Tag: polls

How To Read Election Polls Without Feeling Terror

Experts will advise you never to eat meat with cream sauce at a buffet; always to lock your car even when just dashing into the 7-Eleven for two minutes; and never to read national polls in the year before an election.

But there are coping mechanisms if you, like me, fail on the third.

Two recent polls illustrate the dangers of consuming too much public opinion at this stage. NBC's poll shows that Trump has widened his lead over the field in the Republican primary contest since his latest indictment, with 51 percent now saying he's their preferred candidate for the nomination, up from 46 percent in April. That puts him 29 points ahead of Ron DeSantis, his nearest challenger, whose support dropped from 31 percent in April to 22 percent in June.

Asked about Trump's federal indictment, 63 percent say the charges give them "no real concerns at all" along with 14 percent who report only "minor concerns." But that isn't even the most disturbing result. That honor belongs to the question about what disturbs voters most. The question: "Does this issue give you major concerns, moderate concerns, minor concerns, or no real concerns?" Option 1: "Joe Biden being re-elected and serving another four years as president" or Option 2: "Donald Trump being elected again and serving another four years as president." OK, inhale. Fifty-eight percent had major or moderate concerns about Trump, but once again, Biden had him beat with 60 percent registering concerns.

Good God, what is wrong with people? Donald Trump attempted a coup, endangered national security, exacerbated internal divisions, mishandled a health emergency causing thousands of needless deaths, dined with Nazis, and is running on "terminating the Constitution." So, sure, kind of a toss-up between that and a normal president who has some policies we don't like but who follows the law (with one exception that is being challenged in the courts) and appoints responsible adults to important posts.

Another poll from Morning Consult showed, for the first time since tracking began in December 2022, that in a head-to-head contest between Trump and Biden, Trump would win by three points.

So, aside from vodka or hemlock, what is the secret to assimilating this information?

One thing I keep in mind is that polls this far ahead don't mean much. In June 2015, Jeb Bush had 19 percent to Trump's 12. In June of 2007, Clinton led Obama 33 percent to 21 percent. Lesson: Voters are not that focused on presidential races this far out.

Another thing to bear in mind is that nominating contests are not conducted on a nationwide basis, as these polls are. They are state-by-state contests wherein the results from one contest influence the outcomes of later races. Momentum is real. Bandwagon effects are strong. If Trump wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, the race for the nomination will probably be over. But if someone else wins one or both, or one non-Trump candidate wins Iowa and another takes New Hampshire, then it's a jump ball.

Though Trump remains strong among Republican primary voters, there are definite cracks. The same NBC poll reports that 29 percent of Republican registered voters say the GOP needs a new leader "with better personal behavior and a new approach," and an additional 21 percent say "Donald Trump was a good president but it's time to consider other leaders." The party is thus divided roughly 50/50 on whether he ought to be the nominee. Of course, with the winner-take-most system the GOP employs, Trump could have more than enough support to ensure his nomination.

Which brings us to the question of the indictments. Polls reflect what voters hear and most GOP voters have heard whataboutism. But this time, there are voices from within the GOP information bubble who are telling the truth. Chris Christie is firing daily broadsides. Asa Hutchinson and Will Hurd, too. And even on Fox News, viewers have been exposed to former Trump stalwarts Bill Barr, Trey Gowdy, Karl Rove, and Jonathan Turley saying the indictment is strong and Trump's behavior is inexcusable. Elected Republicans like Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) and even Freedom Caucus member Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) have said they won't support a convicted felon for president. I know, I know, it's such a low bar, but considering where we've been, it marks a significant change.

And even if Trump is nominated, a critical portion of Republican voters will either stay home or vote for the Democrat. We've seen this pattern in recent races. In 2022, Republican voters in key races gave less support to MAGA candidates than to traditional Republicans. In Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Georgia and Arizona, Republicans split their votes, denying victories to Doug Mastriano, Don Bolduc, Herschel Walker, and Kari Lake. In each of those crucial swing states, if Republican voters had delivered the percentage of votes to those candidates that they did to other Republicans on the ballot, the election-denying MAGA candidates would have won.

It's going to be a stressful 18 months, but there are good reasons not to despair for the future of the country over today's polls.

Mona Charen is Policy Editor of The Bulwark and host of the "Beg to Differ" podcast.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

Poll: Voters Strongly Support Biden's Marijuana Reform Plan

Poll: Voters Strongly Support Biden's Marijuana Reform Plan

It's damn difficult just five weeks from Election Day to make a national policy move that is not only wildly popular but that also breaks through to the masses.

But that's exactly what President Joe Biden appears to have done with his early steps to decriminalize marijuana announced early last week.

Nearly two-thirds of voters in a new Politico/Morning Consult poll said they support Biden's executive actions granting pardons to everyone with prior federal convictions for simple marijuana possession, including 40 percent who strongly support it. Just 23 percent expressed opposition to the policy, with a mere 13 percent strongly opposed.

Support for reclassifying cannabis at the federal level drew even higher marks, with 69 percent supporting a change in how marijuana is classified. It is currently classified as a Schedule I narcotic along with heroin and LSD.

Millennials, a key voting bloc for Democrats, were particularly fond of pardoning marijuana possession, with 71 percent expressing support. Black voters, the backbone of the Democratic Party, were among the most enthusiastic demographic at 74 percent favoring the executive action.

But here's the kicker: A staggering number of voters have already heard about this very popular policy move. Sixty-eight percent of voters said they had seen, read, or heard either a lot (29 percent) or some (39 percent) about the federal pardons, while only 17 percent had heard nothing at all. That's astonishing for an announcement made just last week. In fact, the White House unveiled the policy on October 6, and the poll was conducted October 7-9.

By comparison, fewer voters had heard about Georgia GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker opposing abortion rights while paying for a girlfriend's abortion in 2009 (54 percent); OPEC+ cutting oil production by two million barrels a day (56 percent); and Biden warning that the risk of nuclear "Armageddon" is at its highest level since the Cuban missile crisis (61 percent).

Again, it's one thing to do something popular, it's another thing for it to break through to roughly two-thirds of voters just weeks before Election Day.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

New Poll Shows Supreme Court Credibility Crashing Among Women

Poll: Supreme Court Approval Crashing Among Women And Young Voters

Multiple polls have now found Americans’ opinion of the Supreme Court plummeting in the wake of recent decisions expanding gun rights and overturning Roe v. Wade.

One of those polls was a survey conducted by the progressive consortium Navigator Research, which found the high court's net favorability plunging 26 points since February to 44% favorable, 47% unfavorable.

The net changes Navigator noted between February and late June among specific demographics are fascinating.

Here's how the net change in favorability among demographics rank from the largest drops to the smaller ones. (Note: Some demographics aren't mentioned at all.)

  • Liberal Democrats: -57
  • 2020 Biden voters: -52
  • College women: -44
  • White-collar: -40
  • Suburban: -39
  • Service industry: -34
  • Women: -32
  • Independent women: -30
  • Ages 18-34: -30

As Navigator notes, the groups that have moved most against the court are younger, female, suburban, liberal Democrats, and independent women. Those demographic groups likely give us some insight into the voters most ticked off by the Supreme Court’s latest decisions and, in some cases, those most motivated to turn out in November.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Poll: Most Americans Support Vaccine Mandates

Poll: Most Americans Support Vaccine Mandates

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Despite loud GOP opposition to vaccine requirements issued by both private companies and the federal government, mandating the COVID-19 vaccine remains popular, with a CNN poll released Monday.

That survey found that 51 percent of Americans support requiring the COVID-19 jab for activities like going to work, shopping, or dining it a restaurant, saying it's "an acceptable way to increase the vaccination rate."

Higher numbers support vaccine requirements to participate in specific activities that are major fixtures of American life. For example, 55 percent of Americans support mandating that students get the COVID-19 jab to attend in-person classes — a six-point jump from April, when CNN last surveyed the issue. Another 55 percent back requiring the vaccine to go to a sporting event or concert — up eight points from April. And 54 percent support mandating workers get vaccinated before returning to the workplace, up nine points from April.

Companies that have imposed COVID-19 vaccine requirements say they have seen major jumps in the number of vaccinated workers. Delta Air Lines' chief health officer said on Thursday that the company's decision to impose $200 penalties for unvaccinated workers led to a "huge" surge in the 20,000 unvaccinated employees getting the vaccine.

"Just within the two weeks of the announcement, we've seen nearly 20 percent, or one-fifth, of that 20,000 decide to get the vaccine," Dr. Henry Ting said at a news conference held by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, accordingto a local media report. That surge means 78 percent of Delta employees are now vaccinated.

Tyson Foods saw an even bigger jump in vaccinated employees after announcing a mandate in August. Tyson employees who have at least one dose skyrocketed from 45 percent to 72 percent after the mandate was announced, according to a White House news release laying out President Joe Biden's vaccination mandate plan. In the early days of the pandemic, Tyson Foods saw massive COVID-19 outbreaks in their meatpacking plants that impacted the food supply chain.

Republicans, however, have railed against mandating the COVID-19 vaccine.

Even House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has gotten in on the politicization of the mandates, tweeting in all capital letters Sunday night, "NO VACCINE MANDATES."

A number of GOP lawmakers and candidates have even used violent rhetoric in their opposition to the new requirements.

Of course, vaccine mandates have been part of American life for more than 170 years.

Both public and private schools require students to be vaccinated against several communicable viruses in order to attend schools. The U.S. military also requires service members to get vaccinated against a host of different viruses.

The GOP opposition to mandates has led to a sharp divide in support for the requirements among the political parties, according to CNN's survey.

CNN found that 80 percent of Democrats say mandates are "an acceptable way to increase the vaccination rate," while just 23 percent of Republicans say the same.

Public health experts say that the pandemic is now one of the "unvaccinated," with nearly all recent deaths from COVID-19 coming from people who did not get the jab.

A new study released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die from the disease than those who are fully vaccinated.

"Looking at cases over the past two months when the Delta variant was the predominant variant circulating in this country, those who were unvaccinated were about four and a half times more likely to get COVID-19, over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die from the disease," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday at a news conference announcing the study's results, CBS News reported.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.