For the sixth consecutive year, “whatever” tops the list as the most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation. Americans’ irritability about the term crosses most demographic groups. However, in the Northeast, “like” and “whatever” are almost equally irksome. Americans younger than 30 are the least likely to be perturbed by hearing “whatever.”
Which word or phrase is thought to be the most overused in 2014? “Selfie” earns that dubious distinction. While there is a consensus among most groups, a plurality of residents under 30 consider “hashtag” to be the word or phrase used too often during the last year.
- A plurality of Americans, 43%, thinks “whatever” is the most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation. “Like” is the most irritating for 23% of the population while “literally” gets on the nerves of 13%. One in ten residents, 10%, reports “awesome” grates on them while 8% would prefer not to hear “with all due respect.” Last year, “whatever,” 38%, defeated “like” which received 22%, “you know” which had 18%, “just sayin’” which garnered 14%, and “obviously” which was cited by 6%.
- Regional differences exist. Residents in the South, 50%, Midwest, 49%, and West, 34%, perceive “whatever” to be the most bothersome in casual conversation. In the Northeast, “like,” 34%, and “whatever,” 33% are considered almost equally as irritating.
- Americans under 30 years old, 36%, are less likely than older Americans, 46%, to consider “whatever” to be the most annoying.
- “Selfie” is considered the most overused word or phrase by 35% of residents nationally. 27% say “hashtag” is the most worn out word. “Twerk” receives 16% while “YOLO” garners 8%. Five percent cite “twittersphere” as excessively used while 1% reports “hipster” was used too often.
- While a plurality of Americans 30 and older, 38%, say “selfie” is the most overused word of 2014, 32% of younger residents think “hashtag” was used too much.
The entire Marist Poll team would like to wish you a very happy holiday season and a healthy and joyous New Year.
Click below to watch our holiday greeting, including a couple of twists on some holiday favorites.
With Chanukah underway and just one week until Christmas, many Americans who purchase holiday gifts won’t be cutting corners on their seasonal shopping. A majority of holiday shoppers say they plan to spend about the same amount of money as they did last year, and more than one in ten gift givers intends to spend more. Although down from last year, financial concerns are top of mind for nearly one-third of shoppers who report they will be cutting back this holiday season.
Looking to 2015, are Americans vowing to make a change? More than four in ten Americans expect to make a resolution, and weight loss tops the list of improvements for the New Year. However, more Americans have let their resolutions slide. Of those who made a promise going into 2014, only 59% kept their word, down from 72% the previous year. Men are slightly more likely than women to have kept their resolution.
- A majority of Americans who spend money on holiday shopping, 55%, plans to spend the same amount of money as they did last year. 32% say they will spend less money, and 13% will spend more. Fewer holiday shoppers expect to spend less than last year. In 2013, 52% reported they intended to maintain the same level of spending as in the past. Nearly four in ten, 38%, thought they would reduce their holiday expenditures, and 10% said they would spend more (Trend).
- While there has been little change in the spending habits of holiday shoppers who earn $50,000 or more, there has been a positive shift in the spending of those who earn less. Half of holiday shoppers who make less than $50,000, 50%, will spend about the same as last year, up from 43% in 2013. 36% of these shoppers expect to spend less, compared with 45% in 2013.
- More than six in ten holiday shoppers who are 45 or older, 62%, say they will spend about the same amount of money as they did last year. This compares with 53% in 2013 who reported they would spend about as much as the previous year. Fewer Americans in this age group who purchase presents, 29%, expect to spend less, down from 40% in 2013. There has been little change in the holiday spending habits of younger Americans.
- Six in ten holiday shoppers, 60%, little changed from 63% last year, expect to mostly use cash when buying their holiday gifts. 37% plan to use, for the most part, credit cards, and 3% are unsure.
- How do Americans who buy holiday gifts plan to make their purchases? 19% say they will do all or most of their shopping online. 44% will buy some of their seasonal purchases via the Internet while 38% don’t plan to use the Internet to purchase any of their holiday gifts. There has been little change on this question since last year (Trend).
- Turning to New Year’s resolutions, 44% of Americans, identical to last year, are very likely or somewhat likely to make a New Year’s resolution for 2015. Similar to last year, younger Americans are more likely than older Americans to resolve to change (Trend). 56% of those younger than 45, compared with 33% of those 45 and older, plan to make a change to their lifestyle. Similar proportions of men, 43%, and women, 44%, are, at least, somewhat likely to make a resolution.
- Weight loss is the top resolution this year cited by 13% of Americans who vow to make a change in 2015. Exercising more follows with 10%. Nine percent want to be a better person while 8% mention improving their health. With 7% each, stopping smoking, spending less and saving more money, and eating healthier rounds out the top-tier in the complete list of 2015 New Year’s resolutions. The top resolutions for 2014 were spending less and saving more, being a better person, and exercising more each with 12%. Weight loss came in fourth with 11% while health improvements, eating healthier, and ceasing smoking each received 8% of those who were likely to make a resolution for 2014.
- Among adults nationally who said they made a resolution for 2014, 59% kept their resolution for, at least, part of the year. 41% did not. This is a change from the previous year (Trend). Among those who made a resolution for 2013, 72% kept their word.
- Men, 64%, are more likely than women, 55%, to report they stuck to their 2014 resolution for at least part of the year.
Looking back at some of the sports stories that made headlines in 2014, domestic violence in the National Football League tops the list as the year’s biggest sports story. Regardless of demographic group, this story is the one that resonated most with sports fans nationally.
When it comes to the biggest sports accomplishment during the past twelve months, the San Francisco Giants third World Series victory in five years and the advance of the men’s national soccer team to the elimination round of the World Cup top the list. And, while Peyton Manning is considered to be the athlete with the largest impact on his sport in 2014, LeBron James gives him a run for his money. On many of these questions, there are differences based on race and age.
This Marist Poll is done in conjunction with The Marist College Center for Sports Communication.
“These results reinforce the prominence of football in America. It’s once again where America finds its biggest star and its most dire situation,” says Dr. Keith Strudler, Director of The Marist College Center for Sports Communication. “Americans are sending the NFL a clear message that they want the League to establish a sustainable domestic abuse policy.”
- Nearly half of sports fans, 49%, cite the domestic violence controversies in the NFL as the story with the biggest impact on sports this year. The banning of Donald Sterling, the, now, former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, from the NBA for his racist remarks places a distant second with 24%. Academic fraud in University athletic programs is mentioned by 11% while another 11% think the suspension of Alex Rodriguez for using performing enhancing drugs had the largest effect on sports in 2014.
- When it comes to the biggest sports accomplishment of the year, 29% of fans think the San Francisco Giants third World Series win in five years takes the top spot while 27% believe the advance of the U.S. Men’s national soccer team to the elimination round of the World Cup deserves the top honor. One in five sports fans, 20%, mentions the wins by both UCONN’s men and women in the NCAA basketball championship, and a similar, 19%, cite Serena Williams 18th Grand Slam victory.
- Age and race matter on this question. 38% of sports fans under 30 and 31% of those 60 and older choose the Giants’ win while 36% of those 30 to 44 think the men’s performance in the World Cup deserves the top honor. There is little consensus among those 45 to 59. Looking at race, 42% of Latino sports fans select the Giants’ World Series win while 37% of African Americans choose Serena Williams’ 18th Grand Slam title. White sports fans are torn between the performance by the men’s U.S. soccer team, 30%, and this year’s World Series victors, 29%.
- NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, 33%, edges out LeBron James, 29%, as the player who had the biggest impact on their sport this year. This is the third year that Manning has been selected as the most influential player by sports fans. A majority of sports fans, 55%, selected Manning in 2013. MLB’s Derek Jeter was chosen by 24% of sports fans this year. One in ten fans pick professional soccer player Lionel Messi.
- Age and race make a difference. 42% of sports fans 60 and older and 38% of those 30 to 44 believe Manning had the largest influence on his sport, football. 32% of sports fans under 30 say James is tops as the player with the greatest impact on his sport, basketball. There is little consensus among sports fans 45 to 59 years of age. Nearly half of African American sports fans, 48%, and a plurality of Latinos, 35%, selects James while 37% of white sports fans choose Manning.
- Six in ten Americans, 60%, up from 55% last year, are sports fans.
Keith Strudler, Ph.D., is the director for the Marist College Center for Sports Communication. Dr. Strudler founded Marist’s popular concentration in sports communication in 2002, now one of the nation’s largest in the discipline. He studies and teaches in the areas of sports media, sports and society, and sports reporting and information. Dr. Strudler also writes weekly sports commentary for WAMC, an NPR radio station in Albany, NY.
Many registered voters nationally think the GOP will have more influence in directing the nation in 2015 than President Barack Obama. However, only 35% think this will bring about change for the better.
Congressional Republicans take control of the legislature amid continued dissatisfaction with elected officials in Washington and pessimism about the overall direction of the country. In fact, the job approval rating of the Democrats in Congress is at its lowest point, 27%, and the approval rating of congressional Republicans stands at 28%. President Obama doesn’t fare much better. His approval rating is at 43% among registered voters, and his favorable rating is upside down. On the specifics of Mr. Obama’s job performance, fewer voters think well of how he is handling foreign policy than previously, and he receives a lukewarm rating on his approach to the economy.
More than six in ten voters say the new Republican-controlled Congress should amend, if not repeal, the 2010 health care law. About one-third think the GOP should focus on other items on the national agenda.
Americans are not overly optimistic about the future of their family’s finances.
“The balance in power has changed in Washington,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, voters need to see results to reverse their sense of dysfunction in government.”
- Regardless of party, more than six in ten voters, 61%, think the Republicans in Congress will have more influence over the direction of the nation in 2015. 29% believe President Obama will be the driving force, and 2% report neither will be in command.
- When it comes to who voters want to have more influence, 48% prefer the GOP to take the lead while 42% want Obama in charge. Looking at party, while 93% of Republicans want the GOP to have the most impact, 82% of Democrats look to President Obama to take the lead. 47% of independents turn to the GOP for leadership, and 40% put their stock in President Obama.
- While 35% of voters think the Republican-controlled Congress will effect change for the better, a plurality, 40%, doesn’t expect to see any impact at all. One in five, 20%, reports GOP control will be change for the worse.
- Seven in ten voters, 70%, think it is better for government officials to compromise to find solutions than stand on principle. Democrats, 82%, are more likely than Republicans, 59%, to choose to compromise. More than one-third of Republicans, 36%, value principle over compromise compared with 15% of Democrats who have this view.
- Close to two-thirds of Americans, 64%, are pessimistic about the direction of the country. 31% say the nation is on track, and 6% are unsure. Earlier this fall, 61% of residents said the country was going in the wrong direction, and 35% reported it was moving in the right one (Trend).
- The job approval rating of congressional Democrats is at its lowest point, 27%, since McClatchy-Marist began reporting this question. The previous low for Democrats was 28% and occurred in November of 2011 (Trend). In October, 33% of voters approved of how the Democrats were doing their job.
- The job approval rating of the Republicans in Congress, 28%, also falls short in voters’ eyes. In October, 24% of registered voters approved of how the congressional GOP was doing its job (Trend).
- 43% of registered voters nationally approve of the job President Obama is doing in office while 52% disapprove. Obama’s approval rating stood at 46% in October (Trend). Mr. Obama’s favorable rating is also upside down. 44% have a favorable impression of him while a majority, 54%, does not. Voters divided on the president’s image, 48% to 49%, respectively, earlier this fall (Trend).
- 38% of the national electorate, down from 46% in October, approve of how the president is handling foreign policy. 52% disapprove, and 10% are unsure (Trend).
- On his handling of the economy, 41% of voters approve of how the president is tackling the issue. This is unchanged from 41% in McClatchy-Marist’s previous survey. 55% currently disapprove of how President Obama is dealing with the economy (Trend).
- More than six in ten registered voters nationally, 61%, want the Republicans in Congress to make changes to the 2010 health care law. This includes 23% who want the law repealed and 38% who favor modifications to the legislation. 34%, though, say the GOP should focus their efforts on other issues. While 53% of Democrats want the GOP to focus on other issues, and 48% of Republicans want to eliminate the law, 38% of Democrats and 35% of Republicans want changes to be made to the law. A plurality of independents, 43%, would like the health care law modified.
- 51% of Americans expect their personal family finances to stay about the same in the coming year. 32% think they will see an improvement, and 17% believe their family’s financial situation will get worse. In October, 54% reported their money matters would be status quo, 30% thought they would get better, and 17% believed they would get worse (Trend).
Do voters nationally expect the Republican-controlled Congress to have a positive impact on the country? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
To read the full McClatchy article, click here.
Two familiar Republican faces, former presidential nominee Mitt Romney and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, lead the crowded field of potential candidates for the GOP nomination in 2016. Looking at what Republicans and Republican leaning independents want in a nominee, close to two thirds prefer a candidate who stands on conservative principles rather than a nominee who can win. However, there has been a slight shift in opinion toward selecting a nominee with a viable chance of winning the White House.
On the Democratic side, there has been a major change in what the Democrats want in their presidential nominee. Close to six in ten Democrats and Democratic leaning independents prefer a candidate who will move the nation in a new direction and not someone who will continue the policies of President Barack Obama. One year ago, Democrats divided between charting a new course and continuing the current Democratic agenda.
What does this mean for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? If she were to seek the Presidency, Clinton is the odds-on favorite to win her party’s nomination. In several hypothetical matchups, Clinton also leads her potential Republican opponents by double digits.
But, could a third party candidate be a spoiler? Looking at a generic ballot which includes an independent choice, neither a Democrat nor a Republican has the edge. Close to one in five says they would support an independent candidate.
“Open seats often are a political free-for-all, and this one could very well end up that way,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, right now, Clinton is in the driver’s seat both for her party’s nomination and the general election.”
- If he decided to run in the 2016 Republican primary, former GOP nominee Mitt Romney would be the choice of 19% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents to represent his party. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush receives 14% of the vote. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee each has the support of 9% while retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson garners 8%. Five percent are for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Texas Governor Rick Perry each garners 4% while Representative Paul Ryan from Wisconsin, former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker each receives 3%. Ohio Governor John Kasich has the support of 2% while Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former business executive Carly Fiorina each has the backing of 1%. More than one in ten, 13%, is undecided.
- Without Romney in the primary, Bush takes over the lead with 16% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents followed by Huckabee with 12% and Christie with 10%. Carson receives 8%, Ryan garners 7%, and Paul has 6%. Cruz and Perry each has the support of 5% followed by Rubio, Walker, Kasich, and Santorum with 3% each. One percent is for Jindal, and the same proportion, 1%, supports Fiorina. Nearly one in five, 18%, is undecided.
- By nearly two to one, Republicans and Republican leaning independents, 64%, report it is more important to have a nominee who will stand on conservative principles than it is to have a nominee for president who can win. Last December, 67% thought the priority was to have a nominee who stood on conservative principles (Trend).
- Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite in the Democratic primary. 62% of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents support the former Secretary of State. Vice President Joe Biden is a distant second with 11% while Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has 9%. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont receives 4%. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has 1% as does former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia. 11% are undecided.
- Nearly six in ten Democrats and Democratic leaning independents, 58%, think it’s more important to have a nominee who will move the nation in a new direction while 38% want someone who will continue President Barack Obama’s policies. This is a major shift since last December when Democrats divided. 46% said they wanted a candidate who would go in a new direction, and 49% reported they wanted a continuation of Obama’s policies (Trend).
Clinton Bests GOP Rivals by Double Digits
- Clinton, 53%, has a 12 point lead against Romney, 41%, among registered voters nationally. Six percent are undecided. Clinton, 53%, outpaced Romney, 44%, by 9 points in February (Trend).
- Twelve points also separate Clinton, 53%, from Christie, 41%. Six percent are undecided. Clinton, 51%, outdistanced Christie, 42%, by 9 points in October (Trend).
- Clinton, 53%, is up by 13 points over Bush, 40%. Seven percent are undecided. In October, Clinton, 53%, was ahead of Bush, 42%, by 11 points (Trend).
- Clinton has the support of 54% of voters to 40% for Paul. Six percent are undecided. Clinton, 52%, had a 9 point lead over Paul, 43%, earlier in the fall (Trend).
- Looking at a generic ballot which includes a choice for an independent candidate, neither the Democratic candidate, 37%, nor the Republican candidate, 35%, has the advantage among registered voters. 17% of voters would support an independent candidate. 12% are undecided.
In the 2016 race for the White House, has a Republican emerged as the front-runner in the crowded GOP field? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
To read the full McClatchy article, click here.
Following the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri not to indict a white police officer who killed Michael Brown, the discussion, now, turns to whether or not the federal government should bring civil rights charges against that police officer. Americans’ views on the issue fall along a racial divide.
Three in four African Americans nationally believe a federal civil rights suit should be brought against the officer while more than two-thirds of whites disagree. When it comes to protests following incidents such as the fatal shooting in Ferguson, nearly seven in ten whites say these actions bring negative attention to the debate about race’s role in law enforcement. A plurality of African Americans, however, believes these protests shed positive light on the issue.
African Americans and whites do agree in one area. Regardless of race, more than six in ten Americans believe Michael Brown’s stepfather should not be charged with inciting a riot based on his reaction to the grand jury decision.
On the broader issue of the law enforcement process, race drives the discussion. While whites are more likely to describe incidents like those in Ferguson and Staten Island, New York as isolated occurrences, African Americans are more likely to say these events are indicative of a larger problem. Whites are more than twice as likely as African Americans to have a great deal of confidence in their community police to gain the trust of local residents and to treat blacks and whites equally. The proportion of whites who express a high level of confidence in local law enforcement to protect them from violent crime also outnumbers the proportion of African Americans who share this view.
“When it comes to reactions to the events in Ferguson and Staten Island, the racial divide is wide,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
- 57% of Americans do not think the federal government should bring civil rights charges against the white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri who killed an unarmed man. 34% believe the officer should face charges, and 9% are unsure. African Americans, 75%, are much more likely than whites, 23%, to report a civil rights suit should be filed. 50% of Latinos think civil rights action against the officer should be taken.
- More than six in ten residents, 62%, think the protests following the Ferguson and Staten Island decisions bring negative attention to these issues. 21% believe they have a positive impact while 12% say they have no effect at all. While 68% of whites and 59% of Latinos believe the protests bring negative attention to the issues, only 35% of African Americans agree. A plurality of African Americans, 43%, think the protests shed a positive light on the matter.
- Many residents, 64%, say Michael Brown’s stepfather should not be charged with inciting a riot in the aftermath of the grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer who killed Brown. 29% report he should face charges. 78% of African Americans do not think the actions of Brown’s stepfather warrant criminal action. 64% of whites and 60% of Latinos agree.
- 53% of Americans think the grand jury decisions in Ferguson and Staten Island are isolated cases and do not reflect an overall problem with the justice system when it comes to race and police officers. 41% of residents say these decisions are part of a larger issue. 76% of African Americans, compared with 33% of whites, report there is a problem with the justice system when it comes to law enforcement and race. 56% of Latinos share this view.
- 43% of Americans have a great amount of confidence in their local police to gain the trust of local residents. 31% have a fair amount of confidence in law enforcement to do so, and 12% have some degree of confidence in them. 13% have very little confidence in the police to gain the trust of members of their community. 50% of whites have a great deal of confidence in the police to gain the trust of those they serve compared with only 22% of African Americans.
- When it comes to the confidence Americans have in their local police to treat blacks and whites equally, 41% have a great deal of confidence in them. 30% have a fair amount of trust in local law enforcement to do so, and 11% have some. 16% of residents have very little confidence in local police to promote racial equality. Whites, 49%, are more than twice as likely as African Americans, 22%, to think blacks and whites are treated equally by the police.
- A plurality of U.S. residents, 45%, have confidence in their local police to protect them from violent crime in their community. 33% have a fair amount of trust in them to do so while 9% have some confidence in them. 12% of Americans have very little trust in law enforcement to keep them safe. Nearly half of white residents, 49%, compared with 30% of African Americans, have a great deal of confidence in their local police to keep them safe from violent crime. 36% of Latinos have a similar level of trust in police to protect them.
- Registered voters divide over President Barack Obama’s handling of race relations. 47% disapprove, and 44% approve. Looking at race, 54% of white voters disapprove while 57% of non-white voters approve.
- A plurality of Americans, 43%, thinks it helps race relations that President Obama is African American. 33% say it hurts, and a notable 24% are unsure. While 44% of whites and 46% of Latinos say the president’s race is a benefit to race relations, a plurality of African Americans, 42%, consider it to be detrimental.
In the aftermath of the grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer who killed an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri, do Americans think federal civil rights charges should be brought against the police officer? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
To read the full McClatchy article, click here.