We the People?

Ahead of Independence Day, we asked TrendSpotters – our panel of engaged voters nationwide – for their thoughts on the state of America’s democracy. 

Here’s what we found:

  • Voters give America’s democracy a mediocre grade. Republicans in particular are dissatisfied with it and don’t have much hope for the future, while Democrats have a more positive view.
    • 2-in-5 Republicans (41%) give America’s democracy a failing grade of “D” or “F”, while over half of Democrats (74%) provide a “C” rating or higher. 
    • Twice as many Democrats (46%) as Republicans (20%) feel America’s democracy will be stronger in five years than it is today.
  • Both parties see grave threats to America’s democracy – but through very different lenses.
    • Republicans view democracy’s biggest threats through the lens of distrust, blaming the role of news media (74%), voter fraud (57%), Big Tech’s power (56%) and mail-in voting (54%), as well as a perceived rise of socialism, cancel culture and censorship.
    • Democrats view democracy’s biggest threats through the lens of equity, with over half saying voter suppression (76%), growing ideological polarization (62%), racism (60%) and gerrymandering (59%) are high-level threats to democracy. They’re also concerned with the spread of conspiracy theories (69%), the “Trump Effect” and increased polarization within the Republican Party.
  • Both parties agree changing some fundamentals of our political system would be a step in the right direction.
    • There’s strong consensus around creating and enforcing stricter campaign finance laws (65% R, 85% D) along with enacting term limits (78% R, 68% D). 
    • A plurality of each party also supports reining in gerrymandering (50% R, 82% D).