“We face a possible future where people not only ignore scientific evidence, but seek to eliminate it entirely,” warns the march’s mission statement. “Staying silent is a luxury that we can no longer afford. We must stand together and support science.”
From whom do the marchers hope to defend science? Certainly not the American public: Most Americans are fairly strong supporters of the scientific enterprise. An October 2016 Pew Research Center poll reported, “Three-quarters of Americans (76%) have either a great deal (21%) or a fair amount of confidence (55%) in scientists, generally, to act in the public interest.” The General Social Survey notes that public confidence in scientists stands out among the most stable of about 13 institutions rated in the GSS survey since the mid-1970s. (For what it’s worth, the GSS reports only 8 percent of the public say that they have a great deal of confidence in the press, but at least that’s higher than the 6 percent who say the same about Congress.)
The mission statement also declares, “The application of science to policy is not a partisan issue. Anti-science agendas and policies have been advanced by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and they harm everyone—without exception.”
I thoroughly endorse that sentiment. But why didn’t the scientific community march when the Obama administration blocked over-the-counter access to emergency contraception to women under age 17? Or dawdled for years over the approval of genetically enhanced salmon? Or tried to kill off the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility? Or halted the development of direct-to-consumer genetic testing? Read the rest of this entry »
Evidence keeps piling up that the American people have a very low opinion of how the media reports on our elections. The latest Pew Research Center opinion survey revealed “Just 22% give the press a grade of an A or B, while 38% give it a failing grade” – an F. The approval of the media has been declining for years. After the 2004 re-election of George W. Bush, 33 percent of voters gave the press an A or a B, compared to just 16 percent picking “F.” Read the rest of this entry »
Fear of Terrorism? Nope. A New Survey Phows 69 percent of Americans Listed “Big Government” as the Biggest Threat the Future of the United States.
According to a Gallup poll released Tuesday, 88 percent of Republicans listed the issue followed by 67 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats.
The number is slightly lower than the 2013 results, the last time the question was posed, which stood at 72 percent, but the polling company said the numbers were significantly lower before 1990.
“The large increase in the percentage naming big government as the biggest threat in 2013 may have resulted from the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and Edward Snowden’s revelations about government monitoring of communications.” the poll said in its findings. Read the rest of this entry »
Federalist Staff: A new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that support for an assault weapons ban is dropping. Fifty-three percent of Americans who were surveyed say they oppose such a ban, the highest amount of opposition to the ban ever recorded. Only 45 percent thought banning assault weapons was a good idea—a significant drop from the 56 percent who supported it in 2013 and 80 percent who supported it in 1994.
“Only 45 percent thought banning assault weapons was a good idea—a significant drop from the 56 percent who supported it in 2013 and 80 percent who supported it in 1994.”
The poll also found that most Americans—77 percent of those surveyed—don’t think the government can successfully thwart lone-wolf terrorist attacks. In fact, only 22 percent said they were confident that the government could stop a lone-wolf attack, while 43 percent thought the government could stop a larger-scale attack.
“The poll also found that most Americans—77 percent of those surveyed—don’t think the government can successfully thwart lone-wolf terrorist attacks.”
Of those surveyed, 42 percent thought stricter gun control was the best response to terrorism, while 47 percent disagreed. As Joe Perticone of IJReview pointed out, it seems that as confidence in the government’s ability to stop terrorism wanes…(read more)
CHANGE: Majority Of Americans Oppose ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban For First Time In 20 years Of New York Times PollingPosted: December 11, 2015
AWR Hawkins reports: According to NYU political scientist Patrick Egan, the opposition to such a ban is up 16 percentage points from the numbers seen in 2011. Moreover, support for an “assault weapons” ban is down 19 percent. On January 15-19, 2011 Americans polled at 63 percent in favor of a ban and 34 against. On December 4-8, 2015, American polled only 44 percent in favor of such a ban, with 50 percent polling in opposition.
The real swing in numbers can be seen by contrasting the latest figures with the first poll NYT took on the topic during January 2-3, 1995. At that time support for a ban was at 67 percent, while opposition to a ban was at 27 percent.
A Gallup poll released on October 20 shows that a majority of Americans believe more concealed carry equals less crime.
AWR Hawkins reports: According to Gallup, 56 percent of Americans answered in the affirmative when asked if the U.S. would be safer if “more Americans were allowed to carry concealed weapons if they passed a criminal background check and training course.” 41 percent of respondents said more concealed carry would make the country less safe.
In a pattern that has become very familiar, support for more concealed carry was driven by Republicans and independents. Eighty-two percent of Republicans believe more concealed carry would make the U.S. safer and 56 percent of independents agree. But the majority of Democrats—67 percent—believe more concealed carry would make the U.S. less safe.
On October 21, Breitbart News reported a very similar breakdown by party in a CNN/ORC that looked at Americans’ overarching position on gun control. In that poll, 52 percent of Americans opposed more gun control, while 46 percent support the passage of more gun laws….(read more)
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly firstname.lastname@example.org.
68% of Conservatives Identifies Court as Liberal
Following major, end-of-term rulings on the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage, unfavorable opinions of the Supreme Court have reached a 30-year high. And opinions about the court and its ideology have never been more politically divided.
“Seven-in-ten Americans (70%) say that in deciding cases, the justices of the Supreme Court ‘are often influenced by their own political views.’ Just 24% say they ‘generally put their political views aside. when deciding cases.”
Currently, 48% of Americans have a favorable impression of the Supreme Court, while 43% view the court unfavorably. Unfavorable opinions of the court, while up only modestly since March (39%), are the highest recorded since 1985.
The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted July 14-20 among 2,002 adults, finds that most of the increase in unfavorable views of the Supreme Court has come among Republicans.
“Most Americans (54%) say that the Supreme Court has the right amount of power, while 36% say it is too powerful.”
Just 33% of Republicans have a favorable opinion of the court, while 61% have an unfavorable view. Since March, the share of Republicans viewing the court favorably has fallen 17 percentage points (from 50% to 33%), while the share with an unfavorable impression has jumped 21 percentage points (from 40% to 61%). Republicans’ views of the Supreme Court are now more negative than at any point in the past three decades.
“Only about one-in-ten (7%) thinks the court has too little power”
In contrast, Democrats’ views of the Supreme Court have become more positive since March, though the change has not been as dramatic. Currently, 62% of Democrats have a favorable impression of the court, up from 54% four months ago.
There also has been a major shift in how Americans, especially those at either end of the ideological spectrum, view the Supreme Court’s ideology. The share of the public saying the current Supreme Court is liberal has doubled since March, driven by changing attitudes among Republicans, particularly conservative Republicans.
Overall, 39% of the public views the court as middle-of-the-road, 36% as liberal and 18% as conservative. The share saying the court is liberal has increased from 26% to 36% over the past few months and stands at its highest point in surveys dating to 2007. There has been a ten-point decline in the number saying the court is conservative (18% today, 28% in March), while the share saying it is middle-of-the-road is little changed (39% now, 38% then).
Opinions about the court and its ideology have never been more politically divided
Currently, 68% of conservative Republicans say the current Supreme Court is liberal – up 20 points since March and by far the highest percentage since 2007. About a quarter of conservative Republicans (24%) say the court has a middle-of-the-road approach and 5% see it as conservative.
Liberal Democrats now generally view the current Supreme Court as middle-of-the-road; in March, most saw the court as conservative. Currently, 49% of liberal Democrats say it is middle-of-the-road (up from 31% in March). Three-in-ten (30%) say it is conservative, down from 56% in March. And 17% say the court is liberal, about double the share who said this in March (8%).
Perceptions of the court’s ideology have changed less among those closer to the middle of the ideological spectrum. Moderate and liberal Republicans’ continue to be divided: 42% see the Supreme Court as middle-of-the-road; 40% say it is liberal and 13% say it is conservative. A plurality of conservative and moderate Democrats (43%) continue to say it is middle-of-the-road.
The change in independents’ views of the Supreme Court’s ideology mirrors the shift among the public: 41% say it is middle-of-the-road, little changed from 38% in March; 36% see it as liberal (up 11 points) and 18% say it is conservative (down 10 points). The share of Republican-leaning independents who say the court is liberal has risen from 38% to 54%. Just 23% of independents who lean toward the Democratic Party say the same, up a modest seven percentage points since March.
Little Change in Views of Same-Sex Marriage, Affordable Care Act. In contrast to opinions about the Supreme Court, views on two issues that were the subject of its high-profile rulings – same-sex marriage and the 2010 health care law – have shown little change. Currently, 54% of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 39% are opposed. In May, before the Court’s ruling that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide, 57% favored and 39% opposed same-sex marriage. The public is divided over the 2010 health care law: 48% approve of the law and 49% disapprove. In February, 45% approved of the health care law and 53% disapproved.
Few Think Supreme Court Justices Set Aside Their Political Views. Seven-in-ten Americans (70%) say that in deciding cases, the justices of the Supreme Court “are often influenced by their own political views.” Just 24% say they “generally put their political views aside” when deciding cases. The belief that justices are swayed by their own political views spans partisan and demographic groups. The survey also finds that a majority of the public (56%) says the court should consider the views of most Americans when deciding cases; 39% say they should not be influenced by public opinion.
Supreme Court Not Viewed as ‘Too Powerful.’ A majority (54%) says the Supreme Court has the right amount of power, while 36% think it has too much power; 7% say it has too little power. Republicans (45%) are more likely than Democrats (32%) or independents (33%) to view the court as too powerful.
Supreme Court Favorability
Partisanship, ideology and religious affiliation are all factors in views of the Supreme Court. In addition, supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage and the 2010 health care law have starkly different opinions about the Supreme Court.
By a 63% to 28% margin, those who favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court. By almost an identical margin (63% to 30%), those who oppose same-sex marriage have an unfavorable impression of the court. The association between views of the court and opinions on same-sex marriage is far stronger than in the past.
Opinions of the court among those who approve and disapprove of the 2010 health care law are similarly divided (61% of those who approve of the law have a favorable opinion of the court, compared with just 33% of those who disapprove). Supporters and opponents of the law were less divided last year, but were similarly split following the court’s 2012 term, in which it ruled the law was constitutional.
Since March, the plunge in the Supreme Court’s favorability among Republicans has largely come among conservatives. Just 27% of conservative Republicans have a favorable impression of the Supreme Court. Four months ago, nearly half (48%) did so. Among moderate and liberal Republicans, there has been a smaller, nine-point decline in positive views of the court (45% now, 54% then). Read the rest of this entry »
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) March 2, 2015
Joe Concha reports; America loves streaks. For our parents and grandparents, it was witnessing (via radio or the morning paper) Joe DiMaggio‘s 56-game hitting streak in 1941, a record that will likely never be broken. For later generations, it was Cal Ripkenplaying in 2,632 consecutive games — another record that won’t be touched.
“ABC’s story rundowns have been particularly vexing for the past month. If you recall, David Muir‘s newscast also ignored the lead-up to the midterms, not doing one story on it for months until just a few days before the election. By contrast, when Republicans were about to be shellacked in the 2006 midterms, ABC did 36 stories leading up to that election.”
There are streaks in broadcasting as well. The most notable being broken two years ago after ABC’s Good Morning America finally beat NBC’s Today Show after an astounding 852 consecutive weeks at the top, a streak spanning over 16 years.
“Gallup’s latest poll (September) in the media’s ability to report ‘the news fully, accurately, and fairly’ is all-time low of 40%. That’s down 34 points from a Gallup poll taken post-Watergate, when the press actually held those in power accountable.”
But then there are dubious streaks as well, like the one we’re currently witnessing courtesy of those aforementioned big alphabet networks.
The comments of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber have been a big story for the past ten days. Regardless of how you voted or whether you’re team red or blue, an official who worked closely with President Obama and his team on crafting the Affordable Care Act (visiting the Oval Office 19 times to specifically discuss a strategy) and later revealing on multiple occasions that the law was predicated on misleading “stupid” American voters is a story worthy of national attention and scrutiny. Those who don’t believe this are willfully blind, or as stupid as even an MSNBC panel says the White House thinks we all are.
With that in mind, here’s one more streak to chew on: Over the past ten nights, ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC’s Nightly News haven’t just buried the story in some throwaway segment late in their respective programs; they haven’t mentioned Gruber or the controversy in any capacity. Some could argue the decision to omit has been made because the news cycle has been heavy on the breaking news front. Except that hasn’t remotely been the case. Read the rest of this entry »