New Poll Shows Voters Driven by Facts over Values; USAFacts & Countable Team Up to Launch First Site that Puts Candidates’ Positions in the Context of Data
New State of the Facts Poll shows data tops list of
how voters make decisions on policies
SEATTLE, Sept. 28, 2018 — The first site of its kind to show the public positions of U.S. House and Senate candidates in the context of data on those issues has launched at usafacts.org/voter-center. USAFacts and Countable have teamed up with BallotReady and TurboVote to offer voters one-stop shopping for the Congressional midterms, in response to new USAFacts polling on how much information voters know and want before they cast their votes.
The Voter Center lets voters search by home address for their district and candidates, and presents every candidate on their ballot, each campaign’s stated positions on a range of issues, and curated government data on how the country is doing on those issues. They can also link to Countable where they can use TurboVote to check if they are registered to vote on Tuesday, November 6th, and then find additional ways to become civically engaged.
“More voters say they are driven by facts than values in our new poll, and we want to make it easier for them to cut through what they see as bias and noise and make solid decisions at the ballot box,” said USAFacts founder and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, citing new research conducted by The Harris Poll. “USAFacts is building on the great work by the League of Women Voters, BallotReady, and others to serve up voter-specific ballot information and candidate stances on key positions – but adding in nonpartisan data on how the country is doing on each issue. Together with Countable, we’ve built the most detailed national voter center yet available.”
USAFacts’ 2018 State of the Facts Poll, conducted online from August 30 to September 4, 2018, among 2,501 American adults, finds 61 percent of Americans say researched data is the number one way they form opinions on policies, compared to 54 percent who say “my values.” That compares to only 30 percent who form opinions primarily by seeing or hearing a story on the news, and only six percent primarily by participating in a discussion on social media.
The poll also shows the vast majority of American adults, 80 percent, are concerned election information is biased; 74 percent say that election information is clickbait created by media companies just to sell ads; and 62 percent say that election information is influenced by foreign governments.
“It’s never been more important for Americans to be engaged with their government. But while action-taking is important, it is fundamental that voters have access to digestible, non-partisan, and trustworthy information to inform their choices,” said Countable founder Bart Myers. “That’s why Countable’s excited to be collaborating with USAFacts on the Voter Center. It’s a critical resource that can help everyone in our country become better informed, more active voters.”
Read the poll and methodology information here by downloading the report.
The USAFacts Voter Center has launched for the 2018 midterm general election with House and Senate candidates. For the 2020 election cycle, the site will relaunch with the addition of presidential candidates and other improvements. The full USAFacts second annual State of the Facts Poll will be released soon. Sign up here for updates on either the Voter Center or second part of the poll.
USAFacts is a non-profit, non-partisan civic initiative aimed at making government numbers more available, accessible, and understandable to Americans. It was created by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after he discovered that government does not provide the kind of comprehensive reporting for citizens that publicly traded companies are required to do for shareholders. This is the second year USAFacts has created an Annual Report and 10-K — modeled on the form public companies file each year with the Securities and Exchange Commission — to provide a comprehensive view of U.S. federal, state, and local governments’ combined revenues and expenditures, as well as key metrics that measure progress towards objectives established in the Constitution. Ballmer is also chairman of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Countable is a civic technology company powering a new wave of political engagement, and providing a reliable source for non-partisan legislative and news summaries. With the core mission of lowering barriers to political entry and increasing civic participation, Countable publishes unbiased information that’s made actionable with its suite of digital engagement products. Learn more about Countable at www.countable.us, or Countable Action by visiting CountableAction.com.