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New Poll Highlights Majority Issues Excluded From Debates

by Paul H. Rosenberg Thursday, Oct. 12, 2000 at 11:38 AM

It’s not just Ralph Nader... The vast majority of the American people want to hear candidates address issues that have been banished, not just from the debates, not just from the campaign, but from the entire elite political agenda.

The Excluded Majority A poll just conducted for The Nation magazine and the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank, finds vast majorities interested in hearing from the candidates on social justice issues that have been excluded from the debates, and--for the most part--from any serious consideration by America's political elites.

    How important is it for you personally to hear what positions presidential candidates take on this issue... [% saying "Very Important" or "Somewhat Important"]

    How to reduce the gap between rich and poor school districts in a fair way.
    The debate about whether U.S. troops should go into another country to stop the killing of innocent civilians in a civil war.
    How to provide health insurance to children and adults who can't afford it.
    How to reduce the gap between rich people and poor people in this country.
    Whether the U.S. should participate in a treaty to ban all underground nuclear tests.
The poll also found overwhelming support for the "anti-globalization" demand that trade should be subject to other concerns:
    International trade is an important goal for the United States, but it should be balanced with other goals, such as protecting workers, the environment, and human rights-even if this may mean slowing the growth of trade and the economy.
          Agree 83.4      
          Disagree 12.6      
          Don't know/Refused 4.0      
Finally, at a time when Al Gore is running to the right of George Bush on increased military spending, the American people would support a 10% in military spending by more than 2-to-1:
    Imagine that the President and Congress decided to cut defense spending by 10% and directed this money to improving education, strengthening Social Security and paying down the national debt instead. Would you support this move or not support this move?
          Support 63.4      
          Not support 30.9      
          Don't know/Refused 5.7      
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