There is broad public agreement that economic inequality has grown over the past decade. But as President Obama prepares for Tuesday’s State of the Union, where he is expected to unveil proposals for dealing with inequality and poverty, there are wide partisan differences over how much the government should - and can - do to address these issues.
The new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted Jan. 15-19 among 1,504 adults, finds that 65% believe the gap between the rich and everyone else has increased in the last 10 years. This view is shared by majorities across nearly all groups in the public, including 68% of Democrats and 61% of Republicans.
Yet there is a sharp disagreement over whether this gap needs government attention. Among Democrats, 90% say the government should do “a lot” or “some” to reduce the gap between the rich and everyone else, including 62% who say it should do a lot. But only half as many Republicans (45%) think the government should do something about this gap, with just 23% saying it should do a lot. Instead, nearly half of Republicans say the government should do “not much” (15%) or “nothing at all” (33%) about the wealth divide.
New Quinnipiac Poll: Most Americans Think Snowden “More of a Whistleblower,” but Still Want Him Prosecuted
Today Glenn Greenwald and his cronies are crowing about a new Quinnipiac University poll, showing that a majority of Americans consider Edward Snowden more of a “whistleblower” than a “traitor.”
Imagine working month after month to demonize Snowden as a traitor only to wake up & see this new polling data https://t.co/h5HYl2XTLj
New poll shows huge margin of Americans see Snowden as more of a whistleblower than traitor: 57%-34% http://t.co/TQAPld9lH5
Here’s the question:
“Do you regard Edward Snowden — the national security consultant who released information to the media about the phone scanning program — as more of a traitor, or more of a whistle-blower?”
34% say they consider him more of a traitor, 57% say whistleblower.
But notice: that either/or question doesn’t allow for any opinions in between. For example, I do not consider Snowden to be a whistleblower, but I’m not sure I’d go all the way to “traitor,” either.
Be that as it may, it’s very interesting to see the poll responses Greenwald didn’t mention:
“Do you support or oppose the federal government program in which all phone calls are scanned to see if any calls are going to a phone number linked to terrorism?”
“Do you think this program is necessary to keep Americans safe or not?”
Not necessary: 46%
“Do you think the Obama administration should drop the pursuit of Edward Snowden and let him come home as a free man or not?”
Should drop pursuit: 39%
Should NOT drop pursuit: 47%
So even though a plurality of Americans think Snowden’s “more of a whistleblower,” they still think he should face prosecution, and they’re almost evenly split on support for the NSA’s data collection programs. I wonder why Greenwald isn’t trumpeting those numbers?
Bad news for the Snowden/Greenwald axis and their pursuit of immunity from prosecution: the American public’s not going for it.
The Times writes that “the shrill brigade of his critics say Mr. Snowden has done profound damage to intelligence operations of the United States, but none has presented the slightest proof that his disclosures really hurt the nation’s security.”
But Americans see things differently. Sixty percent said they believe his disclosures harmed U.S. security, according to a November Washington Post-ABC News poll. And 55 percent said they think he did the “wrong thing” in leaking information to the media about the government’s sweeping surveillance efforts. Snowden has shared his information about the NSA programs with The Washington Post.
More than half of Americans (52 percent) said that Snowden should be charged with a crime for disclosing the NSA’s sweeping intelligence-gathering efforts. Just 38 percent said he should not be charged. (The Times, it should be noted, isn’t saying that Snowden shouldn’t be charged at all. It’s simply vouching for leniency.)
Support for prosecuting Snowden crosses party lines (highly unusual in these days of the government shutdown), as the following chart shows:
And an interesting footnote: as Greenwald and his cronies have disclosed more and more of the stolen documents (revealing NSA programs and secrets that have nothing to do with civil liberties), the public has grown more and more opposed to the Snowden public relations effort.
Americans have become less sympathetic to Snowden as additional programs have been revealed. In June, a Post-ABC poll found the public split 43 to 48 percent over whether he should be charged. Opinions changed one month later, with 53 percent saying he should be charged, a finding that held steady in November at 52 percent.
If you’re a member of the GOP establishment who wants to see Republicans win elections, the latest poll results from Virginia have to be your second worst nightmare: The Implosion of the GOP Brand, in One More Chart.
The interactive chart shows that the national GOP’s unfavorable rating in Virginia has spiked to 87 percent among nonwhite likely voters. It’s at 69 percent among women voters. And it’s at 69 percent among white college graduate voters — a number that is likely higher among college educated white women. White college grads — particularly women — are an increasingly important constituency to Democrats, and their preferences could have major implications for the GOP’s ability to win elections in the future with an overreliance on white voters.
And it is at 69 percent among independents. All of this mirrors another chart I posted last week that showed the GOP brand collapsing among key voter groups nationally.
Multiple observers — see Mark Murray and Taegan Goddard for examples — argue Virginia is increasingly resembling the country as a whole.
Why do I say it’s the GOP establishment’s second worst nightmare? Because their worst nightmare is the Tea Party base, who couldn’t care less about polls like this and are going to keep demanding still more far right ideological purity from Republican candidates.
The latest CNN poll on the government shutdown shows that the American public isn’t falling for the Republican Party’s attempt to reverse victim and offender: CNN Poll: Republicans Would Bear the Brunt of Shutdown Blame.
Washington (CNN) — If the federal government shuts down starting Tuesday because of a bitter partisan battle over the new health care law, more people say congressional Republicans rather than President Barack Obama would be responsible, according to a new national survey.
A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday morning, hours before funding for the government is scheduled to run out, also indicates that most Americans think Republicans in Congress are acting like spoiled children in this fiscal fight, with the public divided on whether the president is acting like a spoiled child or a responsible adult.
And six in 10 questioned in the survey say they want Congress to approve a budget agreement to avoid a government shutdown, and if it happens, most people say a shutdown would be a bad thing for the country.
The media’s coverage of the Obama administration’s decision to pursue a diplomatic solution to the Syria crisis has been overwhelmingly negative, and not just from Fox News. But the latest Pew poll shows the American public is not going along with this narrative: Public Backs Diplomatic Approach in Syria, but Distrusts Syria and Russia.
As U.S. and Russian diplomats reached an agreement over the weekend to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, the public expresses support for a diplomatic approach to the crisis but is skeptical about its effectiveness.
By a 67% to 23% margin, the public approves of Barack Obama’s decision to delay military airstrikes and pursue a diplomatic effort to convince Syria to give up its chemical weapons. However, just 26% think Syria will give up control of its chemical weapons, while 57% think it will not.
More generally, the public has little trust in Syria. Just 8% say the United States can trust Syria a great deal or a fair amount, while 63% say Syria cannot be trusted at all and another 22% say it can’t be trusted much. The public is skeptical of Russia as well: just 24% say the United States can trust Russia even a fair amount, down from 33% last year.
If President Obama decides to take military action against Syria in the wake of the regime’s alleged chemical attacks against civilians, it’s going to be a very unpopular move.
(Reuters) - Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria’s government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed, a Reuters/Ipsos poll says.
About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act.
The new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll on abortion shows that for the first time, a majority of Americans want abortion to be legal in all (or most) cases.
And one reason for the opinion swing: the Republican Party’s deranged obsession with controlling women’s reproductive rights, and the very revealing statements by people like Todd Akin and other highly placed right wing cavemen.
What’s more, seven in 10 respondents oppose Roe v. Wade being overturned, which is the highest percentage on this question since 1989.
“These are profound changes,” says Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart and his colleagues.
McInturff adds that the abortion-related events and rhetoric over the past year - which included controversial remarks on abortion and rape by two Republican Senate candidates, as well as a highly charged debate over contraception - helped shaped these changing poll numbers.
“The dialogue we have had in the last year has contributed … to inform and shift attitudes.”
A new poll commissioned by Daily Kos and SEIU has Mitt Romney with a four-point lead, and a margin of error of 2.5 points: Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation poll: Romney’s best numbers of the week.
Markos points out that these results are unusual, possibly indicating an outlier:
At a time when other polls are moving back in the president’s direction, our own weekly poll by Public Policy Polling saw the opposite—a two-point Romney gain. Per day:
Friday (38%) Obama 47, Romney 49
Saturday (39%) Obama 49, Romney 47
Sunday (24%) Obama 43, Romney 55
That Sunday sample, about a quarter of the total, was entirely responsible for Romney’s favorable numbers. That’s why the good pollsters collect data over multiple days, to smooth out such irregularities. And at 400 respondents (or so), Sunday had a single-day MoE of 4.9 percent. Lots of polls float around with worse. On the other hand, Saturday’s sample MoE was 3.92 percent, while Friday’s was 3.97 percent. And with no external news even suggesting the big Sunday collapse, it certainly smells like an outlier.
Finally — a poll Fox News and the Right Wing Unison Blogosphere will like. From CNN, keeping that horse race alive:
Washington (CNN) – Two days before the first presidential debate, a new national survey indicates a very close contest between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the race for the White House.
And according to a CNN/ORC International poll, neither candidate appears to have an edge on the economy, which remains the top issue on the minds of Americans and which may dominate Wednesday night’s debate on domestic issues in Denver.
Fifty-percent of likely voters questioned in the CNN survey, which was released Monday, say that if the election were held today, they would vote for the president, with 47% saying they would support Romney, the former Massachusetts governor. The president’s three point margin is within the poll’s sampling error.