Harris Poll: GOP, Democratic Voters Split on Key Issues

Tuesday, 04 Oct 2011 10:53 AM

By Greg McDonald

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New Harris Interactive polling data released Tuesday indicates that Democratic and Republican voters  disagree most often over the issues of healthcare reform, defense spending, and same-sex marriages. But the survey also shows strong agreement on some key issues, including more cuts in government spending and holding the line on tax increases.
The poll of 2,462 adults taken online Sept. 12-19, found that regardless of party affiliation 87 percent of Americans support more cuts in government spending, but 81 percent want increased spending on education. At least 75 percent say they want tougher environmental protections and more illegal aliens to be deported, and 74 percent say they are already taxed enough.
But among those who identified themselves as either Democrats or Republicans, there were wide divisions on a number of issues confronting the nation. The top area of disagreement was on the healthcare reform law: 78 percent of Democrats said they support it compared to only 16 percent of Republicans.
Seventy percent of Democrats, meanwhile, favor cutting defense spending, compared to 30 percent of Republicans.
On tougher environmental standards, 90 percent of Democrats polled said the nation needs more protections, while 54 percent of Republicans said more could be done to protect the planet.
On the issue of same-sex marriage, 66 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of Republicans said they support it.
According to Harris, the most common issues likely to influence how Americans will vote in next year’s elections regardless of party affiliation are the positions candidates take on cutting government spending, tax increases, and healthcare reform.
When asked what issues are more important to them than others, the largest majority of Republicans put cutting government spending, deporting more illegal aliens, holding down taxes, and reducing government regulations at the top.
When asked the same question, Democrats listed increased education spending, tougher environmental protections, embryonic stem cell research, abortion rights, and healthcare reform as important priorities.

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