Category Archives: Trending topics

News of polling and politics, Saturday version

Gallup: “Forty-four percent of all Americans say Barack Obama has been attacking Mitt Romney unfairly in the course of the campaign, and nearly as many — 40% — say Romney has been attacking Obama unfairly.” I would have thought the numbers would be higher, but then North Carolina is a battleground state and has been immersed in negative advertising from both sides.

Associated Press — Nearly a quarter of registered voters are on the fence in the presidential race … and only 29 percent of those have a strong interest in the campaign. “Who are they? These so-called persuadable voters are more often men than women. They are a bit younger than those who’ve made up their minds. They have less education and income. And they are far less partisan.” The other question, of course, is whether they will actually turn out to vote.

Associated Press — “Most Americans say go ahead and raise taxes if it will save Social Security benefits for future generations. And raise the retirement age, if necessary. Both options are preferable to cutting monthly benefits, even for people who are years away from applying for them.” The AP poll showed that 53 percent of adults would rather raise taxes than cut benefits for future generations.

Meanwhile….

Charlie Cook, who will be one of our political experts at the Democratic National Convention, gives four reasons why Gov. Romney may lose. Essentially, he posits that Romney isn’t a natural candidates, his ads have been less than effective, he hasn’t pursued Latino voters and his campaign focus has veered away from the sluggish economy.

 

Friday’s trending topics

Presidential prospects — Mark Blumenthal at Huffington Post examines polls in battleground states and determines that “the results show Obama running slightly better now than at a comparable points in the 2008 election.” (North Carolina isn’t mentioned.) And he notes that it’s a looooong time until November.

Digital teens — Do you know how to Skype, iChat or Googletalk? According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 37% of Internet users age 12-17 do.

 

Wednesday’s trending topics

Supremes — A Pew Research Center survey “finds the Supreme Court’s popularity is at a 25-year low, though still much higher than that of Congress. The Pew Research Center says 52 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the court, the lowest rating since the group started asking Americans their view of the high court in 1987.”

Apocalypse — Maybe the Mayans were right! According to an Ipsos poll, one in seven people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime, and 10 percent think it will happen this year. Worse than that, the highest percentage who believe in the end of the world? America and Turkey, at 22%. (They must not go to the movies because from “Armageddon” to “2012,” the Earth is always saved.)

OK, not everything is serious.

Sports — Republicans and Democrats can pretty much disagree about anything. Take sports, for example. A Washington Post-ABC News poll reports that two-thirds of Americans like baseball, followed by basketball at 58%, hockey, 49%, and NASCAR, 48%.

But then, maybe because it’s the Washington Post, you get down to politics. Democrats like the NBA much more than Republicans. Republicans are more inclined toward NASCAR. Independents split the difference on each sport.

What? They didn’t ask about fishing or bowling? More here.

— John Robinson

 

Wednesday’s trending topics

The young adult vote — Harvard University surveyed 18-29 year-olds and 43% said they plan to vote for President Obama and 26% said they will vote for Mitt Romney. This is not the same but in February, the Elon University Poll showed that in the 18-34 age group, 48 percent of North Carolinians approve of how Obama is handling the presidency and 38 percent disapprove.

Past, present and possibly future first ladiesMichelle Obama and Ann Romney outscore their husbands in personal popularity in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, while Hillary Clinton, for her part, has hit a new high in favorability data stretching back to her entry on the national stage 20 years ago.

Marriage Amendment — Opinions of likely voters are shifting on the same-sex marriage ban amendment to the N.C. Constitution. PPP reports that 54% of likely voters say they support the amendment, which is down from its earlier polls. The Elon Poll earlier this month showed that 61% of North Carolinians say they oppose an amendment. The Elon poll surveys North Carolina residents, not just likely voters.

— John Robinson

Tuesday’s trending topics

South Carolina  — The Winthrop University Poll released a slew of information from its survey of South Carolina residents. It includes what they think about Gov. Nikki Haley (evenly split), the jobs situation (better), and whether concealed weapon permit holders should be allowed to carry their weapons into restaurants/bars that serve alcohol (no).

George Zimmerman — The Winthrop University Poll also reported that 57% of South Carolina residents felt that Zimmerman acted irresponsibly and should be held accountable for Trayvon Martin’s death. Meanwhile, a poll of likely voters in Florida reported that 49% agree with the decision to charge Zimmerman with second-degree murder.

Congress — The National Journal reports that only 13% of registered voters think members of Congress should be re-elected and 77% think it’s “time to give new people a chance.”

Thursday’s trending topics

Updated

Career aspirations — Tuesday was “Equal Pay Day,” marking how far into 2012 women must work to earn what men earned in 2011. This, then, from Pew: Reversing traditional gender roles, young women now surpass young men in saying that achieving success in a high-paying career or profession is important in their lives. Two-thirds (66%) of young women ages 18 to 34 rate career high on their list of life priorities, compared with 59% of young men. In 1997, 56% of young women and 58% of young men felt the same way.

Congress — Americans are feeling better about Congress these days. Not good, but better. Gallup reports that the approval rating of Congress is 17%, higher than it’s been since last July. Hard to say why, given that little significant legislation gets passed in an election year. Maybe that is why.

Vice president — Quinnipiac asked Americans about potential running mates for Mitt Romney. Gov. Chris Christie rates highest at 31% saying he would be a good choice, followed by Sen. Mario Rubio at 24% and Rep. Paul Ryan at 23%.

AfghanistanPublic support for maintaining U.S. forces in Afghanistan has reached a new low. And as the general election campaign begins, swing voters, by nearly two-to-one, favor removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible.

— John Robinson

Saturday’s trending topics

Online — Twenty percent of American adults don’t use the Internet. Almost half of adults don’t use the internet because they don’t think the it is relevant to them — often saying they don’t want to use the internet and don’t need to use it to get the information they want or conduct the communication they want.

TaxesSix in 10 Americans favor Congress’ passing the so-called “Buffett Rule,” which would mandate a minimum 30% tax rate for Americans with a household income of $1 million or more per year.

Women — A summary of what people think of women, work and motherhood.

— John Robinson

Friday’s trending topics

Pollution — We’re feeling better about the condition of our air and water. Americans currently express record-low concern about both air pollution and pollution of drinking water. Thirty-six percent say they worry a great deal about air pollution and 48% about pollution of drinking water. Both figures are down more than 20 percentage points from the year 2000.

Online —  By their own admission, many young Americans, aged 18 to 29, say they spend too much time using the Internet (59%), their cell phones or smartphones (58%), and social media sites such as Facebook (48%). 

GunsMost Americans support the right to use deadly force to protect themselves – even in public places – and have a favorable view of the National Rifle Association.

John Robinson

Thursday’s trending topics

Romney — Gallup reports that Mitt Romney’s support is solid among Republicans 55 years and older and strong among liberal and moderate Republicans. But he needs to shore up the support of Midwestern, young, highly religious, and conservative Republicans.

Obama — Gallup also reports that President Obama’s job approval rating in Latin America is at a new low (47%) ahead of the Sixth Summit of the Americas taking place in Cartagena, Colombia, this week.

Politics — Americans don’t know nearly as much as the political positions of the two parties as you might think. For instance, While 67% correctly identify the Democratic Party as more supportive of raising taxes on higher-income people to reduce the budget deficit, far fewer (53%) identify the Republican Party as more in favor of reducing the size and scope of government.

Faith — Grey Matter Research asked Americans if the Christian faith had a positive, negative, or no real impact on 16 different areas of society. Strong majorities (72%) said Christianity is good for helping the poor and for raising children with good morals. Around half (52%) said Christianity helps keep the U.S. as a “strong nation,” and nearly as many (49) said the faith had a positive impact on the role of women in society.

— John Robinson

Thursday’s trending topics

E-books — 21% of Americans say they’ve read an e-book in the past year, a jump from 17% two months earlier. Those who have taken the plunge into reading e-books stand out in almost every way from other kinds of readers. Foremost, they are relatively avid readers of books in all formats: 88% of those who read e-books in the past 12 months also read printed books.2 Compared with other book readers, they read more books.

Baseball — The season has started but not THAT many baseball fans actually will attend a Major League game. Slightly more than half don’t intend to visit the baseball stadium this year. Blame ticket prices. 

New York — Looks like a Romney state in the GOP primary.