What Are We Most Angry About? The Economy, Unemployment, the Government, Taxes and Immigration

Tea Party supporters are angrier than Republicans, who are angrier than Democrats

Oct 21, 2010, 14:27 ET from Harris Interactive

NEW YORK, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- A new BBC World News America/Harris Poll asks Americans what they are angry about.  The economy is at the top of the list.  Nearly two-thirds (63%) of all adults are angry about the economy, with 46% reporting they are "very angry."  Anger about unemployment and the government is almost equally strong; 62% are angry about unemployment with 45% very angry; 62% are angry about the "government in general" with 43% very angry.

ANGER IN AMERICA


Base: All U.S. Adults


Angry (NET)

%

The economy in general

63

Government in general

62

Unemployment

62




(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO )

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO )

These are some of the results of BBC World News America/Harris Poll of 2,699 adults surveyed online between October 7 and 11, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

Other things that majorities are very or somewhat angry about are taxes (58%), immigration (56%), education (51%) and big business (52%).  Fewer people are angry about same sex and gay rights (33%), the environment and energy issues (47%) and foreign policy (48%).

On most of these topics, supporters of the Tea Party movement are angrier than any of the other groups we looked at.  And Republicans in general, who include many Tea Party supporters, are angrier than Democrats about most topics.  Fully 79% of Tea Party supporters are very or somewhat angry about the economy, compared to 71% of Republicans and 60% of Democrats. And 83% of Tea Party supporters are angry about the government, compared to 74% of Republicans and 54% of Democrats.

However, there are a few exceptions to this pattern.  Democrats (62%) are more likely than Republicans (40%) or Tea Party supporters (46%) to be very or somewhat angry with big business.  Democrats (46%) and Republicans (45%) are equally angry about the environment and energy issues and only slightly less angry than Tea Party supporters (52%).

There is also an age difference in how angry Americans are on this topic.  Across the board, older Americans (those 55 and older) are angrier than their youngest counterparts (those 18-34).  For example, seven in ten U.S. adults 55 and older are angry about the economy in general (71%), government in general (70%), and unemployment (70%), while just over half of those 18-34 are angry about these (55%, 56% and 52% respectively).

So what?

With less than two weeks until the Congressional midterm elections, the question becomes how does this anger translate?  Democrats are in power, so do they feel the brunt of the electorate's anger? Or is it spread amongst all incumbents?  Come the morning of November 3rd, these questions should all be finally answered.

TABLE 1A
ANGER IN AMERICA
"Some reporters and pundits have described the American public today as angry.  How angry are you about each of the following issues in the U.S. today?"


Base: All U.S. Adults


Angry
(NET)

Very
angry

Somewhat
angry

Not
angry
(NET)

It's not
right, but
I don't
feel
angry
about it

Not at all
angry

Not at all
sure

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

The economy in general

63

46

18

34

27

7

3

Government in general

62

43

19

34

25

9

3

Unemployment

62

45

17

35

27

7

3

Taxes

58

42

16

39

26

12

4

Immigration

56

41

15

39

26

13

5

Big business

52

36

16

43

27

16

5

Education

51

32

19

44

31

13

4

Foreign policy

48

30

18

44

32

12

8

The environment and energy issues

47

26

21

48

34

15

5

Same-sex and LGBT rights and equality

33

24

9

62

29

33

5

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 1B
ANGER IN AMERICA
"Some reporters and pundits have described the American public today as angry.  How angry are you about each of the following issues in the U.S. today?"
Summary of those saying "very angry" or "somewhat angry"


Base: All U.S. Adults


Total

Political Party

Tea Party

Age

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Support

Oppose

18-34

35-44

45-54

55+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

The economy in general

63

71

60

64

79

56

55

62

66

71

Government in general

62

74

54

67

83

54

56

61

61

70

Unemployment

62

66

61

62

73

59

52

59

67

70

Taxes

58

72

47

62

78

43

49

57

60

66

Immigration

56

74

44

58

81

41

48

51

55

68

Big business

52

40

62

53

46

68

43

49

57

59

Education

51

53

51

53

57

54

48

50

50

55

Foreign policy

48

60

40

52

69

43

40

41

49

59

The environment and energy issues

47

45

46

51

52

51

43

45

46

52

Same-sex and LGBT rights and equality

33

39

31

32

39

32

33

29

30

38

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding




Methodology

This BBC World News America/Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between October 7 and 11, 2010 among 2,699 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Harris Poll® #125, October 21, 2010

By Humphrey Taylor, Chairman, The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us -- and our clients -- stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

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SOURCE Harris Interactive



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