Politics

New Poll: Less than One in Four Familiar with Net Neutrality

Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai / Getty

Democrats have said they hope to ride anger over net neutrality to gains in 2018, but less than one in four likely voters claim to be familiar with the issue of net neutrality, according to new polling data.

The recently conducted poll by the Tarrance Group attempted to assess voter attitudes on the issue of net neutrality, but one of the key findings was confusion on what it actually entails.

"A large portion of the electorate operates under the misperception that all of the different entities involved in the internet, and not just internet service providers are covered by the rules of net neutrality," said a polling memo by the Tarrance Group, which was commissioned to do the poll for the conservative American Action Network.

Just 22 percent of voters said they were "very familiar" with net neutrality, but 40 percent said they were "not at all familiar" with it. Only 21 percent of voters were aware that net neutrality rules only apply to ISPs,  including 60 percent of the respondents who said they were familiar with net neutrality.

The poll found voters would welcome a legislative solution covering all internet companies, and their top concern is privacy.

A majority of voters, by a margin of 52 to 28 percent, favored passing new legislation that makes "all companies on the internet, not just AT&T and Verizon, but companies like Google and Facebook as well, treat users in a fair and neutral manner and protect your privacy."

A majority of voters, 51 percent, said they don't think social media companies respect the privacy of their personal information.

The national poll of 1,010 likely voters found Democrats to be ahead of Republicans in the generic ballot by 5 percentage points, consistent with recent polling showing a tightening landscape between the two parties. President Trump's job approval in the poll was 43 percent.

Democratic senator Brian Schatz (Hawaii) has said, "It’s really important for those of us who care about net neutrality to mobilize for 2018."