The American public remains split by gender, race and age in how they view the 44th President as Barack Obama begins his sixth year in the White House and bones up for Tuesday’s State-of-the-Union speech, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
As the Seattle PI, summarizes, “Overall, 51 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Obama, while 45 percent share an unfavorable opinion of Obama. Michelle Obama remains more popular than her husband with a 68-24 percent advantage to the “favorables.” But then the divisions begin.
“GENDER — Obama has a 54-41 percent favorable advantage among women, but is viewed unfavorably 49 percent of men. Just 47 percent of men have a thumbs-up view of the president.
“AGE — Obama is strongest among America’s young people, seem favorably by a 55-42 percent margin by those aged 18 to 29, with a 52-43 percent favorable margin among voters 30 to 49 years in age. By contrast, among those over 65, he gets a thumbs down from 52 percent while only 44 percent take a favorable view.
“RACE: Obama is seem favorably by 90 percent of African-Americans polled along with 62 percent of Hispanic Americans. Among whites, however, just 41 percent view him favorably, and 56 percent unfavorably.
“The 44th president gets lower marks on the job he is doing: Just 43 percent approve, with 59 percent disapproving. The poll gives little comfort to the Republican opposition. By a 54-35 percent margin, Americans view Republicans as the more extreme of the two political parties, according to Pew. A 52-27 percent margin see Democrats as the party more willing to work across the aisle and get things done. On which party is more concerned with the problems of “people like me,” Democrats enjoy a 52-32 percent advantage. Continue reading “The Obama divide”
There is good news, and there is not-so-good news. An overwhelming share of America’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults (92%) say society has become more accepting of them in the past decade and an equal number expect it to grow even more accepting in the decade ahead, reports the Pew organization today. “They attribute the changes to a variety of factors, from people knowing and interacting with someone who is LGBT, to advocacy on their behalf by high-profile public figures, to LGBT adults raising families.
“At the same time, however, a new nationally representative survey of 1,197 LGBT adults offers testimony to the many ways they feel they have been stigmatized by society. About four-in-ten (39%) say that at some point in their lives they were rejected by a family member or close friend because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; 30% say they have been physically attacked or threatened; 29% say they have been made to feel unwelcome in a place of worship; and 21% say they have been treated unfairly by an employer. About six-in-ten (58%) say they’ve been the target of slurs or jokes. Continue reading “New Pew study of LGBT Americans”
The public paid limited attention to last week’s congressional hearings on Benghazi, reports the Pew organization. “Fewer than half (44%) of Americans say they are following the hearings very or fairly closely, virtually unchanged from late January when Hillary Clinton testified. Last October, 61% said they were following the early stages of the investigation at least fairly closely.
“The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted May 9-12 among 1,000 adults, finds that Americans are deeply split over how both the administration and congressional Republicans are handling the situation. Four-in-ten (40%) say the Obama administration has generally been dishonest when it comes to providing information about the Benghazi attack, but 37% say they have been generally honest. And when it comes to the GOP-led investigation, 36% say Republicans have gone too far in the hearings, while 34% say they have handled them appropriately.
“Not surprisingly, these reactions divide cleanly along partisan lines. Among Republicans, 70% say the Obama administration has been dishonest and 65% say the hearings have been handled appropriately. Among Democrats, 60% say the hearings have gone too far, and 62% say the administration has been honest. Continue reading “Americans care little about Benghazi”
For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. A national survey finds that 52% say that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45% say it should not, reports the Pew organization
“Support for legalizing marijuana has risen 11 points since 2010. The change is even more dramatic since the late 1960s. A 1969 Gallup survey found that just 12% favored legalizing marijuana use, while 84% were opposed.
“The survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 13-17 among 1,501 adults, finds that young people are the most supportive of marijuana legalization. Fully 65% of Millennials –born since 1980 and now between 18 and 32 – favor legalizing the use of marijuana, up from just 36% in 2008. Yet there also has been a striking change in long-term attitudes among older generations, particularly Baby Boomers. Continue reading “Majority want pot legalized”
A new survey finds that seven-in-ten Americans (71%) say there should be a way for people in the United States illegally to remain in this country if they meet certain requirements, while 27% say they should not be allowed to stay legally, reports the Pew organization.
“Most who favor providing illegal immigrants with some form of legal status –43% of the public – say they should be allowed to apply for citizenship, but 24% of the public says they should only be allowed to apply for legal residency.
“Majorities across all demographic and political groups say there should be a way for illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements to stay in the U.S. legally. Among those who favor providing legal status, the balance of opinion is in favor of allowing those here illegally who meet the requirements to apply for citizenship. However, no more than about half in any demographic group supports permitting illegal immigrants to apply for citizenship. Continue reading “Most say immigrants should be allowed to stay”
With shorter stories and scarce coverage of politics and government, local television newscasts in the United States, like local newspapers before them, are suffering from “shrinking pains,” according to the Pew Research Center.
The diagnosis comes in the center’s 10th annual State of the News Media report, which will be published on Monday. The New York Times reports that “the report, covering 2012, describes cutbacks in the reporting ranks of newspapers and television networks and a surge in efforts by politicians, corporations and others to tell their own stories.
“This adds up to a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands,” the report’s main author, Amy Mitchell, wrote in an introduction. Continue reading “Local news going the way of print”
It’s no big secret that what people think has a lot to do with what they watch and read. While ideologies and other belief systems also underlie public opinion, there is no denying the role of “news” in shaping contemporary worldviews – sometimes in direct opposition to empirical data.
For example, while many parents now fear sending junior off to school each morning, the odds of a child being shot in Sandy Hook fashion stand at less than one in a million, as it has for decades. If anything, schools recently have been getting safer.
After reaching a high of 63 deaths in the 2006-2007 school year, the number of people killed in “school-associated” incidents dropped to 33 in 2009-2010 – the lowest in two decades, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Continue reading “What made the news”
These days the Pew Research Center has been doing more than polling voters. In a new study, Pew reports a precipitous drop in the number of Americans who identify as “religious.” In a report entitled “”Nones” on the Rise,” Pew finds that “one-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling. In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%). This large and growing group of Americans is less religious than the public at large on many conventional measures, including frequency of attendance at religious services and the degree of importance they attach to religion in their lives. Continue reading “One in five Americans now “non-religious””