And Voters Had a Lot to Say Too
November 07, 2012, 6:00am

Democracy Corps.

Last night was a good night for President Obama, Democrats, progressives and the country – and the voters had a lot to say about what determined their vote and what they want done to bring change.

Democracy Corps has partnered with a range of progressive groups to conduct special election night surveys that will be released this week and in the weeks ahead. These surveys were conducted with:

Campaign for America’s Future
Economic Media Project (The Roosevelt Institute)
Human Rights Campaign Fund
Public Campaign Action Fund
Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund

We are releasing just a few highlights from these post-election surveys now in the field, based on our sample of over 1700 voters who cast ballots in this election. These represent about half of the interviews we will conduct over the next two days, but compose a large enough sample to report confidently about what American voters said last night.

While elites assume the fiscal cliff is about deficit reduction and avoiding a contraction in the economy, voters want progress to create jobs over the next five years. Voters want growth, not austerity, and above all, do not see ‘entitlements’ as on the table.

Two-thirds give an intense positive response to a “plan to invest in new industries and rebuild the country and create jobs over the next five years.” That is 5 points higher than “a plan to dramatically reduce the deficit to allow the economy to grow over next five years.”

By 67 to 26 percent, voters say the priority should be growth rather deficit reduction.

There is no evidence that voters have any interest in the contours of Simpson-Bowles approach to the budget.

Over 60 percent rule out cuts in Medicare and Social Security as part of a deficit reduction package.

Almost three-quarters find acceptable in any such plan creating a new higher rate for those earning over a million dollars.

By putting Paul Ryan on the budget, Republicans decided to put social insurance for seniors on the table, but the Obama’s biggest advantage over Romney was on whom voters trust to deal with Medicare: 51 to 38 percent, a 13-point advantage.

Unmarried women were 23 percent of the electorate and voted 67 percent for Obama – virtually maintaining their support level from 2008. They are the reason why Obama ran so well with women. And why did they turn out and vote so strongly for Obama?

These surveys show unmarried women did not like Mitt Romney, with their biggest doubts centered equally on “his statement that he doesn’t care about the ’47 percent’” and “being against Planned Parenthood and preventive health services for women.”

As you know, voters in key states passed ballot measures in support of marriage equality. This survey affirms that new majority. Support grew throughout this election and we shall soon see that political leaders paid no price for supporting marriage equality. We have more results to follow.

As leaders begin discussion on how to proceed on our big challenges, voters by 49 to 38 percent are much more willing to see Obama as “willing to make the compromises with the other party to get things done.” There is a presumption that Republicans are more partisan and intransigent and less focused on finding a solution for the country.

The full results of our post election surveys will be presented in the coming week.