January 16, 2018
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Americans are predictably polarized on whether President Trump aced or failed his first year, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll published Tuesday reveals.

While 34 percent say he should get an A or B for the last 12 months, slightly more — 35 percent — give Trump an F. Middle ground is sparse, with 11 percent scoring Trump's year with a D and 14 percent a C average. At the individual issue level, Trump scored best on the economy, jobs, and fighting terrorism and worst on draining the swamp.

Broken down by demographic markers, the poll results stayed consistent with past survey trends. Men remain more positive about Trump than women, as do Republicans compared to both Democrats and independents. Trump's grades have gotten worse overall since his 100-day mark, when Politico/Morning Consult conducted the same grading poll, but Republicans are actually happier with him now than they were then. Bonnie Kristian

December 20, 2017

Democrats hoping for a great blue wave in 2018 just got a bit of good Christmas tidings. A generic-ballot poll conducted by SSRS for CNN and released Wednesday shows Democrats holding their biggest polling lead yet, with 56 percent of registered voters saying they'd favor the generic Democrat in their district and just 38 percent saying they'd favor the Republican in next year's midterms.

Not only that, but CNN's numbers also found that voters who favor Democrats are more enthusiastic about voting in 2018 than are voters who lean right. Just 32 percent of GOP-leaning registered voters said they were either extremely or very enthusiastic about casting their ballot, compared to 48 percent of Democratic-leaning voters.

The last time CNN asked registered voters about a generic-ballot congressional race, the Democrats' lead was just 11 percent. And Wednesday's 18-point advantage is an increase even from the day's other good news for the Democrats: An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier Wednesday found voters favoring a generic Democrat over President Trump in a hypothetical 2020 presidential race by a 16-point margin.

Overall, the RealClearPolitics average of generic 2018 polls shows Democrats with a 12.5-point advantage over Republicans.

CNN's poll sampled 1,001 adults over the phone via live interviewer. It was conducted between Dec. 14-17 and has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points. See the full results here. Kimberly Alters

December 16, 2017

GOP voters approve of their own party's congressional contingent for the first time since June, CNN reported Saturday, citing a new Quinnipiac University poll. The shift in Republicans' views correlates with the release of the completed GOP tax plan on Friday after conference between House and Senate leadership. Before the legislation was finalized, 60 percent of GOP voters disapproved of congressional Republicans; now a plurality of 47 percent approve.


"Political analysts say it's all about the 2018 midterm elections," The Washington Post reports, because "most Americans are getting a tax cut under this plan, and if growth gets even hotter and unemployment gets even lower by Election Day, voters could reward the GOP." However, critics argue the reform plan's supporters are unrealistically optimistic in their projections of the bill's effects on economic growth. Bonnie Kristian

December 5, 2017
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About one-third of Republican voters want someone who is not Donald Trump to be elected president in 2020, a new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) finds. The poll results, published Tuesday, show 31 percent of GOP voters would like a different Republican nominee in the next presidential election, while 63 percent would like to keep President Trump on their party's ticket.

PRRI also asked voters about specific policy topics, partisanship, and the midterm election in 2018. The poll found voters sharply divided on the issues, and leaning Democratic in the upcoming race. One point on which Republicans and Democrats can agree, however, is in their views of each other. Within each party, a mere 5 percent thought the other party is "moving the country in the right direction," while about 4 in 10 say the other party is "misguided but not necessarily dangerous" and more than 5 in 10 say their political opponents' "policies are so misguided they pose a threat to the country."

Read more of the survey results here. Bonnie Kristian

December 2, 2017
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The Alabama Senate race between Roy Moore, the Republican judge accused by multiple women of sexual assault and other misconduct toward girls as young as 14, and Doug Jones, his Democratic rival, is heading toward a photo finish, new poll results released Saturday show. The Washington Post-Schar School survey puts Jones three points ahead at 50 percent support to Moore's 47 percent, a lead inside the poll's 4.5 percent margin of error.

Answers show about three in four Alabamians are following the race closely, and the same proportion of registered voters say they are certain or likely to make it to the voting booth on Election Day. Moore retains a one-point lead on the issue of abortion, while Jones is strongly ahead on LGBT issues and personal moral conduct.

The two candidates see closer levels of trust on health-care matters — 51 percent prefer Jones here, and 45 percent want Moore — which voters say is the single most important topic to them in this race (as compared to abortion, LGBT issues, and personal moral conduct). Overall, the district is still distinctly red; a majority of respondents said that "[r]egardless of the candidates running" this year, they'd prefer a GOP senator representing their state in Washington. Bonnie Kristian

November 20, 2017
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Values voters are, as the name suggests, voters who say they make their Election Day choices primarily motivated by their moral values, a political calculus that would prioritize good moral character in candidates for office. In practice, however, a new data analysis from FiveThirtyEight shows the most important values for values voters are actually policies — and candidates who pledge to defend those positions can win values voters' support irrespective of their personal morality.

To be clear, values voters' views on these top policy topics are informed by their values, but when it comes to voting, those secondary positions, rather than the values themselves, dominate the decision. For example, a 2004 poll of self-described values voters found 44 percent "mentioned specific issues like abortion or gay marriage" as the top concerns that came to mind when they thought of "moral values." Just 23 percent mentioned candidates' character.

Likewise, a 2015 poll of evangelicals, a group with considerable overlap with the values voters category, found their presidential vote was more determined by positions on key policies than by whether moral values were evident or absent in candidates' own lives. There's even some anecdotal evidence of this dynamic among this morning's headlines here at The Week: "Trump voter claims not even Jesus could convince him Trump has done anything wrong." Bonnie Kristian

October 25, 2017

Fifty-one percent of Democrats have a favorable view of former President George W. Bush, a surprising new Economist/YouGov poll has found. Among people who voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, 54 percent have a favorable view of America's 43rd president.

Last week, Bush spoke out against "discourse degraded by casual cruelty" in a speech many interpreted to be a thinly-veiled knock on President Trump. A spokesman for Bush denied that the president was the target of the speech.

Still, liberals overall have a much rosier opinion of Bush now than they had eight years ago. Gallup found that in January 2009, a mere 6 percent of Democrats approved of Bush. As Paul Waldman writes for The Week: "[T]his story also demonstrates … that you can be a decent person, which Bush certainly is — friendly, engaging, even kind — and do terribly indecent things, like lie repeatedly to the public to get them to support a disastrous war that winds up killing thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for no good reason."

Among Republicans surveyed by The Economist/YouGov, 76 percent had a favorable view of Bush while 64 percent of people who voted for Trump had the same opinion. The poll reached 1,500 American adults between Oct. 22-24. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent. Jeva Lange

October 23, 2017
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A new Military Times poll finds that nearly one in four U.S. service members say they have witnessed examples of white nationalism in the ranks, and they view this as a greater national security threat than Syria and Iraq.

The poll, released Monday, was conducted about a month after white supremacists held a violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. When it comes to national security, 30 percent of respondents said white nationalists pose a significant threat to the U.S., more than Syria (27 percent), Pakistan (25 percent), Afghanistan (22 percent), and Iraq (17 percent).

Close to 5 percent commented that they thought the Black Lives Matter movement should have been included among the options for threats to national security, and some were bothered that the poll even mentioned white supremacists. "White nationalism is not a terrorist organization," one anonymous Navy commander wrote, while an anonymous Air Force staff sergeant asked, "You do realize white nationalists and racists are two totally different types of people?"

This voluntary survey was conducted online between Sept. 7 and 25, with 1,131 active-duty service members responding, and it has a margin of error of about ±3 percent. Of the respondents, 86 percent were male, 14 percent were female, 76 percent identified as white, 9 percent as black, 8 percent as Hispanic, 2 percent as Asian, and 5 percent as other ethnicities. Catherine Garcia

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