One-in-ten Americans say they contacted an elected official about the federal budget deficit in the past month. That doubles to 20% among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who agree with the Tea Party movement. Those Republicans and GOP leaners who agree with the Tea Party also tracked news about the debt ceiling debate much more closely than those who do not agree with the movement (66% very closely vs. 34%) or the public as a whole (41% very closely).Overall, though, interest in news about the debt debate is similar among Republicans (46% very closely), Democrats (44%) and independents (37%). About one-in-ten in each says they contacted an elected official about the deficit fight in the past month.The intensity gap is more apparent among supporters of the GOP. While 20% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who agree with the Tea Party say they contacted an elected official about the deficit, just 5% of other Republicans and Republican leaners say they did so.Young people show particularly little interest in the debt debate. Among those 18-29, about two-in-ten (19%) say they followed this news very closely. That rises to 54% among those 50 and older. A majority of those 18-29 say they followed this news not too (27%) or not at all closely (29%).Just 1% of those 18-29 say they contacted an elected official about the federal deficit in the past month, compared with 16% of those 50-64 and 17% of those 65 and older.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Intensity, Participation, and the Debt Fight
The Pew Research Center reports: