by WorldTribune Staff, October 30, 2016
A new scientific poll shows that Donald Trump’s supporters have a broader and more precise knowledge of the key issues in the 2016 election than do supporters of Hillary Clinton.
The poll, commissioned by Just Facts, measures voters’ knowledge of issues including education, taxes, healthcare, the national debt, pollution, government spending, Social Security, global warming, energy, and hunger.
The national poll surveyed 700 people who vote “every time there is an opportunity” or in “most” elections.
For each question, those surveyed were offered a selection of two or more answers, one of which was true. Voters were also given the opportunity to reply “I don’t know.”
There were 23 questions asked in the poll.
Here is a look at a few:
Question 4: When conventional public schools are subject to school choice programs that allow students to leave for private or charter schools, do the children who remain in the public schools academically decline?
Correct Answer: No. At least 21 high-quality studies have been performed on the academic outcomes of students who remain in public schools that are subject to school choice programs. All but one of the studies found neutral-to-positive results, and none of the studies found negative results. This is consistent with the theory that school choice stimulates competition that helps public schools to improve.
Correct answer given by 37% of all voters, 36% of Clinton voters, 40% of Trump voters, 40% of undecided voters, 33% of males, 41% of females, 42% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 33% of 65+ year olds.
Question 6: On average, who would you say pays a greater portion of their income in federal taxes: The middle class or the upper 1% of income earners?
Correct Answer: The upper 1%. The Congressional Budget Office, the Obama administration Treasury Department, and theTax Policy Center have all documented that households in the top 1% of income pay an average effective federal tax rate of about 34%, while middle-income households pay about 13%. These tax rates account for nearly all income and federal taxes. Claims to the contrary, which are often voiced by politicians and the media, are based on misleading calculations that exclude large portions of people’s taxes and/or incomes.
Correct answer given by 12% of all voters, 8% of Clinton voters, 18% of Trump voters, 11% of undecided voters, 14% of males, 10% of females, 11% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 12% of 65+ year olds.
Question 8: Do you think the federal government spends more money on social programs, such as Medicare, education, and food stamps — or does the federal government spend more money on national defense, such as the Army, Navy, and missile defense?
Correct Answer: Social programs. In 2014, 61% of federal spending was for social programs, and 19% was for national defense. Half a century ago, the converse was true, and 53% of federal spending was for national defense, while 21% was for social programs.
Correct answer given by 39% of all voters, 22% of Clinton voters, 65% of Trump voters, 38% of undecided voters, 39% of males, 39% of females, 37% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 42% of 65+ year olds.
Question 10: From the time that the Great Recession ended in 2009, which do you think has grown at a faster rate, the U.S. economy or the national debt?
Correct Answer: The national debt. From the time that the Great Recession ended in 2009, the national debt grew by 71%, while the U.S. economy grew by 28%.
Correct answer given by 77% of all voters, 63% of Clinton voters, 95% of Trump voters, 84% of undecided voters, 80% of males, 74% of females, 78% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 78% of 65+ year olds.
Question 13: Now, just thinking about the United States, in your opinion, is the air generally more polluted than it was 30 years ago?
Correct Answer: No. EPA data shows that ambient levels of criteria air pollutants have declined significantly over the past 30 years. The same holds for emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Lower levels of pollution can improve human health andreduce problems like learning deficits and behavioral disorders.
Correct answer given by 38% of all voters, 34% of Clinton voters, 50% of Trump voters, 36% of undecided voters, 45% of males, 31% of females, 42% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 35% of 65+ year olds.
Question 20: Some policymakers are proposing that individuals be allowed to save and invest some of their Social Security taxes in personal accounts instead of paying these taxes to the Social Security program. In your view, do you think such proposals generally improve or harm the finances of the Social Security program?
Correct Answer: Improve. As shown by analyses conducted by the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and a bipartisan presidential commission, proposals to give Social Security an element of personal ownership generally strengthen the program’s finances. Although some tax revenues that would have gone to the program instead go to people’s personal retirement accounts, these tax revenues are more than offset by the savings of not paying these individuals full benefits.
Correct answer given by 18% of all voters, 11% of Clinton voters, 26% of Trump voters, 19% of undecided voters, 17% of males, 19% of females, 11% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 15% of 65+ year olds.
Question 23: In 2010, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” This law uses price controls to save money in the Medicare program. Do you think these price controls will affect Medicare patients’ access to care?
Correct Answer: Yes. As explained by Medicare’s actuaries, the price controls in the Affordable Care Act will cut Medicare prices for many medical services over the next three generations to “less than half of their level under the prior law.” The actuaries have been clear that this will likely cause “withdrawal of providers from the Medicare market” and “severe problems with beneficiary access to care.”
Correct answer given by 51% of all voters, 33% of Clinton voters, 75% of Trump voters, 52% of undecided voters, 53% of males, 48% of females, 51% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 62% of 51-plus-year olds.