Voters Blame Politicians and the Cartels for America’s Opioid Crisis

March 29, 2024 Voters Blame Politicians and the Cartels for America’s Opioid Crisis  image

Key Takeaways

  • Most Americans who are concerned about the ongoing opioid crisis either blame politicians or the cartels.
  • Nearly all Americans acknowledge that drug cartels are a major contributor to illegal drugs in the country.
  • Most conservatives blame the Biden administration for open borders, while liberals tend to blame Republicans for refusing to fund border security operations and drug healthcare programs. 

Our Methodology


All Voters

Sample Size


Geographical Breakdown


Time Period

14 Days

MIG Reports leverages EyesOver technology, employing Advanced AI for precise analysis. This ensures unparalleled precision, setting a new standard. Find out more about the unique data pull for this article. 

Online discussion analysis by MIG Reports finds widespread frustration and blame towards Democrats and specific politicians, such as Speaker Johnson, for the opioid crisis and fentanyl deaths. It appears much of the spirited discussion is among those who align with right-leaning ideologies.

Many voters link illegal immigration to crime, including violent crimes and especially drug-related offenses. There is a prevalent belief among this group that cartels and illegal immigrants pose a significant threat to American safety and security.

Overall, Americans link the opioid crisis to border control policies. Some suggest Republicans are responsible for not funding border control adequately, thereby enabling the smuggling of fentanyl and other opioids into the country. There's also criticism of the Democrats for the perception that they’re allowing and even encouraging illegal criminals and opioids to enter the country.

  • Border security continues to be one of the top issues for most Americans, regardless of political leanings.
  • Sentiment mostly remains below 50% with severe negativity directed towards the Biden administration
  • Opioid discussion is lower than general border topics but is consistently linked to border security.

Most Blame Falls on Politicians and the Cartels

Most voters tend to blame politicians on the other side of the aisle – Democrats accusing Republicans and vice versa. Both political parties receive criticism for not taking enough action to curb the crisis, although the Biden administration gets most of the current criticism.

There's also significant blame placed on the cartels and illegal immigrants themselves. Many voters focus on the role of Mexico and China in contributing to the opioid crisis. They believe the Mexican government, especially President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, isn't doing enough to combat drug cartels that smuggle fentanyl into the U.S. China is also accused of being a source of fentanyl that gets moved across the U.S. border.

Multiple users link the opioid epidemic to human trafficking, implying the same cartels responsible for drug trafficking are likely involved in human trafficking. There are also allegations that NGOs at the southern border are facilitating illegal immigration, indirectly aiding drug trafficking.

Overall, most concerned voters argue the Biden administration's border policies enable drug cartels to have free reign.

Conservatives Are Highly Critical of the Border and Opioids

Right leaning voters often blame the Obama’s open borders policy and the perceived continuation of this policy under Biden. They attribute the opioid crisis and especially fentanyl deaths to uncontrolled cartel access. Many among this group believe if Donald Trump doesn't win in 2024, this will perpetuate and worsen the situation.

Conservatives and some moderates express anger over what they view as wasteful government spending, particularly on policies supporting immigrants. They blame the Democrats for prioritizing funding towards illegal immigrants over addressing the opioid crisis.

This group also blames open borders for many drug-related and, in their view, preventable deaths. They hold Democrats responsible for pushing open borders, and they demand stronger border control measures.

Certain voters blame Republican politicians like Speaker Johnson and Republicans in Congress for not taking decisive action against on the border and failing to support more immigration legislation and crackdowns. This, they believe, contributes to the influx of drugs into the country. There also appears to be a sentiment that the issue is being used as a “talking point” for political gain.

Liberal Voters Call for Funding and Healthcare Solutions

Some vocal liberals challenge the prevailing narrative that stricter border control is the primary solution to the opioid crisis. They argue most fentanyl enters the country through legal ports of entry and is brought in by American citizens. Some also criticize Republicans for blocking funding that could increase border staff and improve drug detection technology.

There is a sentiment that the healthcare system and doctors are contributing to the opioid crisis by refusing to prescribe opioids. There are criticisms of the healthcare system blaming it for penalizing doctors for prescribing painkillers and making opioids difficult to access for those in genuine need.

Some support new laws to curb the opioid crisis, and sometimes legalization of drugs, indicating a belief in legislative solutions to public health problems. There is also a call for bipartisan cooperation to address the crisis, framing it as a moral issue rather than a political one.

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