Around six-in-ten U.S. adults say the nation’s economic system unfairly favors powerful interests, though partisans are divided. Partisan differences extend to beliefs about why people are rich or poor.
Broad economic concerns of rural white Americans aligned with cornerstones of the Trump campaign, and the gender gap played a key role in the 2016 narrative.
Trends in public opinion are in line with Obama’s agenda: The priority given to deficit reduction has slipped somewhat, while public support for rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure has increased.
There are wide gaps between conservative and centrist Republicans on whether the government should do something to reduce poverty and inequality.
Support for government programs to help disadvantaged Americans, as well as sympathy for the plight of the poor, have surged since 1994 and returned to levels last seen in 1990 prior to welfare reform, with gains occurring among virtually every major social, political and demographic group.