Do What I Wish You'd Do, All Americans Say (Especially Conservative Midwestern Republicans)

May 18, 2012, 3:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 5/12/2012) While Americans believe by a two-to-one margin that most people don’t have the time or knowledge to make wise political decisions (52% agree-25% disagree), by an even wider margin, Americans also believe politicians should just follow the will of the people, which is pretty clear (56% agree-19% disagree), in this week’s Economist/YouGov poll.

Politicians and campaigns most often fail when they either overestimate people’s knowledge, interest or patience regarding any particular policy issue debate, or when the underestimate the public’s ability to discern where their own interests lie in any policy issue under debate. That’s why most Americans recognize they are not fully informed on most policy issues but an even greater majority just wish the politicians would do what they want them to do.

Some groups are more likely than others to say the politicians don’t get it, and they ought to just do what people so clearly want them to do. The groups most likely to express frustration that politicians just won’t follow the clear will of the people are older, less-educated, lower income, more conservative Americans, especially Midwesterners and Republicans.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association