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Americans Strongly Favor Local Institutions for Solving Nation's Challenges Finds New Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As partisan gridlock plagues Washington, Americans are increasingly looking to state and local institutions for innovative approaches to solving the country's most pressing challenges, according to poll results released today by The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) and National Journal.

The 22nd quarterly Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll explores Americans' experiences and attitudes toward their local communities in comparison to the rest of the country. The poll is part of The Next Economy series, a seven-year partnership between Allstate and Atlantic Media, of which National Journal is a part.

The survey reveals an American public that is confident about their own local ingenuity, with 69 percent of Americans believing that new ideas and solutions to the country's challenges are more likely to come from state and local institutions compared to just 22 percent who believe that they will come from national institutions.

A majority of Americans (64 percent) think more headway is being made at the state and local level compared to the national level (26 percent). Two-in-three Americans (66 percent) believe that state and local institutions are more equipped to improve the way we educate people. More than six-in-ten Americans (63 percent) also believe that state and local institutions are better at finding new ways to provide opportunities for the disadvantaged and creating new jobs than national institutions. 

National institutions came out on top only with "finding new ways to save energy and improve the environment" with 51 percent of respondents saying that national entities will do a better job compared to 43 percent at the state and local level, according to poll results.

"These results resonate with what we have found while out reporting for The Next Economy--Americans are taking the country's problems into their own hands and solving them through innovation at the local level," said Atlantic Media Editorial Director Ron Brownstein. "While faith has clearly eroded in national institutions and Americans remain uncertain about the direction of the country overall, the public displays much more confidence in the direction of their local community, and the capacity of local institutions to address the major challenges facing the nation."

"These poll results confirm what we've always known at Allstate, which is that great ideas start at the local level," said Tom Clarkson, president, West Territory, Allstate Personal Lines.  "As a network of small businesses, we see the impact of creative, local problem solving first-hand. Communities are getting stronger and coming back, due to the energy of local individuals, businesses, and institutions."

The poll found that Americans believe local institutions provide the best opportunities for revitalizing local economies. Specifically, 89 percent of respondents believe that investments by local businesses would be most beneficial to address challenges facing their local area.  And, as for job growth, 62 percent said they see local businesses as more likely than national businesses, government, or non-profit groups to provide the best job opportunities.

Americans are also ready to move beyond "tried and tested" approaches to local challenges and are instead looking for more innovative approaches. By a wide margin, 71 percent say they prefer "trying new ideas and solutions, even if the outcomes may be uncertain" compared to 20 percent who prefer "relying on tried and tested ideas and solutions, even if it means a lack of new thinking."

Respondents also believe that they have greater ability today to drive this change. More than half (53 percent) say that, compared to 10 years ago, their personal resources like time and money allow them to make an impact in their local area. However, despite these resources, a plurality of Americans (44 percent) believe that average people have less influence on their local areas than 10 years ago. 

Survey Methodology
Since April 2009, the Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Polls have explored Americans' personal financial experiences, their views on the financial system, and their opinion of how the federal government's budget situation impacts their personal finances. The most recent Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor national poll was conducted by FTI Consulting, from February 18-22, 2015, among N=1,000 American adults age 18+, with 500 reached via landline and 500 reached via cell phone. The Denver polling was conducted February 22-25, 2015. The margin of error for survey is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

About Allstate Corporation
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life's uncertainties through auto, home, life and other insurance offered through its Allstate, Esurance, Encompass and Answer Financial brand names. Allstate is widely known through the slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®." The Allstate brand's network of small businesses offers auto, home, life and retirement products and services to customers in the United States and Canada. In 2014, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners gave $34 million to support local communities. Allstate employees and agency owners donated 200,000 hours of service across the country.

About National Journal Group
National Journal Group (NJG) is a premium provider of essential insights, analysis, and solutions for those operating in Washington's policy and government arenas. The brand currently reaches an audience of over 3 million through its editorial products, including NationalJournal.com, HotlineNational Journal, the magazine, and National Journal Daily.   In addition, NJG serves 700 of Washington's top organizations through its robust Membership Services, and convenes the nation's top leaders at its 75 widely attended live events each year.

Tim Hartman is the Chief Executive Officer, Tim Grieve is President and Editor-in-Chief and Poppy MacDonald serves as President and Publisher. National Journal Group is a division of Atlantic Media.

About The Next Economy
The Next Economy is based on a core idea: Even in the face of a political stalemate at the national level, our country has not lost its capacity for self-renewal. Founded in 2009, the program uses print, digital and live platforms to highlight how America is adapting to the changing economy, with a special focus on spotlighting local innovation driving progress in communities around the country. Combining editorial, events and the Heartland Monitor Poll, The Next Economy is available at NationalJournal.com/next-economy.

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN) is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,400 employees located in 26 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.76 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2014. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com and connect with us on Twitter (@FTIConsulting), Facebook and LinkedIn.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/americans-strongly-favor-local-institutions-for-solving-nations-challenges-finds-new-allstatenational-journal-heartland-monitor-poll-300047185.html

SOURCE The Allstate Corporation

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