Summary of SAGE Cons and US Adults Political Profile
A preponderance of the SAGE Con base (93%) “strongly agree” that marriage is defined by the relationship between a man and a woman.
More than four out of five SAGE Con adults (81%) are registered Republicans, while less than one out of twenty (4%) are registered Democrats and one-eighth (12%) identify themselves as Independent. To put this in context, one-quarter of US Adults (26%) are registered Republicans, whereas 42% are registered Independent. Nearly three out of ten US Adults are registered Democrats (29%).
Nearly all SAGE Cons (99%) think the United States is going in the wrong direction.
Three-quarters of the SAGE Cons (75%) are a “strong supporter” or “generally support” the Tea Party movement.
A vast majority of SAGE Con adults (98%) consider themselves to be “very conservative” (71%) or “somewhat conservative” (27%) when it comes to fiscal issues, such as taxes and government spending.
An overwhelming percentage of SAGE Cons (98%) consider themselves to be “very conservative” (87%) or “somewhat conservative” (11%) when it comes to social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
A great majority of SAGE Con adults (97%) prefer a government that is less active and far-reaching than we currently have.
SAGE Cons were asked to indicate how important the candidates’ positions on each of the following issues would be in their decision of what candidate to support in the 2016 presidential race. Based on those who said an issue is either “extremely” or “very” important in their decision of what candidate to support, here are those issues in descending order importance.
At least nine out of ten SAGE Cons chose six issues that are “extremely” or “very” important in deciding what candidates to support: religious freedom (99%), reach and size of government (96%), terrorism (95%), balance the federal budget (94%), abortion and the definition of marriage (90% each).
Between half and three-quarters of SAGE Cons listed cost of living, Social Security, government gridlock and Medicare to be highly important in their candidate selection. Slightly less than half (48%) said investing in infrastructure, racial and ethnic tension, and addressing water supply issues were highly important, with alternative energy sources (28%) last on the list.
The issues that were non-negotiables to SAGE Cons – that is, so important that they would refuse to vote for any candidate who holds a different position on that issue – were led by religious freedom (73%), abortion policy (67%), the definition of marriage (65%), and the size and reach of government (56%). All other issues tested were listed as “non-negotiable” by less than half of the group.
An overwhelming majority – more than nine out of ten – SAGE Con adults (94%) think political officials and the government generally have a “very” or “somewhat” negative effect on today’s families with young children.
Nine out of ten SAGE Con adults (90%) think that political officials and the government are “very” or “somewhat” responsive to the needs of homosexual families. Almost as many SAGE Cons think the government is “very” or “somewhat” responsive to the needs of welfare-assisted families (89%), ethnic/racial minority families (85%), and immigrant families (83%). In comparison, less than one out of ten (8%) think political officials and the government are responsive to Christian families.
SAGE Cons were asked to think about how they get their information about what is going on in the world. When asked which type of media provided them with the greatest amount of news related to politics and government, the dominant sources were mainstream television (e.g., ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS – listed by 28%) and independent online sources (such as the Drudge Report, The Stream, Christian Post, etc. – named by 23%). The only other category mentioned by at least 10% was cable television news (CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, Univision, etc. – mentioned by 13%).
Less than one out of ten SAGE Cons receive the greatest amount of their political and government news from mainstream news websites (8%), mainstream radio stations (8%), religious radio stations (7%), social media (6%), religious news magazines (2%) and local daily newspapers and radio stations (2% each). One percent or less of the segment rely on mobile apps, daily metropolitan newspapers, national distribution newspapers, and mainstream magazines.
There are many important issues facing America today. SAGE Cons were asked to identify two issues among those listed that they thought were the most serious challenges facing America today. More than 40 different issues were mentioned.
- The leading issues – listed by about one out of five SAGE Cons – were abortion/right to life (20%); the size, authority, performance and authority of government (19%); and moral decline/changing values (18%).
- The second tier of responses included immigration/border security (13%), Islam/response to Islamic aggression (13%), rule of law/constitutional adherence (13%), terrorism (11%), economic growth and stability (10%), religious freedom in the US (9%), foreign policy regarding the Middle East (8%), the economy/ jobs/unemployment (7%), and national defense/military preparedness (7%).
One of the issues discussed in the 2016 presidential campaign is immigration policy and border security. Given a list with some of the positions proposed by candidates, SAGE Cons were asked to indicate whether they supported or opposed that approach to immigration policy and border security.
- A large majority – more than nine out of ten – SAGE Con adults “strongly support” strictly and consistently enforcing existing immigration and border laws (94%) and rescinding the Obama Executive Order that protects undocumented persons from deportation (91%).
- More than eight out of ten respondents “strongly support” the proposal to stop giving government-funded benefits, such as welfare and health insurance, to undocumented immigrants in the US (86%); increasing the use of technology to help patrol the border (82%); and to stop all federal funding of sanctuary cities (81%).
- Halt to two-thirds of SAGE Cons “strongly support” increasing the number of immigration enforcement agents (66%); implementing an electronic verification system to reveal the legal status of employees (65%); building a wall along the entire border between Mexico and the US (53%); and use of a biometric entry-exit system for visas (53%).
- Less than half of the SAGE Cons “strongly support” eliminating birthright citizenship (47%); deporting all undocumented immigrants living in the US illegally (40%); limiting immigration only to people who meet merit-based, economic-skill requirements (40%); and providing non-citizen immigrants illegally living in the US a chance to register, pay fees and fines, learn English, pay taxes and take tests to become legalized citizens after a specific number of years (32%).