First 100 days: what the next president should do

I’m going to start this off with a simple question: what are some major news headlines that got your attention in the past few weeks? An easy guess would be that you could not escape the plethora of stories covering the colorful campaigning of the US presidential candidates. In all honesty, yes, the candidates have said some pretty outrageous things, but at the end of the day it won’t matter what the future president says — everything will ride on what that future president will do.

So in the spirit of moving beyond the campaign rhetoric, we decided to do a study to capture the thoughts and feelings of us, US citizens, regarding what changes we want the next president to bring. We asked people to Think about your choice for the President and please tell us what policies you would like her or him to implement in his or her first 100 days in the office. The IdeaCloud below helps visualize the main ideas that were agreed upon in this study. This image represents the consensus view of our respondents — and since the vast majority of them so far were leaning liberal, the key desires expressed included addressing global warming, curbing of corruption and implementing social reforms.

Of course, the above themes do not represent what our conservative respondents wish for. They want the new president to focus on creating a better working environment for Americans. Among other top ideas for the conservative respondents were securing our borders, going after corruption, addressing racial issues, and focusing on the economy and tax reform. The last three ideas were also popular with the liberal respondents.

The chart above, shows a spectrum of ideas from the most conservative (left) to the most liberal (right). Those “bubbles” in the middle, close to the intersection of the two axes represent ideas that were popular across all four segments of the population. It is interesting to notice that, on the liberal side of presented ideas, younger respondents talked more about environmental issues, change of the political system and ambitious, but less concrete everyday issues. The older liberals were more concerned with the economy and things like parental leave policies. Universal healthcare, mandatory background checks on gun purchases and raising taxes on the rich were popular across the board.

Ultimately, we found that liberals and conservatives propose ideas according to their ideologies. That is nothing new. However, we learned that despite the differences there are core desires for change common to all sides — addressing the corruption and racial issues being at the top of that list. In the heated rhetoric of the presidential campaigns it is easy to forget what makes the melting pot that is the United States so special in the world: our desire to get along no matter the color of our skin and living in the system that is fair and corruption-free.

NOTE: These insights were derived from the views of the 68 respondents who participated in the study so far. Click here if you wish to add your voice to this study or tweet at us @GroupSolver to participate in our future studies. We are looking forward to your thoughts!