Liberal Ideas Are Not As Popular As You Think

A new PBS/Marist poll is out, and it shows that Americans are generally in love with liberal ideas. Hooray!

But don’t get too excited yet. Americans say they like lots of things when they’re asked out of the blue, but in the real world the other side gets to weigh in before opinions become solidified. Because of this, there’s a rule of thumb that a political proposition doesn’t truly have majority support until it polls at about two-thirds or better. This is a pretty good rule of thumb, and with that in mind here are the results of the poll:

Background checks for gun owners is a no-brainer. An optional version of Medicare for All is a strong contender, and government control of prescription drug prices is a close call, but probably pretty popular.

And that’s it. There are a few more ideas on the list that might be good campaign fodder depending on how they’re presented, but they aren’t likely to be hugely popular selling points. As for the rest, just forget it. Any candidate who truly believes in them should feel free to say so, but no one should fool themselves into thinking that big majorities support them.

At the bottom of the list, by the way, are five items that poll at levels less than about one-third. In real life, the number of people who really, seriously support them is probably on the order of 10-15 percent. They are total losers, period.

BY THE WAY: These are all liberal ideas. Why didn’t Marist poll any conservative ideas?

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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