These polls normally include a lot of other data, though – very, very important information – that most media tend to ignore. And that could be because media recognizes that the Republicans in those polls are ignoring the same subjects. Take Public Policy Polling’s recently-released survey, for example.
According to the survey, Republicans who intend to vote in the presidential primary support an increase to minimum wage and background checks on all gun purchases. None of the 17 Republican candidates holds those same stances, though.
Raise Minimum Wage
A 52-percent majority of Republican voters support increasing minimum wage (34 percent to $10 per hour, 11 percent to $12, and seven percent support $15/hour). Only 24 percent of these voters, who say they intend to vote in the Republican presidential primary, believe it should remain at $7.25. (A 20-percent block thinks there should be no minimum wage altogether.)
Breaking it down by the candidates, nine of the 17 are supported by voters with a majority-approval for raising the rate (Bush, Christie, Huckabee, Jindal, Kasich, Paul, Rubio, Santorum, and Trump).
But only one of the Republican presidential candidates – Rick Santorum – has ever stated support for increasing the current rate. In an interview just this past April, Santorum only suggested 50-cent increases for three successive years, though. (Donald Trump once said he supports two different minimum wages – separate rates for younger and older workers – but never said how much those rates would be.)
When President Obama moved to raise the minimum wage for federal contractor employees to $10.10, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul voted against it in the senate. Cruz is joined by Rick Perry and Jeb Bush in public statements against having any minimum wage period. Scott Walker says it “doesn’t have a purpose.”
Jindal, Christie, Huckabee, and Carson have each spoken against any increase. The other candidates duck the subject, and never made any statements about minimum wage.
This topic is where lobbyist influence is most evident. The NRA owns the GOP, causing its candidates to ignore the opinions of their voters.
The poll finds that 83 percent of Republican voters who intend to vote in the presidential primary support a required background check of everyone who wants to buy a gun. Only 11 percent of them are against that requirement. Hell, 76 percent of Tea Party voters want background checks, and so do 79 percent of those who self-identify as “very conservative.”
This opinion is held by a majority of the supporters of all 17 candidates, too. Even 85 percent of Republican voters who are still undecided on a candidate believe in background checks.
But check-out the background-check opinions of these candidates. Only two of them ever made a statement supporting the general concept, according to On The Issues, and both were quite a long time ago. George Pataki favored gun control legislation in 2006 when he was governor of New York; in 1998, Jeb Bush said he supported instant background checks.
The rest of the candidates, though, are so pro-gun that they give the old “sweating bullets” phrase a new meaning. No background checks. No restrictions on sales. Any kind of weapon. Concealed carry and no permit required. And high ratings from the NRA, of course. Shoot, Carly Fiorina thinks that even people who are on the “no-fly” list, due to status as a threat to national security, should be allowed to buy firearms.
Trump led the poll with 19 percent, followed by Walker (17) and Bush (12). Carson and Rubio were tied for fourth, each taking 10 percent. Wouldn’t it make sense for them (and for all 17 candidates) to agree with their own party voters on these issues?
And if they still won’t, wouldn’t it make sense for those Republican voters to start considering other parties’ candidates?