Goeas Discusses Stakes of Upcoming Election and Results of Latest Battleground Poll

“Eight in ten voters – 81 percent – think that democracy in our country is being threatened.”

WASHINGTON, DC — As election season is nearly in full swing, veteran Republican pollster Ed Goeas appeared before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society yesterday, delivering remarks in which he discussed the results from his latest Georgetown University Battleground Civility Poll, and what these numbers mean for the state of our country.

Goeas, former President & CEO of the Tarrance Group, opened his remarks with a tough look at the reality of this year’s presidential election.

“This is going to be the third presidential election in a row where both nominees for the major parties have a higher unfavorable than favorable rating. That is not safe territory for the country and for democracy – that all we are providing as a party, both our party and the Democratic Party, are candidates that a majority of Americans are unfavorable towards, which is very unfortunate.”

The political strategist added that the poll revealed that 72 percent of voters think that the country is off on the wrong track – the worst he’s seen in his 37 years of polling.

“At a more fundamental level,” he continued, “eight in ten voters – 81 percent – think democracy in our country is being threatened. It is not just Democrats that think that – 77 percent of Republicans, and 76 percent of Independents think the country is being threatened, that democracy is being threatened.”

Later in his remarks, Goeas reviewed the responses to the survey question, “Do you want your Member of Congress to fight for values, even if it means they don’t accomplish anything? Or do you want your Member of Congress to compromise values in order to find common ground and find solutions to our daily problems?”

“This latest survey was no different than others. 66 percent said that they wanted compromise in terms of the problems. Only 28 percent said that they wanted their Member of Congress to fight.”

Goeas then compared voter turnout for primary elections in 1990 to 2022 to find that participation for both parties dropped from 35 percent to 15 percent for Democrats and 17 percent for Republicans – and, unfortunately, these shrinking percentages are made up largely of voters who are looking for a fight, not a solution, from their elected officials.

He then shared that it’s these fight-driven voters that “drive our members on both sides.”

“It used to be that we built a campaign based on what our candidate is for. Now the campaigns are built on both sides, including what they’re against. If all you do is campaign on what you’re against, all you’re doing is educating the voters on what to be against. And when it comes time for them to understand what you’re for, you’ve done absolutely nothing to build that bridge with the voters.

“I don’t know where we lost our way, but we need to find it again. A majority of the voters are truly centrist. They’re 68 percent of the country and want solutions to our problems.”

In his closing remarks, Goeas shared one final revelation from a question he has asked for the last four years, “on a scale of one to a hundred, with one being peace and one hundred being close to a civil war, where do you think we are?”

“The median in this latest survey, 72 percent said that we were closer to civil war than we were at peace. And an equal amount believes there may be violence in this next election.”

To view Goeas’ remarks before The Ripon Society yesterday, please click the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.