The Program for Public Consultation (PPC) seeks to improve democratic governance by consulting the citizenry on the key public policy
issues their government faces. PPC is a joint program of the Center on Policy Attitudes and the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland.


Latest Public Consultations and Analyses
Results of Iran Study on Nuclear Deal Released at Washington Event
The Program for Public Consultation (PPC), in association with the Center for International & Security Studies at Maryland, released the results of a new study on American attitudes regarding the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and found strong bi-partisan consensus. This video contains the entire presentation. Click on the video (left) to watch the full event..

Large Majority of Americans Favor Making a Deal with Iran on its Nuclear Program
As the clock runs out on negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, a new study of the American public finds that 61 percent favor making a deal with Iran that would limit Iran’s enrichment capacity and impose additional intrusive inspections in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions. This includes 62 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents. The alternative option, being promoted by some members of Congress, calls for not continuing the current negotiations but increasing sanctions in an effort to get Iran to stop all uranium enrichment. This approach is endorsed by 35 percent. View Press Release | Read Report (PDF) | View Questionnaire (PDF)

New Study Finds People in Red and Blue Districts Largely Agree on
What Government Should Do
A new study released July 2 by Voice Of the People finds remarkably little difference between the views of people who live in red (Republican) districts or states, and those who live in blue (Democratic) districts or states on questions about what policies the government should pursue. The study analyzed 388 questions asking what the government should do in regard to a wide range of policy issues and found that that most people living in red districts/states disagreed with most people in blue districts/states on only four percent of the questions. “A Not So Divided America,” contradicts the conventional wisdom that the political gridlock between Democrats and Republicans in Congress arises from deep disagreements over policy among the general public. View Press Release | Read Report (PDF) | View Appendix (PDF)

 

Large Majorities of Republicans and Democrats Agree on
How to Reform Social Security

New ‘Policymaking Simulation’ Posted Online for Every American to Try
A new study, "Is It Really a Third Rail? How the American People Would Reform Social Security," released by the Program for Public Consultation on February 7, 2014, offers a provocative new look at public attitudes on the critical issue of Social Security reform, based on a recent online 'public consultation' with a large representative sample of Americans. When given information about the projected insolvency of Social Security and presented options for dealing with it, overwhelming majorities—including three in four Republicans and Democrats—favored taking steps that would eliminate most of the Social Security shortfall and a modest majority favored steps that would eliminate it entirely, through a combination of raising revenues and trimming benefits. View Press Release | Read Report (PDF) | Printer-Friendly Report (PDF) | View Questionnaire (PDF) | Try Policymaking Simulation

Survey Reveals Common Ground Between Israelis and Palestinians on Peace Deal,
But Obscured by Pessimism

An innovative survey of Israelis and Palestinians, released today at the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution, found that pessimism about current negotiations and the readiness of the other side to compromise has obscured the fact that there is substantial common ground between a majority of Israelis and Palestinians on a comprehensive peace agreement. Only 4% of Israelis and 11% of Palestinians believe that current negotiations will bring an agreement in the next year, and half of both Israelis and Palestinians believe a peace agreement will never be reached. However, when Israelis and Palestinians were presented the same eight- point package deal covering what many experts regard as a possible framework for an agreement, six in ten on both sides approved of their government supporting the deal if the other side would support it as well. Read More | Full Report (PDF) | View Questionnaire (PDF)

Majorities in Both Red and Blue Districts Favor Deep Cuts in Defense Spending
Majorities in Districts with High Defense Spending Also Favor Cuts
Try the Interactive Defense Budget Exercise>>
A unique survey conducted by the Program for Public Consultation, the Stimson Center, and the Center for Public Integrity has found that substantial cuts to the defense budget are favored by majorities in both Red and Blue districts, as well as majorities in districts that benefit from high levels of defense spending. In conducting this study, a representative sample of Americans were shown the 2012 defense budget from different perspectives and presented with arguments that experts make for and against cutting defense spending in 2013. Working online, they were then able to specify their preferred defense spending level. Among those living in Red districts (i.e. ones represented by a Republican), 74% favored cutting defense; in Blue districts (represented by a Democrat), 80% favored cuts. Read More


Majority of Americans Willing to Make Defense Cuts
Try the Interactive Defense Budget Exercise>>
In a unique study, a representative sample of Americans were shown the size of the defense budget from different perspectives and presented with arguments that experts make for and against cutting it. Three quarters of respondents favored cutting defense as a way to reduce the deficit, including two thirds of Republicans as well as nine in 10 Democrats.
Respondents were also presented with information about the defense budget's nine major areas, including arguments for and against cutting each of them, and given the chance to increase or decrease the amount budgeted. Majorities made cuts in all nine areas, though majorities of Republicans made them only in six.Overall, respondents composed a defense budget for 2013 that was significantly smaller than for 2012, with an average cut of 18%. Republicans cut an average of 12% and Democrats 22%. Read More


Public Consultation Finds Bipartisan Support for Extending Bush-Era Tax Cuts,
But Only for Income Under $250k

With President Obama presenting his proposed budget for 2013, the question of how to deal with the Bush-era tax cuts, scheduled to terminate at the end of 2012, is once again on the table. The Program for Public Consultation presented a representative sample of Americans with options for dealing with the tax cuts, including--for each option--a description of the budgetary consequences and two strongly-stated arguments in its favor. In conclusion, seven in ten (71%) favored extending the cuts for income below $250,000. This included 22% who favored extending the cuts for all income levels, as well as 49% who favored limiting the extension to income below $250,000. A similar margin (73%) favored terminating the cuts for income over $250,000. This included 24% who favored terminating them for all income levels, as well as the 49% who favored terminating them only for income above $250,000. Read More

Public Proposes Federal Budget Dramatically Different Than House or White House
An innovative study has found that when a representative sample of the American public was presented the federal budget, they proposed changes far different from those the Obama administration or the Republican-led House have proposed. The biggest difference in spending is that the public favored deep cuts in defense spending, while the administration and the House propose modest increases. However, the public also favored more spending on job training, education, and pollution control than did either the administration or the House. On average the public made a net reduction of $146 billion--far more than either the administration or the House called for. While there were some partisan differences in the magnitude of spending changes, in two out of three cases average Republicans, Democrats and independents agreed on which items should be cut or increased. Read More

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