If Hillary Clinton were to enter the presidential contest, she would be the front-runner with a strong lead against her possible Republican rivals. Her closest opponent, Paul Ryan, trails Clinton by 8 percentage points among registered voters nationally. Clinton outpaces her other potential GOP rivals by double digits.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: McClatchy-Marist Poll
“Hillary Clinton is very popular among Democrats and may have smooth sailing to the Democratic nomination,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “She currently dominates a crowded Republican field and continues to break 50% against each of her possible GOP rivals.”
Among registered voters nationally, here is how Hillary Clinton fares against potential Republican candidates:
- 51% support Clinton compared with 43% for Ryan. Five percent are undecided. Clinton — 52% — led Ryan — 44% — by the same margin in February’s McClatchy-Marist Poll. Four percent, at that time, were undecided.
- Against Chris Christie, Clinton receives 53% to 42% for Christie. Five percent are undecided. However, Clinton outpaced Christie by 21 percentage points in February. At that time, 58% of registered voters, then, backed Clinton while 37% supported Christie. Six percent were undecided.
- 53% of voters support Clinton while 40% are behind Mike Huckabee. Six percent are undecided. When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question, 55% were for Clinton while 41% were behind Huckabee. Four percent, at that time, were undecided.
- Clinton — 54% — also has the advantage against Rand Paul — 40%. Six percent are undecided. In that previous McClatchy-Marist Poll, 58% were for Clinton while 38% were for Paul. Four percent, at that time, were undecided.
- Clinton — 54% — outdistances Ted Cruz — 39% — by 15 percentage points. Seven percent are undecided. Two months ago, 56% of voters were behind Clinton while 39% supported Cruz. Five percent, then, were undecided.
- When matched against Jeb Bush, Clinton leads Bush, 55% to 39%. Six percent are undecided. In February, Clinton received 58% to 38% for Bush. Four percent were undecided.
- Clinton garners 54% to 38% for Marco Rubio. Eight percent are undecided. When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question, 58% of voters supported Clinton while 37% backed Rubio. Four percent were undecided.
- Clinton — 56% — does the best against Joe Scarborough — 35%. Here, she leads Scarborough by 21 percentage points. Nine percent are undecided.
Majority with Favorable View of Clinton…Christie and Bush Upside Down
52% of registered voters nationally have a positive opinion of Clinton, including 81% of Democrats. 43% have an unfavorable view of her, including 78% of Republicans. Five percent have either never heard of Clinton or are unsure how to rate her. Independent voters divide. 49% of these voters like Hillary Clinton and 46% do not. There has been no change on this question since February when identical proportions of registered voters had these views. 52%, at that time, thought well of Clinton, 43% had an unfavorable opinion of her, and 5% had either never heard of her or were unsure how to rate her.
Voters’ impressions of Christie and Bush are upside down. 44% of voters have a negative view of Christie while 36% have a positive impression of him. One in five — 20% — has either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. Two months ago, 46% had an unfavorable opinion of Christie, and 33% thought well of him. 21% had either never heard of Christie or were unsure how to rate him.
Looking at Bush’s favorable rating, 42% have an unfavorable impression of him. However, 31% like Bush. 27% have either never heard of Jeb Bush or are unsure how to rate him.
Close to two-thirds of registered voters — 65% — have either never heard of Scarborough or are unsure how to rate him. 21% have a negative view of the former congressman and morning show host while 14% have a positive impression of Scarborough.
No Clear Leader of the GOP Pack
None of the potential Republican contenders for president has emerged as the front-runner. 2016 for the GOP is an open contest with no one having established an early advantage.
Among Republicans nationally including Republican leaning independents, here is how the contest for the 2016 Republican nomination stands:
- 13% Mike Huckabee
- 13% Jeb Bush
- 12% Rand Paul
- 12% Chris Christie
- 12% Paul Ryan
- 7% Marco Rubio
- 5% Scott Walker
- 4% Ted Cruz
- 4% Bobby Jindal
- 3% Rick Santorum
- 3% Rick Perry
- <1% John Kasich
- 14% undecided
In February’s McClatchy-Marist Poll, Christie and Huckabee each received the support of 13% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents. 12% backed Rubio while 9% were for Paul. Another 9% supported Ryan. Bush and Sarah Palin each garnered the support of 8% of Republicans. Seven percent were behind Walker, and 5% backed Cruz. Perry and Santorum each had 2%, and Kasich garnered 1%. 12%, at that time, were undecided.
Looking ahead to 2016, what would Hillary Clinton’s electoral chances be if she decided to run for president? Is there a clear front-runner among the potential Republican candidates? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
To read the full McClatchy article, click here.
A majority of Americans — 55% — considers Ukraine to be key to the national interest. This includes 13% who say it is very important and 42% who consider it to be important. 39%, however, report it is either not very important — 30% — or not important at all — 9% — to the United States. Six percent are unsure.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: McClatchy-Marist Poll
“There is a good deal of ambivalence about Ukraine as far as U.S. public opinion is concerned,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Americans think it’s important to the national interest, and Russia may expand the conflict. But, there is little public consensus in the U.S. to take a tough stand.”
Regardless of political party, a majority thinks Ukraine is of consequence to America’s interests. Republicans, however, are the most likely to feel this way. 61% of Republicans say Ukraine is either very important or important to the United States. This compares with 52% of Democrats and 53% of independent voters who have the same opinion.
There are gender differences on this question. Six in ten women — 60% — say the region is of value to the United States. 48% of men say the same.
However, when it comes to whether or not the United States should draw a hard line against Russia because of Ukraine, half of residents — 50% — do not think the United States should take such a firm stance because it could mean losing Russia’s cooperation on other issues like Iran and Syria. 42% disagree and report America should take a tough stand against Russia. Eight percent are unsure.
What, if anything, should the United States do to address the situation in Ukraine? Only 7% of Americans think military options should be considered. 46% say the best way to deal with the crisis in Ukraine is through economic and political means, and 43% think the United States should not get involved at all. Four percent are unsure.
A majority of Republicans — 54% — wants America to handle the situation diplomatically. A plurality of Democrats — 47% — says the United States should stay out of the situation entirely while 43% believe the best options are political and economic. Nearly half of independent voters — 48% — say America should address the situation through non-military measures.
About Two-Thirds Say Russia will Send Troops Beyond Crimea…Divide about Possibility of New Cold War
66% of Americans think Russia will not stop at Crimea and will deploy troops to other parts of Ukraine. One in four — 25% — thinks Russia will keep its word and will stop at Crimea. Nine percent are unsure.
Do residents think the situation in Ukraine will lead to another cold war between the United States and Russia? Americans divide. 49% report it is either not very likely — 37% — or not likely at all — 12% — that this will occur. 46%, however, think a second cold war is either very likely — 13% — or likely — 33%.
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to think another cold war is looming. A majority of Republicans — 54% — says a cold war is very likely or likely to take place. This compares with 41% of Democrats and 45% of independent voters who share this view.
Obama’s Handling of Ukraine Crisis Receives Mixed Reviews
45% of Americans approve of how President Barack Obama is dealing with the situation in Ukraine. 45% disapprove, and 10% are unsure.
There is a partisan divide. 72% of Republicans are dissatisfied with how the president is addressing the situation in Ukraine while 69% of Democrats approve. Still, 21% of Democrats disapprove of the way Mr. Obama is handling the conflict. Independents divide. 46% of these voters think the president is dealing with the situation appropriately while 47% disapprove of his approach.
Majority Still Disapproves of Obama’s Performance as President
When it comes to the overall job performance of President Obama, a majority of registered voters nationally — 52% — disapproves of how the president is doing. 45% approve, and 3% are unsure. These views are similar to those in McClatchy-Marist’s previous survey. In February, 52% of voters thought the president’s job performance was lacking. 42% gave him high marks, and 5% were unsure.
When it comes to how President Obama is handling the economy, a majority of voters — 54% — disapproves. 44% approve, and 2% are unsure. Last time, 54% thought Mr. Obama fell short on the economy while 41% gave him a thumbs-up. Five percent were unsure.
In the foreign policy arena, 52% of voters disapprove of how the president is doing. 42% approve, and 6% are unsure. Two months ago, 50% disapproved of how President Obama was handling foreign policy. 43% approved, and 8%, then, were unsure.
Looking at President Obama’s image, voters divide. 49% have a favorable opinion of him while 49% have an unfavorable view of him. Two percent are unsure how to rate him. In February, 47% thought well of the president while half — 50% — had a lesser view of him. Three percent were unsure how to rate him.
Fight for Congress: Dem’s Edge GOP in Generic Midterm Matchup
If November’s election for Congress were held today, the Democrats would have an edge over the Republicans as far as the total national vote is concerned. Nearly half of registered voters nationally — 48% — would support the Democrat on the ballot in their district while 42% would back the Republican candidate. Four percent would vote for neither, and 6% are undecided.
When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in February, voters divided. 46% favored the Democrat while 44% were for the Republican. Four percent reported they would not vote for either candidate, and 5% were undecided.
Not surprisingly, there is a partisan divide. Most Democrats — 90% — favor the Democratic candidate while most Republicans — 94% — support the Republican. Among independent voters, 43% are for the Democrat while 40% are for the Republican.
Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans in Congress are held in high regard by voters. Only 32% of registered voters approve of how the congressional Democrats are doing in office. 63% disapprove, and 5% are unsure. In February, 33% of voters were satisfied with how the Democrats were performing in Congress. 60% disapproved, and 7% were unsure.
Looking at congressional Republicans, 26% of voters approve of their job performance while 69% disapprove. Five percent are unsure. In the February McClatchy-Marist Poll, 22% approved of how the congressional GOP did their job. 72% disapproved, and 6% were unsure.
Nearly Two-Thirds Pessimistic about the Direction of the Nation
64% of adults think the country is moving in the wrong direction. 32% believe it is on the right path, and 3% are unsure. There has been virtually little change from McClatchy-Marist’s previous survey. In February, 64% of residents reported the nation was on the wrong road. 33% said it was on the right track, and 3% were unsure.
What are Americans’ views on the situation in Ukraine? Is the region important to the national interests of the United States? Should the U.S. take military action, and do Americans approve of how President Barack Obama is handling the situation? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
To read the full McClatchy article, click here.
The clock is counting down for Americans to file their taxes. But, how many adults nationally wait until the April 15th deadline to submit their returns? While 76% of residents file their tax returns before the deadline, 24% wait until the very end to submit them.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: McClatchy-Marist Poll
“People who are expecting to get money back are more eager to file earlier,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Those who have to write another check for their tax bill are more likely to wait until the last minute.”
Regardless of when they submit their taxes, a majority of adults — 56% — thinks they pay about the right amount in federal income taxes. 42% believe they pay more than their fair share, and only 1% reports they tender less than their fair share.
There is a partisan divide. Half of Republicans — 50% — think they pay more than they should while 48% say they write a check for about the right amount. Among Democrats, 40% report they pay the federal government more than their fair share, and 59% say they pay what they should. Looking at independents, 43% think they pay too much in federal taxes while 56% think they pay an appropriate amount.
Do Americans expect to receive a refund this year? 61% think they will be sent a check while 36% do not anticipate getting money back. Three percent are unsure.
There is a gender gap. Nearly seven in ten men — 69% — report they will get money back from the government. This compares with 54% of women who say the same. There are also age differences. While 64% of residents 18 to 29, 71% of those 30 to 44, and 63% of Americans 45 to 59 think they will receive a refund, 51% of those 60 and older say the same.
Leave it to the Pros, Say Half of Americans
Most Americans receive some type of assistance when it comes to doing their taxes. 50% turn to a tax specialist to do their taxes. 17% have a family member or friend help them while 15% use a software package. However, 18% compute their taxes on their own.
Americans under 30 years old — 36% — are the least likely, compared with their older counterparts, to pay a tax professional to do their taxes. However, 51% of adults 30 to 44, 47% of those 45 to 59, and 62% of residents 60 and older to turn to a tax specialist to fill out their taxes.
When it comes to the method by which they file their tax returns, three in four Americans — 75% — send them electronically while 25% mail them.
The Marist Poll is marking a milestone. For 35 years, The Marist Poll has been accurately and scientifically gauging public opinion.
To commemorate this achievement, The Marist Poll recently held a panel discussion at The Paley Center for Media in New York City. As moderators, poll directors Lee M. Miringoff and Barbara L. Carvalho welcomed four distinguished political journalists — Mark Murray, NBC News’ Senior Political Editor, Michael Oreskes, Vice President and Senior Managing Editor of the Associated Press, Steve Thomma, Senior White House Correspondent and the Government and Politics Editor for McClatchy Newspapers, and Amy Walter, the National Editor of The Cook Political Report — to discuss the topic, Can 2014 or 2016 Fix a Broken Washington?
Watch the panel presentation below.
Introductions by Chris DelGiorno and Dr. Dennis J. Murray
Welcome by Dr. Lee M. Miringoff and Addressing the Political Landscape by Dr. Barbara L. Carvalho
Obama, Congress, and 2014
The Changing Demography and 2016
Panelists Answer Audience Questions
Muriel Bowser has eroded Mayor Vincent Gray’s once eight percentage point lead in the race for the Democratic nomination for D.C. mayor. With a week to go before the primary, among likely Democratic voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted early or by absentee ballot, Bowser has the support of 28% compared with 26% for Gray.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: NBC4/Marist Poll
“There are two very different paths to victory for Councilwoman Bowser and Mayor Gray,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Bowser has picked up support among white voters and is the most popular second choice as voters make their final decision. Gray has a strong base of support among African American voters and greater enthusiasm among his backers.”
Here is how the contest for the Democratic nomination for D.C. mayor stands among likely Democratic primary voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted early or by absentee ballot:
- 28% Muriel Bowser
- 26% Vincent Gray
- 11% Tommy Wells
- 9% Jack Evans
- 4% Andy Shallal
- 4% Vincent Orange
- 2% Reta Lewis
- <1% Carlos Allen
- 1% other
- 15% undecided
When the NBC4/Marist Poll reported this question last month, Gray — 28% — was ahead of Bowser — 20% — by eight percentage points among District Democrats likely to vote in the primary. Evans received 13% of the vote while Wells garnered 12%. Six percent backed Shallal, and 4% supported Orange. Lewis had the backing of 3%, and less than 1% of D.C. Democrats were for Allen. One percent wanted another candidate to receive the party’s nod, and 12% were undecided.
Looking at race, among likely Democratic voters who are African American, Gray — 43% — leads Bowser — 22% — by almost two to one. Among whites, Bowser — 36% — has the advantage over Wells — 19% — and Evans — 15%. Only 7% are for Gray.
While Gray maintains his lead over Bowser among African American Democrats likely to vote, Bowser has advanced to the front of the pack among likely Democratic voters who are white. Last month, 24% of white voters supported Wells, 21% backed Evans, and 18% were behind Bowser. Gray garnered 10%. Among African American voters likely to vote, 41% backed Gray while 23% were for Bowser. 55% of likely Democratic voters with a candidate preference including those who voted early or by absentee ballot are strongly committed to their choice of candidate. 30% are somewhat behind their pick while 14% might vote differently. One percent is unsure. In the previous NBC4/Marist Poll, 44% of likely Democratic voters expressed a high level of support for their candidate. 36% were somewhat committed to their selection while 19% reported they might cast their ballot differently. One percent, at that time, was unsure.
Looking at the depth of commitment for the top two candidates, nearly seven in ten of those who are behind Gray — 69% — strongly support him while 49% of likely Democrats for Bowser are firmly in her corner. Last month, 53% of Gray’s backers were strongly committed to him. This compares with 50% of Bowser’s supporters who said the same about their candidate.
Who is the second choice of likely Democratic voters with a candidate preference? With 22%, Bowser takes the top spot followed by Evans with 18% and Wells with 12%. Gray garners 8%, and another 8% say Orange is their second choice candidate. Seven percent pick Shallal, 2% cite Lewis, and 1% mentions Allen. Four percent choose another candidate as their second choice, and 20% are undecided.
In February, 21% selected Bowser as their backup candidate while 18% reported Evans was their second choice. Wells and Gray each received 12% while 9% said Orange was their second choice. Seven percent reported Shallal was their second choice candidate while 4% said the same of Lewis. One percent, at that time, selected Allen. Another 1% believed someone else was their backup candidate, and 15% were undecided.
Are likely Democratic voters enthusiastic about going to the polls on Tuesday? 39% are very enthusiastic and 42% are moderately so. 13% are not too enthusiastic, and six percent are not enthusiastic at all.
Likely Democrats for Gray express more enthusiasm to vote than those for Bowser. 47% of Gray’s supporters are highly enthusiastic. This compares with 38% of likely Democrats who back Bowser and have a similar level of enthusiasm about going to the polls.
Jobs and Economy Top of Mind for Many D.C. Democrats
42% of Democrats in the District say, when it comes to deciding their vote, jobs and the economy matter most. One in four Democrats — 25% — mentions ethics as their motivating factor while 17% report housing is their priority. Crime is the leading concern of 11% of Democratic voters, and 4% are unsure.
These findings reflect those reported last month. At that time, more than four in ten Democrats — 44% — reported the economy and jobs were the most important factor in deciding their vote. Ethics was the leading issue for 22% while another 22% said housing was their priority. 11% of Democrats cited crime as their top concern, and 2% were unsure.
A racial divide still exists. A majority of Democrats who are African American — 53% — say the economy and jobs are the most influential when deciding their vote. However, a plurality of white voters — 47% — says ethics are their priority. Little has changed since last month when 50% of African American Democrats cited the jobs and the economy, and 43% of white Democrats mentioned ethics as their leading issue.
Campaign Finance Investigation Hard Hit for Gray?
From what they know or have heard about the investigation into Mayor Gray’s finances from his 2010 campaign, a majority of Democratic voters — 56% — says they are less likely to vote for Gray. Only 8% are more likely to support him, and 31% report it makes no difference to their vote. Five percent are unsure.
These results are similar to those found last month. At that time, 53% were less likely to back Gray. Seven percent said they would be more likely to vote for him, and 36% thought the scandal would not impact their vote. Four percent of Democrats were unsure.
How do D.C. residents, overall, describe Gray’s 2010 campaign activities? 35% think he did something unethical but not illegal. 29% say he was involved in illegal activities, and 14% believe he didn’t do anything wrong. 23% are unsure. Similar proportions of registered voters agree.
There has been an uptick in the proportion of D.C. residents who believe Gray’s involvement in the scandal included illegal activities. Last month, 42% of adults in the District said Gray did something unethical but not illegal. 24% believed his involvement was illegal, and 14% thought he did nothing wrong. 20%, at that time, were unsure.
While 36% of D.C. Democrats currently say Gray took part in unethical but not illegal behavior, 30% say he was involved in illegal actions. 16% believe Gray did nothing wrong, and 18% are unsure. However, in February, 46% called Gray’s involvement unethical while 24% thought something illegal occurred. 15% of Democrats, at that time, said Gray was on the up-and-up, and 15% were unsure.
Bowser Stronger Democratic Candidate over Catania in General Election
In a hypothetical matchup for the general election in November, Bowser, as the Democratic candidate for mayor, has a 20 percentage point advantage against independent candidate David Catania. 46% of registered voters in D.C. say they would vote for Bowser while 26% would support Catania. 28% are undecided.
What do Gray’s general election chances look like if he wins next week’s Democratic primary? 43% of voters would support Gray in November while 37% are for Catania. 20% are undecided.
Looking at race, while Gray — 57% — and Bowser — 54% — each carries a majority of African American voters against Catania, Bowser is the stronger Democratic candidate among whites. Against Catania, 39% of white voters would back Bowser. The same proportion — 39% — is for Catania. However, against Gray, Catania receives 56% of white voters to 24% for Gray.
Skepticism about Gray
Only 34% of adults in D.C. say, if Gray receives the Democratic nomination, they definitely plan to vote for him. 40% report they definitely will not vote for him, and 26% are undecided. Among registered voters in the District, 33% would absolutely cast their ballot for him. 41% would definitely vote against him, and 26% are undecided.
Uncertainty about Gray has increased. In last month’s NBC4/Marist Poll, more than four in ten D.C. residents — 43% — said they would definitely vote for Gray. 40% would definitely not, and 17% were undecided. Among registered voters, 42% reported they would back Gray, 42% would cast their ballot for someone else, and 16% were undecided.
Nearly six in ten residents — 59% — think it’s time to elect someone else. 29% believe Gray deserves to be re-elected, and 13% are unsure. Similar proportions of registered voters share these views. 60% of voters want a change while 27% think Gray should receive a second term. 12% are unsure.
In February, 60% of adults wanted a new mayor to take charge. 31%, however, thought Gray should be re-elected. Nine percent were unsure. Among registered voters in the District, 62% said someone new should take the reins of the city. 30% wanted Gray to be re-elected, and 8% were unsure.
Decline in Gray Approval Rating… Fewer with Positive Opinion of Mayor
Half of D.C. residents — 50% — approve of the job Gray is doing in office. 35% disapprove, and 16% are unsure. Looking at registered voters, 49% give Gray high marks. 37% think he has fallen short, and 14% are unsure.
There has been a drop in Gray’s approval rating over the last month. In February, a majority of adults — 56% — thought well of how he was doing his job. 36% disapproved of his performance in office, and 8% were unsure. Among registered voters, at that time, 55% approved of the mayor’s job performance. 38% disapproved, and 6% were unsure.
Gray’s image has also suffered. 35% have a favorable view of Gray while 47% have an unfavorable opinion of him. 17% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. Looking at registered voters, 35% like Gray while 49% have a negative view of the mayor. 16% have either never heard of Gray or are unsure how to rate him.
Last month, 45% of residents had a favorable impression of Gray while 46% had an unfavorable one. Nine percent had either never heard of Gray or were unsure how to rate him. Among registered voters, 45% thought well of the mayor, and 48% had a negative opinion of him. Seven percent had either never heard of Gray or were unsure how to rate him.
Overall, do D.C. residents think the city is moving in the right direction? Close to two-thirds — 65% — think the District is on course while 21% say it has fallen off track. 14% are unsure. Similar proportions of registered voters share these opinions.
When this question was last reported, 71% of adults in D.C. said the city was moving in the right direction. 24% reported it was travelling in the wrong one, and 5% were unsure.
Despite the money top college men’s basketball and football programs generate, college athletes are not paid, and 31% of Americans believe there is some truth to the argument that this is because many student athletes are African American. This includes 4% who believe there is a lot of credence to that claim and 27% who say there is probably some legitimacy to it. 17% report there is not very much truth in it, and a majority — 53% — says the argument that race plays into the decision not to pay college athletes is false. Similar proportions of college sports fans share these views.
“When the majority of revenue generating college athletes are unpaid African-American players and the majority of coaches are often white and well compensated, it almost compels the public to raise the question of race,” says Dr. Keith Strudler, Director of The Marist College Center for Sports Communication. “It is a complex issue. While sports often act as a true melting pot, it feels less apparent when financial compensation in college sports doesn’t reflect that ideal.”
Race matters. More than six in ten African Americans — 61% — think top college athletes are unpaid because many of these athletes are African American. About one-third of Latinos — 33% — and one in four whites — 25% — agree. Looking at income, Americans who earn less than $50,000 annually — 38% — are more likely to say race factors into the decision to pay college athletes. This compares with 24% of those who make $50,000 or more. Women — 34% — are also more likely than men — 27% — to think there is some truth to the argument that race plays a role in determining whether or not college athletes are paid.
Looking at age, adults under thirty years old — 38% — are more likely to say there is some accuracy in the claim that top college athletes are not compensated because of race than are residents who are older. 29% of those 30 to 44, 25% of Americans 45 to 59, and 33% of those 60 and older share the view that race is a factor.
Do Americans think college athletes should be paid for their time practicing, travelling, and playing on the team? 67% do not think they should be monetarily compensated. 29% think they should be, and 4% are unsure. The views of college sports fans reflect the opinions of residents, overall.
While more than seven in ten whites — 72% — and Latinos — 71% — think college athletes should not be paid, a majority of African Americans — 53% — believe college athletes should be compensated for their time. Men — 35% — are more likely than women — 24% — to say student athletes should be paid.
If college athletes were paid a salary, nearly three in four U.S. residents — 73% — say it would make no difference in how much they enjoy watching college sports. 23% think it would make watching the games less entertaining while only 4% say it would increase their enjoyment. Among college sports fans, 68% believe it would make no difference in their enjoyment while 27% think it would take something away from the pleasure they get from watching college sports. Five percent think it would increase their enjoyment.
To Unionize or Not to Unionize?
75% of Americans, including the same proportion of college sports fans, think college athletes should not be allowed to join a union since they are not college employees. More than one in five — 22% — believes student athletes should be able to join a union so they can receive payments and benefits. Four percent are unsure.
Non-white residents — 28% — are more likely to support unionizing by college residents than white residents — 19%. Nearly eight in ten white residents — 78% — compared with 67% of non-white Americans believe college athletes should not be able to join a union.
When it comes to special treatment by local authorities, about two-thirds of adults nationally — 66% — think top college athletes receive special treatment by town police in their college community. One in four — 25% — reports student athletes are treated the same as their fellow students, and 9% are unsure. Similar proportions of college sports fans share these views.
Overemphasis Placed on College Sports, Say More than Six in Ten
61% of Americans think college and universities with top men’s football and basketball programs put too much emphasis on athletics over academics. 34%, however, say these schools strike a good balance between education and sports. Five percent are unsure. The views of college sports fans reflect those of U.S. residents.
While older Americans are more likely to think colleges put too much emphasis on athletics, majorities in all age groups agree. 54% of those 18 to 29, 59% of residents 30 to 44, 61% of Americans 45 to 59, and 67% of those 60 and older say too much importance is put on sports. Regardless of region, at least a majority of adults say colleges prioritize athletics over academics. However, those in the Northeast — 63%, Midwest — 63%, and South — 61% — are slightly more likely than those in the West — 55% — to believe this to be the case.
What is more important to Americans? Most — 90% — care more about the academic reputation of their local colleges and universities. Just 7% are more concerned with the athletic success of their local schools, and 3% are unsure.
Bracket Bragging Rights?
While 85% of Americans do not fill out a March Madness bracket, 15% say they do. Of residents who fill out a bracket, most — 91% — do so just for fun. Five percent fill out a bracket both for fun and for money. Three percent play for the money, and 1% is unsure.
Not surprisingly, college sports fans are more likely to try to predict the winner of the NCAA Men’s College basketball tournament. 22% of college sports fans say they put together a bracket while 78% don’t participate. Income matters. More than one in five Americans who earn $50,000 or more — 21% — fills out a bracket. This compares with only 8% who make less annually. Men — 23% — are more than three times as likely as women — 7% — to make their picks.
Do Americans bet on college sports? 88% of residents report they have not placed a wager on college sports in the past year. 12%, however, say they have. College sports fans are slightly more likely to bet on college sports. 17% of fans have done so in the past year while 83% have not.
And, when it comes to the number of college sports fans, about two-thirds of Americans — 66% — say they follow college sports at least a little bit. This includes 12% who watch these sports a great deal, 18% who follow them a good amount, and 36% who catch a small amount of the games. 34% do not follow college sports at all.
About Keith Strudler, Ph.D.
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.
Two months after taking office, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is well-liked among registered voters. Many think de Blasio cares about the average person, is fulfilling campaign promises, can unify the city, and is a good leader. However, there is a significant racial divide, and fewer than four in ten registered voters in the city approve of de Blasio’s overall job performance as mayor. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s job approval rating at this time in his first term was 50%.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll
“Many voters like the qualities that de Blasio has as mayor, and they are comfortable with him,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, race matters, and he still has some convincing to do when it comes to carrying out his responsibilities at City Hall.”
39% of registered voters in New York City approve of the job Mayor de Blasio is doing in office. This includes 10% who think he is doing an excellent job and 29% who say he is doing a good one. 37% rate de Blasio’s performance as fair while one in five voters — 20% — thinks he is performing poorly. Five percent have either never heard of de Blasio or are unsure how to rate him.
- Among African American voters, 50% approve of the job de Blasio is doing. 40% give him fair marks, and 7% rate his performance as poor.
- 45% of Latino voters give de Blasio high marks. This compares with 32% who think he is doing an average job, and 19% who call his job performance poor.
- 30% of white voters think well of how Mayor de Blasio is doing his job. 34% rate his performance as fair, and 30% say he is doing poorly.
- 44% of Bronx voters approve of how de Blasio is doing in office. About one-third — 33% — rate his performance as fair, and 19% say he is doing a poor job.
- In Brooklyn, 43% give de Blasio a thumbs-up. 37% believe he is doing a fair job, and 14% think he is performing poorly.
- 36% of voters in Queens and Staten Island think de Blasio is doing either an excellent or good job as mayor. 40% describe his performance as fair, and 22% say it is poor.
- Three in ten Manhattan voters — 30% — approve of how de Blasio is doing in office. 36% say he is doing a fair job, and 26% think his performance falls short.
Despite de Blasio’s approval rating, nearly six in ten voters — 59% — have a favorable opinion of him. About one in three — 33% — has an unfavorable one, and 8% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
In The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll reported in December before de Blasio took office, 56% said they liked de Blasio, 20% had a lesser opinion of him, and 23% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him. Just before Election Day, 64% thought well of de Blasio. 26% had a negative impression of him, and 10% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
There is a racial divide. While 78% of African American voters say they like de Blasio, 55% of Latino voters and 49% of white voters say the same.
The Nitty-Gritty of de Blasio’s Image
Close to two-thirds of voters think de Blasio cares about people like them, and more than six in ten say he is fulfilling his campaign promises. Majorities of voters also say he can unify the city and is a good leader for the Big Apple. When it comes to whether de Blasio is changing New York City for the better, a plurality of voters think he is, and nearly half think he is meeting their expectations.
- 65% of voters citywide say de Blasio cares about people like them. 31% disagree, and 4% are unsure. Race matters on this question. While 86% of African American voters think de Blasio is concerned about them, 66% of Latinos and 51% of white voters say the same.
- More than six in ten New York City voters — 63% — think de Blasio is fulfilling campaign promises. One in four — 25% — does not think he is, and 11% are unsure. By race, more than seven in ten African American voters — 72% — believe de Blasio is keeping his word. This compares with 61% of Latino voters and 57% of whites.
- 59% of registered voters think de Blasio can unify the city. 34% do not have confidence in him to do so, and 7% are unsure. There are racial differences. 79% of African American voters and 64% of Latinos think de Blasio is a unifying force. This compares with only 42% of white voters who share this opinion.
- When it comes to de Blasio’s leadership, 58% believe he is a good leader for the city. About one in three — 33% — says he is not, and 9% are unsure. Again, race comes into play. Nearly eight in ten African American voters — 79% — have confidence in de Blasio’s leadership ability while 57% of Latinos and 46% of whites agree.
- Nearly half of registered voters — 48% — think de Blasio is meeting their expectations as New York City mayor. Six percent say he is exceeding them while 35% believe he is falling below what they had anticipated. 11% are unsure. By race, more than six in ten African American voters — 63% — say he is meeting their expectations. This compares with 48% of Latino voters and 39% of white voters who have this opinion.
- 43% of voters say de Blasio is changing New York City for the better. 20% think he is having a negative impact, and 25% believe he is having no effect at all. 12% are unsure. While about two-thirds of African American voters — 66% — think de Blasio is having a positive impact on the city, 44% of Latino voters and 30% of white voters say the same.
- 59% of voters say de Blasio’s political ideology is about right. 28% think he is too liberal, and 7% say he is too conservative. Six percent are unsure. In December’s survey, 61% said his ideology was about right, 21% reported he was too liberal, and 4% thought he was too conservative. 14%, then, were unsure.
Majority of Adults Approves of de Blasio’s Handling of Winter Storms… Schools Tell a Different Tale
56% of New York City residents are satisfied with how de Blasio and his administration managed this winter’s snowstorms. 41% disapprove, and 3% are unsure. Racial differences exist. More than seven in ten African Americans — 72% — think well of how de Blasio handled the snowfalls. This compares with 50% of Latinos and 49% of whites.
But, do adults citywide agree with how de Blasio handled school closings during those storms? 50% do not think he dealt with the situation correctly. 46% believe he did, and 4% are unsure. While majorities of African Americans — 55% — and Latinos — 53% — say de Blasio’s assessment was spot on, just 40% of whites agree. Parents of public school children divide. 50% think de Blasio correctly addressed the situation while 50% think he fumbled it.
Six in Ten Agree with de Blasio’s Focus on Public Schools
In contrast with former Mayor Bloomberg’s strong support for charter schools, Mayor de Blasio wants a better balance with public schools. And, six in ten residents in the city — 60% — approve of that emphasis. 34% disapprove, and 6% are unsure.
Among parents with school children in the city’s public school system, 65% think de Blasio has the correct stance on charter schools. 31% disagree, and 4% are unsure.
Race is a factor. 67% of Latinos and 64% of African Americans agree that de Blasio should emphasize public schools over charter schools. This compares with 49% of whites in the city who say the same. By borough, 64% in Queens and Staten Island, 61% of those in Brooklyn, and 60% of residents in the Bronx agree with de Blasio’s focus on public schools. 51% of Manhattan adults share this opinion.
52% Have Positive View of Chirlane McCray
A majority of registered voters — 52% — like Mayor de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray. 19% have an unfavorable impression of her, and 29% have either never heard of her or are unsure how to rate her. When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist last reported this question in December, 46% thought well of McCray, 8% had a lesser view of her, and 45% had either never heard of her or were unsure how to rate her.
City’s Compass Pointing in the Right Direction, Says Majority
53% of voters think New York City is moving in the right direction. 42% think it is moving in the wrong one, and 5% are unsure. In December, 51% thought the city was on course. 36% believed it was off track, and 13% were unsure.
However, there has been a shift in the specific groups who think the city is on the right path. There has been an increase in the proportion of African American voters who say the city is on course. 60% have this view now compared with 49% in December. There has been a slight decline among white voters. 45% say the Big Apple is on track while a slim majority — 52% — did so in that previous survey. Among Latinos, there is little change. Half — 50% — currently say New York City is on track while 47% had this opinion three months ago.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s re-election prospects are promising. Cuomo outdistances each of his potential GOP rivals by at least 40 percentage points. Cuomo also remains well-liked by most registered voters despite the lowest job approval rating the governor has received since taking office in 2011. So, what accounts for the sharp drop in Cuomo’s job performance rating? The view of many voters that the state’s economy is still struggling plays a role.
“Governor Cuomo’s opponents face an uphill fight to unseat him this November,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Voters are comfortable with Cuomo but he still needs to convince many that the economy is turning around.”
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll
Looking ahead to this November’s gubernatorial election, Cuomo maintains a robust lead over his potential Republican challengers. Among registered voters in New York State, here is how these hypothetical contests stand:
- Cuomo — 65% — outpaces Rob Astorino — 25% — by 40 percentage points. One in ten voters in New York State — 10% — is undecided. Cuomo — 65% — had a similar advantage against Astorino — 23% — when NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist last reported this question last November. At that time, 12% of voters were undecided.
- Against Carl Paladino, Cuomo has the support of nearly seven in ten voters — 68%. This compares with 25% for Paladino. Eight percent are undecided. Last fall, 67% backed Cuomo while 24% were for Paladino. Nine percent, then, were undecided.
- Cuomo — 70% — trounces Donald Trump — 26% — by 44 percentage points. Five percent are undecided. In that previous survey, 70% supported Cuomo compared with 24% for Trump. Seven percent were undecided.
Cuomo’s re-election chances stand firm despite a steep decline in his job approval rating. 42% of registered voters statewide approve of how Cuomo is doing his job. This includes 7% who think he is doing an excellent job and 35% who believe he is doing a good one. 38% rate Cuomo’s job performance as fair, and nearly one in five voters — 18% — calls it poor. Three percent are unsure.
In November, 52% of voters gave Cuomo high marks. Included here were 8% who thought Cuomo was doing an excellent job and 44% who said he was doing a good one. 31%, at that time, thought the governor was doing an average job while 13% reported he was doing a poor one. Three percent were unsure.
Regardless of party, region, or race, there has been a drop in Cuomo’s approval rating. However, the largest change has occurred among Latino and African American voters.
- Among registered voters who are Latino, 41% approve of how Cuomo is doing his job. This compares with 62% who had this view in NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist’s previous survey.
- 42% of African American voters, compared with 57% in the fall, think well of how Cuomo is performing as governor.
- Among white voters, 44% approve of Cuomo’s job performance. This compares with 49% in November.
- 51% of Democrats give Cuomo high marks while 63% did so in that previous survey.
- Among Republicans, 33% approve of Cuomo’s job performance. 39% shared this view in November.
- 34% of non-enrolled voters give Cuomo high marks while nearly half — 48% — did so in the fall.
- 50% of voters in New York City approve of Cuomo’s job performance. This compares with 56% in NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist’s previous survey.
- In the suburbs of New York City, 45% think well of how Cuomo is doing his job while 57% said the same in November.
- 35% of upstate voters give Cuomo high marks while 47% had this opinion in that previous survey.
Voters’ views of the recession have impacted Cuomo’s job approval rating. A slim majority of those who think the Empire State is not in a recession — 51% — think Cuomo is doing either an excellent or good job in office. This compares with only 37% of voters who say New York is in a recession.
How many voters statewide think New York is in a recession? Close to two-thirds — 65% — believe the state is under the cloud of a recession. 34% say we are not in an economic slump, and 1% is unsure. There has been an increase in the proportion of voters who think New York is in a recession. When this question was last reported in NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist’s survey last April, 58% said the state was in a recession. 39% thought New York was not, and 3% were unsure.
While Cuomo’s approval rating has fallen, his favorability remains strong. 63% of voters have a positive view of the governor while 33% have a negative impression of him. Four percent have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. This is little changed from November when 66% said they liked the governor. 28% reported they disliked him, and 6% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
“Governor Cuomo is bolstered by a high favorability rating,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “His lower job performance score is not costing him at the ballot box.”
Voters Weigh In on Potential GOP Hopefuls
Are Cuomo’s potential challengers viewed positively by voters? 61% of voters have an unfavorable view of Donald Trump. 36% think well of him, and 4% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. Looking at Carl Paladino, 30% like him while 40% have a lesser opinion of him. Three in ten voters — 30% — have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. Rob Astorino is little known to a plurality of voters. While 25% think well of him and 29% have a negative impression of Astorino, 46% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
When looking at Republicans statewide, Trump has the highest favorable rating. 60% of Republican voters like Trump while 37% do not. Three percent have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. When it comes to Paladino, there is little consensus among Republicans. 38% think highly of him while 31% do not. 32% have either never heard of Paladino or are unsure how to rate him. Astorino is not well known among Republicans. 34% have a positive view of him while 17% have a negative opinion of him. However, nearly half of Republicans — 49% — have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
While a majority of voters think Governor Cuomo is improving Albany for the better, fewer say he is having a positive impact on the state, overall.
56% of New York voters think Cuomo is changing the way things work in Albany for the better. This compares with 40% who disagree with that opinion. Three percent are unsure. In November, 61% thought Cuomo was making positive inroads in Albany while 35% did not think Cuomo was changing it for the better. Four percent, at that time, were unsure.
However, when it comes to the impact Cuomo is having on New York State, 45% say he is improving it. 23% report Cuomo is changing it for the worse, and 29% think he is not having any effect on the Empire State. Three percent are unsure.
What do voters think of Cuomo’s political ideology?
36% call him a liberal. 46% say he is a moderate, and 12% describe him as a conservative. Six percent are unsure. There has been little change on this question since November when 35% thought the governor was liberal. 45% believed he was a moderate, and 11% said he was conservative. Nine percent were unsure.
50% of New York voters think the state is moving in the right direction. However, 47% say it is moving in the wrong one. Three percent are unsure. In NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist’s previous survey, 50% thought the state was on course. 45% reported it had fallen off the track, and 5% were unsure.
Status Quo for Schumer and Gillibrand
53% of registered voters believe Senator Chuck Schumer is doing either an excellent — 15% — or good — 38% — job in office. 30% describe his performance as fair while 14% believe he is doing a poor job. Three percent have either never heard of Schumer or are unsure how to rate him. Schumer’s approval rating is solid. In the fall, 56% thought highly of how Schumer was doing in the U.S. Senate. 26% rated his performance as average while 15% thought he fell short. Four percent had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
When it comes to Kirsten Gillibrand’s job approval rating, 45% say she is doing either an excellent — 10% — or good — 35% — job in office. 31% say she is doing a fair job while 12% think she is performing poorly. 11% have either never heard of her or are unsure how to rate her. Previously, 47% gave Gillibrand high marks. 30% thought her performance was fair, and 12% said it was lacking. 12% had either never heard of Gillibrand or were unsure how to rate her.