Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Gallup: Majority Of Americans Reject Gay Marriage

Posted May 29, 2009 at 1:45 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Gallup, contradicting several other recent surveys that indicate a large national uptick in support for gay marriage, reports that "Americans' views on same-sex marriage have essentially stayed the same in the past year, with a majority of 57% opposed to granting such marriages legal status and 40% in favor of doing so. Though support for legal same-sex marriage is significantly higher now than when Gallup first asked about it in 1996, in recent years support has appeared to stall, peaking at 46% in 2007. Among major demographic or attitudinal subgroups, self-identified liberals show the greatest support for legal gay marriage at 75% in the May 7-10 poll. By contrast, only 19% of conservatives think same-sex marriages should be legally valid. Just a slim majority (55%) of Democrats approve of gay marriage, but they are more likely to do so than independents (45%) and Republicans (20%). Younger Americans have typically been much more supportive of same-sex marriage than older Americans, and that is the case in the current poll. A majority of 18- to 29-year-olds think gay or lesbian couples should be allowed to legally marry, while support reaches only as high as 40% among the three older age groups."

Democrats Move Ahead On The Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted May 28, 2009 at 2:19 AM by Maurice Berger

Parhaps as a testament to President Obama's high level of popularity over the past month--and the public's increasingly negative view of the GOP--Democrats have moved ahead slightly on what had been a tied generic congressional ballot: "Democratic Congressional candidates have moved further ahead of Republicans this week in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot." The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that "41% would vote for their district’s Democratic congressional candidate while 38% would choose the Republican. Support for Democrats is up one point from last week, while support for the GOP has dropped a point. The latest results mark the lowest level of support for the GOP since April 12, while they mark the highest level of support for the Democrats since the end of March."

Not Tough Enough On Terrorism?

Posted May 27, 2009 at 1:48 AM by Maurice Berger

A plurality of Americans, according to Rasmussen Reports, believe the US is worried too much about individual liberties in the war on terror: "In the tension between individual rights and national security, 39% of voters nationwide now believe that our legal system worries too much about protecting individual rights . . . 24% believe our legal system worries too much about national security and 25% say the balance is about right. Those figures confirm a shift in perceptions that was first recorded a month ago. In April, 37% thought the courts were too concerned about individual rights. Prior to 2009, the number who held this concern ranged from 25% to 34%.

Americans Approve Of Obama's Handing Of Terrorist Interrogation Issue, Of Pelosi, Not So Much

Posted May 26, 2009 at 2:05 AM by Maurice Berger

If Americans approve of President Obama's handling of the terrorist interrogation issue, they're decidedly down on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's handling of the matter. According to Gallup: "More Americans disapprove than approve of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's handling of the matter concerning the government's use of harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects. Majorities approve of President Barack Obama's and the CIA's handling of the matter. Even though Obama has pledged that the United States will no longer use harsh interrogation techniques (like water boarding) that many consider to be torture, the issue has remained in the news, with some in Congress -- including Pelosi -- calling for an investigation into the use of such techniques during the Bush administration. Last week, Pelosi attempted to respond to allegations that she learned of the use of water boarding in September 2002 during a CIA briefing of congressional leaders. In her press conference, she asserted that the CIA misled her by denying that water boarding was being used, even though government reports indicate it had been used on an al Qaeda terror suspect in the month prior to that briefing. The CIA responded and disputed her assertions that the agency misled her. Republican leaders have roundly criticized her remarks."

Day Off: Happy Memorial Day

Posted May 23, 2009 at 3:50 AM by Maurice Berger

To Our Readers: Were off-line on Memorial Day, taking a break like most Americans. We will return on Tuesday morning, 26 May. We wish our readers a happy holiday!

Americans Cool On Former VP Dick Cheney

Posted May 22, 2009 at 1:51 AM by Maurice Berger

What do Americans think of the recently very talkative (and critical) former Vice-President Dick Cheney: Not much, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Poll: The survey "indicates that a majority of Americans still have an unfavorable opinion of Cheney. 55% of people questioned in the poll say they have an unfavorable opinion of the former vice president. 37% say they have a favorable opinion of Cheney, up eight points from January when he left office. In the past two months the former vice president has become a frequent critic of the new Administration in numerous national media interviews. 'Is Cheney’s uptick due to his visibility as one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration?  Almost certainly not,' says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. 'Former President George W. Bush's favorable rating rose six points in that same time period, and Bush has not given a single public speech since he left office.'” While the former VPs overall numbers ARE up from earlier this year, his approval at 37%, remains very low relative to many other recent Vice-President's in the months following their time in office.

How Much Are Americans Willing To Sacrifice To Provide Universal Health Care?

Posted May 21, 2009 at 1:59 AM by Maurice Berger

How much are Americans willing to sacrifice to provide health insurance for all. Not all that much if they are Republicans or independents, according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey: Just "32% of American adults say they’d be willing to pay higher taxes so that health insurance be provided for all Americans. . . . 54% say they’re not willing to pay more in taxes. Most Democrats (54%) are willing to pay higher taxes to expand health care coverage. Most Republicans (77%) are not. As for those not affiliated with either major party, 29% are okay with the higher tax bill and 60% are not." 

Slightly Smaller Majority See Economy As America's Most Pressing Problem

Posted May 20, 2009 at 1:14 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, a slightly reduced majority of Americans see the economy as the most serious problem facing the nation: "About two-thirds of Americans, down from 76% last month and 86% in February, say the economy -- or a specific aspect of it -- is the most important problem facing the United States today  . . . this is the first month since economic concern surged last fall that fewer than 70% of Americans have named the economy, overall, as the nation's top problem. The finding coincides with significant improvement in public attitudes about the economy, with Gallup's Consumer Mood Index hitting a 16-month high last week. Still, the economy remains the undisputed issue of concern to Americans on Gallup's monthly Most Important Problem measure, with no other single issue named by more than 9%. The current 69% mentioning some aspect of the economy includes 47% citing the economy in general and 14% citing unemployment or the jobs situation. Seven percent mention "lack of money" and 5% the federal budget deficit, while 2% name taxes."

Republican Insiders: Is Former VP Cheney Hurting GOP?

Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:41 AM by Maurice Berger

Is former Vice-President Dick Cheney hurting the Repulican Party. GOP insiders seem to think so, according to a new survey: A solid 57% of Republicans said former Vice President Dick Cheney has "hurt the Republican Party since leaving office" in this week's National Journal Political Insiders Poll. Here are some representative remarks from some of the respondents:

"Cheney has emerged as the GOP's most visible spokesman. And you're more likely to find WMDs in Iraq than independent voters who like the former vice president."

"As the Republicans try to move beyond the political disaster of the Bush years, Dick Cheney is a surreal public presence that is hurting Republicans very badly."

"Cheney's comments about [Colin] Powell versus [Rush] Limbaugh will drive moderate voters even further from the party. Republicans need these voters and spokesmen that will attract them."

"Cheney's disapproval rating is 60 percent: He's so unpopular that he probably couldn't get a gig on an infomercial. He's certainly not the right guy to become the face of a revived and repositioned Republican Party."

President's Approval Picks Up In May

Posted May 18, 2009 at 2:17 AM by Maurice Berger

Is President Obama more popular now than he was in his first 100-days. According to Gallup, he is having a good, strong month: "President Barack Obama appears to be slightly more popular with Americans at the start of his second 100 days in office than he was, on average, during his first 100. Gallup Poll Daily tracking from May 7-9 finds 66% of Americans approving of how he is handling his job, compared with an average 63% from January through April. Obama's approval rating has registered 66% or better in each Gallup three-day rolling average since May 2. His 68% approval rating reported on May 3 is tied for the second highest of his presidency, exceeded only by the 69% recorded immediately after his inauguration. And except for one 66% approval rating in late April, all of Obama's previous 66% to 68% readings were obtained near the start of his term." PollTrack suggests that it is too early to tell what any of this means in the long term. Yet, the President's numbers have remained relatively strong and consustent since the outset of his administration, a sign of the relative popularity of his presidency.

Gallup: More Americans "Prof-Life" Than "Pro-Choice"

Posted May 15, 2009 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

Are Americans' viewes on abortion becoming more conservative. Gallup reports 51% of Americans call themselves "pro-life" on the issue of abortion and 42% "pro-choice." According to Gallup: "This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995. he new results, obtained from Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs survey, represent a significant shift from a year ago, when 50% were pro-choice and 44% pro-life. Prior to now, the highest percentage identifying as pro-life was 46%, in both August 2001 and May 2002. The May 2009 survey documents comparable changes in public views about the legality of abortion. In answer to a question providing three options for the extent to which abortion should be legal, about as many Americans now say the procedure should be illegal in all circumstances (23%) as say it should be legal under any circumstances (22%). This contrasts with the last four years, when Gallup found a strong tilt of public attitudes in favor of unrestricted abortion."

Overall Americans Do Not Care About Diversity On The Supreme Court

Posted May 14, 2009 at 2:10 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup poll, "despite the widely reported expectation that President Barack Obama will be looking for a qualified woman -- perhaps from a minority racial or ethnic group -- to fill the seat to be vacated by the retiring Justice David Souter, 64% of Americans say it doesn't matter to them whether Obama appoints a woman, with slightly higher percentages saying the same about the appointment of a black or Hispanic . . . Just 6% of Americans say it is "essential" that Obama appoint a woman, while another 26% say it would be "a good idea, but not essential."

Americans Want Experienced Jurist For US Supreme Court

Posted May 13, 2009 at 1:42 AM by Maurice Berger

Americans want their next Supreme Court justice to be experience and possess the highest level of legal skills, according to a new Rasmussen survey: "Forty-five percent (45%) of U.S. voters say the most important consideration in the selection of a U.S. Supreme Court justice is the nominee’s legal background and competence. For 27% of voters, making sure [the Court] represents the diversity of America is most important, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Nearly as many (23%) believe the nominee’s views on important issues should be the priority. Most Republicans (56%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (50%) stress legal skills as the most important factor in the choosing of a high court nominee. Among Democrats, however, just 34% agree. A plurality of Democrats (37%) say it is most important to make sure the court represents the nation’s diversity, while 23% say a nominee’s views are paramount."

Republicans Less Popular Among Women

Posted May 12, 2009 at 1:57 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, Democrats maintain a solid double-digit advantage among women in party identification over Republicans, 41% to 27%: "In contrast, men are equally divided in their party loyalty between Republicans (28%) and Democrats (30%), and are currently most likely to say they are politically independent (40%).Among women, Democrats maintain a solid double-digit advantage in party identification over Republicans, 41% to 27%. In contrast, men are equally divided in their party loyalty between Republicans (28%) and Democrats (30%), and are currently most likely to say they are politically independent (40%). The current results for women are typical of what Gallup has found over the past year, with roughly 4 in 10 identifying themselves as Democrats. The Democratic Party has held an advantage among women in Gallup polling throughout this decade, with support usually in the high 30% range. The current 41% female Democratic identification matches the high achieved several times since 2000."

GOP Maintains Surprising Strength in Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted May 11, 2009 at 2:01 AM by Maurice Berger

Given the popularity of President Obama and the relative weakness of the Republican brand, the GOP maintains surprising strengh in the generic ballot for the 2010 national cycle. Rasmussen reports that "for the second straight week, Republicans edge out Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot. . . . The latest . . . national telephone survey found that 40% would vote for their district’s Republican candidate while 39% would choose the Democrat. For the second straight week, Republicans edge out Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot."

Increasing Support For Gay Marriage

Posted May 08, 2009 at 12:20 AM by Maurice Berger

A new CBS News/ New York Times reports that support for "Gay Marriage" among Americans is at an all-time high: "Forty-two percent of Americans now say same sex couples should be allowed to legally marry, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds. That's up nine points from last month, when 33 percent supported legalizing same sex marriage. Support for same sex marriage is now at its highest point since CBS News starting asking about it in 2004. Twenty-eight percent say same sex couples should have no legal recognition – down from 35 percent in March – while 25 percent support civil unions, but not marriage, for gay couples. As has historically been the case on this issue, liberals are more likely to support same sex marriage. Sixty-nine percent support the idea, while conservatives generally favor either civil unions (28 percent) or no legal recognition (44 percent)."

Majority Of Americans Believe GOP In Congress Out Of Touch

Posted May 07, 2009 at 1:17 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Rasmussen survey, "just 21% of GOP voters believe Republicans in Congress have done a good job representing their own party’s values, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. 69% say congressional Republicans have lost touch with GOP voters throughout the nation. These findings are virtually unchanged from a survey just afer Election Day. Among all voters, 73% say Republicans in Congress have lost touch with the GOP base. 72% of Republicans say it is more important for the GOP to stand for what it believes in than for the party to work with President Obama. 22% want their party to work with the President more."

Among Three Major Religions, Jewish Voters Are Obama's Biggest Supporters

Posted May 05, 2009 at 11:35 PM by Maurice Berger

By a sunstantial margin, American Jews--far more than either Catholics or Protestants--are President Obama's biggest supporters. According to a new Quinnipiac poll, there is a big religious split as white Catholics approve of the President 57% to 33% while white Protestants split 44% to 42%. Jewish voters back Obama 76% to 12%. The numbers among Jewish voters closely match their sopport of the Democrat last November which hovered around 80% (78%, to be exact).

Obama's Approval Rating VERY High

Posted May 05, 2009 at 12:45 AM by Maurice Berger

President Barack Obama's overall approval rathing--67% according to Gallup--is relatively high for a commander in chief a 100 or so days into his administration. According to Gallup, "the new president's approval rating at the 100-day mark is notable in that nearly all major demographic categories of Americans are pleased with his job performance, as evidenced by approval ratings above the majority level. Only in terms of political and ideological categories does Obama have a significant proportion of detractors; a majority of Republicans and self-described "conservatives" disapprove of his job performance. Obama's strongest backers are blacks, with 96% saying they approve of the job he is doing. However, Hispanics are nearly as supportive, with 85% approving. Approval is a much lower 57% among whites -- but still a solid majority." These are exception numbers relative to most other recent presidencies.

42% Of Americans Think Obama's New Supreme Court Justice Will Be Too Liberal

Posted May 04, 2009 at 1:17 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new poll, 42% of U.S. voters believe the president’s nominee to replace retiring US Supreme Court Justice David Souter will be too liberal: "A nearly equal number—41%-- say his choice will be about right . . .  73% of Republicans and a plurality of voters not affiliated with either major party (46%) say the president’s first high court pick will be too liberal. 65% of Democratic voters expect his choice to be about right. 40% of voters think Obama believes Supreme Court justices should decide cases on the basis of fairness and justice. 36% say the president believes justices should rule based on what’s written in the U.S. Constitution. 24% are undecided."


Crisis Party: Internal GOP Poll Indicates Voters Loosing Confidence in the Republican Party

Posted May 01, 2009 at 1:53 AM by Maurice Berger

The Associated Press has obtained the results of an internal GOP survey of American voters that reveals a party in serious trouble: "Republicans are widely viewed by the public as less competent than Democrats to handle issue ranging from health care to education and energy, according to internal polling presented to top GOP officials in Congress . . . the survey was conducted in late March by New Models, a firm with close ties to Republicans . . . The survey found the public holds greater confidence in Democrats than in Republicans in handling most of the issues that are involved in Obama's legislative agenda. Democrats were favored by a margin of 61 percent to 29 percent on education; 59 percent to 30 percent on health care and 59 percent to 31 percent on energy. Congress is expected to consider major legislation later this year in all three areas. Democats were also viewed with more confidence in handling taxes, long a Republican strong suit. The only issue among nine in the survey where the two parties were rated as even was in the war on terror." Gallup indicates a slightly higher number of self-described Republicans: Their surveys conducted in the "first quarter of 2009, from January through March, find an average of 35% of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats and 28% as Republicans."