New poll reveals most Americans believe US democracy not working well and that they are underrepresented in Congress, with more seeing representation as a privilege not a right.
A new poll conducted by YouGov for The New York Times, found that 56 percent of Americans believe the US democratic system is “not working well” and that a majority of the people are “underrepresented” in Congress.
The survey of 800 Americans was taken before last week’s midterm elections, which saw Democrat Conor Lamb capture the Oklahoma Republican seat in Congress.
“Most of the people we talked with said they were looking for an increase in the number of representatives. They wanted to be represented, not just in Washington DC, but in their districts,” said YouGov’s CEO Alexander Keeler.
While the poll found a majority of Americans were not satisfied with the direction of the US, with a plurality saying they expected to see change in the coming years, it also found that people of all ages are dissatisfied with the way that politics in the US works.
The poll also revealed a stark generational divide with 49 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds surveyed saying they were “extremely satisfied” with the way that US politics and US politics in general are run, up from 31 percent on December 11. The 18-24-year-old age group also saw a six-percentage point increase in satisfaction with politics overall, with 46 percent satisfied in the month before the midterms compared to 49 percent in December 11.
The poll also found that young voters, both 18-to-34 and 18-to-29, had a less positive outlook on the state of US politics. In particular, young voters were found to be less satisfied with Congress. In December, 47 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds said they were satisfied with Congress, while that number dropped to 46 percent in the months before the election.
“It looks like when young people are given a choice, they prefer to take the easy way out and want to be represented by their elected officials, and not actually make any change, rather than making a change,” Keeler told The New York Times.