New Survey/Focus Group Findings on Economic Mobility Released

A new study commissioned by the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts takes an in depth look at Americans’ sense of economic mobility in the current troubled economic climate. The research provides rich insight into perceptions and beliefs about an individual’s prospects for moving up the income ladder within their lifetime and over generations.

This study was executed by the Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies and the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. It involved 10 focus groups among a diverse group of Americans, as well as a survey of 2,119 adults, including oversamples of African Americans, younger (under age 40) Americans and Hispanics.

Some key findings:

  • Despite the economic downturn, Americans are optimistic about their opportunities for economic mobility and the future opportunities for their children.
  • Americans believe they as individuals control their own economic mobility and destiny; this is consistent even among lower-income Americans.
  • Americans focus more on opportunity than equality in economic outcomes, but are concerned about the ability of lower-income Americans to move up the economic ladder.
  • Americans are skeptical of government’s ability to improve the economic mobility of other people, but believe a range of government policies would be effective in encouraging upward mobility.
  • Definitions of the American Dream vary, but some core themes emerge, including the value of freedom and the importance of leaving the next generation better off. Importantly, the American Dream is not defined entirely by financial issues or by “becoming rich.”
  • Visit the Economic Mobility Project website at to download
    the full survey results, PowerPoint, methodology and analysis

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Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

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