CBS News Eye on Trends: The latest from the CBS News Election & Survey Unit

Watch this space for a recap of the latest polls and data-driven studies curated by the CBS News Election & Survey Unit!

10/14/19

Two news CBS News polls released this weekend:

CBS News Battleground Tracker: Warren extends lead across early states, New Hampshire and draws even with Biden in Iowa

Early-state Democratic voters say President Trump’s allegations against Joe Biden have not affected their views of Biden and largely think they aren’t true. Even so, it’s Elizabeth Warren who continues to draw support from Democrats. She has extended the aggregate lead she had in this poll last month across the 18 early primary and caucus states.

As for individual states, she has increased her lead over the pack in New Hampshire and pulled even with Biden in Iowa. And Warren leads in our delegate model over Biden, too, demonstrating that she’s competitive in many regions.

Partisans dig in on impeachment, but majority of Americans say Trump administration should cooperate with inquiry — CBS News Poll

While a majority of Americans says the Trump administration should cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, most Republicans disagree and feel the administration should not, as the partisan divide has hardened on impeachment matters in the last two weeks.

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10/11/2019

Some miscellaneous polling on daily life…

Most Americans check the balance on their checking account at least once a week, including about a third who do so once a day or more.

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Older Americans, and those with lower incomes, check their balances less often than other Americans. While 34% of Americans under 65 check their balance once a day or more, this is true of just 17% of seniors 65 and older. A third of seniors only check their balance once or twice a month.

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And while just 29% of Americans earning under $100,000 a year check their balance at least once a day, this rises to 37% of Americans who earn more than that.

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Checking your balance online usually requires a password, and although the number of websites and online accounts that require passwords seem to be increasing, most Americans still have relatively few online passwords in total. 62% say the total number of online passwords they currently have is less than 10 (including about one in 10 who don’t have any), while one in five has between 10 and 20, and another 14% has more than 20 passwords.

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Americans who have higher incomes tend to have more online passwords. 60% of those with incomes of $100,000 a year or more have 10 or more passwords, while most who earn less have less than ten passwords.

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The digital age provides many alternatives to books and research materials these days, but nearly half of Americans – 47% – still have a valid library card. Results were similar when we asked this question two years ago.

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There is little difference by age or political affiliation when it comes to having a valid library card, but more than half of women say they have one, compared to 40% of men.

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Higher educated Americans and those with higher incomes are more likely to have a library card, and while most parents of children under 18 have a library card (55%), most non-parents do not (54%). Regionally, Americans in the Midwest are more likely to have a library card than in any other region of the country.

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– Fred Backus

This poll was conducted by telephone September 10-15, 2019 among a random sample of 1,012 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

10/4/2019

Just Over a Third of Americans Read Newspapers Regularly

Most Americans don’t read a daily newspaper, according to a recent CBS News Poll. While 36% of Americans read a daily newspaper regularly, 63% do not. Though the percentage hasn’t changed much in the last couple of years, far fewer Americans are reading a daily newspaper regularly than were doing so 25 years ago. Back in 1994, 71% of Americans said they read a daily newspaper regularly.

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The number of Americans who read a newspaper the old-fashioned way – that is, a print newspaper where you actually turn the pages – is even smaller. Just about one in four Americans do – including 16% who get a paper delivered to their homes, and 7% who buy one at a newsstand or store. 12% of Americans overall – and about a third of newspaper readers – read their daily newspaper online or through some other alternative form. These percentages are similar to what was found when the question was last asked in 2017.

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More men (41%) read newspapers than women (32%), and Republicans (44%) are more likely to read a newspaper than Democrats (38%) and independents (30%). Half of seniors 65 and older read a daily newspaper – as do 40% of those between 55 and 64 – but this is true of just a quarter of younger adults under 30.

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Education is also a factor: Americans with higher education levels are more likely to read a daily newspaper. This is particularly true of Americans with a post-graduate education. – Fred Backus

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This poll was conducted by telephone September 10-15, 2019 among a random sample of 1,012 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

10/2/2019

Candidates To Weigh in on Guns: Three in Four Nevada Democrats Call the Issue Very Important

As a number of Democratic presidential candidates gather in Las Vegas, Nevada to participate in a gun safety forum, recent CBS News polling shows 77% of Nevada Democrats say the issue of guns is a very important one in this election. It ranks behind only health care and climate change.

Democrats nationwide have long favored stricter gun laws and that’s something supported by nine in 10 Democratic voters across states holding nominating contests through Super Tuesday. And it’s a very important issue for most Democrats in these states.

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Large majorities of Nevada Democrats across age groups and the ideological spectrum say guns is a very important election issue. And while high percentages of both men and women call the issue very important, women are more likely to do so. This is not just the case in Nevada but in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina as well.

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In these early voting states there are some other issues like social justice and abortion that more women than men rate as very important.- Jennifer De Pinto

10/1/19

More from the latest CBS News Poll:

One in Five Americans Are Undecided About Impeaching the President: Who Are They?

Though an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump is just a few days old, most – but not all – Americans already have an opinion about whether or not the President deserves to be impeached over his handling of matters concerning Ukraine. 42% of Americans (and three in four Democrats) say he deserves to be impeached for his actions, while 36% (And seven in 10 Republicans) say he does not.

With most Americans are divided along party lines as to whether Donald Trump deserves to be impeached, the swing of public opinion may depend on the 22% of Americans for whom it is too soon to say.

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This group tends to be younger than Americans overall – six in 10 are under the age of 45 – and more than half (57%) are women.

They are less politically active than those who have made up their minds – majorities did not vote in either 2016 presidential elections or the 2018 midterms (those who did voted for Clinton by a margin of more than two to one). They tend to be more politically moderate, and most don’t identify with either political party.

They also tend to be paying less attention to this issue. While most who have made up their minds about impeachment have heard or read a lot about the impeachment inquiry and the actions of President Trump regarding the Ukraine, most in this group have not heard or read much about these things yet. A majority thinks the issue is of some importance, but just a quarter say it’s a matter of great importance.

Though they aren’t sure about whether he should ultimately be impeached or not, most approve of starting the inquiry. Majorities say such an inquiry is necessary and they are satisfied it is happening.

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And despite not being sure about impeachment, they have formed some opinions already. Two thirds believe Donald Trump was trying to help his own re-election regardless of the impact on U.S. interests. But while most characterize Donald Trump’s actions as improper, only a third go so far as to say they were illegal.

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This group shows skepticism about the Democrats as well: 53% think the goal of Congressional Democrats is mainly to politically damage Donald Trump’s presidency and re-election (the same percentage as among Americans overall). Most know very little about the allegations made by President Trump involving Vice President Biden and his son Hunter in their dealing with Ukraine.

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Though a majority thinks an impeachment inquiry is necessary, it’s not what they think Congress should focus on at this point. They rank it behind health care, immigration, gun policy, and the economy in terms of which issue they most want Congress to focus on. Six in 10 think impeachment will make Congress too distracted to work on other issues.

– Fred Backus

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9/30/19

More from the latest CBS News Poll:

There’s More Ideological Division Among Republicans than Democrats on Impeachment

Americans largely fall along partisan lines when it comes to the matter of impeaching President Trump, but there is more agreement between moderate and liberal Democrats than between moderate and conservative Republicans. And while 22% of Americans haven’t made up their minds about whether Donald Trump should be impeached, they still want an impeachment inquiry to move forward.

Large majorities of both liberal and moderate Democrats think an impeachment inquiry is necessary and approve of the action. Smaller majorities also think Trump’s handling of Ukraine is a matter of great importance, and they are glad the inquiry is happening. Liberal Democrats feel more strongly about each of these measures than moderates by about a 10 point margin.

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A majority of Democrats across the ideological spectrum also think Donald Trump’s actions were illegal, an attempt to help his own re-election campaign, and deserving of impeachment. Most think his actions were unusual and not actions Presidents typically take in the course of conducting foreign policy. Here again, liberals are more in agreement on these matters than moderates, though majorities of both groups share these views.

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While there is general agreement among Republicans on many aspects regarding an impeachment inquiry of the President, there is more daylight between moderate and conservative Republicans than between moderate and liberal Democrats. Most Republicans across the ideological spectrum disapprove of an impeachment inquiry and think it is unnecessary. But while this is true of nearly all conservative Republicans, this drops to just about two-thirds of moderates – more than a twenty-point margin between the two groups on both measures.

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This also holds true of how Republicans view Donald Trump’s handling of the matter regarding Ukraine. Majorities of both moderate and conservative Republicans believe President Trump’s actions were to protect U.S. interests and stop corruption, typical of the kind of thing most Presidents probably do with foreign countries, and not deserving of impeachment. But conservative Republicans are considerably more likely to believe these things than moderates.

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There is even more disagreement between moderate and conservative Republicans on other aspects. Most conservative Republicans say the impeachment inquiry makes them angry (70%) and to want to defend Donald Trump. While most moderate Republicans are not happy about the inquiry, less than a third describe themselves as angry (30%), and most say the inquiry makes them want to wait and see what the facts will bring out rather than jump to defend the President.

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Moderate Republicans also seem to be taking the matter more seriously than conservatives – over half say it is a matter of at least some importance. And while both groups reject the idea that the President’s actions were illegal, half of moderates break with conservatives in seeing them as improper, even if legal.

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Moderates are in the clear minority in both political parties, however, which may limit their influence on the overall views of the parties they affiliate with. Just 28% of Democrats identify as moderate, and this is true of just 19% of Republicans. They are also less politically active – less of them voted in both 2018 and 2016 than their more liberal and conservative counterparts – and they have heard or read less about both about the Democrats starting an impeachment inquiry, as well as the phone call between Donald Trump and the President of the Ukraine that prompted the current inquiry.– Fred Backus

9/29/19

The latest CBS News Poll released Sunday:

9/20/19

Belief in God in America

Nearly all Americans believe in some higher power. 78% say they believe in God, and another 12% believe in some other sort of higher power or universal spirit. Just 9% of Americans don’t believe in either.

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The percentage of Americans who believe in God hasn’t changed much since the question was last asked in 2006.

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Nine in 10 who affiliate themselves with a religion believe in God, but so do 40% of those who don’t. Most who don’t affiliate with a religion nevertheless believe in some sort of higher power.

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Large majorities in every demographic group believe in God, but older Americans – particularly those 55 and older – believe in God the most. Lower income Americans and those with lower levels of education are also more likely to believe in God.

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Regionally, Americans who live in the South are more likely to believe in God than anywhere else in the country. Americans who live in the West are the least likely.

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When it comes to ideology, Americans are more likely to believe in God the more conservative they are. 86% of conservatives believe in God, compared to 79% of moderates and 65% of liberals.

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-Fred Backus

This poll was conducted by telephone September 10-15, 2019 among a random sample of 1,012 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

9/17/2019

More results from the CBS News Poll on climate change:

Climate change will be an issue for most voters in 2020 — CBS News poll

9/16/2019

The latest results of a new CBS News Poll on climate change are out. Follow the links for the full analyses:

Most Americans say climate change should be addressed now

Most Americans think climate change contributes to extreme weather events

Younger Americans views’ on climate change: More serious, yet more optimistic

9/13/2019

Over a third of Americans say they are more politically active than they were at this time four years ago, and the ones whose activity are most likely to have increased are at the ideological edges of the two main political parties.

37% of Americans say they are more politically active. 49% say that there hasn’t been much change, and another 13% say that they are less politically active.

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Overall, there is little difference between Republicans and Democrats on this measure. 43% of Republicans and Democrats each say they are more politically active; they are more likely to say this than independents (28%).

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But when taking a deeper look at each party, one finds that conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats are more likely to have increased their political activity then their more moderate counterparts. Nearly half of conservative Republicans – 47% – are more politically active than they were four years ago, compared to just 38% who consider themselves moderate or liberal.

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This is even more true among Democrats. 55% of liberal Democrats say they are more politically active now than they were four years ago, compared to just 32% of moderate and conservative Democrats.

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-Fred Backus

This poll was conducted by telephone August 13-18, 2019 among a random sample of 1,015 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

9/12/2019: What we’re looking at heading into tonight’s debate

What Dems Want to Hear from the Candidates: Most want them to talk about what they would do as president, rather than how they can beat Donald Trump or how they differ from their Democratic opponents.

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Why Voters Are Not Considering Candidates and How the Debates Might Change That by Kabir Khanna

According to the latest CBS News polling of early primary and caucus states, the top three candidates — Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders — are each being considering by at least about half of Democratic likely voters. For all the other candidates, fewer than half of voters are considering them. Why is this so? Here’s what the voters told us.

How would voters feel if their candidate doesn’t get the nomination? by Jennifer De Pinto

Twenty Democratic candidates are running, ten will be on the debate stage tonight, but just one will be the party’s nominee.

Voters want their candidate to win of course, but how would they feel if that didn’t happen? A deeper dive into the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker gives us some idea.

First off, overall, most Democratic voters in states holding primaries or caucuses through Super Tuesday would be enthusiastic or satisfied with any of the current top three contenders winning the party’s nomination. This analysis looks at those three candidates.

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But some of these candidates’ supporters say would feel differently depending on which of their candidate’s current rivals got the nomination. These differences highlight the ideological splits in the party.

For instance, looking at Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders – who generally appeal to the more liberal and progressive wing of the party – large majorities of each of their backers would feel enthusiastic or satisfied if the other candidate became the 2020 nominee. In fact, our polling finds Sanders is the top second choice among Warren supporters and Warren is the top second choice among Sanders supporters. (Read CBS News analysis on second choice here)

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However, there are some differences between Warren and Sanders supporters on how they would feel if Joe Biden won the nomination. A majority of Warren backers (although not an overwhelming one) would feel okay if Biden became the nominee, but Sanders supporters are split. Half say they would be disappointed or angry if the former Vice President won the nomination.

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During the 2016 primaries, Sanders backers expressed a comparable level of dissatisfaction when they were asked a similar question about Hillary Clinton winning the nomination. According to exit polls conducted in 14 primary states, 53% of Sanders voters said they would be dissatisfied if Clinton became the nominee, while 45% said they would be satisfied. (Clinton voters were also split in their views if Sanders were to win, but fewer -47% – said they would be dissatisfied about it.)

Looking at Biden supporters, more of them would be at least satisfied if either Warren or Sanders won than Sanders and Warren supporters would be if Biden did. A reason behind this may be that a sizeable number of voters who pick Biden as their first choice are also considering supporting Warren or Sanders.

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But Warren voters are more likely to be considering Kamala Harris or Sanders ahead of Biden. And twice as many Sanders backers are considering Warren than they are Biden.

9/9/2019: More from the CBS News Battleground Tracker Poll

Does Elizabeth Warren have room to grow? by Kabir Khanna

What’s behind Sanders’ edge in Nevada? by Jennifer De Pinto

It’s a tight contest in Nevada in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Bernie Sanders holds a narrow two-point edge over Joe Biden, with Elizabeth Warren rounding out the top three. Sanders is boosted by support from younger voters, voters with lower household incomes, and those who don’t feel positive about the state of the national economy.

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The rest of the field is currently in single digits. Candidates not pictured are at 2% or less.

Nevada Democrats’ evaluations of the national economy are more negative than positive. 56% think the economy is in bad shape and Sanders is the top choice among those voters. Biden leads with Nevada Democrats who think the economy is good.

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Sanders has an edge among lower income voters. The race is more competitive among voters with higher incomes. Biden gets relatively the same level of support across income groups. Sanders’ support, however, is relatively lower among wealthier voters as Warren gets higher support among these voters than he does.

Biden and Sanders are neck and neck among Nevada Democrats who cite income inequality as a very important issue.

Sanders’ support for a Medicare for all health care program may be helping him here. Medicare for all is slightly more popular with Nevada Democrats than it is in the other earliest voting states. Sanders is the first choice for the nomination among voters who favor it, while Biden is on top among those who either outright oppose such a plan or say it depends on costs and details.

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As is the case across the early contests, Sanders is favored among younger voters while Biden performs better with older voters.

On characteristics and qualities, Biden has the advantage on electability in Nevada as he does across the early states and more see Biden as “presidential” than view Sanders that way. But 66% of Nevada Democratic voters considering supporting Sanders say he would probably win against Donald Trump in the general election – the highest number for Sanders on this question among the first four states holding primaries and caucuses.

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There is also enthusiasm for Sanders in Nevada. More Democrats say they would be enthusiastic if he won the nomination, just ahead of Warren. Fewer say they would be enthusiastic if Biden won the nomination.

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This CBS News survey is conducted by YouGov online between August 28 – September 4, 2019. A representative sample of 1,350 registered voters in Nevada was selected, including 624 self identified Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents. The margin of error is 4.9 points. More CBS News Battleground Tracker here.

Campaign 2020 — Latest CBS News Battleground Tracker Poll

Read it here: Elizabeth Warren rises as Joe Biden clings to delegate edge

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9/4/2019: Democratic Voters on Climate Change

Ten Democratic presidential candidates will be discussing their plans for climate change tonight at a town hall event hosted by CNN.

The issue is one Democratic voters care about. Nearly eight in 10 Democrats in early primary and caucus states say climate change is a very important issue in the 2020 election, according to the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker. More Democrats in these states call it very important than say that about other issues including income inequality and jobs and wages.

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In June, 68% of Democrats in early voting states said they must hear a candidate’s position on reducing global warming in order to vote for them.

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Knowing a candidate’s plan for global warming is especially important to the more liberal faction of these Democratic voters. This is less crucial to moderate Democrats, but more than half of them still say they must hear a candidate’s plan for reducing global warming in order to vote for them. -Jennifer De Pinto

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8/30/2019

Labor Day and the End of Summer: Most Americans are Looking Forward to Fall

Most Americans don’t lament the coming of Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer. 61% of Americans say the arrival of Labor Day makes them happy because they look forward to autumn, though 24% are sad because it’s a reminder that summer is ending. Back in 2015 Americans felt similarly.

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With many children heading back to school next week, 65% of parents with children under age 18 say the arrival of Labor Day makes them happy.

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Residents of warmer climates are particularly excited about the end of summer. Americans who live in the South (68%) are the most likely of any geographic region to be happy Labor Day is near, followed by those who live in the West (61%). Fewer Mid-westerners (55%) or North-easterners (54%) are happy about the arrival of Labor Day, though most still are.

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-Fred Backus

This poll was conducted by telephone August 13-18, 2019 among a random sample of 1,015 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

8/26/2019: Latest CBS News Polling Released Sunday

The latest CBS News Poll on America’s views on the economy:

Americans’ economic outlook: Optimism, but Trump tweets and trade raise concerns — CBS News poll

8/21/2019: Jewish vote in recent U.S. elections

Exit polls show seven in 10 Jewish voters backed Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump in 2016, and most voted for Democrats over Republicans for the House in 2018.

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8/15/2019: Trump heads to New Hampshire

President Donald Trump holds a rally in New Hampshire tonight, a state he lost to Hillary Clinton by less than half of a percentage point – roughly 2,700 votes – his narrowest loss. The Trump campaign has its sights set on flipping the state in 2020.

Why was the 2016 race in the Granite state so close? Trump made gains (and Clinton lost ground) among some key voting groups in a state that has backed the Democratic candidate for president since 2004, and went for Barack Obama in 2012 by six points.

As he did in many states, Trump performed especially well among white voters without a college degree in New Hampshire, improving on Mitt Romney’s 2012 margin. And while Clinton won the backing of white women in the state overall, those without a college degree swung from supporting Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016, according to CBS News exit polls.

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Young voters and seniors were the age groups that veered most toward the Republican candidate in 2016. Voters under age 30 went big for Obama in 2012; he won 62% of the vote. But in 2016, Clinton managed to get the support of just 49% of New Hampshire young voters, and Trump improved on Mitt Romney’s 2012 vote share by seven points.

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Trump pulled even with his Democratic rival among New Hampshire seniors, a group Obama won by 10 points in 2012.

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And independents were split in 2016, but went for Obama in 2012.

Other factors may have contributed to the tight race. Bernie Sanders defeated Clinton handily in the New Hampshire primary and exit polling at the time found a majority of Sanders’ voters said they would NOT be satisfied if Clinton became the party’s nominee, perhaps indicating a lack of enthusiasm for her candidacy. That November, most voters in the state had an unfavorable opinion of Clinton, but rated Obama’s job as president positively. This was particularly the case among young voters. Six in 10 approved of the job Obama was doing as president, but just a third had a favorable view of Clinton. While these poll questions may have measured somewhat different things, the disparity between the two results is striking.

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Also, third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein combined for over 30,000 votes, more than 10 times the margin between Clinton and Trump.

Trump was also viewed negatively by most New Hampshire voters. Despite this, Trump got more votes than Romney did in each of New Hampshire’s counties and was able to flip three of them.

Currently, the President’s overall job rating in the state is underwater. And in 2018, there was a split decision of sorts: Republican Governor Chris Sununu was reelected, while the Democratic party was able to hold onto the state’s two Congressional seats. We may be looking at another close one come November 2020. – Jennifer De Pinto

Baby Boomers Seen as the Most Influential Generation– Particularly Among Baby Boomers Themselves

Which generation still alive today had the most influence on American life? As it turns out, Americans today pick the Baby Boomer generation as having had more influence than any other – including the generation that fought in World War Two 75 years ago. 35% of Americans say the Baby Boomers had the most influence, while 30% pick the World War II Generation, sometimes dubbed “The Greatest Generation”.

Much further down the list are Millennials (12%), Generation X (10%), and the less talked about “Silent Generation” (4%) wedged between the World War II Generation and the Baby Boomers.

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This question was asked back in May, before some notable milestone anniversaries this summer such as the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and the 50th anniversaries of both the first Moon landing and Woodstock.

Baby Boomers themselves are the most likely to think they have had the most influence. Using generational breakdowns recommended by the Pew Research Center, we found that 41% of Americans born between 1946 and 1964 – commonly known as the Baby Boomers – think that they themselves are the most influential generation.

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Younger Americans also tend to rank Baby Boomers first, though in smaller margins than Baby Boomers. “Gen Xers” – born between 1965 and 1980 – rank Baby Boomers and the World War II Generation in first and second place, but put themselves third ahead of Millennials.

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Millennials and Post-Millennials, on the other hand – born after 1980 – place Millennials third ahead of Generation X.

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Older Americans of the Silent and World War II Generations – born before 1945 – are less impressed by the accomplishments of the Baby Boomers than their younger counterparts. They think the World War II Generation was the most influential. – Fred Backus

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This poll was conducted by telephone May 14-19, 2019 among a random sample of 1,019 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

8/14/2019: Similar Percentages of Democrats and Republicans Have Made a Political Donation in Last 4 Years

Liberals and conservatives more likely than moderates to have donated

A recent CBS News poll finds that 17% of Americans have given money to a candidate, party, or other organization that supported or opposed candidates during an election campaign in the past four years, while 82% have not. These results are very similar to what they were four years ago when the CBS News Poll last asked this question in May 2015, when the 2016 presidential campaign was just getting started.

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Not surprisingly, Americans with higher incomes are more likely to have made a political donation in the past four years than Americans who earn less, and more Americans with stronger partisan and ideological views have made such a donation than those in the center. Republicans (22%) and Democrats (19%) are nearly even when it comes to the percentage of people who have made a political donation, though both outdistance independents (11%).

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Similarly, liberals (23%) are only slightly more likely than conservatives (19%) to have made a political donation, but both groups have made more donations than moderates (11%). None of these percentages have changed much from four years ago.

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Looking within the parties we see a similar pattern. Among Republicans, those who consider themselves very conservative are more likely to have made a political donation in the past four years than those who say they are somewhat conservative or moderate.

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Among Democrats, liberals are significantly more likely to have made a political contribution than moderates.

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For most who have donated, this four year period marks their first time. 54% of Americans made their first political donation within these last four years. – Fred Backus

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This poll was conducted by telephone July 9-14, 2019 among a random sample of 1,012 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

8/8/2019: Iowa Democrats on the issues

As many of the 2020 Democratic candidates descend on the Hawkeye state for the annual Iowa State Fair, what’s on the minds of Iowa Democrats?

Amid the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, the candidates will likely tout their plans on gun policy. More than half of Iowa Democrats (55%) in CBS News’ June Battleground Tracker said they must hear a candidate’s position on enacting more gun control in order to vote for him or her.

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Also, 57% of Iowa Democrats in the latest Battleground Tracker said the issue of guns is very important to them. Still, it ranked below other issues including health care, climate change and jobs and wages and some others. (Polling was conducted prior to the recent mass shootings.)

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Health care is the top issue for Democrats in Iowa, as it is for Democrats overall in early primary and caucus states. 89% said it’s very important in this election, higher than any other issue asked about.

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And costs are their primary concern with 42% picking out-of-pocket costs as their top health care issue; twice as many than cite either pre-existing conditions (21%) and access to health insurance coverage (17%).

Many candidates have come out with some form of a Medicare for All health plan and Iowa Democrats divide in the views on this type of plan. 45% favor the creation of a Medicare for all health program, but 46% say it depends on the costs and details. Few – roughly one in 10 – outright oppose such a plan.

Underlying these views is skepticism about completely replacing private insurance with a national health insurance program. Only a third (34%) of Iowa Democrats said the supported that.

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More generally, CBS polling has shown a split among Iowa Democrats on what the Democratic party’s message should be. 50% have said it should be about returning the country to what it was before Donald Trump became president, but 50% believe the party should focus on a more progressive agenda than there was when Barack Obama was president. Former Vice President Joe Biden performs well among the return-to-before Trump camp, but it’s a tighter contest among those who want a more progressive agenda.

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Like Democrats in other states holding early contests, electability is a top priority for Iowa Democrats: 77% have said it’s extremely important that a candidate convinces them they can beat Donald Trump. -Jennifer De Pinto

8/7/2019: More on Gun Laws

A look back on CBS News polling regarding gun laws shows that a majority of Americans have generally supported stricter gun laws most of the time, but that support has fluctuated over time and often rises after traumatic shooting events.

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Back in November 1994 – in spite of a resounding midterm victory for Republicans in the 1994 election – nearly six in 10 Americans said they wanted stricter gun control laws. CBS News polling on this topic was sporadic back then, but when we asked the question again in October 2002, results were similar: 56% of Americans wanted stricter gun control laws.

But by April 2010 – at the height of the Tea Party movement – support for stricter gun control laws had dropped to just 40%, while a majority of Americans either wanted gun laws to remain as they were (42%) or be made less strict (16%). Support for stricter gun laws bumped up after the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords at the beginning of 2011 (which resulted in the death of six people). But it dropped again afterwards to 39% in April 2012.

Things changed dramatically after the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT in December 2012. After this tragedy, support for stricter gun laws rose to 57% – the highest it had been in nearly 20 years. Support trailed off slightly after that, and notably didn’t spike after the shootings in 2015 in San Bernardino, California (which was carried out by Pakistani Americans inspired by Islamic extremists). Support for stricter gun laws climbed back up to 57% after the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016, and it reached an all-time high of 65% in February 2018 after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

– Fred Backus

8/6/2019: A Look at Americans’ Views on Gun Policy

In recent years, a majority of Americans have generally favored stricter gun laws. A CBS News Poll conducted in February found 56% wanted laws covering the sale of guns to be made more strict.

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Views divided along partisan lines as they long have. Most Democrats and a slim majority of independents supported stricter laws covering gun sales, while most Republicans either wanted laws to stay as they are or be made less strict.

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And that same poll found more than six in ten have felt frustrated by the gun debate.

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There has long been strong majority support for universal or enhanced background checks for all gun buyers. In February 2018 – soon after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida – CBS News Polling found 75% of Americans saying federal laws covering background checks on gun buyers needed to be stronger (22% said they were strong enough). Majorities of both Democrats (86%) and Republicans (66%) felt background checks need to be stronger.

On assault weapons specifically, more than six in 10 voters in a recent Quinnipiac University Poll said they supported a ban on the sale of assault weapons. A Gallup Poll from last fall found less support for an assault weapons ban. Generally, most Republicans have opposed a ban, while most Democrats have favored one. –Jennifer De Pinto

7/31/2019: Electability a strength for Biden, but a bump up for Harris and Warren

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s perceived electability has helped propel him to the front of the packed field of Democratic candidates. In states holding early nominating contests, 75% of Democrats considering supporting Biden think he would probably beat Donald Trump; a number that has not changed since June and is still far higher for him than for other candidates.

But rivals Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Kamala Harris have both improved on this measure since last month, according to the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker. For Harris, who will share the debate stage with Biden tonight, 46% of voters considering her think she would probably win against Mr. Trump, up 10 points from June (before the first debate). Warren has improved six points. Bernie Sanders has held steady.

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In deciding their vote, more Democrats want to hear about how the candidates would defeat Donald Trump than how they differ from the other Democratic candidates. Biden performs well among those who are more interested in hearing how to run against Mr. Trump than among those more interested in the candidates’ differences. The race is more competitive among those in the latter camp. – Jennifer De Pinto

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7/30/2019: Spotlight on Michigan and Black Voters ahead of Democratic Debates

Tonight’s presidential debates in Detroit put the spotlight back on Michigan, which became a tightly contested battleground state in 2016. After decades of going Democratic in presidential elections, the state went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by fewer than 11,000 votes. This result can be explained in part by lower turnout in particular counties. Wayne County, where Detroit sits, is a good example. Even though Clinton won the county, she did so by 76,000 fewer votes than Obama did in 2012.

Democrats think they can win back the state in 2020, and there’s good reason to think so. According to most polls, Trump’s approval rating is underwater in Michigan. In the 2018 exit poll, for example, 56% of voters disapproved of how he’s handling his job, with most strongly disapproving. Turnout was also sky high in the 2018 midterms, which translated to areas like Wayne County. The number of votes cast in the governor’s race there was 29% higher than in the previous gubernatorial election.

Black voters are likely to play an important part in any Democratic success in Michigan. In Wayne County — where approximately 40% of registered voters are black — a mere two-point increase in voters turning out for Clinton would have flipped the result in the state. Democrats are hoping to harness the energy from the 2018 midterm elections. Nationwide, black turnout increased by 11 points relative to the previous midterm, according to U.S. Census data. For these reasons, many analysts argue that it makes sense for Democrats to focus their efforts on boosting turnout in diverse, working-class areas and to nominate a candidate who will motivate these voters.

When it comes to the issues, what’s important to black voters? We dug into the data from our latest poll of Democratic voters across the early primary/caucus states. First, black Democrats tend to be more moderate and less affluent than other Democrats. Many are not feeling the benefits of the national economy, and this relates to the issues they prioritize: namely, greater concern about their finances and more emphasis on jobs and wages than other voters.

Most black Democrats have annual family incomes under $50,000, below the U.S. household median. Most tell us they’re concerned about their monthly abilities to save and buy extras, pay medical bills, and pay debts. (Read more on differences between financially concerned and comfortable Democrats here.)

Their number one issue is health care, but they also rank “jobs and wages” (86%) and “income inequality” (77%), as very important election issues, more so than white and Hispanic Democrats. “Social justice” (79%) and “guns” (78%) also come up more among black Democrats.

When asked to describe their general political viewpoint, nearly half of black Democrats say they are moderate or conservative. (Fewer than a third of other Democrats identify this way.) Black Democrats are the most skeptical of Medicare for All; 71% say a national insurance program would work better if it competed with private health insurance.

We also asked voters whether there are any local issues that the 2020 candidates and national media are not paying enough attention to: the two issues black Democrats chose most often were “education/teacher pay/school funding” (25%) and “police and law enforcement issues” (22%).

— Kabir Khanna

Black Democrats in Early Primary States: Most considering Biden, but there’s a generational divide

Black voters are a key constituency in the Democratic primary electorate. They made up roughly a quarter of caucus and primary voters in 2016 and were six in 10 voters in the South Carolina primary, according to exit polls. Heading into tonight’s debate, 65% of black Democratic voters in states holding early nominating contests are considering supporting former Vice President Joe Biden, far higher than any other candidate vying for the party’s nomination.

But when you break down black Democrats by age in the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker, there are some generational differences. Large majorities of those ages 45 and over are considering Joe Biden, including 82% of seniors. However, there is less potential support for Biden among younger African Americans, with just a third of those under 30 considering backing him.

Among white Democratic voters, Biden is also getting greater consideration from older voters than those who are younger but the gap is wider among black Democrats.

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Most older African American Democrats see Biden as fighting for them. Sixty-one percent of black Democrats ages 45 and over believe Biden would fight “a great deal” for people like them, a figure that drops to 33% among younger black Democrats.

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is getting more potential support from younger black Democrats than older ones. Currently, more are considering him than the other candidates. Younger black Democrats are more likely to think Sanders would fight “a great deal” for people like them (47%) than say that about Biden (33%). – Jennifer De Pinto

7/25/19: What we found interesting this week

CBS News Analysis: How Financially Concerned and Comfortable Democrats Differ

There are real differences in how Democrats feel about the 2020 candidates and issues, depending on their own level of financial comfort or concern. CBS News’ Kabir Khanna crunches the numbers here.

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The Death Penalty

For decades, most Americans have favored the death penalty for a person convicted of murder, although support has declined in recent years amid a growing number who believe it is unfairly applied. According to a Gallup Poll conducted last October, 56% of Americans favored the death penalty, while 41% opposed.

Support for the death penalty hit its highest mark in Gallup polling in 1994, when 80% favored it. It was at its lowest in the mid-1960s.

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Chart from Gallup.com

In that same poll, the public roughly split on whether the death penalty was fairly applied or not: 49% said it was, while 45% said it was unfairly applied – the highest percentage since Gallup began asking the question in 2000.

There are partisan divisions. Eight in 10 Republicans favor the death penalty for murder convictions, as do 55% of independents. But most Democrats (six in 10) oppose it. Only 31% of them think it is fairly applied, while more than twice as many Republicans (73%) hold that view. –Jennifer De Pinto

Trust and Distrust in America

A new report by Pew Research Center finds that many Americans see declining levels of trust in the U.S., from trust in institutions to trust in one another. Three in four Americans say the public’s trust in the federal government has been declining, and 64% say that this makes it harder to solve many of the country’s problems. On a more optimistic note, more than eight in ten Americans think it’s possible to reverse this trend.

trust.png Pew Research Center

Political Ad Spending on Facebook

Citing data from Bully Pulpit Interactive, Axios reports that Donald Trump is outspending Democratic presidential candidates on Facebook political ads by millions of dollars. Between March 30 and July 6 of this year, he outspent them by more than three to one, with many of his ads focusing on the issue of immigration.

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7/23/2019: Ahead of Mueller’s Testimony…

Views on Investigation Have Been Stable and Highly Partisan

From the start, opinions of the probe into Russia interference in the 2016 election and ties to the Trump campaign have been marked by sharp partisan divisions.

Democrats have long called the investigation justified and legitimate, while Republicans have deemed it a “witch hunt” and politically motivated. These opinions have been pretty consistent over time as these charts based on YouGov polling show.

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*Source: The Economist/YouGov Polls

Partisanship extends to views of whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election in the first place – something Mueller’s report concluded it did. A recent Economist/YouGov Poll found 89% of Democrats (and most independents) say it’s definitely or probably true that Russia interfered. But there’s more skepticism among Republicans, who are split: 51% think it’s true, but 49% say it’s probably or definitely not true that Russia interfered.

Still, the public has largely said they want to move on. Shortly after the release of the full Mueller Report, CBS News polling found most Americans said they had heard enough about it (58%) and that Congressional Democrats should drop the matter and move on to other issues (53%).

Democrats stand apart from Republicans and independents on this. Most of them said they wanted to hear more about the Mueller report and think the Russia matter should continue to be investigated.

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While Republicans have long held negative views of the investigation (and still do), a new Pew poll finds most Republicans now think Mueller conducted a fair investigation. After the redacted report was released, 66% of Republicans in a CBS News Poll said it cleared Trump of any wrongdoing.- Jennifer De Pinto

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*Question wording prior to March 2019: Do you think the FBI investigation of President Trump is a witch hunt or a legitimate investigation? Question wording March-June 2019: Do you think the Mueller investigation of President Trump is a witch hunt or a legitimate investigation?

7/22/2019: Latest CBS News Polling Released Sunday

Biden, Warren, Harris and Sanders top 2020 field — CBS News Battleground Tracker poll

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-battleground-tracker-poll-top-tier-emerges-in-2020-field-biden-warren-harris-and-sanders/

Early contests by the numbers: Democratic delegate race tightens in CBS News — 2020 Battleground Tracker

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/early-contests-by-the-numbers-delegate-race-tightens-in-cbs-news-2020-battleground-tracker/

Health care: Democrats say focus should be on costs — CBS News Battleground Tracker poll

Ideological divide on “Medicare for All”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/health-care-democrats-say-focus-should-be-on-costs-cbs-news-battleground-tracker-poll/

Most Americans disagree with Trump’s “go back” tweets — CBS News poll

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/most-americans-disagree-with-trumps-go-back-tweets-cbs-news-poll/

7/19/2019: What We’re Looking at Today

A recent CBS News Poll found that 65% of Americans thinks the U.S. government needs to do more to protect endangered species that live in the U.S. This includes 74% of Democrats and 65% of independents, but even a slight majority of Republicans (53%) thinks the government should do more.

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CBS News also asked Americans which was more important to them if trade-offs had to be made: protecting the environment or stimulating the economy. While 46% think protecting the environment is more important, 30% think stimulating the economy is more important.

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Here there is a clear partisan divide. While Republicans tend to think stimulating the economy is more important than protecting the environment, Democrats and independents tend to think protecting the environment is more important.

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-Fred Backus

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This poll was conducted by telephone May 14-19, 2019 among a random sample of 1,019 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

7/17/2019: Things that Caught Our Eye Today

CBS News Analysis: How liberal are Democratic voters?

Some of the unabashedly progressive platforms on display have prompted concern about alienating moderate voters next year. What do Democratic voters think about these kinds of policies, and just how liberal are these voters? CBS News’ Kabir Khanna weighs in here.

Most Republicans now say U.S. risks losing its identity if it is too open to people from around the world

A recent Pew Research Center Poll finds 62% of Americans say the country’s openness to people from around the world is “essential to who we are as a nation.” While still a majority, the percentage saying this has declined six points from the fall of last year.

A growing number of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say if the U. S. is too open to people from around the world, “we risk losing our identity as a nation.” 57% of Republicans currently express this view, up from 44% in 2018. Views of Democrats are largely unchanged. Read more here. – Jennifer De Pinto

Campaign Finance: Some agreement between Democrats and Republicans

With the 2020 presidential campaign underway, candidates are not only hunting for votes but dollars too. A recent poll by Morning Consult tested the support for various types of campaign financing finding partisan agreement in views of many of them.

Majorities of Republicans and Democrats strongly or somewhat support candidates accepting contributions from individuals and candidates using their own money for their campaign. Most voters in both parties oppose public financing of campaigns from the federal government, and there isn’t majority support in either party for candidates accepting money from PACs.

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There are some partisan differences when it comes to limits on contributions to presidential campaigns. More Democrats think the amount individuals contribute to a campaign should be limited, while Republicans are more inclined to say individuals should be able to contribute as much as they want. A plurality in both parties (38% of Democrats and 44% of Republicans) think corporations should be limited in the amount they can donate, although Republicans (22%) are twice as likely as Democrats (11%) to think corporations should be allowed to donate as much they want to presidential campaigns. More from the poll. – Jennifer De Pinto

7/15/2019: What We’re Looking at Today

Two new CBS News poll releases looking back at the first Moon landing 50 years ago, and a look at how Americans view the space program today:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/moon-landing-is-still-a-source-of-pride-cbs-news-poll/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/most-americans-think-nasa-and-private-companies-should-have-role-in-space-program/

7/12/2019: What We’re Looking at Today

Sexism and the Democratic Primaries

New research sheds light on the role of sexism in the Democratic presidential nomination contest. The researchers find that over a quarter of Democratic likely voters score above average on the “hostile sexism” scale, which was developed by psychologists to measure antagonistic attitudes towards women. These attitudes matter for vote choice: Democrats who express these views are are less likely to name Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris as their top choice.

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— Kabir Khanna

7/11/2019: What We’re Looking At Today

A Look at Head-to-Head Match Ups: Will They Tell Us What Will Happen in 2020?

As we do in every election cycle, we’re already seeing a number potential head to head match-ups between the leading Democratic contenders for their party’s nomination and that nominee’s eventual general election opponent, President Trump. Such match-ups may give an indication of the mood of the general electorate when the poll is conducted, but does a candidate trailing in the polls now mean they’ll lose on Election Day?

A look back at CBS News election polling over the last four election cycles shows some of the limitations of using these head-to-head match-ups to determine what will necessarily happen in November 2020. Traditionally, CBS News hasn’t polled potential head-to-head match ups until after primary voting has begun – many months later in the election cycle than the current head-to-head match ups being offered up – but even that late in the game there are a lot of differences between what is seen early in the election year and what happened in November.

Back in February 2004 – the last election cycle where Democratic candidates vied for the right to take on a Republican incumbent for control of the Oval Office – CBS News polling showed that “if the election were held today”, registered voters chose Senator John Kerry (48%) over President George W. Bush (43%) by five percentage points (the same poll showed Bush ahead of both John Edwards and Howard Dean). In November, President Bush would go on to win the general election and another four years in the White House.

In February 2008 – with the eventual nominee Barack Obama still months away from clinching the Democratic nomination – CBS polling showed Senator Obama (50%) with a 12-point lead over Senator John McCain (38%). While Senator Obama did go on to win the general election in November, it was by a considerably narrower seven-point margin.

As with 2004, anyone tempted to use early head-to-head polling match-ups to predict what would happen on Election Day in both 2012 and 2016 would have gotten not just the margins, but the eventual outcomes wrong. A January 2012 poll showed Mitt Romney (47%) with a two-point lead over Barack Obama (45%), while a March 2016 poll gave Hillary Clinton (50%) a 10-point lead over Donald Trump (40%).

So what can we learn from these early polls? That things can change, and here are some reasons why:

1. Polling this early on doesn’t accurately reflect the future electorate.

Surveys this early on generally poll registered voters, but not all registered voters go on to vote. When polling closer to the actual election, most polling organizations come up with more sophisticated likely voter models to better predict not just who is eligible to vote, but who is likely to actually show up to do so. Once those likely voter models are implemented, they usually differ from the results indicated by a sample of all registered voters.

2. The popular vote choice doesn’t determine the outcome of the Presidential election.

While Hillary Clinton may not have won the 2016 popular vote by 10 percentage points, she did win the popular vote nonetheless, but she still didn’t end up in the White House. As we saw in 2016 (and earlier in 2000), the Electoral College makes any election predictions solely based on the national vote preference a dodgy proposition.

3. Most importantly, things can change over time.

The old adage that a poll is just a snapshot in time remains true, and should be especially noted when one is tempted to use current polling to assume what the future might bring. Even in 2008 – when the early CBS News match-up showed Barack Obama beating John McCain in February – there was more to the story. While Barack Obama generally held the lead over John McCain in CBS News polling during 2008, in August the two candidates polled dead even, and early September gave John McCain the slight edge right after the Republican National Convention. Conventions, debates, news events, candidate gaffes, the selection of running mates, and the emergence of third party candidates (which also affect question wording) all influence the dynamics of an election cycle that is constantly in flux. And as voters become more engaged in the election cycle the further along it gets, undecided voters start to make up their minds. So when looking at the preferences of registered voters “if the election were held today”, it’s a good idea to remember that the election will in fact be held many months from now. – by Fred Backus

7/10/2019: What We’re Looking At Today

AP-NORC Survey: Democrats more concerned than Republicans about foreign interference in 2020 election

A recent AP-NORC Survey asked Americans about some ways foreign governments could potentially interfere with the 2020 presidential election. On each one, Democrats expressed more concern than Republicans or independents. More than six in 10 Democrats said they were extremely or very concerned about foreign governments interfering by tampering with voting systems or results, influencing American opinion, influencing candidates themselves, and stealing information. Roughly half as many Republicans expressed this level of concern about foreign governments interfering with the election in these ways. Full poll here. – by Jennifer De Pinto

Extremely/Very concerned about foreign governments interfering with the 2020 presidential election by: Dems Inds Reps
Tampering with voting systems or election results 65% 40% 36%
Influencing what Americans think about political candidates 65% 35% 31%
Influencing political candidates themselves 63% 36% 30%
Stealing information form political candidates/parties 69% 35% 32%
Source: AP-NORC Poll conducted 6/13-17/2019 among 1,116 adults nationwide

Pew Research Center Survey: Most Military veterans approve of Trump’s handling of commander in chief duties

In a new survey from the Pew Research Center, 57% of veterans approve of how Donald Trump is handling his duties as commander in chief, higher than the 41% of the public overall who approve.

More veterans say the Trump administration’s policies have made the U.S. military stronger (48%) than say weaker (23%). And while most veterans say they trust the President either a great deal or some to make the right decisions about the use of military force, 41% say they trust him not much or not all.

It should be noted that veterans are more likely to identify as Republican than U.S. adults overall. According to the poll, “Roughly six-in-ten veterans (59%) identify as Republican or Republican-leaning, compared with 44% of all U.S. adults. Meanwhile, 39% of veterans identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared with 51% of all adults.”

And similar to the public, veterans’ views of Trump on military issues divide along the partisan lines. Republican and Republican leaning veterans hold more positive opinions than those who are Democrats or lean that way. Here’s the full poll. – by Jennifer De Pinto

CBS News Poll – A Look Back: Republicans’ Views on Recruiting Women Candidates

In the 2018 midterm elections a record number of women were elected to the House of Representatives, although most were Democrats. The number of Republican women in the House actually declined this year. And in a special Republican primary election held on Tuesday to fill a vacant seat in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional district, the woman candidate was defeated.

After the 2018 elections, the CBS News Poll asked whether the Republican Party should do more to recruit women candidates. Most rank and file Republicans did not think the party needed to do more.

The poll found just 20% of Republicans said their party should make more effort to recruit women candidates. Another quarter said the party was already making efforts to recruit women. But more than half of Republicans said this issue doesn’t matter much to them.

Democrats (46%) were actually more likely than Republicans (20%) to say the GOP should do more to recruit women candidates.

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Also, Republican women were not much more likely than Republicans overall to think their party should do more to get more women to run.

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Early last year, before a record number of women (mostly Democrats) were elected to Congress, a CBS News Poll found Republicans and Democrats viewed the impact of having more women in political office differently. Most Democrats (76%) said more women in political office would make the country better, while a majority of Republicans (69%) didn’t think things would change much, including most Republican women. – by Jennifer De Pinto

7/2/2019: The Fourth of July

Most Americans plan to fly the American flag from their homes this July 4th. A recent CBS News Poll finds that 63% plan to fly the flag from their home, while 33% do not. Results were similar when we asked this question back in 2015.

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A majority of Americans of all political stripes will fly the flag, but Republicans (77%) are more likely to do so than Democrats (57%) or independents (59%).

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For many people July 4th means fireworks, though whether fireworks are legal or not for personal use varies from state to state. Overall, most Americans – 67% – think the personal use of fireworks should be legal, while 28% do not.

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Though most Americans think they should be legal, most say they have not bought illegal fireworks themselves. Just 21% have ever bought illegal fireworks.– Fred Backus

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This poll was conducted by telephone June 11-16, 2019 among a random sample of 1,012 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

6/28/2019: Which Founding Father Had the Most Influence on the U.S. Today?

George Washington is the top pick as the most influential Founding Father, according to a recent CBS News Poll. 30% of Americans choose America’s first president as the Founding Father that has had the most influence on where we are as a nation today, ahead of Thomas Jefferson (21%), America’s third president and principal author of the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin comes in next at 17%.

Other notable figures rank further down the list, getting just single-digit support for being the Founding Father with the most influence. This includes John Adams (5%), Alexander Hamilton (4%), James Madison (4%), Thomas Paine (2%), and John Jay (1%).

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Opinions on the Founding Fathers are similar across party lines, with Republicans, Democrats, and independents all picking Washington as the Founding Father who has had the most influence on where we are as a country today, though Washington is most popular among Republicans.

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By education level, George Washington is picked most often by Americans without a college degree, while college grads – and particularly post-graduates — choose Jefferson over Washington. – by Fred Backus

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This poll was conducted by telephone June 11-16, 2019 among a random sample of 1,012 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

6/27/2019: Progressive Policies Prominent at First Debate, But What Are Dem Voters Looking For?

Night one of the first Democratic candidate debate featured plenty of discussion of progressive policies, but there is some division among rank and file Democratic voters about which direction the party should take. The most recent CBS News Battleground Tracker finds 47% of Democrats in states holding early nominating contests say the party’s message should be about returning the country to what it was before Donald Trump became president, while 53% think the party should focus on a more progressive agenda than there was when Barack Obama was president.

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The return-to-before-Trump camp favors Joe Biden; he performs well among this group. But it’s a more competitive contest with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders among the group who want the party to emphasize a more progressive agenda.

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Most young voters (a group with whom Sanders does well) are looking for a more progressive message. Older Democrats (who largely favor Biden) are more inclined to prefer an argument that stresses a return to how the country was before Mr. Trump.

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Regardless of whether they want a more progressive agenda or a return to the pre-Trump era, majorities of Democrats in each group are looking for a nominee who is a well-known national political figure and someone who convinces them he or she can beat Donald Trump. – by Jennifer De Pinto

==========================================================================

This CBS News survey is conducted by YouGov between May 31 and June 12, 2019. A representative sample of 16,624 registered voters in 18 states expected to hold early primaries and caucuses (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia) was selected. This sample includes 7,885 self-identified Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 presidential vote. The margin of error is approximately 1.5%.

6/26/2019: The First Democratic Debates: What do Voters want to Hear?

Ahead of the first debates of the 2020 campaign, we took a dive into the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker to see what voters say they must hear from a Democratic candidate before deciding to vote for them.

Health care is on top of voters’ minds. Three in four Democrats in states holding early nomination contests say they must hear a candidate’s proposal for lowering health care costs – the highest of any issue asked about in the poll.

A candidate’s plans for reducing global warming, protecting abortion rights and enacting more gun control are also high priorities for Democrats.

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And more than half of Democrats in these states say they must hear a candidate’s plan to protect immigrants and their families and want to hear how they will address race and gender issues. Other economic issues like creating jobs and lowering taxes rank a bit lower. Although those who rate the state of economy negatively (about four in 10 Democrats) are more likely than those who have a positive view of it to want to hear a candidate’s plan for job creation.

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There are issues more important to hear about for some segments of the Democratic electorate than others. Hearing how a candidate plans to address issues of race and gender issues are particularly important to women and African American voters, as well as those who are “very liberal”. Most Democrats in these early states consider themselves liberal, including about a third who call themselves very liberal.

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A candidate’s plan for global warming is especially important to the more liberal faction of these Democratic voters. Protecting immigrants and their families is also more of a priority among “very liberal” Democrats, compared to those calling themselves “somewhat” liberal or moderate.

Overall, moderates are less likely than liberals to say they “must hear” about a candidate’s position on these issues before voting for them, but lowering health care costs is the proposal they want to hear most about.

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Hispanic Democrats (62%) are more likely than Democrats overall (55%) to want to hear a candidate’s proposal for protecting immigrants and their families, but lowering health care costs ranks highest for them, like most Democrats in these early states.

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Still, Democrats really want someone who can win in November 2020. While they want to hear about the candidates’ policies, nearly eight in 10 say it’s extremely important that a candidate convinces them they can beat Donald Trump – the most important thing a candidate can do to earn their support. It outranks someone who can keep the country safe, having new policy ideas and someone who would change Washington. –by Jennifer De Pinto

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———————————————————————————————————————-

This CBS News Survey is conducted by YouGov between May 31 and June 12, 2019. A representative sample of 16,624 registered voters in 18 states expected to hold early primaries and caucuses (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia) was selected. This sample includes 7,885 self-identified Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 presidential vote. The margin of error is approximately 1.5%.

6/21/2019: The First Day of Summer

Some polling about summer travel on the first day of the season…

Summer may be upon us, but most Americans are not planning to go away for summer vacation this year. While 38% of Americans say they will be going away for summer vacation, 58% will be staying put.

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Most who are traveling will be traveling 500 miles or more, including more than a third that will be traveling at least 1000 miles.

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Income makes a difference both in whether or not one is traveling for summer vacation, and how far they go. Most Americans earning under $100,000 a year aren’t going away for summer vacation. Most earning more will be going away, including more than a third that will be traveling 500 miles or more. – Fred Backus

——————————————————————————————————————————-

This poll was conducted by telephone June 11-16, 2019 among a random sample of 1,012 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

6/20/2019: The Democratic Primary – Divisions Emerge Along Generational Lines

According to the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker of Democratic voters in early primary contests, most Democratic primary voters under the age of 45 want Democrats to advance a more progressive agenda than the country had under Barack Obama, while most older voters want the Democrats to return the country to the way it was before Donald Trump took office. Not surprisingly, they differ on which candidates they are considering voting for.

A large majority of Democratic voters over 45 are considering Joe Biden – more so than any other candidate – and this is particularly true of those 65 and older (69%). Support for Biden drops off among younger voters, however. 47% of those between 30 and 44 would consider voting for Biden, but this is true of just 38% of early Democratic voters under 30.

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A similar pattern can be seen for Kamala Harris: she is being considered by more older voters than younger ones. 54% of early Democratic voters 65 and older say they are considering her, but she is being considered by just 33% who are under 30.

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For Bernie Sanders, the trend is in the opposite direction. Most voters under 30 (54%) are considering voting for Sanders – more than any other candidate – and most cite his 2016 run as the reason why. But just 41% of those between 45 and 64 are considering voting for him. Among voters 65 and older, this drops to just 29%.

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Though she isn’t the first choice of any one age group, interest Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy is the most consistent. About half of early Democratic voters of all ages are considering her; she is the only candidate for whom this is true.

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One thing each age group does share is a conviction that age isn’t important. Majorities of all ages say that it doesn’t matter if the candidate is younger or older. Which candidates are being considered by which age groups seems to bear that out. At age 77, Bernie Sanders is the oldest candidate in the race, yet his strongest support comes from voters under 30. At age 37, Pete Buttigieg is the youngest candidate in the race, and yet Americans over 65 are the age group most likely to be considering him.– Fred Backus

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6/16/2019: ​Electability – Democrats Want it but What is It?

Electability is the attribute Democrats are most looking for in a candidate, according to the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker. Nearly eight in 10 Democrats in states expected to hold early nominating contests say it’s extremely important that a candidate convinces them they can beat Donald Trump – the most important thing a candidate can do to earn their support. It outranks someone who can keep the country safe, having new policy ideas and someone who would change Washington.

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Democratic voters want someone who is electable but what does electability mean to them? Motivating Democrats to come out and vote and having a candidate well-known to in national politics are things Democrats in these states think are necessary to win in 2020.

When asked what they think makes a Democratic candidate electable in November 2020, by a wide margin, most (67%) say it’s someone who can motivate Democrats who stayed home in 2016 rather than someone who will persuade Trump voters to vote Democratic in 2020 (33%).

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Joe Biden’s backers are a bit more likely than those supporting Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders to say that a candidate needs to win over some 2016 Trump supporters, but a majority of them still see motivating Democrats to come out and vote as what will make a Democrat electable in 2020.

Most Democrats also think having a nominee well-known in national politics will help them win the general election. 74% say it’s best to have a candidate who is well-known; just 26% think it’s best to have someone new to national politics.

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This helps bolster Biden. He performs particularly well among the majority who want a nationally known politically figure, while Buttigieg, who is Mayor of South Bend, Indiana is preferred among the smaller group of voters seeking someone new to national politics.

And when assessing a candidate’s chances to win in 2020. Seventy-five of those considering supporting Biden think he probably would beat Mr. Trump, a far higher number for Biden than among those considering other candidates.

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Democrats and Swing Voters

Generally, majorities Democrats in these early states say a candidate’s race, gender, or where they are from doesn’t matter to them. But these voters do think these traits matter more to swing voters – a group that candidates will be making a play for in the general election.

Democrats believe swing voters, for which gender and race matter, would prefer a man over a woman, and a white candidate over a person of color.

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Most Democrats do say a candidate’s ideology matters both to themselves as well as to swing voters.

In recent years, Democrats have been more likely to identify as liberal than moderate and this is reflected in what Democrats in these early voting states are looking for in a candidate. 45% prefer a progressive or liberal candidate to a centrist or a moderate one (27%). Another 28% say it doesn’t matter to them.

But these Democrats think swing voters would prefer a centrist over a progressive. – by Jennifer De Pinto

More here:

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====================================================================

This CBS News survey is conducted by YouGov between May 31 – June 12, 2019. A representative sample of 16,624 registered voters in 18 states expected to hold early primaries and caucuses (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia) was selected. This sample includes 7,885 self-identified Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote. The margin of is approximately 1.5%.

6/14/2019: A couple of tidbits ahead of Father’s Day

Most Americans Have Never Bought their Father a Tie

Though it may be the most iconic Father’s Day gift, it turns out that most Americans have never bought their father a necktie. While 38% of Americans have bought their father a tie at some point in their lives, 58% have not. Women (42%) are more likely to have bought their father a tie than men (34%), however.

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More Americans Say Mom Has Had More Influence on their Lives than Dad

When asked which family has had the most influence on the person they are today, Americans pick Mom over Dad. 40% say their mother has had the most influence, while just 24% pick their father. Even fewer pick a grandmother (11%), a grandfather (8%), or a sibling (3%).

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This is particularly true of women. While men are divided between their mother and their father in terms of who had the most influence on them, women are far more likely to say their mother.

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There may be some implications for the necktie industry. Americans who say their father had the most influence on them are more likely to have bought him a necktie (45%) than those who were more influenced by their mother (36%). – Fred Backus

——————————————————————————————————————————-

This poll was conducted by telephone May 14-19, 2019 among a random sample of 1,019 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

6/12/2019: The Simpson Murders

Today marks 25 years since the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

In a CBS News Poll conducted in 2017, as O.J. Simpson was being released from prison for an armed robbery and kidnapping conviction, 71% of Americans said that Simpson was guilty of the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. This was a slight increase from the 67% who thought so in October 1995, when the jury came back with a not guilty verdict.

A large majority of white Americans has long thought Simpson was guilty of the murders. There has been a shift in the perspective of black Americans, however. While 69% of blacks said that O.J. Simpson was innocent in 1995, black Americans were more divided in their views years later in 2017. Link to full poll. — by Jennifer De Pinto

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6/5/19: What We’re Looking At Today

75 Years After D-Day: Today Americans Say World War II Was Worth Fighting, But they Didn’t Always Feel that Way

This week commemorates the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy and the sacrifices made by Americans and its allies during World War II in which over 400,000 Americans lost their lives. Americans today overwhelmingly think U.S. involvement in World War II was worth it, but this wasn’t the case before the war began. A look back at polling conducted by Gallup in the 1930s and 1940s reveals that few Americans were keen on joining the conflict before the attack on Pearl Harbor. But opinions changed once America got involved, and after D-Day most Americans were optimistic that the war would be over in six months or less.

Today, three in four Americans think U.S. involvement in World War II was worth it, a sentiment that cuts across ideological and demographic lines. Majorities of Republicans, Democrats, independents – and Americans of all ages – all think World War II was worth the loss of American life and the other costs involved.

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But in a poll conducted by Gallup in October 1939 – just a month after the Nazi invasion of Poland and before the U.S. entered the war – just 3% of Americans thought the U.S. should declare war on Germany. While support for entering the war rose gradually over the next two years, a large majority of Americans remained opposed to U.S. involvement. As late as October 1941 – just two months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor – the percentage of Americans that wanted the U.S. to declare war on Germany was still only 18%.

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Public opinion shifted once the U.S. committed to the war effort. In February 1944 – a few months before the June 6th D-Day landings in Normandy – just 14% said it was a mistake for the U.S. to enter World War II.

After the Normandy landings on June 6th, Americans were optimistic that the war in Europe would end relatively soon. 64% of Americans thought it would be over within six months, including 18% who thought it would be over by the fall. But it would be another 11 months before the allied forces accepted Germany’s unconditional surrender on May 8th, 1945. – Fred Backus

——————————————————————————————————————————

This poll was conducted by telephone May 14-19, 2019 among a random sample of 1,019 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls

Other sources:

1939 Gallup Poll: Conducted by Gallup Organization, October 20 – October 25, 1939 and based on 1,500 personal interviews.

1940 Gallup Poll: Conducted by Gallup Organization, October 2 – October 7, 1940 and based on 1,500 personal interviews. Sample: National adult. Sample size is approximate.

1941 Gallup Poll: Conducted by Gallup Organization, October 24 – October 29, 1941 and based on 1,500 personal interviews. Sample: National adult. Sample size is approximate.

1944 Gallup Poll: Conducted by Gallup Organization, February 3 – February 9, 1944 and based on 1,500 personal interviews. Sample: National adult. Form K interviewed Feb. 2-8, 1944, Form T Feb 4-9, 1944. Sample size is approximate.

1944 Gallup Poll: Conducted by Gallup Organization, June 22 – June 27, 1944 and based on 1,500 personal interviews. Sample: National adult. Sample size is approximate

5/31/19: What We’re Looking At This Weekend

Where Americans like to go on vacation…and how they like to get there

With Memorial Day behind us, many Americans start looking forward towards summer vacation. But which type of vacation is the most appealing? We asked Americans recently to choose among five options, and the top choice was going to another country, picked by 31%. In second place was going to the beach, though nearly as many picked going to the mountains. 14% said they would just rather stay home. At the bottom of the list was going to a lake at just 12%

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Going to another country may be the top choice overall, but that type of vacation doesn’t appeal to all Americans equally. It’s overwhelmingly the top choice of Democrats, but Republicans and independents are almost as likely to pick going to the beach or the mountains instead.

For those traveling long distances, flying is the most popular way to get to where they are going. Nearly half say it is the mode of transportation that they most prefer, ahead of driving (36%).

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Driving by car is less popular than it was seven years ago when CBS last asked this question. Then nearly as many peoples chose traveling by car (45%) as by plane (46%). – by Fred Backus

——————————————————————————————————————————-

This poll was conducted by telephone May 14-19, 2019 among a random sample of 1,019 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

5/30/19: What We’re Looking At Today

Democratic Debate over Investigations – Any Impact on 2020 Candidates?

The most recent CBS News poll found that the number of Democrats calling for continued investigations was on the increase. But the 2020 candidates may face a choice in how they approach the idea of pressing on with investigations or even impeachment proceedings. It’s also clear that rank-and-file Democratic voters have other issues on their minds.

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A recent CBS News YouGov survey of Democratic voters shows issues like health care, income inequality, and the environment are all among the top concerns.

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More broadly, how the candidates approach this debate over what to do next could speak to approach a campaign, or even governing, in a country that often seems sharply divided by partisanship and ideology. We’ve seen primary contests before in which candidates divided on this topic. Back in 2008 then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008 talked about trying to bridge divides and work across the aisle as he won the Democratic nod; back in 2000 George W. Bush talked about working with Democrats; and even in 2016 then-candidate Trump touted an ability to make deals as a way of getting around the partisanship of Washington. But in 2020 are Democrats this year in that kind of mood? That could be a key item to watch as the campaign goes forward. We asked Democrats about the party’s general approach, whether the party should be spending its energy trying to compromise with Republicans or find ways to defeat Republicans, and six in ten wanted to focus on defeating the other side.

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These views were related to ideology, as those who were very liberal picked this while moderates were more inclined to want compromise. And those who had posted on social media were less inclined to want compromise – perhaps a window into the dynamic in which more active voices, even if not as numerous, can shape a debate. And overall there was also more pessimism than optimism that the two sides could get along. – by Anthony Salvanto

5/24/19: What We’re Looking At Today

What does Memorial Day mean to you?

Memorial Day may mean many things to many people, but most Americans haven’t forgotten the original purpose of the holiday. When asked what Memorial Day means to them, 67% of Americans say it is a time to remember those who died while serving in the armed forces. 19% say it means mostly barbecuing with friends and family, 8% think of it as the start of summer, while just 3% think of it as a good time to shop for sales in stores.

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Still, there is evidence that the original intent behind the holiday may be fading for some Americans. When CBS last asked this question in 2015, 76% said it was about remembering soldiers who died – 9 percentage points higher than what is recorded today – while the percentage that says it is about barbecuing has risen six points.

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Most Americans of all ages think of Memorial Day as a time to remember fallen soldiers, but younger adults are less likely to do so than older ones. While 81% of Americans 65 and older say Memorial Day is about remembering soldiers who have died, this drops to 57% of Americans under 45. More than a quarter in this age group say Memorial Day means barbecuing with friends and family. by Fred Backus

——————————————————————————————————————————-

This poll was conducted by telephone May 14-19, 2019 among a random sample of 1,019 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

Pew Report on News Photos on Facebook

A new Pew Research Center study finds a big gender imbalance in images accompanying news stories posted on Facebook. Over four in ten U.S. adults get news from Facebook, making it the most commonly used social media site for news. Researchers applied a method called machine vision to analyze over 22,000 images with people in them. Across images, men appeared twice as often as women, and more than half of images showed men exclusively. – by Kabir Khanna

5/23/19: What We’re Looking At Today

What does the term “socialism” mean to Democrats, anyway?

In September 1949 during the early years of the Cold War, the Gallup poll asked, “we hear a lot about ‘socialism’ these days. Will you tell me what your understanding of the term ‘socialism’ is?” The bulk of the answers, as the poll categorized them, described government control of things, ownership of utilities, and “state control of business.” A third didn’t have an answer. When socialism was described for respondents as government running industries and also offering “services like medical and dental care.” 49% felt the U.S. should move more in that direction. In June of 1965, Gallup asked Americans to describe the U.S. economic system. 37% said “capitalism” and 31% picked “moderate socialism.”

Were you to ask people about their own finances they could explain things quite precisely, as you’d expect. Ask about larger economic ideas and theories like “capitalism,” or “socialism,” for instance, and things get more murky: these can be abstractions, and meanings differ even among experts. But terms like “socialism” have long been part of public discourse just the same, so pollsters rightly wonder just how Americans interpret it, and how to measure it in the first place.

It’s become especially important now as “socialism” is heard or implied a lot in the 2020 campaign though it still isn’t always clear, when people reference it, that they all agree on what it means. The President warns Democrats might impose it. Democrats look to define the term for themselves.

In our own recent CBS News/YouGov study, 18% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they had a very favorable view of socialism and another third, 31%, said they had a somewhat favorable view. Another third were neutral. But just what is it they were evaluating in the first place?

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We gave a large sample of voters a list of items and asked whether they thought each of the ideas aptly described “socialism.” People could pick as many as they wanted.

The most-cited answer of the choices we offered saw 60 percent of Democrats associating socialism with “more equal distribution of wealth and money” and closely followed by 55 percent who picked “More equal opportunity for people.” Far fewer Democrats selected items with potentially more negative-sounding implications like “Fewer choices in products and services” picked by just 15%, and “More government control over people” at 23%.

In all, many Democrats picked associations that had more to do with economic outcomes they’d probably like (things like equality) and less with things that sounded like limitations or potential ill-effects.

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There are some age differences among Democrats’ views on socialism overall. In no age group does a majority hold a very favorable view of socialism. However, younger Democrats under 30 are about twice as likely to hold a very favorable view (23%) than those over 65 (12%). But there is not much difference by income or financial situation: higher income Democrats view socialism in much the same ways as lower income Democrats do, though those more confident in their ability to pay bills are more likely to associate it with higher taxes. Ideology appears to be more related to views, as those who call themselves liberal are more likely to hold favorable views than moderates. That may suggest that views on broader economic systems stem from ways in which people view the world, or the world as they’d like it to be, rather than just through the lens of their own pocketbooks. – by Anthony Salvanto

This poll analysis is drawn from a 2019 CBS News/YouGov survey using a nationally representative sample of 24,850 U.S. registered voters interviewed online between April 25 – May 6, 2019. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote. This analysis covers 12,000 registered voters who are Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents. MOE 1.1%

Other sources:

1949 Gallup Poll: Conducted by Gallup Organization, September 3 – September 8, 1949 and based on 2,896 face-to-face interviews. Sample: National adult.

1965 Gallup Poll: Conducted by Gallup Organization, June 4 – June 9, 1965 and based on 1,648 personal interviews. Sample: Sample: National adult.

Roe v. Wade and Religion

Looking deeper into our CBS News Poll out earlier this week, views on what the U.S. Supreme Court should do about Roe v. Wade differ little by religious preference. Majorities of Protestants, Catholics, and the group that identify with other religions would like to see the 1973 ruling stand.

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It’s when you look at how frequent those who have a religious preference attend religious services — that’s where there are differences. More than half of those who attend religious services the most often – at least weekly – would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned. However, large majorities of Americans who may identify with a particular religion but attend services less often or never think Roe should be kept as it. – by Jennifer De Pinto

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5/17/19: What we found interesting this week

Americans Want China to Change Policies; Wary of Short-Term Tariff Impact

In views on trade and tariffs with China, most Americans applaud the goals but express some wariness about the tactics – at least in the short run, according to the latest CBS News Poll. Two-thirds of Americans say they’d be unwilling to pay more for goods impacted by any tariffs while the U.S. tries to renegotiate trade deals. Six in ten Republicans are willing to pay more, which sets them apart from most Democrats and independents, most of whom are not willing.

Partisan Divide on Ratings of the FBI, People Love the Postal Service

Most Americans (57%) rate the job the FBI is doing as excellent or good, according to a recent Gallup Poll. Overall, this rating has held fairly steady, but partisans’ views have changed some over time. Democrats’ opinions of the FBI have grown more positive, while Republicans have become more negative. It’s the U.S. Postal Service that gets the highest marks from the public of any agency asked about in the Gallup Poll. 74% of Americans say it is doing an excellent or good job. Majorities of Democrats and Republicans agree on that. Chart from Gallup below and more from the poll here.

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Trump Support and the Tea Party

Former supporters of the Tea Party are some of Donald Trump’s strongest Republican backers, according to a new analysis from the Pew Research Center. The analysis is based on panel surveys conducted from 2014 through 2018. “In February 2018, those who had been Republican tea party supporters gave Trump an average rating of 78 on a 0-100 ‘feeling thermometer,’ while Trump’s rating averaged 59 degrees among those Republicans who had no opinion of the tea party and was a much chillier 53 degrees among those who disagreed with the tea party.”

Public Divided on Fairness of College Admission Process

According to polling recently conducted by the AP-NORC center, 38% of Americans consider the college admissions process to be fair, 36% call it is unfair, and a quarter say it is neither fair nor unfair.Most say academic achievements like high school grades and standardized test scores are and should be the most important factors in determining admission. Just 11% think legacy status should be given much consideration.

5/16/19 Notes on abortion views

Recent legislation in states restricting abortions has put the topic back into the headlines. As has been the case for many years in CBS News polling, today a large majority of voters believes abortion should at least be available, though many of them say they’d like to see it under stricter limits than it is currently. One in five voters says abortion should not be permitted.

Abortion Should Be…
(Among registered voters)
Be generally available to those who want it 45%
Be available but under stricter limits than it is now 33%
Not be permitted 22%
CBS News/YouGov survey of registered voters April 25 – May 6, 2019. MOE 1%

In the 2018 midterms, exit polls asked voters what the Supreme Court should do with Roe v Wade. Two-thirds, 66%, said the Supreme Court should let it stand one-quarter, 25%, said the Court ought to overturn it. (CBS News Exit Poll Nov 2018 MOE 2%) — by Anthony Salvanto

5/10/19: What we found interesting this week

Americans more willing to vote for a gay candidate for President, but a socialist not so much

Seventy-six percent of Americans say they would vote for a qualified gay or lesbian candidate for president, according to a Gallup Poll out this week. The figure marks a new high in Gallup polling. The survey asked about 12 hypothetical candidates.

More Americans are also open to candidates of different religious backgrounds. “Eighty percent of U.S. adults would vote for an evangelical Christian for president — up from 73 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who would vote for a Muslim has grown from 58 percent in 2012 to 66 percent today,” according to the poll.

Six in 10 would vote for an atheist, a new high. Just 47 percent say would vote for a socialist for president, the lowest for any attribute asked about in the poll. Read the full poll results here and chart from Gallup below.

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More on Socialism…

According to a recent Monmouth University Poll, most Republicans hold a negative view of socialism, while most Democrats have a neutral opinion. Looking behind these broader views, a majority of Republicans say the phrase “it takes away too many individual rights” describes their view of socialism either a great deal (64 percent) or somewhat (17 percent). Fewer Democrats hold this view. For most of them, the descriptor of socialism as “a way to make things fairer for working people” matches their view a great deal (25 percent) or somewhat (51 percent).

The poll also found most Americans favor creating a universal health care system and when asked how they viewed that policy, far more called it socialist (37 percent) than capitalist (4 percent), but most described it as neither (53 percent). More from the poll here.

Most Obama-Trump voters still view the President favorably, but fewer than in 2016

According to a survey conducted by the Voter Study Group, 66% of Obama-Trump voters have a favorable opinion of President Trump, although this is lower than the 85% of this group who viewed him favorably in 2016, shortly after he was elected president. Overall, President Trump’s favorability ratings have held steady. Eight-five percent of Americans have not changed their minds when it comes to the President’s favorable ratings in the last two years, according to the survey. Read more here.

Most Value Workplace Diversity, But Few Think Race Should be a Consideration in Hiring

“Americans have a complicated, even contradictory, set of views about the impact of diversity and the best way to achieve it”, according to a recent Pew Research Center Survey. Three in four Americans say it’s very or somewhat important for companies to promote racial and ethnic diversity in the workplace, but most say only qualifications should be taken into account when making hiring and promotion decisions; just a quarter think race or ethnicity should be taken into account.

“The view that employers should only take a person’s qualifications into account is widespread among whites (78 percent) and Hispanics (69 percent); about half of blacks (54 percent) share this view.” Table from Pew Research below and more from the survey here.

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