The top 10 reasons pollsters would make good meteorologists are:
10. When surprised by a wintry forecast, a pollster already has experience using a big shovel to dig out
9. If a tornado is in the forecast, a pollster can instruct everyone on how to spin
8. When in doubt about tomorrow’s weather, a pollster can reference the ‘ol perfessor Casey Stengel (he taught Yogi Berra about Yogi-isms). “It’s very difficult making predictions, especially about the future”
7. Pollsters are already familiar with the map of the country although they are confused why meteorologists don’t color the states red and blue
6. Pollsters are 95% confident that, if they spot a few snowflakes, there are likely to be more
5. Pollsters are able to provide precise estimates of likely temperatures as in: “Expect tomorrow to be about 32 degrees, plus or minus 3 degrees”
4. Pollsters are experienced with anticipating landslides before they occur
3. Pollsters know that early predictions are about as reliable as the Farmer’s Almanac
2. A pollster knows that if the temperature is 80 degrees in Florida but only 40 degrees in Pennsylvania, the average temperature is 60
1. Pollsters have learned the hard way what a 70% chance of snow really means
Being a better person, 16%, tops the list of New Year’s resolutions for 2017, knocking weight loss, 10%, from the number one spot for the first time since ringing in 2014. Exercising more, 10%, ties weight loss for second place among those who are likely to make a 2017 resolution. Spending less money and saving more, improving one’s health, and eating healthier receive 7% each and round out the top New Year’s resolutions for 2017.
Last year, the top resolutions were losing weight, 12%, getting a better job, 10%, exercising more, 9%, stopping smoking, 9%, improving one’s health, 9%, being a better person, 8%, eating healthier, 8%, and spending less and saving more, 7%.
Gender, age, or geography makes a difference. Women, 19%, are more likely to mention being a better person than any other resolution. Among men, being a better person, 12%, ties with exercising more, 12%. Looking at age, Americans 45 years of age or older, 21%, are more likely than younger Americans to resolve to be a better person. Among those under 45 years old, there is little consensus. Being a better person and spending less money and saving more each receives 11%. Losing weight and exercising more follow with 9% each. Of note, among those under 30, being a better person, 13%, edges out exercising more, 10%. Among those 30 to 44 years old, spending less and saving more, 16%, takes the top spot.
Regionally, 21% of residents in the West and 16% in the South cite being a better person as their 2017 resolution. Being a better person, 15%, and losing weight, 15%, vie for top honors in the Midwest. In the Northeast, weight loss, 12%, tops the list followed closely by being a better person, 9%, and improving one’s health, 9%.
Are Americans planning to make a 2017 resolution? 44% of Americans, up from 39% last year, say they are either very likely or likely to do so. A majority, 56%, report they are not likely at all to make a change.
Younger Americans are more likely to make a New Year’s resolution than their older counterparts. 51% of those under 45 years old, compared with 39% of older Americans, say it is likely they will promise to change an aspect of their lives. The older a person is the less likely they are to make a resolution. While 55% of those under 30 years old say they will make one, 48% of those 30 to 44 years of age, 45% of those 45 to 59, and 32% of those 60 and older say the same.
Do Americans keep their New Year’s resolutions? Of those who made a 2016 resolution, 68% said they kept at least part of their promise. 32% did not. The proportion of those who said they stuck to it is up slightly from the previous year, 64%, and is at its highest since 2013 when 72% reported they stuck with their resolution.
More men, 75%, compared with women, 62%, kept their 2016 resolution. The proportion of men who stuck with their resolution is up from last year, 65%, while there has been little change among women, 63%.
It’s the most annoying (word) time of the year! Once again, “whatever” claims the title of most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation.
“Whatever” irritates 38% of Americans followed by “no offense, but” with 20%. “You know, right” is irksome to 14% of residents nationally as is “I can’t even,” 14%. “Huge” grates on the nerves of 8% of Americans, and 5% are unsure.
However, “whatever” may be losing some steam. In 2015, 43% of residents cited “whatever” to be the most annoying. “No offense, but” followed with 22%, and “like” came in third with 20%. Seven percent thought “no worries” was irritating, and “huge” received 3%. Four percent were unsure.
Age matters. Nearly half of Americans 45 years of age or older, 49%, believe “whatever” to be the most annoying, but among younger Americans, there is little agreement. 27% mention “whatever” followed by “no offense, but” and “I can’t even” each with 24%. Digging deeper, “whatever” tops the list for those 30 to 44 years old, 33%, Americans 45 to 59 years of age, 48%, and those 60 and older, 49%. Among Americans under 30, “I can’t even” takes top honors with 33%.
Regardless of race, “whatever” receives the dubious distinction of most annoying word or phrase. However, African Americans, 57%, and Latinos, 42%, are more likely to have this view than whites, 35%.
By nearly three to one, American sports fans, 56%, consider the Chicago Cubs’ first World Series win since 1908 to be the best single sports accomplishment of 2016. The U.S. women’s gymnastics team winning consecutive Olympic team gold medals places second with 20%. Eight percent mention the Cleveland Cavaliers bringing home the NBA title to give the city its first major championship since 1964 as the greatest accomplishment in sports this year. Seven percent cite the Denver Broncos winning the Super Bowl in Peyton Manning’s final NFL game, and 5% think Leicester City’s first Premier League victory despite 5,000 to 1 odds takes the top spot in sports.
This Marist Poll has been conducted in conjunction with the Marist College Center for Sports Communication.
“These results affirm the narrative that the Cubs’ championship is indeed historic in the view of American sports fans, even if other victories may have come at longer odds,” says Keith Strudler, Director of the Marist College Center for Sports Communication.
60% of Americans say they are sports fans. 40% are not sports enthusiasts.
Traditionally, the role of First Lady falls to the president’s spouse, although there have been several exceptions in American history. Melania Trump’s perceived ambivalence about her role during her husband’s presidency may be one reason Americans are not certain what to expect this time. Only 34% of Americans think Mrs. Trump will be either excellent, 13%, or good, 21%, in the role of First Lady. 30% expect her performance to be fair while 26% believe she will perform poorly. Nine percent are unsure. In contrast, Michelle Obama was better received during her husband’s transition into office in December 2008 when 60% of Americans held high expectations for her.
A partisan divide exists. While 61% of Republicans have a positive outlook toward Mrs. Trump’s time in the White House should she assume an active role, only 34% of independents and 11% of Democrats agree.
When thinking about future presidential elections, should the Electoral College be abandoned in favor of adopting the popular vote to determine the winner of the presidential election? A majority of registered voters, 52%, think the popular vote should be the deciding factor while 45% say the Electoral College should be the determinant. Three percent are unsure.
“It’s the second time in the last five presidential elections that the winner of the popular vote does not assume the presidency,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “No wonder there is controversy over the method of selecting a president.”
A partisan divide exists. While nearly eight in ten Democrats, 78%, think the nation should move away from the Electoral College and adopt the popular vote, 67% of Republicans and 52% of independents disagree and think the Electoral College system should remain in place.
Attitudes also differ based on race and gender. A majority of white voters, 51%, think the Electoral College should determine future elections. However, 74% of African Americans and 63% of Latinos say the popular vote should take precedence. A majority of women, 56%, favor the popular vote, but men divide, 50% for the Electoral College and 48% for the popular vote.
Should the popular vote replace the Electoral College in determining the winner of future presidential elections? Find out voters’ views in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
Click here to read the full McClatchy story.
Americans paint a bleak economic picture, but there is growing optimism that Americans’ financial picture will improve. However, for more than one in three Americans, the reality is they either have just enough money to pay for their expenses or cannot make ends meet. Many Americans believe that even if people work hard, it is difficult to maintain their standard of living. They also think the next generation will need to put in more effort to get ahead and believe that the deck is stacked against those without wealth and connections.
“Despite a lengthy period of economic growth and lowered unemployment, many Americans do not feel part of the economic recovery,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Their remedy runs counter to current policy talk. People would rather see a raise in the minimum wage than cuts of corporate taxes and fewer business regulations.”
65% of Americans say that, financially, they either live comfortably, 39%, or meet their basic expenses with a little left over for extras, 26%. However, a notable 34% of U.S. residents report they just meet their basic expenses, 24%, or do not have enough money to meet their basic needs, 10%. The proportions of Americans who say they just cover their basic expenses, or fall short of meeting them is identical to what it was in July 2012.
Not surprisingly, lower wage earners and those without a college education struggle more than those with higher salaries and those with a college degree to meet their basic needs. Among residents who make less than $50,000 annually, 57% report they just meet their expenses, 37%, or do not have enough money to pay for them, 20%. This compares with only 15% of those who earn $50,000 or more a year who say they scrape by to meet their expenses, 12%, or cannot cover them at all, 3%. By two to one, residents without a college degree, 44%, have a more difficult time making ends meet than those who are college graduates, 22%.
Differences also exist along racial lines. 47% of African Americans and 42% of Latino residents either just have enough money to pay for their expenses or do not have the funds to cover them. This compares with 29% of white Americans who experience the same plight.
Many Americans, 61%, say that, despite hard work, people still have a hard time maintaining their standard of living. In contrast, 36% think hard work improves one’s chance of improving their standard of living. Three percent are unsure. A glimmer of hope does exist here. The proportion of U.S. residents who say maintaining one’s standard of living is a challenge has decreased from 68% in February 2014. At that time, 31% reported that people who work hard have a good chance at improving their standard of living. One percent were unsure.
Residents who earn less than $50,000 a year, 68%, do not have a college degree, 67%, are African American, 76%, or are Latino, 65%, are more likely than Americans who earn $50,000 or more annually, 57%, are college graduates, 54%, or are white, 57% to think people still experience challenges maintaining their standard of living even if they work hard.
Americans are also slightly more optimistic about the future of their personal family finances. While half of Americans, 50%, think their financial situation will remain about the same in the next year, the proportion of those who believe it will get better has increased from 28% in July to 38% currently. 12% of residents, down slightly from 17%, believe their family finances will get worse. When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question, 56% of Americans thought their finances would remain about the same.
Optimism among white Americans has grown. 36% of whites, up from 18%, expect their family finances to improve in the next year and fewer white Americans, 10%, down from 19%, report a deterioration in their family finances. However, the proportion of African Americans who think their family finances will get worse, 19%, is up from 11% with little change in the proportion who say they expect an improvement, 46% compared with 48% in July. There has been little change on this question among Latinos. 40% of Latino Americans think their family finances will get better, 9% say they will get worse, and 51% believe it will stay about the same.
Residents, though, divide about whether it will be easier or harder to find a job in the coming year. 47% think the task will be easier while 43% believe it will be harder. Four percent do not think it will be any different than in the past, and 6% are unsure.
Looking at income, those who earn less than $50,000 annually, 48%, are more likely than those who make more, 40%, to say the job hunt will be more difficult. In contrast, 50% of higher wage earners think it will be easier. While Americans without a college degree divide, 45% to 47%, those with a college education say it will be easier to find employment, 50% to 39%.
Again, racial differences are present. A majority of white Americans, 54%, believe it will be easier to find a job while nearly two-thirds of African Americans, 65%, and nearly six in ten Latino Americans, 57%, believe it will be harder. Also noteworthy, while a majority of men, 52%, report the job hunt will be easier, a plurality of women, 46%, say it will be harder.
What do Americans think is in store for the next generation? Most Americans, 84%, up from 78% in February 2014, think it will take more effort for them to get ahead. Four percent believe it will take less effort, and 12% think it will take about as much effort. And, more than eight in ten residents, 83%, think there are different rules for the well-connected and people with money. 14% believe everyone pretty much plays by the same rules, and 3% are unsure. These proportions are little changed from when the McClatchy-Marist Poll last reported this question in February 2014.
Regardless of race, more than three in four Americans perceive an unequal playing field. However, African Americans, 90%, are more likely to have this view than whites, 83%, or Latinos, 79%. Latinos, 19%, are more likely than whites, 14%, or African Americans, 8%, to say everyone has a similar opportunity to get ahead.
In terms of improving the economy and moving the nation forward, more than six in ten Americans, 61%, think the focus of the government should be raising the minimum wage and providing job training and education. 35% say the emphasis should be on cutting corporate taxes and reducing regulations on businesses. Five percent are unsure. These proportions are identical to those reported in the February 2014 McClatchy-Marist Poll.
How do American voters think Melania Trump will perform as the nation’s next first lady? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
Click here to read the full McClatchy article.
Do Americans think their personal family finances will improve in the coming year? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
Click here to read the full McClatchy article.