on the rise
October 6, 2020

Over the last three years, 3M's "State of Science" report found that global skepticism of science was increasing — from 29 percent in 2018 to 32 percent in 2019 to 37 percent in 2020. But a more recent survey taken after the coronavirus pandemic began suggests that trend may be reversing.

In the post-pandemic survey, science skepticism dropped back to 28 percent, while trust in science increased to 89 percent, the highest since the study began. And, more specifically, the number of people who only believe in science that aligns with their personal beliefs is down six points since 2019.

The change is seemingly linked to COVID-19, which has increased the presence of science in people's lives. Since the 2018 survey, the number of people who agreed that science is very important to their everyday life increased 12 points to 54 percent in the most recent survey, and the same number of people said they are more likely to advocate for science because of the pandemic. Before, 3M notes, that number was 20 percent.

The post-pandemic survey was conducted among 1,000 adults in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level overall was 0.94 percentage points, with a 3.1 percent margin of error for each individual country. Read more at 3M. Tim O'Donnell

October 22, 2019

Support for President Trump's impeachment and removal from office is continuing to climb, but not among Republicans.

That's according to new CNN/SSRS poll released Tuesday showing support for Trump's impeachment and removal at 50 percent, a new high. This is up three points since CNN asked the question last month in the days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) officially announced the impeachment inquiry; that September poll already saw a six point jump in impeachment support since May. Forty-three percent said they don't support impeachment in the new poll.

Republican support for impeachment has cooled since the September poll, though, with only six percent of GOP respondents now in favor compared to 14 percent last month. Among Democrats, 87 percent support impeachment, while 50 percent of independents support it. Trump's approval has also risen two points since before the official impeachment inquiry was announced.

This poll comes as Democrats are continuing to investigate whether Trump abused the power of the presidency to push Ukraine to launch investigations that might benefit him politically. In the poll, 49 percent said Trump used the presidency improperly to gain advantage in the 2020 presidential election, up one point since last month, while 43 percent said he didn't, up four points since last month. Among Republicans, 87 percent say Trump didn't use the presidency improperly, up from 71 percent in September.

CNN's poll was conducted by speaking to a random national sample of 1,003 adults over the phone from Oct. 17-20. The margin of error is 3.7 percentage points. Read more results at CNN. Brendan Morrow

October 16, 2019

Another poll has found support for impeaching President Trump and removing him from office is on the rise, with a slim majority now on board.

Gallup is out with a new poll Wednesday following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in September announcing the opening of an official impeachment inquiry into Trump, which was sparked by a whistleblower complaint alleging Trump abused his power by pushing for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

In the poll, 52 percent of respondents backed both impeaching Trump and removing him from office, while 46 percent said he shouldn't be impeached and removed. Gallup notes this is essentially a reversal of the findings of its June poll, when 45 percent said Trump should be impeached and removed, but 53 percent said he shouldn't be. The question was asked in June after the findings of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report were released.

Still, this isn't to say Republicans are getting on board with the inquiry — the poll found only 6 percent of GOP respondents back impeachment and removal, which is actually down one point from June. Support has risen nine points among independents and eight points among Democrats.

Numerous polls have shown support for impeachment rising in the wake of the House's inquiry being opened, with a recent Fox News poll showing a slim majority of voters, 51 percent, backing it, with support among Republicans rising five points. This prompted Trump to fire off an angry tweet at Fox, writing, "whoever their pollster is, they suck."

Gallup's poll was conducted by speaking to a random sample of 1,526 U.S. adults over the phone from Oct. 1-13. The margin of error is 3 percentage points. Read the full results at Gallup. Brendan Morrow

October 13, 2017

The average Social Security recipient will receive a roughly $25 boost in their monthly check in 2018, per a modest increase announced by the Social Security Administration on Friday. This change will affect over 66 million Americans who rely on monthly Social Security payments.

The overall 2 percent increase in Social Security is the largest increase since 2011, when the benefit was bumped 3.6 percent, but it still falls below the percentage predicted by officials earlier this summer.

In 1975, Congress enacted legislation mandating a yearly adjustment of Social Security based on a cost of living analysis. Sometimes that adjustment, known as COLA, is close to zero. Over the last eight years, the cost of living adjustment has averaged 1 percent.

COLA is based on Consumer Price Index changes for things like rent, clothes, food, and medical costs. Overall, consumer prices increased slightly this year, but Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused gasoline prices to sharply increase after wreaking havoc on the Gulf region, said Max Gulker, senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, in an interview with ABC News.

Social Security affects a large portion of Americans. Payments are made to senior citizens over 65, the disabled, and orphans. Some advocates for senior citizens argue that this year's 2 percent increase does not match rising medical costs for most seniors. Elianna Spitzer

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