4/21: More Than One-Third Believes Decline in African American Baseball Players is a Concern… Race Factors into Perceptions of Baseball

More than one in three Americans considers the decline in African American players in Major League Baseball to be a problem.  This includes about one in eight who thinks the decline to be a major issue.

African Americans, 49%, are more likely than whites, 34%, to consider the composition of MLB players to be troublesome.

Looking at Americans’ perceptions of baseball, only about one in seven thinks of it as the most popular sport for children to play.  Football, 35%, and soccer, 28%, exceed baseball.  Racial differences exist.  White Americans, 15%, are more than twice as likely as African Americans, 6%, to say baseball is the leading sport in which children participate.  Still, baseball places third among whites, in terms of popularity, and fourth among African Americans.

Why aren’t children playing baseball?  Finances are a factor.  More than six in ten Americans, 63%, say the cost of playing in top travel leagues is, at least, part of the reason.  Additionally, 47% say the equipment is too expensive, and that is, at least, a partial explanation.

Americans wax nostalgic about the sport.  Nearly two-thirds of Americans, including a majority of African Americans played baseball as a child.  And, baseball, 33%, also ranks first as the sport Americans would like to play with their son.  However, while the sport tops the list for white Americans, it comes in fourth among African Americans.

Americans view baseball positively.  Most, 83%, consider it a sport which is rich in tradition and not too old-fashioned.  Nearly three in four Americans, 74%, call baseball “cool” as opposed to “not cool.”  And, nearly six in ten, 59%, say the sport is changing with the times and is not stuck in the past.  However, residents divide about baseball’s level of excitement.

Despite Americans’ mostly favorable impressions of the sport, baseball isn’t a major topic around the watercooler.  Only 31% say people talk about or follow the sport a lot during baseball season.  African Americans are the least likely to keep up with the sport.

This HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll has been conducted in conjunction with the Marist College Center for Sports Communication

Click Here for Complete April 21, 2015 USA HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll Release and Tables

“These results help explain what we all suspect — that baseball lags behind other sporting pastimes for American youth, particularly for African-Americans,” says Keith Strudler, Director of the Marist College Center for Sports Communication. “What could be most problematic for baseball officials is that changing the nature of the game may not alter this trend, since the larger impediment is cost, something that will be more difficult to drastically change.”

Poll points:

  • 35% of Americans, including 12% who say it is a major problem, think the decline in the number of African American and black, non-Latino Major League Baseball players is troublesome.  65% believe it is not a problem at all.
  • Age matters.  Americans under 45, 41%, think the proportion of African American and black baseball players is a problem.  31% of those who are older agree.
  • 49% of African Americans compared with 34% of whites report the decline is a problem.

Few Americans Think Baseball is Popular Sport among Children

  • 15% of Americans consider baseball to be the most popular team sport for children to play followed closely by basketball, 14%.  Football, 35%, and soccer, 28%, surpass baseball on the list.
  • Racial differences exist.  Among whites, 37%, and Latinos, 34%, football is the sport most children play.  Soccer comes in second among whites, 32%, and Latinos, 31%.  Among African Americans, 41% say children in their community play basketball, and 33% cite football.
  • A plurality of men, 39%, considers football to be the most popular sport played by children.  Among women, 32% choose football, and a similar proportion, 30%, select soccer.
  • Cost factors into perceptions of why some children do not play baseball.  More than six in ten residents, 63%, think, at least, part of the reason is because it costs too much to play in top travel leagues.  Close to one in five, 18%, say it is the main reason.  37% report it is not a reason at all.
  • While a majority of Americans, 53%, reports the cost of equipment is not a factor at all, 47% think children are not stepping up to the plate, partially, because of the expenseA majority of non-white parents, 55%, reports the cost of baseball equipment has, at least, something to do with why some children don’t play the sport, while a majority of white parents, 45%, says it’s not a reason at all.
  • There is a perception by 40% of residents that, at least in part, children are not taking up America’s pastime because too many children are needed to play the game.  60% say it is no reason at all.
  • 40% believe the length of the game has something to do with why children don’t gravitate toward the game of baseball.   Nearly half of African Americans, 47%, say the same.
  • About one-third of residents, 33%, thinks baseball takes too much skill, and that factors into why some children do not play the game.    
  • 32% of Americans believe lack of a nearby ball field is, at least, part of the reason children are not playing baseball.  68% report it is no reason at all.  African Americans, 47%, are more likely than Latinos, 36%, and whites, 28%, to think not having a place nearby to play is a reason children don’t play baseball.  In fact, close to one in five African American residents, 18%, thinks this is the main reason.
  • 31% say not knowing the rules is, at least, part of the reason why some children do not play baseball.  69% report this is not a reason at all.  41% of African Americans, including one in ten who report it is the main reason, attribute not understanding the game as a factor in why some children do not play the sport.
  • 31% of adults nationally believe, at least, part of the reason some children don’t play baseball is because the sport is not fun.

Baseball Considered Top Father-Son Sport

  • 33% of Americans report baseball is the sport they would like to most play with their son.  Basketball is a distant second, 21%.  19% choose soccer, and 18% pick football.
  • Again, race enters into the equation.  39% of white Americans would like to take their son to the baseball field while a plurality of African Americans, 34%, would visit a football field with their son.  Among Latinos, baseball, 26%, basketball, 25%, and soccer, 25%, receive comparable interest.
  • Americans 45 and older, 40%, are more likely than younger residents, 25%, to pick baseball as the sport they would share with their child.  Among those under 45, there is little consensus.
  • Close to two-thirds of adults nationally, 64%, say they played baseball as a child.  This includes 68% of white Americans, 60% of Latinos, and 57% of African Americans.
  • Nearly six in ten Americans, 57%, say they are baseball fans.

Baseball Mostly Conjures Positive Associations, But…

  • Most Americans, 83%, consider baseball a sport rich in tradition, and only 14% say it is too old-fashioned.
  • African Americans, 30%, non-white parents, 28%, and those under 30 years old, 22%, are most likely to refer to baseball as too old-fashioned.
  • Baseball is also considered “cool” by 74% of Americans.  22% think it is not.
  • Nearly six in ten residents, 59%, think baseball is changing with the times while 33% believe it is stuck in the past.
  • 59% report baseball is a sport children play in the city.  35% disagree.  African Americans divide.  49% think it is not a game played in the city.  47% say it is.
  • Americans are torn about baseball’s excitement level.  50% consider baseball “exciting.”  47% say it is “boring.”
  • Only 31% of residents say baseball is a large part of what people talk about or follow during Major League Baseball’s season.  An additional 42% report the subject is sometimes part of the conversation.  Close to one in four, 23%, says baseball is not part of the watercooler discussion.
  • African Americans, 35%, and non-white parents, 32%, are most likely to say baseball is not followed or discussed during the season.

Marist Poll Methodology

Marist Poll Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

 

4/14: Removing the Label of Inevitability?

April 14, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, Lee Miringoff

The Hillary Clinton 1.0 “Listening Tour” and the 2.0 “Listening Tour” may be the same remedy from a campaign strategy point of view, but the circumstances are very different.

caricature of Lee MiringoffWhen seeking the U.S. Senate from New York, although well-known, she had never sought elective office and had to prove herself as a candidate in her own right.  Also, there was the so-called “carpetbagger” issue which required her to learn about New York and demonstrate her ability to represent the state.  The task before Clinton now, having been a senator, candidate for president, and Secretary of State, is to re-invent herself as someone who can connect and relate to Americans.  Success will be measured in whether she can earn the public trust, rather than seem that she is once again inevitable and entitled.  Lacking stiff competition for her party’s nomination, Clinton also needs to find a way to stay relevant over the next year to avoid being defined by the GOP.  She also needs to stave off the Republicans characterizing the political agenda.  The trip to Iowa seems like a good place to begin and the drive there an interesting attention grabber.

Right now, Clinton has a clear path to the nomination.  But, Democrats do want to have a dialogue.  She hopes the listening tour provides that interaction.  The general election is more of a 50-50 proposition.  Demographic changes are in her favor.  When Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, 87% of the electorate was white, and only 13% were people of color.  Fast forward to 2012, white voters represented only 72% of the electorate and people of color had more than doubled to 28%.  Will the Obama coalition turn out and be solid for Clinton?  Will the GOP make any inroads with Latino voters?

Offsetting this “Demography is Destiny” thesis is the so-called “curse of the third term.”  In 1988, Bush 41 was elected following President Reagan’s election and re-election.  The previous time a president served a full eight years and then someone of the same party was elected was Rutherford B. Hayes following President Grant.  History may repeat itself, but it doesn’t often.

4/13: Fewer Americans Expect Tax Refund

With the deadline looming for Americans to file their tax returns, fewer residents who file taxes think they will get a refund compared with 2014.  More than six in ten of those who wait until April 15th to file do not expect a refund.

“Late filers are less motivated,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Most Americans who wait until the last minute to file their taxes are not expecting good news.”

Complete April 13, 2015 Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

  • 54% of Americans who are filing taxes this year expect a refund, down from 61% who anticipated one last time.
  • 63% of those who wait until April 15th to submit their taxes do not expect a refund.  32% do.  The opposite is true among those who have already filed.  60% of Americans who have filed expect to get money back.  34% do not.
  • Among Americans who expect a tax refund, 47% say they will use their refund to pay bills, and 38% report they will put the money into their savings.  Only 15% plan to spend it.
  • Men, 18%, are more likely than women, 13%, to spend their tax refund.  Women, 52%, are more likely than men, 42%, to say they will pay their bills.
  • Age differences exist.  Residents 60 and older, 28%, are more likely to spend their refund than their younger counterparts.
  • While 22% of Americans who file taxes wait until April 15th to do so, 78% file earlier.  This is little changed from last year.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

 

4/9: Many Americans, Including Most Latinos, Consider Immigration Reform a Priority… Pathway to Citizenship Key Component for Majority of Americans, But Latinos Divide

Immigration reform is important to many Americans, especially Latino residents.  Nearly two-thirds of Americans, 65%, including 81% of Latinos, think immigration legislation which provides a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants should be addressed by President Barack Obama and Congress.  In fact, 41% of Americans and 59% of Latinos believe the issue should be an absolute priority for this year’s Congress.

Of note, Latino residents who are U.S. immigrants, 74%, are more likely than those born in the United States, 46%, to consider immigration reform to be an immediate concern.

On the question of providing a pathway to citizenship for veterans of the armed forces, Americans and Latinos have similar views.  55% of residents, overall, and 61% of Latinos say providing citizenship to veterans should be an immediate priority for President Obama and Congress this year.

Americans, overall, are more concerned about the inclusion of the pathway to citizenship in immigration reform than Latinos.  Among Latinos, there is slightly greater urgency to pass immigration legislation, even if it does not contain the pathway to citizenship.  While 52% of Americans assert reform should only be passed if it includes this measure, 39% say reform should occur even if the measure is not included.  Latino residents divide with 49% thinking it is more important that a bill be passed only if it includes a pathway to citizenship while 44% report it is more important to pass immigration reform even if it does not provide a way for undocumented immigrants to gain citizenship.

Latinos born in the United States, 52%, emphasize the pathway to citizenship while Latino adults born in another country divide on the issue.

When it comes to President Barack Obama’s use of executive action to implement changes to immigration, opposition rests on procedure not policy.  Nearly six in ten Americans, including more than three in four Latinos, approve of the president’s order.  Among those who disapprove, 56% of Americans and 58% of Latinos oppose the executive action because the president did not seek congressional approval, not because they are against the content of the policy.

If Congress does not pass immigration reform by the end of its current term, Republicans will face the most blame.

Complete April 9, 2015 MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

Diplomatic Recognition of Cuba Supported by Majorities of Americans and Latinos

The opinions of Latinos closely reflect those of the overall population when it comes to U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba.

Poll points:

Economic Sanctions against Venezuela Considered Appropriate by Half of Americans

50% of Americans, including a slim majority of the Latino population, consider the economic sanctions placed on government officials in Venezuela for acts of violence and the prohibition of freedom of expression of protestors to be the right form of censure.  Latinos, 19%, are slightly more likely than Americans, overall, to say the punishment is too strong.

Poll points:

  • 50% of the U.S. adult population, including 52% of Latinos, think the economic sanctions levied against Venezuela are the appropriate punishment for acts of violence endorsed by the nation’s leaders and prohibiting freedom of expression among protesters.
  • 19% of Latinos, compared with 13% of the general population, say the sanctions are too severe.  20% of U.S. residents, including 16% of Latinos, believe the sanctions are not strong enough.

Equal Treatment under the Law?

Americans, 65%, are more likely than Latinos, 54%, to believe police in their local community treat minorities the same as anyone else.  Latinos, especially those under 45, are more likely to report minorities are treated more harshly.

  • 35% of Latinos, compared with 27% of the overall population, report minorities are treated more harshly by their local police.  Only 4% of U.S. residents, including 5% of Latinos, believe minorities are treated less harshly.
  • Latinos under 45 years old, 39%, are more likely than older Latinos, 28%, to say minorities are treated more harshly than anyone else. 

The Impact of Pope Francis on the Views of the Catholic Church

37% of Americans say Pope Francis has improved their opinion of the Catholic Church, and 29% report he has made little difference in their opinion.  The views of Latinos are similar to those of the overall population. 

  • A plurality of Americans, 37%, including 32% of Latinos, reports Pope Francis has given them a more favorable view of the Catholic Church.  Only 6% of Americans, including 7% of Latinos, say the Pope has lessened their view of the Church.  29% of Americans, similar to 32% of Latinos, think the Pontiff has made little difference in their views.  29% of residents, including 28% of Latinos, don’t know enough about the Pope to comment.

Football Takes Top Spot as Americans’ Favorite Sport… Shares Honors with Soccer among Latinos

Football, 42%, is Americans’ favorite pastime.  Among Latinos, football, 31%, and soccer, 28%, vie for the title of top sport.

  • 42% of Americans consider football their favorite sport.  Baseball, 15%, is a distant second followed by basketball, 14%.  11% choose soccer while 5% like hockey.  Three percent cite another sport, and 4% do not have a favorite sport.
  • Football, 31%, and soccer, 28%, are cited as the top sports by Latinos.  Baseball, 15%, and basketball, 14%, trail behind.  Only 2% of Latinos are hockey fans, and 3% mention another sport as their favorite.  Two percent do not have a favorite sport.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

3/24: Injured Top College Athletes Should Not Carry the Costs, Says Majority… Americans Divide over College Degrees in Sports

March 24, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, Special Events, Sports, Sports Bench

Americans favor change on a major issue relating to NCAA student-athletes.

Providing health insurance to injured, top college athletes after they graduate receives the support of majorities of Americans, 56%, and college sports fans, 55%, alike.

Currently, as detailed in Bernie Goldberg’s report in this month’s Real Sports one-hour NCAA special, the NCAA does not require colleges to provide such insurance for their athletes, except in the most extreme circumstances.

Americans’ opinions divide over whether or not college athletes should be permitted to major in and receive degrees in their sport.

Another much debated question is whether or not top college basketball and football players should be paid.  Nearly two-thirds of Americans, 65%, do not think they should receive monetary compensation for their time and efforts.  However, about one-third of Americans think they should be on the payroll, a slight increase from 29% just last year.  Americans under thirty and African Americans are much more supportive of this idea.

Sexual assault on college campuses has been a topic which has drawn recent national attention by, both, politicians and the media.  But, when college athletes are involved in such incidents do Americans think they are judged by a different standard?  Nearly six in ten residents, 58%, think they are treated differently, including 36% who believe they are given greater slack and 22% who say they are held to a tougher standard.

A plurality of Americans, 46%, though, do not think college athletes are more likely to either commit or be accused of sexual assault than non-athletes.  In fact, only 15% believe they are more likely than their college age counterparts to be involved in such incidents.

Again, on many of these questions, opinion differs by age and race.

This HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll has been conducted in conjunction with the Marist College Center for Sports Communication 

Click Here for Complete March 24, 2015 USA HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll Release and Tables

“The public’s view on post-collegiate health insurance and the ability to even major in sports recognizes that top college athletes are making real sacrifices of time and even physical wellness,” says Dr. Keith Strudler, Director of The Marist College Center for Sports Communication. “It also suggests the public largely sees value in college sports as an academic enterprise. That’s a contrast to the common stereotype of the privileged college athlete.” 

Poll points:

  • 56% of Americans, including 21% who strongly have this view, support providing health insurance to college athletes after they graduate for long-term medical problems that are a result of injuries they received while playing college sports.  40%, including 12% who firmly have this position, oppose such benefits.  Similar proportions of college sports fans have these views.
  • Younger Americans are more likely than older residents to support health insurance for college athletes after graduation.  75% of Americans under 30, compared with 47% of those 60 and older share this view.
  • Race also comes into play.  Nearly half of African Americans, 49%, strongly support such a proposal compared with 27% of Latinos and just 15% of white residents.
  • Americans, and college sports fans alike, divide about whether or not college athletes should be allowed to major in and receive a degree in the sport they play.  49% of Americans favor such a program while 45% oppose it.
  • Demographic differences exist.  African Americans, 69%, residents under 30 years old, 60%, Midwesterners, 57%, and residents without college degrees, 55%, are among those who offer the most support for majors in college sports.
  • 65% of Americans do not think student athletes in top men’s football and basketball programs should be paid.  33% believe they should be.  There has been a slight increase in the proportion of those who say these athletes should be paid.  When HBO Real Sports/Marist reported this question last March, 29% of residents supported such compensation.
  • While majorities of those in all generations oppose paying college athletes, residents under 30, 41%, are the most likely to favor it.  This is an increase from 34% in March 2014.
  • 59% of African Americans favor paying college athletes.  42% of Latinos and 26% of whites share this view.  There has been a shift among Latinos.  Last year, 27% supported monetary compensation for top college athletes.
  • Nearly six in ten Americans, 58%, think college athletes who commit sexual assault are not treated the same as non-college athletes.  This includes 22% who say they are treated more harshly and 36% who report they are treated less harshly.  Only 33% think they receive the same treatment.  Of note, 42% of Americans age 45 to 59 think college athletes accused of sexual assault face less severe penalties than those who do not play a sport.
  • While pluralities of African Americans, 43%, and Latinos, 39%, assert that college athletes and non-athletes who commit sexual assault are on level ground, 40% of whites say athletes are dealt with less harshly.  A notable 32% of African Americans say they are treated more harshly.
  • 46% of Americans say top college athletes are no more likely to commit or be accused of sexual assault than non-athletes.  A notable 32%, however, report that sports players are more likely to be accused of sexual crimes, and 15% think they are more likely to commit them.

Marist Poll Methodology

Marist Poll Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

3/10: Americans Support Military Action against ISIS… Many Support Ground Presence

More than six in ten Americans, 62%, would like their member of Congress to vote for President Barack Obama’s proposal to use military force against ISIS.  On the much debated issue of deploying ground troops in the fight against the Islamic State, nearly two-thirds of Americans, 65%, think at least some ground presence is necessary.  This includes 24% of residents who say a large number of ground troops should be used.

©istock.com/STILLFX

But, voters’ views of the president’s handling of the situation has become increasingly negative.  A majority of voters, 56%, disapproves of how President Obama is handling ISIS compared with a divided electorate last fall.  A majority of voters also continue to assess the job Mr. Obama is doing on foreign policy negatively.

Yet, views of Mr. Obama’s approach to the economy, and his overall job performance have somewhat improved.

While the job approval ratings of congressional Democrats, 30%, and Republicans, 33%, remain low, attitudes toward Congress have gotten better.  Although a majority still has a bleak outlook about the country’s direction, Americans are the most optimistic they have been in nearly two years.

“Voters are more dismayed over President Obama’s handling of ISIS and they want action,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Although Republicans are, overall, more hawkish on ground troops than Democrats, Tea Party Republicans are the most likely to want to send large numbers of troops to battle ISIS.”

Complete March 10, 2015 McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

  • More than six in ten adults, 62%, want their member of Congress to vote for President Obama’s proposal to use military force against ISIS.  25% would like their representative to vote against it, and more than one in ten, 13%, is unsure.
  • 70% of Republicans and 62% of Democrats are in favor of authorizing military force against ISIS.  59% of independents agree.
  • 65% of Americans think ground troops should be used in the fight against ISIS.  This includes 24% of residents who believe a large number of ground troops should be deployed, and 41% who support sending a limited number.  More than one in four, 27%, opposes sending any ground troops, and 7% are unsure.
  • Republicans, 40%, are more than twice as likely as Democrats, 17%, to support the use of a large number of ground troops in the war against the Islamic State.  23% of independents also say a large number of boots on the ground is needed.
  • Only 35% of registered voters though approve of how President Barack Obama is handling ISIS, and a majority, 56%, disapproves.  Nine percent are unsure.
  • The president has lost support on the issue of ISIS.  When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in October, voters divided.  48% approved of how Mr. Obama was handling ISIS, and 46% disapproved.  Republicans and independents account for this change.  Among Republicans, 10% approve of the president’s approach to ISIS now compared with 27% in the fall.  28% of independents, compared with 45% previously, have this view.
  • When looking at President Obama’s overall handling of foreign policy, a majority of voters are not satisfied.  Only 38% approve of how the president is doing in the realm of foreign policy while 56% disapprove.  In December, 38% approved and 52% disapproved (Trend).

Obama’s Rating on Economy Best in Three Years… Uptick in Overall Approval Score

  • While 50% of voters disapprove of how President Obama is handling the economy, there has been an improvement in the proportion of those who approve, 45%.  Three months ago, 41% gave the president high marks on the economy, and 55% thought he fell short in this policy area.  In fact, Obama has reached his highest rating on his economic management since March 2012 when 46% approved of how he approached the economy.  51%, at that time, disapproved (Trend).
  • President Obama’s overall job approval rating is at 46% among registered voters.  50% disapprove.  The president’s approval rating has improved from December.  At that time 43% had a positive view of the president’s performance, and 52% thought it was lacking (Trend).
  • While views of the president’s job performance have gotten slightly better, Mr. Obama’s favorable rating is still upside down.  52% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of the president while 45% have a favorable one.  Similar proportions of voters had these views three months ago when 54% had a negative impression of the president, and 44% had a positive one (Trend).
  • Although still low, the approval rating of congressional Republicans has gotten better.  One in three voters, 33%, approves of the job they are doing, up from 28% in December.  61% currently disapprove of their performance, down from 66% three months ago (Trend).  Attitudes toward Republicans in Congress have improved most among members of their own party.  60% of Republicans think well of how members of the congressional GOP are doing in office, up from 51% previously.
  • 30% of voters approve of how congressional Democrats are doing their job, and 64% disapprove.  In McClatchy-Marist’s December survey, 27% approved of the performance of the Democrats in Congress, and 65% disapproved (Trend).
  • Looking at the direction of the nation, 59% of Americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction while 36% believe it is moving in the right one.  Americans are slightly more optimistic about the course of the nation than at the end of 2014.  At that time, 31% had a positive view of the nation’s direction while 64% had a more pessimistic one (Trend).  Democrats are more upbeat in their opinion.  60% of Democrats think the country is on the right track while 50% felt that way in December.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

 

3/9: McClatchy-Marist Poll

What do voters nationally think of how President Barack Obama is handling ISIS?  What do they think of the president’s approach to foreign policy, overall, and do Americans want Congress to allow military action against ISIS?  Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.

President Barack Obama

whitehouse.gov

To read the full McClatchy article, click here.

 

3/9: Bush and Walker Emerge as Republican Top Tier… Clinton Maintains Large Lead over Democratic Rivals

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker lead the pack of potential Republicans vying for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.  Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is the only other possible contender with double-digit support.  Among Republicans and Republican leaning independents including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Bush, 19%, and Walker, 18%, are virtually tied.  But, while Bush receives just slightly more support than he garnered in McClatchy-Marist’s December survey, Walker’s support has grown from only 3% last time.

Walker’s gains are across the board.  But, key to his emergence is his appeal to conservative Republicans and Tea Party supporters.

When looking at what Republicans want in their nominee, there has been a slight, but interesting, shift.  While nearly six in ten Republicans and Republican leaning independents say they value a candidate who stands on conservative principles over someone who can win, the proportion who stresses electability has increased.

Turning to the contest for the Democratic nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is still the odds-on favorite, leading her potential rivals by more than four-to-one.  Like their Republican counterparts, some Democrats have reconsidered what is more important in their party’s nominee.  In December, while nearly six in ten Democrats and Democratic leaning independents preferred a candidate who would re-direct the nation from President Obama’s policies over a candidate who continued them, Democrats now divide.

How do several of the Republican candidates fare against Clinton in potential general election contests? With only four points separating them, Walker and Clinton are most competitive.  But, Clinton also fails to reach 50% against Walker, Bush, and Senator Marco Rubio from Florida.

“The most notable change in this poll from December is the emergence of Scott Walker as a contender for 2016,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “On the Democratic side, Clinton is still way out in front.  But, it will be interesting to see if the email issue impacts her support among Democrats moving forward or if it taps into concerns some voters have about her for the general election.”

Complete March 9, 2015 McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

  • In the race for the 2016 Republican nomination, 19% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate support former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.  A similar 18% favor Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker while former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee receives 10%.  Nine percent back retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson whereas Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has 7%.  Six percent support New Jersey Governor Chris Christie while Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has 5% of the vote.  Senator Ted Cruz of Texas receives 4%, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry has 3%.  Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former business executive Carly Fiorina each garners 2%.  One percent supports Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.  More than one in ten, 13%, is undecided.
  • Bush and Walker emerge from a very crowded Republican field.  When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in December, Bush’s support was 16%.  Walker has gained the most ground.  His support has grown by 15 percentage points, from 3% three months ago to 18% now.  Huckabee, the only other candidate with double-digit support, is little changed from December when he received 12%.  Christie’s support has dropped from 10% to 6%.
  • Walker is bolstered by very conservative Republicans, 24%, and Tea Party supporters, 25%.
  • Looking at Bush’s support, he leads the field among moderate Republicans with 26%.
  • 58% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents say it is more important to have a candidate who stands on conservative principles while 39% report it is better to nominate someone who can win the White House.  In December, 64% thought maintaining the party’s core principles trumped nominating a candidate who could win, 33% (Trend).  This is the first time since this question has been asked that the proportion of Republicans and Republican leaning independents who favor a candidate who stands on conservative principles has dropped below 60%.
  • On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton leads her potential rivals by more than four to one.  60% of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate favor Clinton.  Vice President Joe Biden follows with 13%, and Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts garners 12%.  Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont receives 5%.  Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia each has 1%.  Nine percent are undecided.
  • Democrats and Democratic leaning independents divide about whether it is more important to have a nominee who continues the policies of President Barack Obama, 45%, or who moves the nation in a new direction, 47% (Trend).  In December, nearly six in ten Democrats, 58%, favored a nominee with a new vision for the nation while 38% wanted a continuation of Obama’s agenda.

Hypothetical General Election Contests: Walker Competitive Against Clinton

Poll points:

  • Clinton, 48%, and Walker, 44%, are in a close contest among registered voters.
  • Clinton, 49%, is also ahead of Bush, 42%, by 7 points.  The race has tightened between Clinton and Bush.  In McClatchy-Marist’s December survey, 53% supported Clinton, and 40% were for Bush (Trend).
  • Clinton, 49%, leads Rubio, 42%, by 7 points.
  • When matched against Perry, Clinton receives a majority, 51%, to 42% for Perry (Trend).
  • Against Paul, Clinton has an 11 point advantage.  51% of voters support Clinton compared with 40% for Paul.  Previously, Clinton, 54%, had a 14 point lead over Paul, 40% (Trend).
  • Clinton, 53%, does the best against, Cruz, 39%.  Clinton has maintained her lead over Cruz (Trend).

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables

3/6: McClatchy-Marist Poll

Looking to the 2016 presidential race, a Republican top tier has emerged.  Which GOP hopefuls lead the pack?  Do they pose a significant threat to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who leads the potential Democratic field?

Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.  To read the full McClatchy article, click here.

2/19: It’s Getting Later Earlier

February 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, Lee Miringoff

Some time back, we added 24 x 7 and the permanent campaign to America’s political lexicon.  But, it sure seems like we are pushing the envelope this time around with about 20 GOP wannabes off and (almost) running for their party’s nomination.  On the Democratic side, things are atypically more organized with Hillary Clinton pretty much jogging around the track by herself.  Cast in the role of inevitable this election cycle may play out better for her at least as far as the Democratic nod is concerned.

caricature of Lee MiringoffLast night, I was co-teaching Political Communication at Marist College along with Mary Griffith, The Marist Poll’s director of Media Initiatives and Polling News.  The discussion moved onto the 1968 campaign and how Robert Kennedy didn’t declare his candidacy until that March after the New Hampshire primary.  Recognizing that the rules of selecting nominees are wholly different than they were back then when I was still in high school… nonetheless, this drawn out testing of the waters, forming exploratory committees, and then, finally taking the plunge seems a bit overplayed this time.

Now, we are as guilty as anyone else, although not perhaps as guilty as the potential candidates, on jumping the starting gun.  We have already conducted a series of polls, along with our NBC News media partner, of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.  We have also done several national trial heats with the McClatchy News Service.

So, 24 X 7 and the permanent campaign welcome to 2016!

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