Washington, DC, October 3, 2018 – A new Ipsos poll shows that the vast majority of Americans have a favorable opinion of paramedics (94%), nurses (94%), firefighters (93%), teachers (91%), doctors (89%), and police officers (82%). On the other hand, government employees (53%), lawyers (50%), reporters (45%), and elected officials (27%) have lower favorability among Americans. The occupations with the widest favorability margins between Republicans and Democrats are reporters (67% vs. 26% of Republicans), police officers (78% vs. 94% of Republicans), and government employees (62% vs. 49% of Republicans).
A large majority of both Republicans (86%) and Democrats (86%) agree that police offers and firefighters deserve to have a secure retirement if they’ve served 20 or more years. However, there is a 9-point difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to whether or not they believe that public employee pensions are more generous than most people’s retirements (58% vs. 67% of Republicans), and a 10-point difference on whether or not guaranteed pensions are a luxury American society cannot afford (30% vs. 40% of Republicans).
When asked what the local government should do to balance its budget if there were a budget shortfall, almost half say they would support raising taxes (46%) while only a third say they would support reducing spending on infrastructure like roads or sewers (33%). While Republicans are relatively split between the two options (36% for reducing infrastructural spending vs. 38% raising taxes), Democrats are much more inclined to choose the latter (29% vs. 52% raising taxes)
About the Study
These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted October 1-2, 2018. For the survey, a sample of 1,005 adults 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The sample includes 320 Democrats, 354 Republicans, and 208 Independents.
The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2013 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.
Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,005, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5 percentage points).
The poll also has a credibility interval plus or minus 6.2 percentage points for Democrats, 5.9 percentage points Republicans and 7.7 for Independents.
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Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
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Ipsos Public Affairs
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About Ipsos Public Affairs
Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.
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