The latest poll conducted in the United States by Redfield & Wilton Strategies explored key questions surrounding the American political system, surveying the support that a range of proposed changes would attract from the American public. Overall, our research finds a degree of support for abolishing the Electoral College, but opposition to removing the two-term limit for U.S. Presidents, lowering the voting age to 16, or giving imprisoned U.S. citizens the right to vote.
Overall, 42% of Americans say they approve of the electoral system currently used to elect U.S. Presidents, whereas 28% say they disapprove. Delving deeper into the data, support for the current system is lower among those who voted for Joe Biden in 2020 (38%) than among those who voted for Donald Trump (50%). Age is also a salient schism, with only 15% of those aged 18 to 24 saying they disapprove of the current system, but 39% of those aged 65 and older expressing this view.
However, despite the plurality of Americans saying they approve of the current electoral system, a plurality of 39% say they would support abolishing the Electoral College, whereas 27% say they would oppose. A further 26% say they would neither support nor oppose this change. In terms of the political divide, abolishing the Electoral College attracts notably lower levels of support from 2020 Trump voters (24%) than from 2020 Biden voters (57%).
In contrast to the plurality support for abolishing the Electoral College, only 27% of Americans would support removing the two-term limit for U.S. Presidents, compared to 46% who would oppose. The level of support or opposition to such a policy is virtually on par among those who voted for Donald Trump and those who voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election.
Further, the majority of Americans (62%) disagree that the minimum voting age should be lowered from 18 to 16, whereas 22% agree. Younger respondents are more likely to be supportive of this change, with 47% of those aged 18 to 24 saying they agree that the voting age should be lowered, compared to only 5% of those aged 65 and older and 12% of those aged 45 to 54.
Likewise, a majority of Americans (51%) oppose imprisoned U.S. citizens having the right to vote, whereas 28% think they should be able to vote. While 2020 Donald Trump voters are strongly opposed to imprisoned citizens being able to vote (16% support and 70% oppose), Joe Biden voters are almost evenly divided, with 40% supporting and 38% opposing the right to vote of imprisoned Americans.
While a plurality of Americans initially say they approve of the current electoral system used to elect their President, we also find that a plurality in fact would support abolishing the Electoral College—a view that is particularly popular among those who voted for Joe Biden. However, support for this measure across the population as a whole is still far more limited, suggesting that it is unlikely that political capital will be expended on attempting to enact such a constitutionally complicated change. Further, other changes (such as removing term limits or lowering the voting age) attract even more limited support.