart

Racing Apart

Attitudes on racial inequality, police, the Black Lives Matter movement, immigration, and Muslims shifted significantly between 2011 and 2020 — but mostly among Democrats and independents. During this period, the Democratic coalition has become more consistently liberal on racial issues. This Voter Study Group report examines a vast partisan divergence on race over a decade marked by identity-inflected politics and the push for racial justice.

Political Parties, Race & Ethnicity

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Report Crisis of Confidence

Crisis of Confidence

While it’s not unusual for a losing candidate’s supporters to express skepticism about election results, faith in election 2020 was much more polarized than in prior years. In this report, Robert Griffin and Mayesha Quasem detail key differences.

Elections, Political Parties

Download (pdf, 761 KB)
Report Symptoms Vary

Symptoms Vary

Relative to earlier outbreaks of the Ebola and Zika viruses, Americans are more concerned about COVID-19 and more dissatisfied with the government's response. Cindy Kam and John Sides analyze the latest Nationscape data to better understand the differences in public response, and how partisanship affects those differences.

Executive Branch, COVID-19

Download (pdf, 1.2 MB)
Report Behind the Curtain

Behind the Curtain

Robert Griffin and Joe Goldman analyze how Americans' perceptions surrounding the Russia investigation have changed or remained unaffected as Robert Mueller appears to be winding down his examination.

Elections, Ideology

Download (pdf, 698 KB)
Report Not Buying It

Not Buying It

Felicia Wong takes a deep dive into Americans’ reactions to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and their views on tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.


Download (pdf, 801 KB)
Report Placing Priority, Part III

Placing Priority, Part III

David Winston examines the differences between “elite” and “working class” Democrats — two major factions of the party’s most reliable voters — finding that these groups diverge widely on the issues they prioritize most, and that there is consensus on just one issue going into the 2018 midterm elections.

Elections, Ideology, Political Parties

Download (pdf, 1.1 MB)
Report Placing Priority, Part II

Placing Priority, Part II

David Winston revisits the method of “issue prioritization cluster analysis” and confirms that organizing the electorate by how voters view issues, rather than their demographic attributes, can broaden the scope of political research.

Elections, Ideology

Download (pdf, 852 KB)
Report In the Red

In the Red

Robert Griffin and John Sides dispute claims that Americans experiencing economic hardship are President Trump’s base by using a detailed set of questions that measure “economic distress” rather than general views about the economy.

Economy, Race & Ethnicity, Socio-Economic

Download (pdf, 1.1 MB)
Report Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert

Lee Drutman, William Galston, and Tod Lindberg explore the recent, unprecedented support for a third party, Americans’ dissatisfaction with current partisan representation, and why a multiparty system remains improbable.

Ideology, Political Parties

Download (pdf, 1.5 MB)
Report Testing the Limits

Testing the Limits

Building off "Follow the Leader," this brief by Lee Drutman, Larry Diamond, and Joe Goldman examines how the public thinks about the relationship between presidential authority and three specific checks on his power: the Congress, the courts, and the press.

Democratic Norms, Executive Branch

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Report Placing Priority

Placing Priority

David Winston’s report examines the electorate through the lens of issue priorities, providing keen insight into voter decision-making during the 2016 presidential election.


Download (pdf, 561 KB)

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