According to America First Policies, a nonprofit organization affiliated with America First Action – a super PAC devoted to promoting and supporting Donald Trump – nearly one in four Trump supporters is actually in support of some typically leftist policies such as Medicare for All and the abolishment of ICE.
The survey, conducted by America First Policies in September with 1,200 respondents, was clearly designed for conservatives, with openly biased language meant for Trump supporters. Questions included whether the US should continue as a capitalist economy or a socialist one, and whether respondents preferred “Trump/Conservative” or “Schumer/Liberal” when it came to the Supreme Court. Other language included in the poll included misleading terms like “open borders” when asking questions about immigration, and pointed digs about “Nonsense Nancy” and Congressional Democrats.
Most of the results of the poll were exactly in line with what you might think – 93% of Republican respondents, for example, replied that they trusted Trump and the GOP to lead the country more successfully than “Pelosi and Dems” – but even so, the poll did contain a few surprises.
Medicare and ICE
Despite what the poll tries to present as overwhelming evidence for keeping ICE, the numbers show that 25% of self-proclaimed Trump supporters, and 24% of Republicans as a whole, are in support of abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Similarly, when asked whether they would favor a candidate who says Medicare should be focused on seniors or extended to all, 24% of Trump supporters said they would prefer Medicare for All. In both cases, this is nearly one in four Trump supporters.
Both of these issues have been hotly contested, and are generally considered part of the leftist agenda by the media and by Republicans. But if the America First Policies survey is at all correct, it shows us that the left and the right have a little more in common than we might think.
The Reliable Unreliability of Surveys
It’s extremely important to note that, though these findings may seem encouraging, surveys should be taken with a grain of salt. The data is incredibly easy to manipulate; people can lie about their affiliations or beliefs to skew the information, and the group conducting the poll can very easily skew the numbers based on the people chosen or how they choose to display the information received. Voluntary polls, like this one, which was conducted by phone and internet, mean that not everyone the group reaches out to has to take the survey unless they want to, or unless they answer their phone. This in turn means that certain demographics – people who aren’t actively interested in politics, don’t answer their phones, or don’t feel like completing a survey at that time – are left out of the process entirely, and that’s under the assumption that America First Policies has a truly random selection process to begin with.
America First Policies is an organization that is openly in support of Trump, and makes a habit of deleting their polls from their website, especially if they reveal information that is not supportive of Trump and his policies. It’s very difficult to conduct an unbiased survey that is truly random and indicative of the public opinion as a whole, and America First Policies isn’t exactly an unbiased source. Still, their results do provide a lot of food for thought. Certainly, the survey results show that the majority of Trump supporters and Republicans support ICE and don’t want Medicare for All, but it also suggests that the issue isn’t so black and white, and that party lines are not drawn so thickly as they seem.
Photo credit: The Daily Beast, Rolling Stone, Politico