Children s Leadership Council Hart Research Associates DATE: October 13, 2014 Findings from National Survey on Children s Programs

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1 TO: FROM: Children s Leadership Cuncil Hart Research Assciates DATE: Octber 13, 2014 RE: Findings frm Natinal Survey n Children s Prgrams Frm September 25 t 29, 2014, Hart Research Assciates cnducted a natinal telephne survey n behalf f CLC t explre the public s view f children s prgrams as a budget pririty. We interviewed a representative sample f 808 American adults (including 700 registered vters) n landlines and cell phnes. The survey s margin f errr is ±3.5 percentage pints fr results amng the full sample and ±3.8 percentage pints fr results amng registered vters (tlerances are higher fr subgrups f the sample). Americans f all stripes shw strng supprt fr increasing federal funding fr prgrams that address children s needs in areas such as early childhd educatin, healthcare, nutritin, and children's well-being. This is a much higher pririty fr the natin than reducing taxes. An verwhelming 79 f Americans favr Cngress increasing funding fr prgrams and services t meet children s needs. This includes three in five adults (61) wh strngly favr expanded spending. Only 16 bject t increasing funding fr prgrams fcused n such areas as early childhd educatin, health, and nutritin. Favr Oppse Favr Oppse All adults Incme under $30K Men Incme $30K t $75K Wmen Incme ver $75K Age 18 t High schl grad/less Age 40 t Sme cllege Age 60/ver Cllege graduates Nrtheast Demcrats 93 6 Suth Independents Midwest Republicans West Liberals 93 5 Whites Mderates African Americans 94 6 Cnservatives Hispanics Cnnecticut Avenue, NW, Washingtn, DC FAX

2 The breadth f supprt fr children s prgrams is particularly striking. Strng majrities in every regin f the cuntry, all age grups, and all incme and educatin levels vice supprt. This sentiment crsses traditinal idelgical lines, with liberals (93), mderates (84), and cnservatives (65) all favring greater spending. Similarly, a slid majrity f Republicans (59) jin with verwhelming majrities f independents (82) and Demcrats (93) in calling n Cngress t make children s prgrams and services a higher budget pririty. While partisan differences ften divide Americans tday, investing in children is a pint f relative cnsensus. The strength f Americans cmmitment t investing in children is further illustrated when we ask respndents t chse between cmpeting budget pririties. By a very strng 18-pint margin, they say that investing mre in children s health, educatin and well-being (54) shuld be a higher pririty tday than reducing taxes (36). Significantly, this is again true fr all incme and educatin levels. Demcrats (76 t 19) and independents (54 t 33) give clear pririty t children s investments ver lwer taxes, while Republicans say reducing taxes is the higher pririty (57 t 29). Budget Pririty: Children s Investments r Reducing Taxes? Children's investments Reducing taxes Children's investments Reducing taxes All adults Incme under $30K Incme $30K t $75K Nrtheast Incme ver $75K Suth Midwest High schl grad/less West Sme cllege Cllege graduates Cngressinal candidates wh supprt expanded investments in children can expect t be rewarded by vters. When we ask vters t cnsider a hypthetical candidate wh supprts increasing funding fr prgrams and services t address children's needs in areas such as early childhd educatin, healthcare, nutritin, and children's well-being, they respnd very favrably. By a five-t-ne margin, registered vters say they wuld be mre (52) rather than less (10) t supprt such a candidate. Page 2

3 Supprting a children s agenda benefits a candidate in every regin f the cuntry. A pr-children candidate is als t gain supprt in key swing vting cnstituencies, such as: Independents (51 mre, 10 less ) Mderates (61 mre, 6 less ) Mderate/cnservative Demcrats (74 mre, 3 less ). Likelihd f Supprting Candidate Wh Favrs Children s Prgrams Mre Less Mre Less All vters Demcrats 73 3 Independents Nrtheast 52 8 Republicans Suth Midwest Liberals 67 4 West 53 8 Mderates 61 6 Cnservatives Americans want the gvernment t make an affirmative effrt t supprt children and families, and reject the idea that gvernment can best help children by getting ut f the way. Des gvernment have a rle t play in helping children t thrive, r shuld gvernment get ut f the way s that families can care fr their children? Americans deliver a clear verdict n this questin: children wuld be better ff, they say, if gvernment did mre fr children (61), while nly a third say children wuld be better ff if gvernment gt ut f the way (33). Which f these tw statements d yu agree with mre? Statement A: America's children wuld be better ff if the gvernment gt ut f the way and let parents and families take care f their children. Statement B: America's children wuld be better ff if the gvernment did mre t supprt parents by making educatin, child care, nutritin, and children's healthcare mre affrdable. Statement A/Better if gvernment gt ut f the way 33 Much mre Smewhat mre Statement B/Better if gvernment did mre 61 Smewhat mre Much mre Nt sure... 6 Page 3

4 The public rejects the argument that the fiscal challenge psed by the retirement f the Baby Bm generatin means we must reduce public spending n children. Instead, they believe investing in children is critical fr prviding retirement security t the cming wave f retirees. The gvernment faces significant csts in the decades ahead, as baby bmers retire and cllect Medicare and Scial Security benefits. Sme argue that this necessitates cutbacks in public sectr spending tday. Hwever, the public takes a very different view, at least in regard t public spending n children s prgrams. By a three-t-ne margin, Americans feel that the best way t prvide a secure retirement fr tday s wrkers is t invest in children, t ensure the natin has prductive wrkers in the future t sustain the ecnmy (63 agree). Only ne in five adults (21) takes the ppsing view that we cannt affrd spending n children s prgrams because f the rising cst f retirement prgrams. Significantly, bth yunger adults age 18 t 39 (68 t 17) and lder adults age 60 and ver (53 t 27) agree n the need t invest in children tday. Which f these tw statements d yu agree with mre? Statement A: The retirement f the baby bmers means we cannt affrd t spend mre n prgrams fr children and families nw, because we need t save tax dllars t meet the rising csts f Medicare and Scial Security in the years ahead. Statement B: The retirement f the baby bmers means we need t invest mre in children tday, because the best way t prvide tday's wrkers with a secure retirement is t ensure that we have prductive wrkers cntributing t the ecnmy in the future. Statement A/We Cannt Affrd T Spend Mre 21 Smewhat mre... 8 Much mre Statement B/We Need T Invest Mre 63 Much mre Smewhat mre Nt sure Page 4

5 Wmen cnsistently express a particularly strng cmmitment t children s prgrams and investments. Thrughut the survey we find a significant gender gap, with wmen expressing especially strng supprt fr public investment in children s prgrams. While 72 f men favr expanding federal funding, this figure rises t 86 amng wmen. A pr-children candidate als receives strng supprt frm wmen vters. And while men see bth investing in children (46) and reducing taxes (42) as imprtant budget pririties, wmen put children first by a tw-t-ne rati (62 t 29). Men Wmen Favr increased funding fr children's prgrams Mre t supprt pr-children candidate (registered vters) Children are better ff if gvernment des mre Investing in children is the best way t ensure bmers' retirement Children are a higher pririty than reducing taxes Page 5

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