Voters Support Mental Health Interventions

By Sean McElwee, co-founder of Data for Progress

The United States is experiencing a mental health crisis among its adolescents. Nearly one in five children suffer from mental health issues, and rates of suicide and depression have risen over 50 percent in recent years. However, voters support a wide range of policies to make access to mental health care universal.

Executive Summary:

  • Voters overwhelmingly support both an expansion of mental health services in schools, and requirements to cover mental health care.

  • Support is strong across partisan lines and could be a path for Democrats to improve margins with independent voters.

  • Women voters are more supportive of mental health interventions than men, offering a path for Democrats seeking to peel off women voters already concerned about Trump.


Memo: Restoring Independence and Fairness to Agriculture Under a Green New Deal

By - Charlie Mitchell: Research Fellow, Data for Progress; Austin Frerick: Deputy Director of the Thurman Arnold Project at Yale University and Senior Fellow at Data for Progress

Executive Producer - Greg Carlock: Green New Deal Research Director, Data for Progress

Executive Summary:

  • From seeds to grocery stores, rampant consolidation has ceded historic levels of power to food and agriculture conglomerates. To secure a sustainable national food supply, food production must transform radically, but right now, unprecedented concentration in agricultural markets is preventing that transition by impelling practices that abuse the environment, workers, animals, and consumers. Prices per head on poultry, cattle, and hogs have tanked along with the farmer’s share of the food dollar, wiping out populations of producers in favor of huge corporate farms.

  • Concentration in markets has allowed unprecedented concentration of animals in the form of CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), creating massive ecological hazards in the form of methane emissions, water and air quality crises, antibiotic resistance, and dead zones that extinguish marine life. The environmental and social costs of these practices are massive, not only contributing to runoff that results in dead zones at the terminus of the Mississippi River, but antibiotic resistance, nutrient and chemical pollution, soil erosion, and rendering the communities they invade toxic and unlivable.

  • Only by addressing anti-competitive practices and restoring fair markets in food and agriculture can we facilitate diverse food production and commerce from independent, local- and regionally-controlled farms and businesses. This is vital for securing a nourishing food supply able to withstand climate catastrophe.


Memo: The Progressive Labor Platform is Popular

Data for Progress surveyed key components of Bernie Sanders’s “Workplace Democracy Plan” and Elizabeth Warren’s “Empowering American Workers and Raising Wages” and found that the platform’s policies are broadly supported by voters. The policies tend to have broad support from Democrats, but many also have net positive support among independents and Republicans. In addition, we find that there is a potential key bloc of voters that either did not vote in 2016 or voted for Trump that support components of the platform, making them potential targets for 2020 election efforts. One caveat is important: many of these policies also showed high rates of voters having no strong opinion, meaning the numbers could change. 

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Memo: Paid Family Leave in the 2020 Election

Today, more than four in five US workers (81 percent) do not have paid family leave from their jobs for family care, and 60 percent do not have short-term disability insurance through their jobs to ensure they have paid leave for their own serious health issues, including pregnancy-related health challenges. These aggregated figures mask substantial disparities by occupation, industry, and wage levels, and also mask unequal access to paid leave—even within the same firm. The FAMILY (Family and Medical Insurance Leave) Act sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is a national paid family and medical leave program would cover virtually all working people in the United States. It is the most comprehensive family leave proposal currently introduced in Congress, and sets the standard for the 2020 Presidential field. Most of the leading Presidential contenders support the Family Act.

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Memo: Favorability of Major Political Figures and Organizations in Battleground Districts

By: Sean McElwee of Data for Progress and Emily Bello-Pardo, John Ray, and Mark White of YouGov Blue

Executive Summary

  • On net, among voters in battleground districts, Ocasio-Cortez polls at least as well as other major Democratic figures. Although all political figures had negative net favorability, Ocasio-Cortez is viewed roughly as favorably on net as Joe Biden, and more favorably on net than President Donald Trump and Democratic leadership.

  • “Clean-energy companies” and “climate activists” both poll more favorably than “fossil fuel companies.” 

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren had the highest net favorable ratings among the presidential candidates we tested.

  • Each member of “the Squad”—Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib—has a higher net favorability than President Donald Trump, Senator Mitch McConnell, and the Republican Party in battleground districts. While Trump’s net favorability is lower, we note that his raw favorability is higher than each member of “the Squad.”


In order to ensure the reliability of our results, we asked Civiqs to replicate our results. That memo is available here.

Validation findings

  • Elizabeth Warren has the highest favorable rating of any Democrat in the battleground districts -- especially among Independents.

  • Independents in the battleground districts have a much more favorable opinion of Elizabeth Warren than Joe Biden.

  • Favorable ratings of Joe Biden and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are essentially the same in swing districts.