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 part of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland.


Latest Public Consultations and Analyses
GOP, Dem Changes to Federal Budget Slash Deficit $52 Billion
As the announcement of President Obama’s FY2017 budget draws near, a new, national survey finds majorities of Republicans and Democrats agreeing on cuts in spending and increases in revenues that would reduce the projected deficit by $52 billion. In the in-depth ‘Citizen Cabinet’ survey, respondents were presented the President’s FY 2016 budget and sources of general revenues, and then given the opportunity to propose their own federal budget. The probability-based online sample included nearly 7,000 registered voters, with subsamples for California, Florida, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. The results were released today by Voice Of the People. View Report (PDF) | View Press Release | View Questionnaire (PDF)
Citizen Cabinet Survey: Bipartisan Majority Favors Giving US Postal Service More Freedom to Act Like a Business.
On the heels of the news that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) posted a net loss of $5.1 billion for FY2015, a new survey of a representative panel of registered voters finds large bipartisan majorities recommend Congress should let USPS act more like a business in ways that would dramatically improve its financial position, according to the results of a Citizen Cabinet survey released today by Voice Of the People. Panelists made their recommendations after being briefed on the fiscal problems facing the USPS and hearing pro and con arguments on various options for the Postal Service proposed by the Postmaster General and under consideration in Congress. View Report (PDF) | View Press Release | View Questionnaire (PDF)
After Weighing Options, Majority Approves Iran Nuclear Deal.
A majority of a national citizen advisory panel, made up of a representative sample of American registered voters, recommends Congress approve the deal recently negotiated between Iran, the United States and other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (plus Germany) on Iran’s nuclear program.After assessing strong critiques of the terms of the deal – including rebuttals – and then evaluating the pros and cons of alternatives, 55 percent concluded that Congress should approve the agreement, despite serious concerns about some of its details. Twenty-three percent recommended ratcheting up sanctions instead, 14 percent favored renewing negotiations to get better terms, and 7 percent recommended threatening Iran with military strikes unless they agree to better terms. View Press Release | Read Report (PDF) | View Questionnaire (PDF)
iran_inspectors Negotiations With Iran: Views from a Red State, a Blue State and a Swing State
As the June 30 deadline for negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program approaches, a new survey conducted in a red state (Oklahoma), a blue state (Maryland) and a swing state (Virginia) finds large bipartisan majorities in all three support making a deal with Iran rather than pursuing more sanctions. Congressional debate has intensified on whether the United States should agree to a deal that would allow Iran to have a limited uranium enrichment program or ramp up sanctions to press Iran to give up all enrichment activities. When representative samples of voters were briefed on the debate and evaluated multiple arguments for both sides, majorities came down in favor of making a deal in Oklahoma (73 percent), Maryland (74 percent), and Virginia (75 percent). While support was stronger among Democrats, in all cases a majority of Republicans and independents approved as well. View Press Release | Read Report (PDF) | View Questionnaire (PDF)
Oklahoma Citizen Cabinet Offers Recommendations on How to Fix Social Security
Large majorities of Republicans and Democrats agree on recommendations that would cover most of the looming Social Security shortfall, according to Voice Of the People’s first survey of its newly established Oklahoma Citizen Cabinet. Very large majorities of the Cabinet recommend reducing benefits for the top quarter of earners (81 percent), raising the full retirement age to 68 years old (81 percent), raising the cap on income subject to the payroll tax (90 percent), and raising the payroll tax rate from 6.2 to 6.6 percent (73 percent). Together, these steps would eliminate two-thirds of the Social Security shortfall. Partisan differences are minor, with more than two-thirds of Republicans and Democrats endorsing each of these steps.
View Press Release l Read Report (PDF) l View Questionnaire (PDF)
Virginia Citizen Cabinet Survey: Republicans, Democrats Agree on
Key Measures to Resolve Social Security Shortfall

Voice Of the People’s first survey of its newly established Virginia Citizen Cabinet finds overwhelming majorities of Republicans and Democrats agree on recommendations that would cover most of the looming Social Security shortfall. The Virginia Citizen Cabinet is an online representative panel of Virginia registered voters, scientifically-selected and managed by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation at the School of Public Policy. It will be consulted on a series of issues facing Congress in the months ahead.
View Press Release l Read Report (PDF) l View Questionnaire (PDF)
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MD Citizen Cabinet Finds Broad Bipartisan Agreement on How to Fix Social Security
Voice Of the People’s first survey of its newly established Maryland Citizen Cabinet finds overwhelming majorities of Republicans and Democrats agree on recommendations that would cover most of the looming Social Security shortfall. A modest majority recommends steps that would completely eliminate the shortfall.
The Maryland Citizen Cabinet is an online representative panel of Maryland registered voters, scientifically-selected and managed by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation at the School of Public Policy. It will be consulted on a series of issues facing Congress in the months ahead. View Press Release l Read Report (PDF) l View Questionnaire (PDF)

ukraine Ukraine Poll: Majorities Do Not Want to Move Closer to EU or Russia
A pivotal issue in the current conflict in Ukraine is whether it will move closer to the EU or Russia. The results of a new survey of Ukrainians – to be presented today at an event at the United States Institute of Peace – show that majorities do not support moving closer to the EU or to Russia. While more favor moving closer to the EU than favor moving closer to Russia, less than half – 47 percent – favor moving toward the EU. In all regions half or more say they can tolerate taking a neutral position. Majorities in all regions, including the East, favor maintaining the unity of the country. View Press Release l Read Report (PDF) l View Questionnaire (PDF) l View C-SPAN Coverage

Iran Nuclear Deal Backed by Large Majority of Americans
Negotiations over a proposed deal with Iran regarding its nuclear program are coming to a head while a new study finds a clear majority of Americans – 61 percent – support an agreement that would limit Iran’s enrichment capacity and impose additional intrusive inspections in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions. This included 61 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents. View Press Release l Read Report (PDF) l View Questionnaire (PDF)

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