Here’s One Reason It’s So Hard to Pass Liberal Legislation

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Via Dylan Matthews, here’s an interesting set of charts from a pair of researchers who studied how people feel about various issues vs. how politicians think they feel. The left-hand chart, for example, shows opinions about universal health care. In districts where 50 percent of the voters supported it, liberal politicians estimated that only 45 percent supported it, while conservative politicians estimated that only about 30 percent supported it. This same gap shows up across the entire spectrum, and for a wide variety of issues.

As always, this is one data point from one study. But it certainly seems to suggest either that conservative voters are a lot louder than liberal voters or that politicians themselves simply don’t understand how quickly some of these attitudes are changing. Needless to say, if these results are generally true, it tells us a lot about why it’s so hard to get liberal legislation passed.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate