Public Opinion Overwhelmingly Supports Transparency: The Next Big Political Issue

A new survey released on December 18, 2014, again reveals the power of financial transparency of government spending.

The George Washington University Battleground survey of 1,000 registered voters nationwide indicated there was overwhelming support for state and local governments to initiate standards for accountability and financial transparency. When asked, "Do you believe state and local government officials should initiate standards for accountability and financial transparency in government spending so that citizens can see how their tax money is being spent?" 93% said yes, with 86% answering 'strongly yes.' Only 1% said no.

You can't find greater levels of support among the public on other public policy issues. And the survey went on to look at subgroups of those registered voters that revealed more interesting statistics.

1. Across the great partisan political divide

Republican 94% (87% Strongly)
Independent 95% (89% Strongly)
Democrat 93% (85% Strongly)

2. Across the great ideological divide

Liberal Democrats 93% (84% Strongly)
Moderate/Conservative Democrats 94% (89% Strongly)
Independents 96% (89% Strongly)
Moderate/Liberal Republicans 93% (86% Strongly)
Conservative Republicans 94% (87% Strongly)

3. Across the demographic divide

Black/African American 91% (89% Strongly)
Hispanic/Latino 92% (86% Strongly)
White 94% (86% Strongly)
Other 91% (83% Strongly)

4. Across the Union/Non-Union divide

Union Household 91% (85% Strongly)
Non-Union Household 94% (87% Strongly)

5. Across the age divide

18-44 94% (86% Strongly)
45-64 96% (90% Strongly)
65+ 92% (86% Strongly)

And, for the political strategist, the importance of the issue in states where there were competitive elections in November found 93% were supportive, with 88% strongly supporting such standards.

What's the point?

The issues of transparency and accountability have moved beyond just declarations of support by politicians or their issuing a news release declaring strong support.

Savvy politicians have the chance to become the champion of these issues in their respective levels of government. Those that do will have a positive issue that is strongly desired by their constituents.

So if you are in office, running for office, serve as a consultant to someone in state or local government, or have helped someone win an election, here's your chance to help make a positive difference on an issue literally everyone agrees with and has real value for all levels of government.

Transparency and Accountability are the winning issues for the future.

State and local governments, programs, and citizens will all be better off for it!