Poll: Voters Are All Aboard for More Manufacturing Policy

By Matthew McMullan
file photo

Support is broad and bipartisan, but no one thinks Washington is doing much for factory workers.

Bob Dylan once sang, “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Suffice it to say, you don’t need an expert, or an official survey to tell you polarization in American politics is pretty intense these days. If you need proof, it’s out there. You can check out President Trump’s unfiltered Twitter feed, or read up about how Americans increasingly pick their spouses based on politics. Dismaying, but hardly shocking.

That said, polling can still reveal the occasional surprise. And this one, conducted for the Alliance for American Manufacturing by The Mellman Group, Inc., and Public Opinion Strategies, does just that; it actually found an issue of broad bipartisan agreement. About manufacturing policy!  

Unbelievable, but true! According to a poll of 1,200 likely voters from August 28 to September 9, likely voters from all political affiliations and demographics called specific aspects of a domestic manufacturing policy program top priorities.

For example, respondents showed strong support for career and technical education in high school and community colleges; repairs to roads, bridges, and basic infrastructure; and requiring all taxpayer-funded infrastructure projects use American-made goods whenever possible.  

Here’s a surprising wrinkle, though: No one thinks anyone in Washington is really doing anything to put these kinds of pro-manufacturing policies in place. Not Congressional Republicans, not Congressional Democrats, and not President Trump. From a memo prepared by the pollsters:

While 44 percent say they have heard a great deal about President Trump working to protect or create manufacturing jobs, only 20 percent say the same for Congressional Republicans and 19 percent for Democrats.

Regardless of who wins, our next Congress should remember that public support for manufacturing policy and job creation is strong. Read a memo from the pollsters about their findings here.