Poll: Americans Strongly Favor Local Institutions for Solving Nation's Challenges
(Press release, March 9, 2015) — As partisan gridlock plagues Washington, Americans are increasingly looking to state and local institutions for innovative approaches to solving the country's most pressing challenges, according to poll results released by The Allstate Corp. and National Journal.
The 22nd quarterly Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll explores Americans’ experiences and attitudes toward their local communities in comparison to the rest of the country. The poll is part of The Next Economy series, a seven-year partnership between Allstate and Atlantic Media, of which National Journal is a part.
The survey reveals an American public that is confident about its own local ingenuity, with 69 percent of Americans believing that new ideas and solutions to the country’s challenges are more likely to come from state and local institutions compared to just 22 percent who believe that they will come from national institutions.
A majority of Americans (64 percent) think more headway is being made at the state and local level compared to the national level (26 percent). Two-in-three Americans (66 percent) believe that state and local institutions are more equipped to improve the way we educate people. More than six-in-10 Americans (63 percent) also believe that state and local institutions are better at finding new ways to provide opportunities for the disadvantaged and creating new jobs than national institutions.
National institutions came out on top only with “finding new ways to save energy and improve the environment” with 51 percent of respondents saying that national entities will do a better job compared to 43 percent at the state and local level, according to poll results.
“These results resonate with what we have found while out reporting for The Next Economy—Americans are taking the country’s problems into their own hands and solving them through innovation at the local level,” said Atlantic Media Editorial Director Ron Brownstein. “While faith has clearly eroded in national institutions and Americans remain uncertain about the direction of the country overall, the public displays much more confidence in the direction of their local community, and the capacity of local institutions to address the major challenges facing the nation.”