A majority of Americans, 56%, opposes hunting animals for sport, and most Americans, 86%, consider big game hunting to be especially distasteful.
But, should big game hunting be legally prohibited? More than six in ten residents, 62%, say the practice is wrong and should be legally banned, including 34% of hunters. Another 24% of Americans and 31% of hunters say they disapprove of the practice but do not think it should be deemed illegal. 11% of adults nationally think the practice is acceptable. Not surprisingly, those who are hunters or have an interest in hunting, 28%, are more likely than Americans, overall, to say there is nothing wrong with big game hunting.
Americans are more opposed to big game hunting when compared with hunting animals for sport. A majority of Americans believes hunting, in general, is wrong. This includes 26% who think it should be illegal and 33% who disapprove but do not think it should be banned. 37% of U.S. residents say there is nothing wrong with hunting animals, more than three times the proportion of Americans who believe big game hunting is acceptable.
Most Americans, 81%, have heard something about the controversy surrounding Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer’s big game hunt, including 56% who say they know at least a good amount about it. Dr. Palmer drew international attention after he killed an African lion who was collared and part of a study. Dr. Palmer maintains he was unaware that Cecil was a local favorite and relied on his guides to ensure a fair hunt. Do Americans think Palmer acted illegally? About one in three residents, 32%, says he did something illegal while an additional 41% believe his actions were unethical but not illegal. A notable 22% say the dentist did nothing wrong. Hunters, 42%, are nearly twice as likely as residents, overall, to report that Dr. Palmer’s actions were acceptable.
Views on big game hunting are not absolute. Nearly four in ten opponents of the sport, 39%, say, if given the information that money paid for big game hunting would be allocated toward conservation efforts and to save animals that would otherwise have died, their view would change either a great deal, 10%, or somewhat, 29%.
How popular is hunting in the United States? More than one in ten Americans, 11%, reports they have hunted within the last couple of years. And, regardless of whether or not they have hunted, one in five Americans, 20%, have interest in the sport.
This HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll has been conducted in conjunction with the Marist College Center for Sports Communication.
“We are far more universally aligned against hunting big game animals than hunting for sport, both generally and in the specific case of Cecil the lion,” says Keith Strudler, Director of the Marist College Center for Sports Communication. “We can see that national opinions on this sport are driven more by the type of animal than perhaps general notions of killing animals or even guns.”
- 56% of Americans either strongly oppose, 33%, or somewhat oppose, 23%, hunting animals for sport. 41% of adults either strongly favor it, 20%, or somewhat favor the practice, 21%.
- 86% of Americans disapprove of big game hunting. This includes 62% who think big game hunting is wrong and should be prohibited by law and 24% who personally disapprove of the practice but do not think it should be legally banned. 11% say this type of hunting is acceptable.
- Even three in four gun owners, 75%, and about two-thirds of hunters, 65%, are opposed to big game hunting, although, gun owners, 20%, and hunters, 28%, are more likely than Americans, overall, to think big game hunting is acceptable.
- Women, 68%, are more likely than men, 55%, to say big game hunting should be legally prohibited.
- Nearly six in ten adults nationally, 59%, think hunting animals for sport, in general, is unacceptable. Included here are 26% who say hunting should be prohibited by law and 33% who say they personally disapprove but do not think hunting should be illegal. 37% say it is an acceptable practice.
- Men, 45%, are more likely than women, 30%, to believe there is nothing wrong with hunting.
- When it comes to the controversy surrounding Dr. Walter Palmer, most Americans, 81%, have heard about it. A majority of Americans, 56%, have heard either a great deal, 34%, or a good amount, 22%, about Palmer’s hunt in Africa which resulted in the killing of Cecil the lion.
- 73% of Americans believe Palmer did something wrong during his big game hunt. Only 32% say he did something illegal. 41% report Palmer’s actions were unethical but not illegal. A notable 22% think Dr. Palmer did nothing wrong.
- Hunters, 42%, and gun owners, 32%, are more likely than Americans, overall, to report Dr. Palmer did nothing wrong.
- If given the knowledge that money paid for big game hunts funded conservation efforts, 61% of Americans who oppose big game hunting say their opinion would not change. 10% say this information would alter their opinion a great deal, and 29% report it would change their view somewhat.
- 20% of Americans say they are interested in hunting as a sport, and 11% say they have been hunting in the past couple of years.
- Gun owners, 29%, are nearly three times as likely as Americans, overall, to say they have hunted recently.
- There is also a gender difference. 18% of men have participated in a hunt over the last couple of years compared with only 5% of women.
More than seven in ten voters nationally, 71%, think electing a president who is 65 years of age or older is a benefit because such a candidate brings wisdom and experience to the position. Less than one in four voters, 24%, believe electing an older president is a risk because after several years in office they may not be up to the demands of the job. Six percent are unsure.
Regardless of party affiliation, ideology, Tea Party support, age, race, gender, level of education, income, or region of residence, voters acknowledge the benefits of electing an older presidential candidate.
Although registered voters nationally divide about how President Barack Obama is doing his job, the president’s approval rating, 48%, has steadily inched up over the last several months and is at its highest point since April 2013. At that time, 50% rated Obama highly. The president is well-liked by 50% of voters nationally, up slightly from 47% in August. This is President Obama’s highest favorable score since April 2013 when 53% thought well of him.
On his handling of the economy, President Obama’s rating is upside down, 47% to 50%. When it comes to whether or not voters think Mr. Obama inherited the nation’s current economic conditions, half of voters, 50%, still think the economy is something his predecessor handed over to Mr. Obama. However, the proportion of the electorate who thinks the current economic conditions are a result of the president’s own policies, 45%, is the highest since McClatchy-Marist began reporting this question in April 2009.
Looking at the other areas of the president’s job performance, voters nationally also divide, 49% to 47%, about Mr. Obama’s handling of race relations in the United States. However, the president’s scores are in negative territory when it comes to his dealing with foreign policy and his handling of ISIS. Nearly six in ten voters, 57% disapprove of how Mr. Obama is dealing with foreign policy issues, and 58% disapprove of how he is handling the terrorist group ISIS.
Interestingly, independent voters express greater dissatisfaction with President Obama’s job performance than in the past. Among independents, 51% currently disapprove of how Mr. Obama is doing his job, overall. In August, independents divided, 45% who disapproved to 44% who approved. Majorities of independents also express disapproval with how the president is handling foreign policy, 64%, his dealing with ISIS, 59%, and his handling of the economy, 55%.
Although the job approval ratings of congressional Democrats, 38% up from 28%, and congressional Republicans, 23% slightly up from 19%, are still low, there has been an improvement in voters’ perceptions.
Americans remain cautiously optimistic about their family’s finances. 52% expect their personal finances to stay about the same in the coming year. 33% think their money matters will get better while 15% say they will get worse. However, a notable proportion of residents, 59%, report they worry, at least sometimes, that their family’s income will not be able to meet their expenses.
What does all this mean for the direction of the nation? Americans remain pessimistic. 59% of residents, little changed from 60% in August, believe the United States is moving in the wrong direction.
- 48% of registered voters nationally approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office, and 48% disapprove. In August, voters also divided, 47% to 47%.
- While Democrats, 85%, rate Mr. Obama highly, Republicans, 89%, disapprove of the president’s job performance. Among independents, President Obama’s approval rating is upside down, 45% to 51%. Independents previously divided, 44% who approved to 45% who disapproved.
- Half of voters, 50%, have a favorable opinion of President Obama, and 47% have an unfavorable view of him. In August, 47% thought well of Mr. Obama, and 48% expressed an unfavorable attitude toward the president.
- 47% of voters approve of President Obama’s handling of the economy, the highest score he has received on this issue since October 2009 when 48% agreed with his approach. 50% currently disapprove.
- 51% of adults, including 50% of registered voters, say the nation’s economic conditions are something President Obama inherited from President George W. Bush. 43% of residents, including 45% of voters, think they are a result of his own policies.
- 49% of voters approve of how President Obama is handling race relations. 47% disapprove.
- A racial divide exists. 55% of non-white voters approve of how the president is taking on race relations while 51% of white voters disapprove.
- 38% of voters approve of President Obama’s handling of foreign policy, and 57% disapprove. These proportions are little changed from 39% and 54%, respectively, in August.
- While 72% of Democrats approve of the president’s approach toward foreign policy, 91% of Republicans disapprove. 64% of independents, an increase from 51%, disapprove.
- 34% of voters approve of how President Obama is handling ISIS, but a majority, 58%, disapproves. In August, 54% of voters disapproved of how the president was dealing with ISIS.
- 63% of Americans, a slight increase from 59%, support sending U.S. ground forces to combat ISIS. This includes 25% who think a large number of ground forces should be deployed and 38% who think at least a limited number should be. Fewer than three in ten adults nationally, 29%, oppose sending any ground troops.
Congressional Democrats and Republicans No Longer Rock Bottom
- 38% of voters approve of how the Democrats in Congress are doing their job. This is up from 28% in August. Still, a majority of voters, 55%, disapprove of how they are doing their job.
- 23% of voters approve of how the Republicans in Congress are performing. In August, 19% had this view. Seven in ten, 70%, are dissatisfied with how the Republicans are doing their job.
Majority Says Personal Finances Status Quo, but Many Still Worry about Making Ends Meet
- 52% of adults think their family finances will remain the same in the coming year. 33% think they will get better, and 15% believe they will get worse. This is little changed from when McClatchy-Marist last asked this question.
- 59% of Americans worry that their family income will not be enough to meet their family’s expenses and bills. This includes about one in four adults, 24%, who reports they always worry they will not be able to meet their family’s needs and 35% who sometimes have this view. In October 2011, 64% expressed concern about making ends meet. 21% now say they seldom have this concern, and 20% never have this worry.
Americans Remain Pessimistic about the Direction of the Country
- Nearly six in ten residents nationally, 59%, think the nation is moving in the wrong direction while 36% believe it is moving in the right one. Six percent are unsure. In August, 60% said the country was off track, and 34% reported it was on the right course.
Does a candidate’s age matter when it comes to electing the next president? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
To read the full McClatchy article, click here.
Do voters approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance? What kind of an effect could the president have on the electoral chances of the Democratic presidential hopefuls? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll?
To read the full McClatchy article, click here.
In the race for the Democratic nomination for president, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 57% to 35%, among Democrats and Democratic leaning independents nationally. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley receives just 4% from the Democratic electorate.
Democrats and Democratic leaning independents are not suffering fatigue from hearing about Clinton or Sanders. More than six in ten, 63%, say the more they hear about Clinton the more they like her. A similar 62% report the more information they receive about Sanders, the more they like him.
What do Democrats value in their party’s nominee? Half of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents, up slightly from 46% in August, think it is more important that the nominee move the nation in a new direction rather than continuing the policies of President Barack Obama, 46%.
“On the eve of the next Democratic debate, both Clinton and Sanders have plenty to accomplish,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Clinton wants to build upon the momentum she’s had over the last several weeks. Sanders is looking to broaden his support beyond the people he is popular with currently.”
- Looking at the Democratic primary, Clinton, 57%, leads Sanders, 35%, among Democrats and Democratic leaning independents nationally. O’Malley has 4%.
- While Clinton is ahead of Sanders among Democrats, 65% to 28%, Sanders leads Clinton, 50% to 38%, among Democratic leaning independents.
- 81% of African American Democrats are for Clinton compared with only 13% for Sanders. Clinton also has the backing of a majority of Latino voters, 54%, to 36% for Sanders. Among whites, 50% are for Hillary while 41% support Sanders.
- Sanders, 58%, leads Clinton, 35%, among Democrats and Democratic leaning independents under 30 years old. Clinton is competitive against Sanders, 50% to 45%, among those 30 to 44 years old. However, Clinton leads Sanders among older Democrats. She receives 64% to 26% for Sanders among Democrats 45 to 59. And, among those 60 and older, Clinton, 69%, leads Sanders, 21%, by more than three to one.
- Among both men and women, Clinton is out in front. But, women, 62%, are more likely than men, 50%, to support her.
- 63% of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents report the more they hear about Clinton, the more they like her. 31% say they like her less after learning more about her.
- 62% like Sanders more after receiving additional information about him. 25% say they like him less.
- Half of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents, 50%, report it is more important that the Democratic nominee move the nation in a different direction. 46% want the nominee to continue Obama’s policies. When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in August, Democrats divided. 46% wanted their party’s nominee to change course while 45% wanted the nominee to further Obama’s initiatives.
- 62% of Democratic leaning independents, up from 56% during the summer, want the nominee to move the nation in a new direction. 46% of those who identify as liberal or very liberal, up from 37%, also have this view.
American voters do not give presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a pass when it comes to her use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. However, they do not necessarily think she did something illegal. A plurality of voters, 40%, think Clinton did something unethical but not illegal. The rest divide. 28% believe her actions were illegal, and 27% report she did nothing wrong.
The proportion of voters who think the use of the server was illegal is driven by Republicans, 56%, and those who support the Tea Party, 57%. Clinton also does not come out unscathed among Democrats. Although nearly half of Democratic voters, 49%, think the former Secretary of State did nothing wrong, four in ten, 40%, believe Clinton did something unethical but not illegal. A plurality of independents, 46%, question the ethics of using a private email server, not its legality.
When it comes to whether voters think it’s time to close the book on the Republicans’ investigation into the attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, the American electorate divides. 49% report Clinton has sufficiently answered questions about the incident which occurred during her time as Secretary of State while 45% say the Republicans in Congress should continue their investigation.
Not surprisingly, a partisan divide exists. Most Democrats, 79%, think Clinton has thoroughly addressed the incident while most Republicans, 80%, believe there is more to be uncovered. Independents divide. 46% say it is time to turn the page, and 48% think the investigation should continue. Men and women also have different viewpoints. While a majority of women, 52%, thinks Clinton has adequately divulged information about the incident, 49% of men believe Clinton has more to tell about Benghazi.
Where does the contest for the Democratic nomination for president stand? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
To read the full McClatchy article, click here.
What do American voters want in a presidential candidate? Nearly seven in ten registered voters nationally, 68%, report they would definitely vote for a woman, and nearly two-thirds, 64%, say they would definitely support a Latino or Hispanic presidential candidate. Majorities of voters also say they would not hesitate to cast their ballot for someone who is 65 years of age or older, 54%, or a candidate with many years of government experience, 51%.
In contrast, half of the American electorate, 50%, report they would definitely not vote for a candidate who is a socialist, and a plurality, 44%, would not support a candidate who has no experience in government. There is less of a consensus about whether voters would back a CEO who has run a large corporation or is a Seventh Day Adventist.
Do voters think former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton do something wrong by using a private email server during her time at the State Department? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
To read the full McClatchy article, click here.