Data for Democracy: This Month’s Five Key Insights

May 6, 2024

May 2024: tracking Americans' satisfaction with democracy, trust in elections, support for criminal justice reform, and climate change support.

Data for Democracy is our newsletter where we explore the latest data and insights from our monthly omnibus surveys. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox every month.

Written by Grayson Wormser

Here are five insights you won’t want to miss this month:

1. Americans Are Dissatisfied with Democracy

What You Need to Know: In the midst of what is certain to be a highly polarizing election season, we’ve observed a concerning trend: only 41% of Americans, on average, are satisfied with the way democracy is working for them. This is especially worrisome among Non-Partisans and Independents who are the least satisfied, likely due to several factors including their limited ability to participate in primary elections.

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2. Election Distrust Persists

What You Need to Know: Two in three voters (66%) say they will trust the upcoming 2024 election results while 1 in 3 Americans remain unsure or say they will not be able to trust the results. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the largest difference in anticipation of trust falls along partisan lines, as 82% of Democrats and only  50% of Republicans anticipate trusting the election results.

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3. Interest Grows to Overcome Polarization

What You Need to Know: Late last month, the Building Civic Bridges Act was introduced by a bipartisan set of lawmakers to help combat political polarization. Our data supports the need for solutions like these: as of February 2024, Americans perceive political polarization and division to be the second largest threat to democracy, falling second only to money in politics, and trumping other issues such as illegitimate elections and voter suppression. While addressing this issue is multi-faceted, voters repeatedly emphasize the importance of practicing respect and curiosity when communicating with individuals who might hold differing political views.

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4. Bipartisan Support for Restoring Voting Rights

What You Need to Know: As coverage of the 2024 election continues to dominate the news cycle, an estimated 4.4 million Americans, or 2% of the voting population, are ineligible to vote due to current or previous felony convictions. In recognition of Second Chance Month in April, we looked further into Americans’ attitudes towards voting rights reforms aimed at increasing voting access.

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5. Black Voters More Concerned about Climate Change

What You Need to Know: Our recent research with Brookings reveals higher levels of climate concern and climate action among Black voters. In fact, Black Americans are 10% more likely than the national average to be concerned about climate change and 13% more likely to have taken action. These findings indicate that Black voters take the threat of climate change more seriously, are more willing to support climate-friendly policies and personally act to address it, and are less polarized around the issue.

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Data in Action

Interested in getting your questions answered in our monthly omnibus survey? Learn more here and reach out to Grayson Wormser ([email protected]).

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