Poll: A Divided Nation Wants Presidents Elected by Popular Vote

hillary trump

A new CNN/ORC poll finds a majority (51%) say the Constitution should be amended so that presidents are elected via popular vote rather than the Electoral College. Forty-four percent want to keep the current system.

According to the CNN article about the poll, which is substantially greater support for the status quo is higher than it was in 2000, when we last elected a president who did not win the popular vote. In 2002, only 37% said the Electoral College should stay and 59% favored changing the rules.

The poll also found public is evenly split, 49% to 49%, on whether single-party control of government, with Republicans in charge is good or bad for the country.

In addition the poll found more than 8-in-10 Americans say the country is more deeply divided on major issues this year than in the past several years. And more than half say they are dissatisfied with the way democracy is working in the US.

A sizable minority personally agree with both parties on at least some issues. Nearly 8-in-10 overall hope to see the GOP-controlled government incorporate some Democrat policies into its agenda.

Less than half, 40%, say that President-elect Donald Trump’s win means he has a mandate to pursue the agenda his supporters favor, while 53% say that because he didn’t win the popular vote, he should get behind an agenda that might attract new supporters.

That preference for bipartisanship is less intense than the last time a single party controlled both houses of Congress and the White House in 2008. The percentage saying Republicans ought to incorporate Democratic policies into their agenda is lower than the percentage who thought the Democrats ought to do the same in 2008 when they took control of the White House and both houses of Congress.

Only 55% of Republicans now say they should work with the Democrats vs. 74% of Democrats who said they should work with Republicans  in 2008.

Democrats are more  dissatisfaction with the way “democracy” is working in the U.S. than are Republicans (63% of Democrats are dissatisfied vs. 47% of Republicans), but some of the Republican Party’s core supporters express deeper dissatisfaction than the GOP as a whole.

The sense that the country is sharply divided is near universal, with 85% saying so overall, including 86% of independents, 85% of Republicans and 84% of Democrats. That is much  higher than it was in 2000 when the nation last elected a president who did not win the popular vote.  Only 64% thought the nation was more sharply split then.

The poll looked at the favorability ratings of the Congressional leaders finding House Speaker Paul Ryan (47% see him favorably, 35% unfavorably) more popular than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (39% see him unfavorably, 25% favorably). Both are viewed positively among Republicans, with Ryan outpacing McConnell by eight points (48% view Ryan favorably, 40% McConnell).

Finally, Americans’ views of Hillary Clinton haven’t softened post election. Overall, 40% say they have a favorable view of Clinton, and 57% unfavorable. That is her lowest favorability rating since immediately after the GOP convention, and represents the second lowest since Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992. Among Democrats, Clinton’s favorability rating stands at 79%, down from 86% in late October.

Hillary’s favorability rating is bound to get even worse as she participates in the sore loser recount after she conceded to Trump in a phone call election shortly after the election was called and the next day in a regular, if delayed, concession speech.

The CNN/ORC Poll was conducted November 17-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.