6/21: Is Technology “Dumbing Down” Society?

Americans perceive technological advances to be a double-edged sword and divide about whether or not technology makes us smarter or dumber, according to an Exclusive Point Taken-Marist Poll, commissioned by WGBH Boston for its new late-night, multi-platform PBS debate series Point Taken.  Despite the perceived technological pitfalls, a slim majority of Americans consider the benefits of technology to outweigh the privacy risks associated with it.

The national survey was conducted by The Marist Poll in advance of this week’s Point Taken episode, airing Tuesday, June 21st at 11pmET (check local listings) and streaming on pbs.org/pointtaken. The series is hosted by Carlos Watson, Emmy Award winning journalist and OZY Media co-founder and CEO.

When assessing the overall effect of technology, 49% of Americans report it makes people dumber while 46% say technology makes individuals smarter.  A slim majority, 51%, says the benefits to society outweigh the privacy risks of technological advances.

On the question of intelligence, Millennials, 53%, and Gen X, 53%, are more likely than Baby Boomers, 48%, and the Silent-Greatest generation, 38%, to say technology makes us dumber.

Generational differences also exist when assessing the risks of technology.  Gen X, 50%, is the most likely to report the risks outweigh the benefits while the Silent-Greatest generation is the least likely to stress the potential privacy implications of technology.  Also noteworthy, men, 55%, and college graduates, 58%, are more likely than women, 46%, and those without a college degree, 47%, to say technology’s benefits trump the   risks.

“If you think younger people are all in for technological revolution, think again,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “This national survey shows surprising differences among generations and their appreciation for innovation.”

“Digital and other technologies are central and definitional aspects of contemporary life,” says Denise DiIanni, series creator and Executive-in-Charge. “This week our panelists — and audiences — debate whether tech makes us smarter — or dumber.”

What are the benefits of technology?  Many Americans, 74%, say technology improves education, and a majority, 54%, believes it makes individuals more productive.

Differences based on education and generation exist here, too.  College graduates, 80%, are more likely than those without a college degree, 70%, to think technology makes education better.  Generationally, Millennials, 82%, and members of Gen X, 80%, are more likely than Baby Boomers, 65%, and those in the Silent-Greatest generation, 65% to report technology improves education.

College graduates, 65%, are also more likely than those without a degree, 47%, to say technology makes us more productive.  The Silent-Greatest generation, 64%, is more likely than other generations to say technology improves productivity.  Americans who earn $50,000 or more, 58%, are more inclined than those who make less, 47%, to report technology aids productivity.

However, many Americans perceive technology to be detrimental to humanity and to personal relationships.  71% of residents nationally believe technology is making people less human, and 54% report it makes individuals less connected to family and friends.

Many residents think technology is making people less human.  Members of Generation X, 77%, and Baby Boomers, 74%, are the most likely to have this view.  Those in the Silent-Greatest generation, 60%, are the least likely to agree with this premise.

Those in the Silent-Greatest generation, 33%, are also the least likely of the generations to say technology enhances our connections to family and friends.  Millennials, 48%, are the most likely to report technology keeps us connected but still less than a majority.  Looking at gender, men, 48%, are more likely than women, 39%, to believe technology makes people more connected to their loved ones.  In fact, a majority of women, 58%, report technology is detrimental to personal relationships.

This survey of 622 adults was conducted March 29th through March 31st, 2016 by The Marist Poll sponsored and funded in partnership with WGBH’s Point Taken. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the contiguous United States were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed in English by telephone using live interviewers.  Results are statistically significant within ±3.9 percentage points. The error margin was not adjusted for sample weights and increases for cross-tabulations.

Complete June 21, 2016 USA Exclusive Point Taken – Marist Poll Release

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6/2: CA: Clinton and Sanders in Tight Race… Trump Trails in General Election Contests

In the race for the Democratic nomination for president, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 49%, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 47%, are neck and neck among California’s likely Democratic electorate.  Clinton does best among likely Democratic primary voters who are 45 years of age or older – regardless of gender, who have already voted by absentee ballot, or who identify as Democrats.  Sanders outpaces Clinton among first-time voters, independents, or likely Democratic primary voters, both men and women, who are under the age of 45.  Sanders, 49%, and Clinton, 46%, are competitive among likely Democratic primary voters who are Latino.

“We are seeing a familiar pattern in what is the last major pre-convention collision between Clinton and Sanders,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “As throughout the primary season, age is the story in this California tossup.  Sanders inspires younger or first-time voters, and Clinton relies upon those who are older or have participated in the past.”

72% of likely Democratic primary voters with a candidate preference say they strongly support their choice of candidate.  Among Sanders’ backers, 73% report they will not waver in their commitment to him.  70% of Clinton’s supporters express a similar level of dedication to her.

Among the potential Democratic electorate, which includes all registered Democrats and voters without a party preference who plan to participate in the Democratic primary, Sanders receives 48% to Clinton’s 47%.  Two percent volunteer another candidate, and 3% are undecided.

Turning to the general election contest against the presumptive Republican nominee, Clinton and Sanders both outdistance businessman Donald Trump by double digits among registered voters in California.  However, Sanders does better against Trump than does Clinton mostly because of Sanders’ strength among independent voters.  Sanders leads Trump by 39 points among voters who do not identify with a party compared with Clinton who leads Trump by 16 points among this group.

In California’s open primary for U.S. Senate, among likely voters statewide, the Democratic candidates, Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez, are front-runners over the leading Republican hopefuls.  Democrat Harris, 37%, is out in front followed by Sanchez who receives 19%.  Republicans Tom Del Beccaro, 8%, Ron Unz, 5%, and Duf Sundheim, 5%, garner single-digit support.  Three percent volunteered another candidate, and a notable 24% of likely primary voters are undecided.  These voters split evenly when asked if they would lean toward voting for a Democratic or Republican candidate.

Looking at the ballot initiative which would legalize small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, a majority of California registered voters, 55%, support the proposal while 39% oppose it.  Support divides along party lines.  65% of Democrats are for legalizing marijuana use while a similar proportion of Republicans, 64%, are against it.  60% of independents support the ballot initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

How does California Governor Jerry Brown fare in the court of public opinion?  54% of California residents, including 77% of likely Democratic primary voters, approve of how Brown is doing his job.  26% of adults statewide disapprove.  Even more Californians think highly of President Barack Obama.  61% of California residents, including 88% of likely Democratic primary voters, approve of the president’s job performance.  28% of California adults disapprove of how President Obama is doing his job.

Complete June 2, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release of California

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5/31: Should Prostitution Be Legalized?

Americans divide over whether or not prostitution should be legal, according to an Exclusive Point Taken-Marist Poll, commissioned by WGBH Boston for its new late-night, multi-platform PBS debate series Point Taken.  A majority of men agree it should be legal and think permitting prostitution under the law would allow it to be regulated.  Just fewer than half of women believe prostitution should not be legal, and they divide over whether legalization will lower risks or endanger women.  Little consensus exists regarding the legal ramifications for the sex worker or the client.  On most of these questions, opinion differs based on gender and age.

The national survey was conducted by The Marist Poll in advance of this week’s Point Taken episode, airing Tuesday, May 31st at 11pmET (check local listings) and streaming on pbs.org/pointtaken. The series is hosted by Carlos Watson, Emmy Award winning journalist and OZY Media co-founder and CEO.

Nearly half of U.S. residents, 49% report prostitution between two consenting adults should be legal while 44% disagree.  Men, 54%, and residents under 45 years old, 58%, are more likely than women, 44%, and older residents, 40%, to believe prostitution should be permissible under the law.

A majority of Americans, 53%, including more than one in five Americans who oppose legalizing prostitution, 22%, say sanctioning prostitution will provide regulations and minimize the risk.  39% say permitting prostitution will worsen the problem and endanger more women.  A gender gap also exists here.  Men, 60%, are more likely than women, 47%, to think legalization will increase the potential safeguards.  Women divide with 45% reporting that legalization will worsen the problem and put a greater number of women in danger.

With regard to the appropriate level of punishment for the involved parties, about six in ten Americans oppose criminal prosecution.  63% report the person who sells sex for money should not receive any penalty, 33%, or should just pay a fine, 30%.  29% think the sex worker should face criminal charges.  Similarly, 60% of Americans say the individual who pays for sex should not receive any punishment, 31%, or should pay a fine, 29%.  33% believe the client should be criminally charged.

Men are more likely than women to assert that no penalty is necessary for either the sex worker or the client.  Still, only about one in three women think prostitutes and their clients deserve criminal prosecution.  Looking at age, Americans 45 years of age or older are more likely than younger residents to say the two parties should be charged.  On both of these questions, about four in ten residents who oppose legalizing prostitution say criminal prosecution is not the appropriate punishment.

“Tonight’s Point Taken will follow up on this exclusive poll,” says Denise DiIanni, series creator and Senior Executive-In-Charge.  “The results are dramatic, with significant differences in how men and women view questions of the legalization of sex work.”

Close to six in ten Americans, 59%, say they would be bothered, at least a little, if their neighbor were a sex worker.  This includes a plurality, 38%, who expresses a great deal of discomfort with that notion.  Even 43% of residents who support legalizing prostitution would be bothered, at least a little, if their neighbor was a sex worker.  Of note, 51% of men say they would not be bothered at all if their neighbor sold sex for money.  In contrast, 51% of women report they would be very uncomfortable with that situation.

This survey of 516 adults was conducted May 24th and May 25th, 2016 by The Marist Poll sponsored and funded in partnership with WGBH’s Point Taken.  Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the contiguous United States were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed in English by telephone using live interviewers.  Results are statistically significant within ±4.3 percentage points. The error margin was not adjusted for sample weights and increases for cross-tabulations.

Complete May 31, 2016 USA Exclusive Point Taken – Marist Poll Release

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5/24: Defining Gender

Americans divide about how society should define gender, according to an Exclusive Point Taken-Marist Poll, commissioned by WGBH Boston for its new late-night, multi-platform PBS debate series Point Taken.  Most Americans do, however, recognize greater acceptance of transgender or gender fluid people in the United States.  In fact, nine in ten Americans think transgender individuals should receive equal protection under the law when it comes to both employment and housing.  Although fewer, nearly two-thirds of residents nationally also think the transgender community should have the same type of legal protection when it comes to public restrooms.

The national survey was conducted by The Marist Poll in advance of this week’s Point Taken episode, airing Tuesday, May 24th at 11pmET (check local listings) and streaming on pbs.org/pointtaken. The series is hosted by Carlos Watson, Emmy Award winning journalist and OZY Media co-founder and CEO.

45% of Americans think the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate is the only way to define a person’s gender.  41% of residents, though, think that definition is outdated and needs to be updated to include a person’s gender identity.  A majority of Americans who know a transgender or gender fluid person, 50%, are more likely than those who do not, 34%, to say the definition of gender should be revised to include identity.  Women, 48%, and residents under 45 years old, 47%, are more likely than men, 33%, and Americans 45 or older, 35%, to have this view.  Regional differences are also present.  Americans living in the Northeast, 51%, and West, 49%, are more likely than residents in the Midwest, 24%, to believe the meaning of gender should move beyond the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate and should include how a person self-describes his or her identity.  Americans who live in the South divide.  41% share this view, and 43% believe gender should remain defined as an individual’s sex at birth.

“These results help set the table for tonight’s Point Taken as we go beyond the headlines to explore Americans’ point of view about gender rights,” says Denise DiIanni, series creator and Senior Executive-in-Charge.

Despite the divide about how gender should be defined, most Americans, 80%, think greater acceptance of transgender and gender fluid people exists in today’s society than a decade ago.  90% of U.S. residents also think the transgender community should receive the same rights and protections as other Americans when it comes to both employment and housing.  However, support is not as overwhelming when it comes to public restrooms.  While nearly two-thirds of residents, 64%, report transgender people should have equal rights in this area, 27% do not think they should receive equal protection under the law when it comes to public restrooms.  Americans under 45 years of age, 70%, are more likely than their older counterparts, 57%, to say transgender people should receive the same rights as other Americans.  Interestingly, 22% of those who know someone who is transgender or gender fluid do not think rights pertaining to public restrooms should be the same for all Americans.

On the question of whether public restrooms should be gender neutral, six in ten Americans, 60%, think restrooms should be separated as male and female and should not be gender neutral.  31% say public bathrooms should be gender neutral for anyone to use.  Residents 45 years of age and older, 67%, men, 66%, and white Americans, 65%, are more likely than those under 45 years old, 54%, women, 55%, and non-white Americans, 52%, to say public restrooms should be labeled as “male” or “female.”

Should transgender and gender fluid individuals be allowed to choose the public restroom with which they identify?  Americans divide.  43% report individuals should be allowed to make that decision while 44% say transgender people should use the bathroom that correlates with the sex on his or her birth certificate.  Americans who know someone who is transgender, 51%, and women, 50%, are more likely than those who do not know someone who is transgender, 39%, and men, 37%, to assert transgender individuals should be able to choose which restroom they use.  Americans living in the Northeast, 53%, and West, 52%, and Millennials, 54%, are more likely than their counterparts to have this view.

Close to six in ten Americans, 59%, say they do not know someone who is transgender or gender fluid.  A notable 39% of the American public say they do.

This survey of 507 adults was conducted May 12th through May 14th, 2016 by The Marist Poll sponsored and funded in partnership with WGBH’s Point Taken.  Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the contiguous United States were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed in English by telephone using live interviewers.  Results are statistically significant within ±4.4 percentage points.  The error margin was not adjusted for sample weights and increases for cross-tabulations.

Complete May 24, 2016 USA Exclusive Point Taken – Marist Poll Release
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5/17: The Role of the United States in the Middle East

Nearly half of Americans think the United States’ involvement in the Middle East is doing more harm than good in the region, according to an Exclusive Point Taken-Marist Poll, commissioned by WGBH Boston for its new late-night, multi-platform PBS debate series Point Taken.  Despite the proportion of Americans who perceive a harmful effect of U.S. presence in the region, there is little consensus about the appropriate level of American military intervention in the Middle East.  However, regardless of where residents stand on the question of U.S. military involvement in the Middle East, nearly two-thirds of Americans say the best reason for staying in the region is the need to defeat ISIS.

The national survey was conducted by The Marist Poll in advance of this week’s Point Taken episode, airing Tuesday, May 17th at 11pmET (check local listings) and streaming on pbs.org/pointtaken. The series is hosted by Carlos Watson, Emmy Award winning journalist and OZY Media co-founder and CEO.

49% of Americans report the United States’ role in the Middle East is doing more harm than good while 27% believe the opposite is true.  A notable 25% of U.S. residents are unsure.  Attitudes differ based on generation and political party.  Millennials, 56%, are the most likely of all the generations to have this view.  A notable 33% of Gen X are unsure.  Looking at party, Republicans, 57%, are more likely than Democrats, 42%, to think U.S. involvement in the Middle East does more harm than good.  52% of independents share this opinion.

When it comes to the extent of the United States’ role in the Middle East, 46% of Americans report the United States should either increase its military presence, 23%, or keep it at its current levels, 23%.  In contrast, 39% of U.S. residents believe the nation should either decrease its military involvement, 24%, or completely withdraw from the region, 15%.  14% are unsure.

Here, too, partisan and generational differences exist.  Republicans, 40%, are more likely than Democrats, 16%, and independents, 21%, to think the United States should increase its military presence in the Middle East.  Generationally, Millennials, 33%, are more likely than other generations to think the United States should decrease its military presence in the region.

“With the rise of ISIS and related global events, the Middle East is widely covered in the news.  Point Taken delves behind the headlines,” says Denise DiIanni, series creator and Senior-Executive-in-Charge.  “In tonight’s episode we ask whether the U.S. is doing more harm or good in the region.”

Regardless of whether or not Americans think the United States should have a military role in the Middle East, 64% of residents believe the best reason for remaining in the region is to defeat ISIS.

A majority of Americans, 53%, also assert they prefer the United States to focus its diplomatic and military resources on the Middle East rather than Asia.

This survey of 507 adults was conducted May 12th through May 14th, 2016 by The Marist Poll sponsored and funded in partnership with WGBH’s Point Taken.  Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the contiguous United States were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed in English by telephone using live interviewers.  Results are statistically significant within ±4.4 percentage points. The error margin was not adjusted for sample weights and increases for cross-tabulations.

Complete May 17, 2016 USA Exclusive Point Taken – Marist Poll Release
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5/10: Reparations for Slavery in the United States?

Although nearly seven in ten Americans oppose paying reparations to African Americans who are descendants of slaves for the harm and racial discrimination caused by slavery, opinion divides along racial lines according to an Exclusive Point Taken-Marist Poll, commissioned by WGBH Boston for its new late-night, multi-platform PBS debate series Point Taken.  While white Americans overwhelmingly oppose restitution, a majority of African Americans favor redress.  Latino Americans divide.

Nearly six in ten Americans assert the current wealth of the United States is not significantly tied to work done in the past by slaves, although most consider the history of slavery and other forms of racial discrimination to be at least a minor factor in the gap in wealth between white and black Americans.  Here too, opinions differ based on racial background.

The national survey was conducted by The Marist Poll in advance of this week’s Point Taken episode, airing Tuesday, May 10th at 11pmET (check local listings) and streaming on pbs.org/pointtaken. The series is hosted by Carlos Watson, Emmy Award winning journalist and OZY Media co-founder and CEO.

68% of residents nationally do not think the United States should pay reparations to descendants of slaves, and a similar proportion of American adults, 72%, argue that the United States should not compensate African Americans, in general, for the harm caused by slavery and other forms of racial discrimination.

White Americans, 81%, are much more likely than African Americans, 35%, and Latinos, 47%, to oppose giving monetary compensation to descendants of slaves.  Similarly, 85% of white residents, but, only 32% of African-American adults are against giving reparations to all African-American citizens.  Of note, Latinos divide about whether or not reparations should be paid to the descendants of slaves.  However, a majority of Latinos, 54%, do not support paying reparations to all African Americans for the harm caused by slavery.

Differences based on generation are also present.  Millennials are more likely than older generations to favor paying reparations to, both, the descendants of slaves and the larger African-American community.  However, 49% of millennials oppose providing compensation to the descendants of slaves, and a majority, 56%, is against paying reparations to African Americans, in general.

Greater support for reparations exists when the question spotlights private companies who admitted and apologized for profiting from American slavery.  Still, 58% of Americans say these companies should not pay money to descendants of slaves, and 65% oppose paying reparations to the larger African American population for the harm and racism stemming from slavery.

Again, differences based on race and generation exist.  African Americans, 75%, are more likely than whites, 25%, and Latinos, 54%, to support reparations to the descendants of slaves paid by companies who admit to profiting from slavery.  Millennials, 55% are more likely than older Americans to favor these private companies paying reparations.

When it comes to these private companies giving monetary compensation to the overall African-American community, 64% of African Americans and 53% of Latinos, compared with 18% of whites, favor such payments.  While a majority of millennials, 51%, oppose such action, they are more likely than their older counterparts to support this proposal.

“These results, while not surprising, are indeed striking in the persistent racial divide in attitudes about reparations. Tonight, Point Taken delves into this sensitive and provocative subject,”says Denise DiIanni, series creator and Senior Executive-in-Charge.

59% of Americans say the current wealth of the United States is not significantly tied to work done in the past by slaves.  But, 71% of residents think the history of slavery and other forms of racial discrimination is at least a minor factor in the wealth disparity between white and black Americans.  Included here are 40% of residents who believe this is a major factor in the wealth gap.

African Americans, 66%, are more likely than whites, 21%, and Latinos, 44%, to say the wealth of the United States is significantly tied to work done by slaves. Generationally, millennials, 44%, are more likely than older generations to report the current wealth of the United States is significantly tied to work done by slaves.  46% say there is not a significant link.

Spanning all demographic groups, at least a majority thinks the history of slavery and other forms of racial discrimination in the United States is at least a minor factor in the gap of wealth between white and black Americans.  However, there are some notable distinctions.  90% of African Americans, compared with 81% of Latinos and 66% of whites, have this view.  In fact, 73% of African Americans consider slavery and discrimination to be a major factor in that disparity.  Millennials, 56%, are also more likely than other generations to perceive this to be a major factor.

Many Americans, 69%, including half of African Americans, think slavery and racial discrimination is part of the history of the United States, but it is time to move beyond it.  27% believe slavery and racial discrimination is a wrong that still needs to be made right by the U.S. government.  Whites, 76%, are more likely than Latinos, 56%, and African Americans, 50%, to think the nation should move beyond this concern.  Of note, 49% of African Americans report this is a wrong that still needs to be corrected.  Millennials, 57%, are the least likely of the generations to believe it’s time to put the issue of slavery behind the nation and are the most likely to report that it is still a wrong that needs to be made right by the U.S. government, 40%.

This survey of 1,221 adults was conducted April 27th and April 28th and May 2nd through May 4th, 2016 by The Marist Poll sponsored and funded in partnership with WGBH’s Point Taken. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the contiguous United States were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed in English by telephone using live interviewers.  Results are statistically significant within ±2.8 percentage points. The error margin increases for cross-tabulations.

Complete May 10, 2016 USA Exclusive Point Taken – Marist Poll Release 

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5/3: Most Americans Oppose Pay Transparency

 More than seven in ten Americans do not think private companies should be required to publish the salaries of its employees nor do they believe private companies should disclose the wages of its employees internally.  When it comes to disclosing one’s personal salary, about two-thirds of Americans oppose such publication, according to an Exclusive Point Taken-Marist Poll, commissioned by WGBH Boston for its new late-night, multi-platform PBS debate series Point Taken.  However, Americans favor including a range of salary or wages in new job postings instead of a fixed rate of pay.

The national survey was conducted by The Marist Poll in advance of this week’s Point Taken episode, airing Tuesday, May 3rd at 11pmET (check local listings) and streaming on pbs.org/pointtaken. The series is hosted by Carlos Watson, Emmy Award winning journalist and OZY Media co-founder and CEO.

72% of Americans do not think private companies should be required to publish salaries and believe most people’s salaries should remain private.  Racial differences exist.  White residents, 79%, are more likely than non-white Americans, 61%, to say companies should not publicize the amount each employee earns.

What do Americans think would be the result of making salaries public?  58% of Americans think doing so would cause conflict between employees rather than increasing fairness of pay within the company.  White residents, 63%, are more likely than non-white residents, 51%, to think publically releasing salary amounts would cause friction within companies.

When it comes to internally disclosing the salaries of a company’s employees, 73% of Americans report salaries should remain private for most people.  Here, gender differences are present.  Men, 79%, are more likely than women, 67%, to say employees’ wages should not be published within companies for everyone to see.

“There’s no doubt that when it comes to publishing wages, most Americans think it’s a sensitive topic and a private matter,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

“The issue of salary transparency and compensation are headline news this year”, says Denise DiIanni, series creator and Senior Executive in Charge. “Questions of gender and racial disparities in compensation warrant a deeper dive.  Point Taken will take the conversation further in tonight’s debate.”

When it comes to publically disclosing their own salaries, 66% of U.S. residents say they would prefer that information not be made public.  More than three in four Americans, 77%, favor the inclusion of a range of salary or wages in new job postings.

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5/3: 65 Stands Strong as “Middle-Aged”

Forget the contests for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.  The biggest question facing the Marist Institute for Public Opinion this year is whether Americans consider the age of the Institute’s director, Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, to be old!

As Dr. Miringoff turns 65, he remains unscathed!  A majority of Americans, 55%, say 65 is middle-aged.  34% consider it old, and more than one in ten, 11%, thinks age 65 is young.  Similar proportions of U.S. residents thought 64 to be old last year.

Not surprisingly, perceptions differ based on age.  Americans 45 years old and older, 63%, are more likely than younger residents to consider 65 to be middle-aged.  Those under 45 divide.  49% think 65 years of age is old while 47% say it is middle-aged.  This is driven by Americans under 30, among whom 60% call 65 “old.”

Complete May 3, 2016 Marist Poll of the United States

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5/1: IN: Trump Leads, Clinton and Sanders Close

In the quest for the Republican nomination, businessman Donald Trump, 49%, is ahead of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, 34%, by 15 points among likely Republican primary voters in Indiana.  Ohio Governor John Kasich trails far behind with 13%.  Trump has the advantage among many key demographic groups.  He especially outdistances his opponents among likely Republican primary voters who self-identify as moderate or conservative, those who are over 45, without a college education, or who are men.  Cruz does best among likely Republican primary voters who describe themselves as very conservative.

59% of likely Republican primary voters with a candidate preference report they strongly support their choice of candidate.  66% of Trump’s backers compared with 56% of Cruz’s supporters and 40% of those for Kasich say they are firmly committed to their candidate selection.

When it comes to the second choice of likely Republican primary voters with a candidate preference, 39% select Kasich followed by Cruz, 31%, and Trump, 18%.

Last week, Cruz and Kasich announced they would team up to defeat Donald Trump in Indiana.  However, 63% of likely Republican primary voters say the alliance is not a factor in deciding their vote, including 63% of Trump’s supporters, 66% of Cruz’s backers, and 53% of likely GOP voters for Kasich.  37% say it is a factor, including 22% who say it is a major factor and 15% who report it is a minor factor.

58% of likely Republican primary voters say they disapprove of the deal between Cruz and Kasich to stop Trump at all costs and think it is further proof that the Republicans are trying to rig the game against Trump.  34% of likely GOP voters approve of the coalition to stop Trump at all costs.

Should the Republicans face a contested convention this summer, nearly two-thirds of likely Republican voters in Indiana, 64%, say that the candidate with the most votes should be the GOP nominee even if he does not receive a majority of delegates before the convention.  This includes 88% of likely Republican primary voters for Trump but also 42% of Cruz’s supporters and 29% of those who back Kasich.  29% of likely GOP voters believe if no one gets a majority, the delegates should select the person they think would be the best nominee, including 64% of Kasich’s supporters.

“After the Acela primary, there is an aura of inevitability surrounding the Trump and Clinton candidacies,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “In Indiana, Trump is positioned to corral all the delegates which will be a big prize toward winning the nomination outright.  Clinton and Sanders are more likely to divide the delegate pool which will do little to change the narrative on the Democratic side.”

Looking at the Democratic contest, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 50%, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 46%, are closely matched among likely Democratic primary voters in Indiana.  Clinton’s support is bolstered by likely Democratic primary voters who are 45 years of age or older among whom she receives 70%.  Sanders’ support is buoyed by likely Democratic primary voters who are under 45 years old, among whom he is supported by 70%.  He also does well among those who are first-time or independent voters.  While Clinton, 57%, outpaces Sanders, 39%, among women, Sanders, 55%, leads Clinton, 41%, among men.

71% of likely Democratic primary voters in Indiana with a candidate preference say they strongly support their choice of candidate.  71% of Clinton’s supporters and 70% of Sanders’ backers express a firm level of commitment to their choice of candidate.

In hypothetical general election contests, all three Republican candidates lead Clinton.   Sanders, however, is closely matched among registered voters statewide against Trump, Cruz, and Kasich.

A plurality of the Indiana electorate, 42%, considers Trump’s statements on the campaign trail to be frequently insulting and thinks that he has the wrong approach on many issues.  Included here are 73% of Democrats but only 38% of independents and 20% of Republicans.  26% say Trump’s manner and language are bothersome, but he raises important issues, and 21% believe Trump tells it like it is and has the right approach on many issues.  10% percent do not think any of these statements describe Trump’s manner.

Turning to the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Todd Young, 56%, outdistances Marlin Stutzman, 24%, among likely Republican primary voters in Indiana.  A notable 19% are undecided.

42% of likely Republican primary voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate say they strongly support their choice of candidate.  49% of Stutzman’s supporters, compared with 39% of Young’s backers, say they will not waver in their commitment to their candidate.

Indiana residents divide about the job performance of Governor Mike Pence.  42% of adults statewide, including 63% of likely Republican primary voters, approve of the job he is doing in office while 41% disapprove.  A notable 17% are unsure.

Looking at President Barack Obama’s approval rating in the Hoosier State, 42% of adults statewide, including 84% of likely Democratic primary voters, approve of the president’s performance.  50% disapprove.

Complete May 1, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release of Indiana

Complete May 1, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Indiana (Adults, Registered Voters, and Potential Electorates)

Complete May 1, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Indiana (Likely Republican Presidential Primary Voters)

Complete May 1, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Indiana (Likely Democratic Presidential Primary Voters)

Complete May 1, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Senate Tables of Indiana (Likely Republican Primary Voters and Potential Republican Electorates)

Marist Poll Methodology for Indiana

Nature of the Sample for Indiana

4/26: Weighing the Value of a College Education

April 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Family Finances, Featured, Money, Money Vault

A majority of Americans, including parents with children under 18 years of age, think college is worth the price tag, and many consider a college education to be important for both future earning potential and personal growth and experience, according to an Exclusive Point Taken-Marist Poll, commissioned by WGBH Boston for its new late-night, multi-platform PBS debate series Point Taken.  However, three in four U.S. residents consider the cost of a college education to be out of reach for most American families.

The national survey was conducted by The Marist Poll in advance of this week’s Point Taken episode, airing Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 11:30pmET (check local listings) and streaming on pbs.org/pointtaken. The series is hosted by Carlos Watson, Emmy Award winning journalist and OZY Media co-founder and CEO.

55% of Americans, including 51% of parents, think college is worth the cost, and more than three in four Americans consider college education to be essential.  In fact, 77% of residents perceive a college degree to be key to future success, and the same proportion thinks the need for a college degree equals the importance of a high school diploma for an earlier generation.  Similar proportions of parents share these views.

Not surprisingly, Americans with a four-year college degree, 68%, are more likely than those without such a degree, 47%, to report that a college education is worth the price tag.  Those with a degree, 88%, as well as those who earn $50,000 or more annually, 81%, are also more likely than those without a degree, 70%, or those who earn less than $50,000, 73%, to consider a college education to be key to future success.  Gender differences are also present.  Women, 61%, are more likely than men, 49%, to say college is worth the price tag.

“While there are concerns about the cost, Americans still see the value of a college education,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

“For decades, a college education has been viewed as a ladder to success,” says Denise DiIanni, series creator and Executive-in-Charge.  ”And this week’s Point Taken will delve into the data, the perceptions and realities of its value.

Six in ten Americans, 60%, believe that, without a college degree, jobs are limited. Non-white residents, 67%, are more likely than white residents, 56%, to report jobs are limited for those without a college degree.  Americans who receive an annual salary of $50,000 or more, 42%, are more likely than those who make less, 32%, to disagree.

Americans do divide, however, about whether learning a trade or skill provides greater earning potential, 42%, than receiving a college education, 46%.  Men, 47%, are more likely than women, 37%, to think that learning a trade or skill allows a person to earn more money than going to college.  Generationally, millennials, 32%, are less likely than older generations to have this view.

Aside from the financial benefits of a college education, more than two-thirds of Americans, including 70% of parents, report the personal growth and experience of a college education is worth the cost.  Here, too, residents with a college degree, 74%, and women, 72%, are more likely than those without a four-year education, 62%, and men, 61%, to have this view.  Millennials, 73%, are more likely than Baby Boomers, 62%, and members of the Silent-Greatest Generation, 60%, to say the growth and experience of a college education is worth the price tag.

Looking at the overall impact of a college education, 78% of Americans with a four-year degree report their life would be worse if they did not have that degree.  While a plurality of residents without a four-year college degree, 48%, say their life would be no different if they had that education, 44% say it would be better, and only 4% report it would be worse.

While many Americans perceive a college education to be a worthwhile investment, three in four residents, 75%, think the cost of a college degree is out of reach for most American families.  However, millennials, 30%, are more likely than their older counterparts to believe the cost of a college education is within reach.  Still, 67% of millennials report the cost of a college degree is out of reach for most Americans.

However, 65% of Americans, including the same proportion of parents, say college is worth the financial risk, despite the amount of debt students will take on, because of the future earnings potential and career opportunities.  Again, residents with a college degree, 75%, and women, 71%, are more likely than those without a degree, 58%, and men, 58%, to have this view.  Millennials, 72%, are more likely than those in the Silent-Greatest generation, 58%, to report the cost of college is worth the financial risk.

Complete April 26, 2016 USA Exclusive Point Taken – Marist Poll Release
Complete April 26, 2016 USA Exclusive Point Taken – Marist Poll Banners (Banner 1: Gender, Race, Age, Education, Income)
Complete April 26, 2016 USA Exclusive Point Taken – Marist Poll Banners (Banner 2: Generation, Party ID, Ideology)
Marist Poll Methodology
Marist Poll Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

 

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