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New Poll: Voters Prioritize Pandemic Prevention, Express Concerns Over Artificial Intelligence

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Moore Information Group recently conducted a national online survey on behalf of the American Dream Institute to examine voter attitudes toward key policy issues facing the country. Overall, the political mood continues to be negative as economic concerns remain salient and the President continues to be under water. Furthermore, the survey found that Americans across the political spectrum are increasingly concerned about long-term challenges, such as preventing future pandemics and addressing new technologies such as artificial intelligence. Specifically, it revealed five key findings:

1) Proper pandemic planning is fiscally responsible. 

Fully 81% of voters say it is important that we take steps now to prepare for future pandemics. Voters believe the federal government’s unprecedented spending in response to the COVID pandemic is a major contributor to our growing national debt. Consequently, voters believe that planning ahead will help leaders address future pandemics in a more fiscally responsible manner.

2) The future of artificial intelligence raises significant concerns.

Examples and applications of artificial intelligence are increasingly evident in daily life, and while the jury is still out on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, voters have significant concerns about a variety of potential outcomes and consequences.

More than six-in-ten voters say they are “very” (19%) or “fairly” (44%) familiar with the use of artificial intelligence computer programs and software designed to do things like humans, such as speech and facial recognition. Nearly six-in-ten (59%) believe the development of AI will be a mix of good and bad things for the world. That said, we don’t have to scratch the surface very deeply to uncover healthy levels of concern about potential outcomes of a growing AI world:

  • 85% are concerned about the loss of personal privacy.
  • 85% are concerned about the irresponsible use of AI by companies and employers.
  • 81% are concerned with the threat of countries like China interfering in our lives.
  • 76% are concerned about potential loss of jobs.

3) Voters believe things in the country are headed off on the “wrong track” and Biden’s approval ratings are upside down. As a result, the generic Congressional ballot tilts toward Republicans right now. 

The standard “mood” barometer continues to show a majority of voters (56%) saying things in the country are headed off on the “wrong track,” while only 36% say things are headed in the “right direction.” As is often the case, voter mood is driven largely by partisanship – Republicans have a widely negative outlook, while the majority of Democrats are optimistic. Importantly though, Independents agree with Republicans on the direction of the country. This pessimism is fueled by concerns about economic/pocketbook issues with “inflation and the rising cost of things like gas and groceries” (39%) and “jobs/economic growth” combining for 47% of voters’ leading concerns today.

These issues concerns and pessimistic outlook are closely correlated with what we are seeing on the generic Congressional ballot test, which shows a 5-point edge for Republicans (47% prefer a Republican for Congress, 42% prefer a Democrat), as well as the President’s dismal job approval ratings – 56% disapprove of the job President Biden is doing, while 42% approve.

4) There is pessimism about the future. 

The negative political climate of today is coupled with concerns about the future, as evidenced by the finding that nearly half (46%) of Americans believe children born today to an average family in the United States will have a worse life than their parents did. Just a third (33%) say the next generation will be better off than their parents, and the remaining 17% have no opinion.

5) There is no consensus on the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago.

The recent FBI raid on former President Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago generates mixed reactions from Americans, with 41% saying the raid was heavy-handed and an unreasonable abuse of power and 45% saying the raid was appropriate and a reasonable step in the pursuit of justice. Sentiment on this issue falls largely along party lines, with 73% of Republicans believing the raid was “heavy handed,” while 75% of Democrats say it was “appropriate and reasonable.” Independents are more likely to believe the raid was “appropriate” (45%) than “heavy-handed” (36%).

Survey Methodology. The survey was conducted September 12, 2022, using online methodology among a representative sample of N=1,500 registered voters in the United States. The potential sampling error is plus or minus 3% at the 95% confidence level.

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SOURCE American Dream Institute

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