The political engagement of the survey sample was based on U.S. Census Bureau reporting of voter registration within the disability and chronic conditions community. The best current Census estimates place voter registration for this community at 69 percent. The survey design set quotas to ensure a community with 74 percent self-reported registration, allowing for some measure of over-reporting in the sample.
When asked, 72 percent of participants said that they voted in the 2012 presidential election, compared to the 57.5 percent voter turnout recorded by Bipartisan Policy Center. A high percentage of this community said they plan to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, with 61 percent saying they will vote in the 2014 U.S. House and Senate elections.
The community considers a candidate’s record on supporting people with disabilities in their voting decisions, with 84 percent of respondents saying that having a record of supporting services and programs for people with disabilities is somewhat or very important.
Not only is a candidate’s record important, the community will actually vote against candidates they otherwise support if that candidate supports cuts to existing government services for people with disabilities. Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they would consider voting against a candidate they otherwise supported who was in favor of cuts to services (45% saying they definitely would).
Beyond going to the polls, the community is willing to “actively support” those candidates looking to strengthen services. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they would be very likely or somewhat likely to support a candidate working to strengthen government services and supports for people with disabilities or other chronic conditions.
The community is politically diverse, with party affiliation tracking closely to the general population (30 percent Democratic compared to 31 percent of the general population, 23 percent Republican compared to 26 percent of the general population, and 30 percent Independent compared to 41 percent of the general population).