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Study Finds Republican Voters Underinformed About Their Candidates

When you cast a ballot in November, did you support representatives who agree with you on matters like increasing the minimum wage and protecting health insurance access for people with pre-existing conditions? Are you sure? A study found that many Republicans voted for candidates who don’t share their feelings on these and other important issues — and they didn’t know it.

[Photo by Nicholas Kamm-Pool/Getty Images]

According to Alternet, Data for Progress analyst Ethan Winter tested this, asking voters to answer whether candidates for one of the two major parties supported each of four policies: “(1) protecting the ability of those with preexisting conditions to get health insurance, (2) expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, (3) raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and (4) allowing companies to dump mining debris into mountain streams.”

As he probed the specific issues, he found that most voters answered correctly about the Democratic party’s association with policies on each of these matters, but overwhelmingly, voters who identified themselves as Republicans thought that their party also supported progressive policies, including increasing the minimum wage to $15 and protecting pre-existing conditions in health care coverage.

In fact, expounding upon the data, Winter describes almost 40% of Republicans expressing a belief that their party supports expanding Medicaid, nearly a third of Republicans claiming their party supports increasing the minimum wage, and a majority of Republicans believing that their party supports policies protecting streams from corporate dumping.

If it’s not clear, the Republican party doesn’t support any of those things.

The question to take from this, of course, is if those Republican voters knew that their party doesn’t support those policies, would it shift their vote?



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