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Frank Luntz

Infrastructure: It's Job 1 to Americans

The LATimes has some interesting poll results and maybe not what you'd expect in an op-ed from Republican pollster Frank Luntz.

A poll finds near unanimous support for rebuilding.

By Frank Luntz

January 23, 2009

I'm a pollster and political consultant associated with Republican causes: the Contract with America, the "death tax" and, of course, ending wasteful Washington spending. So why am I behind the new stimulus legislation -- the biggest spending bill ever to be considered by Congress? Maybe because when it comes to some things -- crumbling schools, overcrowded highways, an ineffective energy system, clean-water facilities that don't clean water and trains and planes that are always late -- we're all on the same side.

Last month, I conducted a national survey of 800 registered voters on their attitudes toward infrastructure investment. It was commissioned by Building America's Future, a bipartisan coalition of elected officials -- chaired by Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg -- formed to support infrastructure investment.

The survey's findings were unlike any other issue I have polled in more than a decade. Iraq, healthcare, taxes, education -- they all predictably divide and polarize Americans into political camps. Not infrastructure.

Consider this: A near unanimous 94% of Americans are concerned about our nation's infrastructure. And this concern cuts across all regions of the country and across urban, suburban and rural communities.

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