• Poll: Democrats Are More Free Market Than Republicans

    The perception of Republicans as ardent free marketeers and Democrats as enthusiastic protectionists could be entirely false according to a new YouGov poll.

    The poll examined attitudes of both parties’ voters to free trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, which would free up trade between the U.S., Japan and other pacific rim countries such as Vietnam.

    According to YouGov, more than half of Democrats support free trade as opposed to only 42 percent of Republicans.

    Republicans were also far more likely to think that free trade was harmful to the US. The YouGov poll showed a quarter of Democrats thought free trade was bad for America whereas 39 percent of Republicans thought the same.

    When it came to the specific issue of TPP, 38 percent of Democrats were in favor of the deal while just 27 percent of Republicans said the same.

    Oct 5-7 2015YouGov Poll

    YouGov speculates that Republicans may have become increasingly hostile to free trade thanks to President Barack Obama’s strong support for TPP. Back in May, when YouGov conducted a similar poll, support for free trade among Republicans stood at 50 percent.

    YouGov’s survey could mean bad news for the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination Hillary Clinton who may find herself on the wrong side of the free trade issue with fellow Democrats.

    After fighting tooth and nail to win support from congressional Democrats for TPP, Clinton decided to come out against the deal.

    But Clinton may be saved any backlash on her position thanks to the apathy of most voters on the issue. “Very few Americans have a strong opinion on trade either way, and 86 percent say they have heard little or nothing about the TPP,” said YouGov’s assistant editor William Jordan.

    Clinton’s principal rival for the nomination Sen. Bernie Sanders is also vehemently opposed to TPP. On Monday, Sanders attacked Hillary Clinton’s decision to oppose TPP, telling CNN, “I did not come out against the TPP yesterday. I came out very early on in this process.”

    Clinton had previously said TPP “sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.”

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