Research and analysis produced by members of the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group aims to help thought leaders and influencers listen more closely, and respond more fully, to the views and concerns of the American people. Publications are based on data from VOTER Surveys starting in 2016 and weekly Democracy Fund and UCLA Nationscape surveys spanning July 2019 to December 2020.
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.
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.
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.
Karlyn Bowman and Samantha Goldstein examine survey findings that show key election takeaways from the perspectives of voters — including significant differences in the experiences and perceptions of voters by race and ethnicity, and political affiliation.
Bernard Fraga and Colin Fisk use Voter Study Group data to examine the relationships of individuals from opposing political parties and the impact it has on their perceptions in today's democratic landscape.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lee Drutman, Larry Diamond, and Joe Goldman's report seeks to understand the degree to which Americans are open to departures from democracy, and the motivations behind endorsing authoritarian alternatives.