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Michael W. Morrisey
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Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling, and Analysis
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LIU Hornstein Center Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Infrastructure Investment, Disagreement on How to Pay for It


72 Percent of Americans Support Greater Investment in Infrastructure

Brookville, NY (February 16, 2018) – A new Long Island University Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling and Analysis poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly support a greater investment in infrastructure and believe that infrastructure spending stimulates the economy.  However, Americans are far more mixed on which level of government is primarily responsible for infrastructure and the role of public-private partnerships.

“The American people are saying loudly and clearly they want their elected leaders to spend more on infrastructure,” said Dr. Edward Summers, Fellow at the Hornstein Center.  “They are not wedded to how that spending is done, and see a role at all levels of government as well as the private sector.”

The national poll showed that 72 percent of Americans agree that more investment in infrastructure is needed.  This is not surprising given that just 16 percent describe the current state of infrastructure as “excellent or good” while 75 percent describe America’s infrastructure as “fair or poor.”  There is slight partisan disagreement with 27 percent of Republicans describing the state of infrastructure as poor, while 50 percent of Democrats feel that way.

As Congress prepares to debate infrastructure and the Trump Administration’s proposal which calls for almost all of the proposed $1.5 Trillion investment to be funded by state and local government, there are stark differences on where Americans see the responsibility to fund infrastructure.

An almost equal 40 percent of Americans believe that the Federal government is primarily responsible for funding infrastructure versus 39 percent of Americans who believe that State or Local governments are primarily responsible with the remainder having no opinion or saying private investors.  Similarly, 42 percent of Americans say that projects should be funded through Public-Private Partnerships, while 35 percent believe they should be funded soley through government, with just 6 percent saying that projects should solely be funded through the private sector.

“Americans support government infrastructure spending and generally prefer a role for the private sector,” said Dr. Edward Summers, Fellow at the Hornstein Center.  “As lawmakers debate this issue, there is clearly room for agreement. ”

While 78 percent of Americans overwhelmingly agree that infrastructure spending can stimulate the economy, just 44 percent agree that infrastructure spending creates sustainable job growth while an equal number of respondents believe that the jobs created by infrastructure spending is not sustainable.

The findings are based on a published public opinion poll conducted from February 14-15, 2018 of 1037 Americans.

Dr. Summers, who obtained his Ph.D. in Public Policy, is a Fellow at the Hornstein Center. His career includes experience in public policy, higher education, and opinion research.



Long Island University

Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling, and Analysis

National Survey

February 14-15, 2018

 

Q1. Who is primarily responsible for funding infrastructure projects?

Answer Choices

Responses

The federal government;

40.12%

416

State governments;

31.92%

331

Local governments;

7.52%

78

Private investors;

3.86%

40

No Opinion;

16.59%

172

Q2. Can large infrastructure projects stimulate the economy?

Answer Choices

Responses

Yes, large infrastructure projects can stimulate the economy;

77.72%

806

No, large infrastructure projects cannot stimulate the economy;

7.81%

81

No Opinion;

14.46%

150

Q3. Can large infrastructure projects stimulate sustainable job growth?

Answer Choices

Responses

Yes

43.78%

454

Yes, but it's not sustainable

37.61%

390

No, large infrastructure projects do not stimulate job growth;

6.36%

66

No Opinion;

12.25%

127

Q4. What is your opinion of the current state of America’s infrastructure?

Answer Choices

Responses

Excellent;

2.60%

27

Good;

13.31%

138

Fair;

38.77%

402

Poor;

35.97%

373

No opinion;

9.35%

97

Q5. Is more investment in infrastructure needed?

Answer Choices

Responses

Yes, more investment in infrastructure is needed;

71.84%

745

No, more investment in infrastructure is not needed;

4.82%

50

The current rate of spending on infrastructure is appropriate;

8.49%

88

No Opinion;

14.85%

154

Q6. How should infrastructure projects be funded?

Answer Choices

Responses

Solely through government funding;

34.91%

362

Solely through private funding;

6.46%

67

Public-private partnerships;

41.56%

431

No Opinion;

17.07%

177

Q7. With what political party do you primarily identify?

Answer Choices

Responses

I primarily identify with the Republican party;

24.11%

250

I primarily identify with the Democratic party;

31.73%

329

I primarily identify with another party;

5.59%

58

I do not primarily identify with one political party;

24.59%

255

Unsure;

2.89%

30

No Opinion;

11.09%

115

Q8. Are you registered to vote?

Answer Choices

Responses

Yes;

85.82%

890

No, but I plan to register before the next election;

4.15%

43

No, and I do not plan to register;

6.65%

69

Unsure;

3.38%

35

Q9. Age

Answer Choices

Responses

18-29

18.76%

194

30-44

26.98%

279

45-60

31.33%

324

> 60

22.92%

237

Q10. Gender

Answer Choices

Responses

Male

46.71%

483

Female

53.29%

551

Q11. Household Income

Answer Choices

Responses

$0-$9,999

6.96%

72

$10,000-$24,999

8.99%

93

$25,000-$49,999

18.76%

194

$50,000-$74,999

15.18%

157

$75,000-$99,999

11.80%

122

$100,000-$124,999

8.61%

89

$125,000-$149,999

5.61%

58

$150,000-$174,999

3.38%

35

$175,000-$199,999

2.51%

26

$200,000+

5.22%

54

Prefer not to answer

12.96%

134

Q12. Region

Answer Choices

Responses

New England

5.29%

54

Middle Atlantic

11.66%

119

East North Central

16.85%

172

West North Central

7.25%

74

South Atlantic

18.02%

184

East South Central

4.51%

46

West South Central

9.89%

101

Mountain

8.52%

87

Pacific

18.02%

184

Q13. Device Type

Answer Choices

Responses

iOS Phone / Tablet

24.37%

252

Android Phone / Tablet

20.70%

214

Other Phone / Tablet

0.00%

0

Windows Desktop / Laptop

44.68%

462

MacOS Desktop / Laptop

8.41%

87

Other

1.84%

19


Polling Methodology
This Long Island University Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling & Analysis poll was conducted through Suveymonkey January 9-11, 2018 in English to 1030 American residents over the age of 18. Polling data was sorted by age, gender & geographic location in efforts to ensure a nationwide representative sample. This poll has an overall margin of error of +/- 3 points.

The Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling, and Analysis at LIU Post conducts independent, fair, and balanced polling, empirical research, and analysis on a wide range of public issues including lifestyle preferences. The Center’s goals include informing the community, public and policy makers about critical issues.


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