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New Hampshire Union-Leader Op-Ed: America is More United Than Divided

James Dozier, Board President of Centerline Liberties

As originally published in the New Hampshire Union-Leader

July 17, 2023

WINNING the White House in 2024 is going to take more than rage tweets and the usual partisan pandering. First-in-the-nation primary voters have an opportunity to reorient the trajectory of next year’s election to one focused on the seemingly forgotten majority of the American people rather than one catering to partisan extremes.

Across the country, voters have made both their dissatisfaction with the direction of the country and lack of enthusiasm for their candidate choices clear. Though divisions exist, there is more that unites voters than divides them. As the candidate vetting process ramps up here in New Hampshire, voters would do well to support a standard bearer focused on building consensus for an agenda that protects America, strengthens the economy, and expands personal freedom.

Research recently conducted by Centerline Liberties, a centrist policy non-profit, identified four key issue areas where bipartisan alignment exists for common sense policy action among voters: clean energy and climate; contraceptive care; election modernization; and LGBT freedom.

Our survey found majority agreement that the government isn’t doing enough to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. Voters see ample opportunity for job creation and economic growth stemming from advanced energy manufacturing, enhanced grid reliability, and investments in clean energy infrastructure. A majority of independents (56%) and a plurality of Republicans (46%) believe that the government should continue to advance these types of laws. When it comes to climate change, a strong majority (80%) of all registered voters, including Republicans (60%), support the United States government taking action to reduce the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change.

Protecting and increasing access to contraception is an issue with even greater agreement among registered voters nationwide. For instance, 85% of voters say they favor increasing access to contraception. It’s overwhelmingly popular across even the most socially conservative corners of the Republican Party. At least 70% of every Republican voter group, without exception, favor increasing access to contraception. The bottom line for an overwhelming majority of voters (87%), including Republicans (79%), is that increasing access to contraception is viewed as a freedom issue.

The American people also perceive there to be significant election-related challenges that warrant government action. Roughly half of voters say they consider voter intimidation, political extremism, corporate interests, and foreign attempts at hacking

or disinformation around our elections to be extremely serious. There is strong support for dedicating robust federal funding to help state and local election officials improve their election systems in order to secure elections. Nearly three-quarters of voters (73%) and two-thirds of Republicans (65%) would support this funding.

Centerline also found that voters overall, and a plurality of Republicans, say they would favor a law that protects LGBT people from discrimination in housing, public accommodations, credit, and education. Nearly two-thirds of voters (64%) favor anti- discrimination legislation and it is supported by majorities across all gender and age groups, race and ethnicity, and education levels. Independent voters overwhelmingly support anti-discrimination legislation, with 68% in favor and just 19% opposed.

Polling continues to show that same-sex marriage is a settled issue. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of voters agree that same-sex marriage should remain legal, with more than a majority (56%) of Republicans saying the same. That GOP majority includes 54% of Republican men and 58% of Republican women, and majorities across education levels, income groups, and includes 2024 Trump primary voters, DeSantis primary voters, and undecided primary voters.

Audiences skeptical of overcoming partisan gridlock don’t need to look far for recent examples of bipartisan achievements. The debt ceiling deal, infrastructure reform, Respect for Marriage Act, Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and CHIPS bill stand out as legislation where public leaders of both parties were willing to break the legislative logjam in support of substantive policy to increase U.S. security, economic prosperity, and competitiveness.

Instead of catering to the partisan fringe, presidential candidates have an opportunity to rise and stand apart from the field if they heed the calls of a forgotten majority of the American people. New Hampshire voters, including myself, should support those who do.

James Dozier is the founder and board president of Centerline Liberties, Inc. and a resident of Portsmouth.