Republicans And Democrats Alike Overwhelmingly Support Net Neutrality; Why Don't GOP Officials In Congress Recognize This?
from the who-are-they-representing dept
For years now, we've pointed out how ridiculous it is that net neutrality became a "partisan" issue. In the early days, when it was neither, there were interesting discussions about the pros and cons of it. Once it became a "blue team v. red team" issue, most reasoned debate went out the window, and we were left with ridiculous exaggerations about "regulating the internet" or "the death of the internet." That's not helpful.
But here's the thing: actual Republicans outside of Congress support net neutrality too (though, it helps not to call it "net neutrality.") Two separate studies have come out this week making this point. First up, there was a poll from the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication, checking in with 900 adult US residents. When not using the term net neutrality, but asking if they "favor" or "oppose" allowing broadband access providers to charge websites or streaming video services extra for faster speeds -- across the board, only 17% favored or strongly favored that idea, while 81% were opposed (37%) or strongly opposed (44%) the idea. Digging down to just the Republicans, it turns out that even more Republicans were against this than democrats. Only 13% favored (11%) or strongly favored (2%) letting broadband players set up such tollbooths, while 85% were opposed (44%) or strongly opposed (41%).
Some 83% of voters who self-identified as “very conservative” were concerned about the possibility of ISPs having the power to “influence content” online. Only 17% reported being unconcerned. Similarly, 83% of self-identified conservatives thought that Congress should take action to ensure that cable companies do not “monopolize the Internet” or “reduce the inherent equality of the Internet” by charging some content companies for speedier access.A few months ago, we wrote about a great argument made by a "self-identified conservative" arguing why Republicans should support reclassification, mainly to block out the harmful monopolistic tendencies of broadband providers. And it appears that conservatives and Republicans (and, of course, those aren't always the same thing, but there is a lot of overlap) intuitively agree with this position.
So why don't their elected representatives? The explanation that still seems to make the most sense is that the money is too good in opposing net neutrality.