Affinity for workfare crosses party lines

Published 10:34 am Wednesday, May 16, 2018

By Carter Wrenn

Talking About Politics

“You need to ask a question about workfare,” the pollster said.

As a rule of thumb, you can ask 60 questions in a poll and I’d started out with 90 – I looked down at the 30 questions I’d deleted then asked, “Do you think people are more concerned about workfare than these other issues?”

“Ask it,” he said. “You might be surprised.”

He was right.

Today there’s little Democrats and Republicans see eye-to-eye on but workfare turned out to be an exception. Over 85 percent of the Republicans and the Independents were for workfare, and so were 70 percent of the Democrats.

Ticket-splitters, conservatives, moderates, men, women, black voters, white voters, were all overwhelmingly for workfare. The only place support waned was among the most adamant liberals.

I repeated the same question in other polls and each time got the same answer. Then, curious, asked the pollster, “Why do you reckon both Democrats and Republicans support workfare?”

“It’s not just about workfare,” he said. “It’s about work. Work is the value they share.”

Carter Wrenn is a Republican political consultant.