Voters overwhelmingly support farmers and farm policy

| May 12, 2016
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (NAFB) — Nearly 90 percent of Americans have a favorable view of farmers, and 92 percent said it was farmland 2important to provide farmers with federal funding, according to a new national poll released this week. The poll, commissioned by the National Crop Insurance Services, surveyed 1,000 registered voters in early April. Jon McHenry is the Vice President of North Star Opinion Research, the research firm that conducted the poll.

McHenry explains the results. “86 percent of the voters nationally view farmers favorably and just 3 percent unfavorably, which is a number you really don’t see for virtually any other profession. Second is the really high level of support for spending federal dollars on farmers and farm policy. 92 percent said that was either very important or somewhat important. The third big take away is some sort of overwhelming support for some sort of assistance particularly with insurance. Crop insurance is supported by a 2 to 1 margin. Voters supported giving some assistance to farmers because of the importance of the farm industry.”

He says the favorability rating of 86 percent across party lines outshines confidence in any other types of institutions. “When Gallop has asked in the past about confidence in institutions the top ranked institution that they ask about is the military. They get 72 percent who say that they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military. These favorability numbers even outstrip what we see for support for the military, support for the police, support for small business or even support for churches. The other real surprise in the numbers is the lack of a partisan pattern. We’re so used to looking at numbers where republicans are way on one side and democrats are way on the other side. We see support for farmers in the 80s across the board and consistent levels of support.”

As lawmakers will soon begin work to reauthorize a new farm bill, McHenry says the poll results sends the message to lawmakers that voters approve of the current farm programs and how the programs are organized. “Despite the partisanship that we see in the country, there is a broad bipartisan consensus for the way that policy works now. Not only is this an issue that unifies people, but their pretty well unified on how congress has supported it in the past. Voters are frustrated nationally. You see that in support for Donald Trump. You see that in support for Bernie Sanders. They really want congress to find solutions and this is one of the rare highlights where you can say congress found a solution here that voters are happy with.”

Find the poll results online at  http://www.cropinsuranceinamerica.org.

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