American Voters Agree on Something: Survey Shows Bipartisan Support for Stronger Consumer Protections

Published on October 30, 2020 by Lauren Sliter

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In this article:

Survey: Americans Agree on The Presidential Candidate They Think Will Protect Their Consumer Rights

FairShake’s Survey Methodology

Across the Aisle, Americans Agree: We Need Stronger Consumer Protections

Respondents Think Joe Biden Cares More About Consumer Rights and Trump More About Corporate Rights

President Donald Trump Voted “Most Likely” to Turn a Blind Eye to Corporate Wrongdoing

Survey: Americans Agree on The Presidential Candidate They Think Will Protect Their Consumer Rights

With the ongoing threat of Coronavirus and all the difficulty it has introduced into day-to-day life, 49% of registered voters in the U.S. report that they expect to have difficulties when it comes time to vote for a presidential nominee. This is a major uptick from October 2018,  when only 15% reported feeling the same way. 

But, despite the uncertainties and hardships 2020 has wrought, the Pew Research Center found that engagement in this presidential election is the highest this country has seen in decades

In fact, 83% of voters say it “really matters” to them who wins the presidency — the highest percentage since 2000.

And in a time when people feel more passionate about their politics than ever, it may come as a surprise that there is one very important issue upon which the majority of Americans agree: Consumer rights

In this representative survey of over 1,000 American adults that FairShake conducted in the fall of 2020, we uncovered how the majority of U.S. citizens feel about their rights as consumers — and which of the leading presidential candidates they agree is more likely to protect these rights from being violated.

FairShake’s Survey Methodology

For this survey, FairShake surveyed 1,003 American adults using a Pollfish.com survey that ran online from Sept. 21, 2020, to Oct. 5, 2020.

Results were stratified by Pollfish to match the gender and age distribution of the U.S. population, but before accounting for stratification…  

Respondents were:

  • 60% female
  • 40% male

The age breakdown of survey respondents was:

  • 7% were aged 18-24
  • 28% were aged 25-34
  • 29% were aged 36-44
  • 16% were aged 45-54
  • 20% were aged 55 and up

The self-identified party affiliation of respondents was:

  • 36% Democratic Party
  • 33% Republican Party
  • 31% reported “no party preference” or “other”

Please keep in mind that totals may not add to 100% due to rounding and, finally, enjoy our synthesis of some of the most interesting results from our survey! 

Across the Aisle, Americans Agree: We Need Stronger Consumer Protections 

In the U.S., there are federal and state laws that outline consumer rights and protect customers when they interact with companies that are in a position to take advantage of them.

Have you ever felt cornered into using the only reasonable internet service provider in your town? Or wished there was more you could’ve done to fight that unfair fee you had to pay before your provider would turn your cable back on?

If so, you’re not alone in feeling like your consumer rights have been violated by some of the companies that have the most impact on our lives.  

In our survey, we found that — generally speaking — the majority of Americans don’t think the current consumer protections are strong enough when it comes to limiting monopolization by service providers, controlling companies that collect our personal data, and supporting people who work in the gig economy. 

Graph showing the split between democrats and republicans on consumer protection issues.

With the only plurality we’ll see when it comes to the section of our survey on consumer protections, 47% of Americans are in favor of stronger government laws and regulations around monopolization by service providers — such as cable and internet companies. Only 15% think government oversight should actively be made weaker here. To break it down further, 54% of respondents who identified as Democrats are in favor of more consumer rights protections while 37% of Republicans feel the same. 

In our survey, Americans agree the most on stronger governance when it comes to companies that collect consumer data — think giants like Facebook and Google. In all, 63% of respondents favor stronger consumer rights laws for these companies while only 6% think such regulations should be weaker. This is the strongest area of bipartisan agreement in our entire survey, supported by 62% of Democrats and 59% of Republicans! 

When it comes to government rules and regulations that protect workers who perform contracted “gig” jobs such as driving for Uber and food delivery services like Postmates, 54% of Americans support stronger legal protections for workers while 4% are for weakening these protections. With 60% of Democrats and only 42% of Republicans in favor of better safeguarding gig workers’ rights, this gap of 18 percentage points is the largest between parties when it comes to consumer rights protections.

Respondents Think Former Vice President Joe Biden Cares More About Consumer Rights and President Donald Trump More About Corporate Rights

Now, let’s drill down a little deeper to see how respondents feel about the leading presidential candidates — former Vice President Joe Biden and incumbent President Donald Trump — when it comes to protecting consumer rights. 

Again, we see Americans reach across the aisle to agree: The majority opinion is that Joe Biden cares more about the rights of individual consumers while President Donald Trump cares more about the rights of corporations. 

Specifically, 56% of all respondents say they perceive President Trump as caring more about corporations while 18% think he cares more about individual consumers.

Meanwhile, 39% of people say Joe Biden cares more about individual consumer rights while 31% think he cares more about corporations.Graph shows respondents believe Trump will protect corporations over consumers

President Donald Trump Voted “Most Likely” to Turn a Blind Eye to Corporate Wrongdoing

In light of the last section about consumer versus corporate rights, it shouldn’t be shocking to hear that the majority of Americans think Trump (51%) would be more likely than Biden (29%) to turn a blind eye if a corporation violated consumer rights. It’s interesting to note that a not-small percentage (20%) of Americans think both candidates would behave the same in this situation. Graph shows respondents believe Trump is more likely to turn a blind eye to consumer rights violations

Interestingly, respondents replied as expected along party lines when asked which of these two presidential candidates would better protect their individual rights. 

As for protecting consumer rights, 85% of Democrats say Biden would do a better job and 79% of Republicans think Trump would excel. When it comes to worker rights, 83% of Democrats think Biden would better preserve worker rights while 79% of Republicans say Trump would best protect workers. 

Do You Need Help Defending Your Consumer Rights? 

In an election year racked by a worldwide pandemic and a heightened level of political division, it’s comforting to know that Americans can generally agree on one thing: The importance of protecting consumers from predatory practices carried out by service provider monopolies, data-collecting giants, and the contractor-supported companies that power today’s gig economy. 

If you’ve personally been taken advantage of by one of these or any other company, there’s finally something you can do about it. 

Get in touch with FairShake today and let us handle the arbitration process to get you the justice and compensation you deserve.

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