Majority signal unity around children’s issues

In this deeply divided nation, a majority of Americans find common ground on one single issue: the well-being of our 74 million children. 

While voters sparred vigorously over their choice for president, a recent survey found that an overwhelming majority of those asked — 81% to 13%— believe that federal policy and budgets should be set according to a “best interest of the child” standard, regardless of political affiliation. Another 65% said the country should establish an independent children’s commissioner to coordinate children’s needs across agencies and silos (65% v. 26%). Children’s health care also scored high, with up to 85% of respondents saying all children should have health insurance (85% v. 12%). American voters also strongly support establishing a child poverty reduction target (70% v. 20%) and expanding the child tax credit to help cut child poverty (71% v. 18%).

“The research shows that Americans will rally around our children,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus on Children. “President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris should lose no time in unifying the country around this real and perceived common interest, which transcends both politics and demographic differences in gender, race, age, income, geography, education, marital status, and religion. Stronger, healthier, happier children mean a stronger, healthier economy and a happier, more robust vision for the future.”

The nationwide survey of 2,400 registered voters, conducted by Lake Research Partners between Oct. 31 and Nov. 3, was one of the few to accurately predict the election results, forecasting a 51% to 48% margin for President-elect Joe Biden. 

“It is evident from our 2020 election survey that voters are fully in support of a child-focused policy agenda,” said Lake Research Partners founder and principal Celinda Lake. “As we transition to a Biden-Harris Administration, elected officials across the country are going to be looking for points of unity to act on. The child-focused policy agenda — including permanently instituting the Children’s Health Insurance Programreducing child poverty, and passing the American Family Act — receives broad support across party identification, 2020 presidential vote decision, and many other demographic subgroups. Children’s health and well-being is a point of unity for our current divided nation and voters across the country are extremely willing to express their support.”

First Focus on Children is helping lead more than 350 organizations across the United States in demanding that President-elect Biden use his executive powers to establish a White House Office on Children and Youth that would coordinate and prioritize children’s needs across all federal agencies. First Focus is also working directly with leaders and lawmakers to establish an independent Children’s Commissioner to report and provide recommendations on advancing children’s rights, in consultation with children and youth; establish a national best interest of the child standard, and require child impact statements for all policies that impact the health and well-being of children.

For a detailed breakdown of survey results, please see our fact sheet.