While a majority of Republicans and Republican leaning independents nationally, 51%, considers businessman Donald Trump to be a distraction from the presidential primary process, two key groups within the GOP maintain a different view. At least a majority of those who identify as “strong” Republicans or are Tea Party supporters say Trump is a serious presidential candidate.
These voters also differ in their impressions of Trump. Unlike some of the other well-known candidates in the GOP field, Trump’s favorable rating among Republicans and Republican leaning independents, overall, is upside down. But, half of “strong” Republicans, 50%, and more than six in ten Tea Party supporters, 62%, have a positive impression of Trump.
And, when it comes to the GOP debates, many Republicans and Republican leaning independents assert all candidates seeking their party’s nomination should be allowed to participate. Only about one in three says the candidates’ rankings in national polls should determine eligibility.
What do Republicans and Republican leaning independents want in their nominee? Many favor a candidate who stands on conservative principles, and a plurality say they would definitely vote for a candidate who supports sending U.S. combat troops to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS. More than one in three say that, although they have reservations, they would back a candidate who supports raising the minimum wage. However, pluralities of Republicans and Republican leaning independents would definitely not vote for someone who favors a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, supports gay marriage, or backs the removal of the confederate flag from government buildings.
On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is well-liked among Democrats and Democratic leaning independents while Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is unknown to half of these voters. When it comes to what Democrats consider important in their party’s nominee, they divide about whether the priority should be nominating someone who will continue the policies of President Barack Obama or who will move the nation in a different direction.
“Donald Trump has been the political story for the summer and don’t expect him to disappear from the campaign stage anytime soon,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “While many see him as a distraction, party activists including strong Republicans and Tea Party identifiers view his candidacy seriously.”
Trump Commands Respect among Strong GOPers
- 51% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents say Trump is a distraction from the presidential primary process. 44% describe him as a serious presidential candidate.
- But, a majority of those who consider themselves to be “strong” Republicans, 52%, and 61% of Tea Party identifiers think Trump is a serious presidential contender.
Impressions of the GOP Candidates
Among the better-known Republican candidates, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee are well-liked among Republicans and Republican leaning independents. However, Trump, along with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have upside down ratings.
More than Six in Ten want Inclusive GOP Debates
62% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents want all the candidates seeking the GOP nomination to be allowed to participate in the Republican debates. About one in three, 34%, says participation should be determined by a candidate’s ranking in national polls.
GOP Favors Nominee who Stands on Republican Principles
More than six in ten Republicans and Republican leaning independents, 62%, believe it is more important for their party’s nominee to be someone who stands for conservative values. 35% say the priority is a candidate who can win the presidency.
Looking at some of the issues which impact the Republican vote, a plurality of Republicans and Republican leaning independents, 45%, say they would definitely vote for a candidate who supports sending U.S. combat troops to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS. However, pluralities of GOP voters report they definitely would not vote for a candidate who supports new immigration policies, including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, 37%, is in favor of gay marriage, 37%, or supports the removal of the confederate flag from government buildings, 35%. When it comes to raising the minimum wage, a plurality, 36%, says they would have reservations but would vote for a candidate who favors such legislation.
More than Seven in Ten View Clinton Positively
On the Democratic side, with a favorable rating of 72%, Hillary Clinton is well-liked among Democrats and Democratic leaning independents. These voters also have a more positive than negative view of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 34% to 16%. However, half of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents, 50%, have either never heard of Senator Sanders or are unsure how to rate him.
When it comes to their party’s nominee, Democrats and Democratic leaning independents divide about whether they think it is more important to have a candidate who will continue President Barack Obama’s policies, 45%, or nominate someone who will move the nation in a new direction, 46%.
If businessman Donald Trump runs for President as an independent, not a Republican, Trump’s candidacy would benefit former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, widen her lead against former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and yield Clinton almost the exact same share of the vote that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, received in his 1992 win against, then, Republican President George H.W. Bush and independent Ross Perot.
While Clinton, 49%, edges Bush, 43%, by 6 points in a two-way, general election contest, a three-way race with Trump cuts into Bush’s support and gives Clinton, 44%, a 15 point lead over him, 29%. Trump garners 20% in such a contest. When Bill Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush in 1992, he received 43% of the popular vote.
While Clinton retains her support among her Democratic base in a three-way race, Bush’s support among Republicans freefalls from 92% to 63%, a 29 point difference. Trump garners 28% of the GOP vote. Among independents nationally, Clinton’s 6 point edge over Bush, 48% to 42%, more than doubles to 13 points with Trump in the race.
“The 2016 election cycle has already had its share of ups and downs,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, what a rollercoaster ride it would be if Donald Trump runs for president as an independent.”
Clinton Leads GOP Opponents… Paul, Rubio, Bush Closest Competitors
When matched against potential Republican rivals, Clinton is out in front although not over 50 percent against her closest opponents. Her greatest competition comes from Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Clinton edges Rubio and Paul by 5 points among registered voters nationally and is ahead of Bush by 6 points. Her widest margin is 21 points.
Clinton receives her highest support, 54%, against Trump.
- Against Rubio (trend), Perry (trend), Bush (trend), or Christie (trend), Clinton maintains a comparable advantage to the one she received in the March McClatchy-Marist Poll. Clinton’s lead has inched up against Walker since that time.
Clinton’s lead over Paul has declined from 11 points in March to 5 points now (trend). Her 14 point advantage over Cruz has narrowed to 9 points (trend). Against Huckabee, Clinton has a 9 point lead, down from 13 points in April 2014 (trend).
Voters Want Domestic Issues to Dominate National Campaign
Many registered voters nationally, 66%, want the focus of the 2016 presidential election to be domestic issues such as the economy, health care, and roads and bridges. Foreign policy issues such as ISIS and terrorism are the priority for 21% of the national electorate while only 9% think social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage should be the central themes of the campaign.
To watch Dr. Lee M. Miringoff’s in-depth analysis of the poll or to read the full McClatchy article, click here.
In the all-important first-in-the-nation caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, three Republican hopefuls have moved away from the very crowded GOP field. In Iowa, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker receives the support of nearly one in five members of the potential Republican electorate, 19%. Businessman Donald Trump follows closely behind with 17%, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the only other candidate with double-digit support, is competitive with 12%.
In New Hampshire, Trump garners the support of more than one in five potential Republican primary voters, 21%, and bypasses Bush, 14%, and Walker, 12%. As in Iowa, no other Republican candidate receives double-digit support.
On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains the front-runner for her party’s nomination, but Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has cut into Clinton’s lead in both states. In Iowa, Clinton is ahead of Sanders, 55% to 26%, among the potential Democratic electorate. Although Clinton is solidly ahead of Sanders, she previously had a 61 point lead over him in last February’s NBC News/Marist Poll.
A similar pattern is seen in New Hampshire where Clinton is currently ahead of Sanders by 13 points, 47% to 34%, among the state’s potential Democratic electorate. Earlier this year, Clinton held a 56 point lead over Sanders.
“With a vivid imagination, you can detect early signs of order to the GOP contest. Walker, Trump, and Bush occupy one of the top three positions in both Iowa and New Hampshire,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “On the Democratic side, Clinton may be well advised to remember that objects in your mirror may be closer than they appear. Sanders has narrowed her lead in both early states.”
- Among potential Republican voters, Walker leads the GOP field among Tea Party identifiers in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Walker also leads among Iowa’s conservative and very conservative Republican voters.
- Trump leads among New Hampshire’s conservative and very conservative voters. But, his support among the potential Republican electorate dipped in New Hampshire from 26% to 14% following his comments about Senator John McCain.
- Among potential Democratic voters, there is a wide gender gap. Clinton leads Sanders by 47 points among women in Iowa and 25 points in New Hampshire. She leads Sanders by only 8 points among men in Iowa and trails him by 6 points in New Hampshire.
- Among liberal and very liberal Democratic voters, Clinton’s lead narrows to 10 points in Iowa compared with a 46 point lead among moderate Democrats. There is little difference in Clinton’s lead by voters’ ideology in New Hampshire.
- Sanders edges Clinton in Iowa among potential Democratic voters who are under 45 years of age.
Complete July 26, 2015 NBC News/Marist Poll Release of Iowa and New Hampshire
Complete July 26, 2015 NBC News/Marist Poll Tables of Iowa
Complete July 26, 2015 NBC News/Marist Poll Tables of New Hampshire
Many of the Republicans vying for their party’s nomination are, generally, viewed favorably by the potential GOP electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire. However, there is one notable outlier. Trump is the best known but is also the least liked among these voters.
On the Democratic side, Clinton and Sanders are well-liked by their party’s potential voters in both states.
- In Iowa, at least, a majority of the potential GOP electorate has a favorable impression of Walker, Rubio, and Bush, with Walker receiving the highest positive score, 56%.
- Iowa’s potential Republican electorate divides over Trump who receives the highest negative score. 45% view him favorably while 44% perceive him unfavorably.
- In New Hampshire, Bush, 56%, receives the highest favorable rating among the potential Republican electorate. Walker, 51%, and Rubio, 49%, are also well-liked. Trump, however, garners a 53% negative score.
- Trump’s unfavorable rating among the potential Republican electorate in New Hampshire increased from 46% to 62% following his comments about Senator John McCain. There was little change in Iowa.
- Among the potential Democratic electorate in Iowa, Clinton enjoys a high favorable rating, 74%. A majority, 54%, also thinks highly of Sanders, but more than three in ten Democrats in the state either do not know him or are unsure how to rate him.
- In New Hampshire, many potential Democratic primary voters have positive opinions of, both, Clinton, 71%, and Sanders, 65%.
Presidents, Past and Present, Held in High Esteem by Their Party’s Faithful
Could former President Bill Clinton help or hurt his wife on the campaign trail? 83% of potential Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa have a favorable view of former President Bill Clinton. A similar 84% of the potential Democratic electorate in New Hampshire share this view. President Barack Obama’s favorable ratings among the potential Democratic electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire are 84% and 81%, respectively.
On the Republican side, 75% of the potential Republican electorate in Iowa has a positive opinion of former President George W. Bush. A similar proportion of potential voters in New Hampshire, 74%, thinks well of Bush 43.
Impact of Candidates’ Positions on the Vote
There is a consensus of opinion on issues in both Iowa and New Hampshire among the party faithful, but Democrats and Republicans are miles apart from each other.
- Nearly seven in ten members of the potential Republican electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They would be less inclined to support a candidate who favors Common Core, a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants, or a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
- At least a majority of the potential Democratic electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire would be more likely to support a candidate who favors a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants, or the Common Core curriculum. They would be less likely to support a candidate who would do away with the Affordable Care Act.
- Regardless of state or party, there is little consensus about how a candidate’s support of a trade agreement with select Asian and Pacific Rim countries would affect the vote.
Jobs and Economic Growth Key Campaign Issue
- In Iowa, national security and terrorism, 45%, and the deficit and government spending, 42%, top the list of campaign issues for potential Republican caucus-goers. Among potential Democratic caucus-goers in the state, a majority, 53%, emphasizes job creation and economic growth.
- The New Hampshire potential Republican electorate considers national security and terrorism, 47%, and job creation and economic growth, 44%, to be of the utmost importance. Half of potential Democratic voters in New Hampshire, 50%, mention job creation and economic growth. Health care follows closely with 45%.
Voters Emphasize Positions on the Issues over Electability
The potential Republican and Democratic electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire believe it is more important that their respective party’s nominee is someone who shares their positions on the issues rather than someone who has the best chance of winning the White House.
Bush and Clinton Fatigue Present in Iowa and New Hampshire
More than six in ten Iowans, 61%, report it is time for someone with a last name other than “Bush” or “Clinton” to occupy the White House. A majority of New Hampshire residents, 56%, agree.
In each state, members of the potential Republican electorate are more likely than the potential Democratic electorate to think there should be an end to the Clinton and Bush political dynasties.
- 67% of Iowa’s potential Republican electorate, compared with 50% of the state’s potential Democratic electorate, say someone other than a Bush or Clinton should have a chance at winning the White House.
- In New Hampshire, 63% of potential Republicans voters would like to see an end to the Bush and Clinton dynasties. Members of the state’s potential Democratic electorate divide. 45% do not want another President Clinton or Bush while 46% are not opposed to the idea.
Ayotte Leads Hassan in U.S. Senate Race
The tides have turned in the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire. Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte is ahead of Democrat Maggie Hassan by 8 percentage points among registered voters statewide.
- 50% of New Hampshire registered voters support Ayotte while 42% favor Hassan. When NBC News/Marist last reported this question in February, Hassan, 48%, and Ayotte, 44%, were more competitive.
Approval Rating Roundup
President Obama’s job approval rating continues to be upside down in Iowa and New Hampshire. The governors in each state have experienced declines in their job approval ratings.
- 49% of Iowans disapprove of the job performance of President Obama while 43% approve. The president received identical scores when the NBC News/Marist Poll last reported this question in February.
- In New Hampshire, 52% of residents disapprove of how President Obama is doing his job. 41% approve. Earlier this year, 50% disapproved of the president’s job performance, and 43% approved.
- Among Iowans, Governor Terry Branstad’s job approval rating is at 50%, down from 64% in February.
- 56% of New Hampshire residents approve of the job Governor Maggie Hassan is doing in office. However, her rating is down from 68% previously.
Herding is for horses. Not for pollsters doing horserace polls. Neither should the media herd the field in a political horserace via debates. Why? Here is my take on the…
10. Many candidates will fall within the error margin. Rankings become statistically meaningless.
9.1 Using decimal points makes statistically meaningless rankings even more meaningless.
7.9 – 8.1 Poll strew doesn’t necessarily taste very good. Some polls probe undecided voters to include “leaners,” others don’t. Some polls will be based on “likely” voters, others on registered voters. Poll results also vary when it comes to live or automated modes of data collection, proportion of cell phones vs. landlines, and weighting and analyzing data.
7. More problems. Some national polls take out “undecided” voters and recalculate based upon 100%. This wreaks havoc on averages.
5. Ok. I know I skipped number 6, but, then again, there’s no guarantee all polls will ask all candidates either.
5.1 (Couldn’t figure out where to place this item because it is not actually higher or lower than 5, statistically speaking). Some polls use push-button phones to record preferences. It’s tough to include 18 names when only numbers 1 thru 9 are usable.
4. “HELLLLOO” house effects.
3. Given that early caucus and primary states punch a candidate’s ticket to continue, why use a national average to determine debate participation?
2. Name recognition unduly influences results of early primary horserace polls. Lesser known candidates will now frontload their efforts to try to make the cutoff. Public polls altering campaign strategies? BAD!
1. And, finally, do you really want public polls this involved in a picking presidential nominee?
Try this on for size. How about a random drawing of half the field of announced candidates for the first hour of a debate and the second group for the second hour. More manageable. More equitable. And, doesn’t require a top 10 list!
While New York Governor Andrew Cuomo remains well-liked statewide, his job performance rating, 37%, has declined to its lowest point since he became governor in 2011. Cuomo’s approval rating is down seven points since The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last reported it in October and is in stark contrast to his highest score, 59%, in October of 2012.
Cuomo has lost ground with his base. Only 43% of Democratic voters, down from 56% last fall, give the governor high marks. Cuomo’s approval rating has suffered statewide. Regardless of the region where voters live, fewer approve of how he is doing his job. The sharpest decline has occurred among voters in New York City where 44% say he is doing, at least, a good job as governor. This is a decrease from 53% in October. Governor Cuomo’s approval rating in the city is identical to that of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who faces growing pessimism and racial polarization within the Big Apple. And, while Cuomo’s favorable rating is respectable at 52%, it is also at its lowest point since the governor has been in office.
The decline in Governor Cuomo’s approval rating is due, at least in part, to the widespread opinion that Albany is corrupt. In fact, three in four voters statewide, 75%, think the level of corruption in state government has increased over the past few years, 43%, or has remained the same which, in their view, is a bad thing, 32%. Among New York State voters who say corruption has gotten worse in Albany, Cuomo’s approval rating stands at 26%.
The governor is also no longer thought to be changing the way things work in Albany for the better. 50% do not think Cuomo is having a positive impact on state government, and only 40% do. Among those who do not think the governor is improving the way Albany functions, his job performance rating is 12% compared with 65% among those who think he has had a positive role.
Turning to the New York State Assembly and Senate, voters’ attitudes toward these legislative bodies are dismal. Only 20% of voters approve of the job the Assembly is doing, and 23% approve of the job of the state senate. Ratings for both have dipped since September from 25% and 26%, respectively.
Overall, voters are pessimistic about the direction of the state. A majority, 51%, believes New York State is moving in the wrong direction, and 43% say things are going in the right one. Voters’ attitudes have not been this bleak about the state’s trajectory since May of 2011 when 54% of voters believed the Empire State was off course.
However, opinions about the condition of New York’s economy have improved. While 52% of voters still consider the state to be in a recession, this is the smallest proportion who have this view since January of 2006 when voters divided. 47%, at that time, believed New York to be in a recession while 46% disagreed with that characterization.
While voters’ views toward statewide officials are gloomy, elected officials on the national stage fare better. President Barack Obama’s approval rating among New York State voters has rebounded from its lowest point, 39%, in September to 46% now. Senator Charles Schumer’s approval rating, 54%, is rock solid. Schumer received the identical score in September. 45% of New York voters think well of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s performance compared with 48% last fall.
“Elected officials with an Albany, New York working address are struggling,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “For Governor Andrew Cuomo, how low is low? His predecessors’ low points included 17% for David Paterson, 30% for Eliot Spitzer, 34% for George Pataki, and 32% for Mario Cuomo.”
- 37% of New York registered voters rate Cuomo’s job performance as either excellent, 4%, or good, 33% (Trend). Cuomo’s approval rating has dropped seven points since October when 44% gave the governor high marks.
- Among Democrats, 43% approve of Cuomo’s job performance, down from 56% in October. Cuomo’s approval rating stands at 25% among Republicans and 38% among independents.
- Regardless of region, Governor Cuomo has experienced a decline in his approval rating. In New York City, Cuomo’s score has dropped nine points to 44% from 53% last fall. 41% of voters in the suburbs of New York City approve of the governor’s performance, down from 48%. Upstate, 31% say Cuomo is performing well. 36% had this view previously.
- Among voters who perceive an increase in corruption in state government, only 26% rate the governor’s job performance highly.
- 75% of voters consider the state government in Albany to be more corrupt, 43%, or to be about the same as it has been which, they say, is bad, 32%. Only 8% report Albany is less corrupt, and 10% think it is status quo which is a good thing. Two percent believe corruption in Albany is at the same level it has been and did not specify whether that is good or bad.
- Half of New York voters, 50%, say Governor Cuomo is not changing the way things work in state government in Albany for the better while 40% say he is (Trend). One in ten, 10%, is unsure. This is the first time since Cuomo became governor that voters’ opinions on this question are upside down. When last reported in September, the electorate divided with 47% reporting Cuomo was having a positive impact on Albany and 47% saying he was not improving state government.
- Among voters who believe he is not improving how state government functions, only 12% rate the governor’s job performance highly.
- A majority of registered voters, 52%, have a favorable impression of Cuomo, little changed from 54% in October (Trend). While a majority still perceives the governor positively, this is Cuomo’s lowest favorable rating since taking office.
- 49% of voters say Cuomo’s political ideology is about right. 29% think he is too liberal, and 13% consider him too conservative. One in ten, 10%, is unsure.
- One in five voters statewide, 20%, compared with 25% in September, thinks the New York State Assembly is doing either an excellent, 3%, or good, 17%, job in office. 41% rate the legislative body as fair while 32% believe it is performing poorly (Trend).
- 23% of voters, compared with 26% last fall, say the New York State Senate is doing either an excellent, 3%, or good, 20%, job in office (Trend).
- 51% of voters say things in New York are moving in the wrong direction while 43% say they are heading in the right one (Trend). The proportion of voters who think the state is off track is the largest since May of 2011 when 54% thought things in New York were going in the wrong direction. When this question was last reported in October, the electorate divided. 46%, at that time, said the state was on the wrong path, and 45% believed it was on the right course.
- Regionally, 43% of New York City voters, up from 35% in the fall, say the state is traveling in the wrong direction. 48% of suburban voters, up from 37% in October, also have this view. There has been virtually no change among voters Upstate where nearly six in ten, 58%, think the state is off track.
- 52% of voters, down from 57% in September, say New York State is in a recession (Trend). This is the smallest proportion of voters since January of 2006 to report New York is in a recession. At that time, 47% believed the state was under the recession’s cloud while 46% said it was not.
- 46% of voters in New York think President Barack Obama is doing either an excellent, 14%, or good, 32%, job in office (Trend). President Obama’s approval rating has improved from its lowest point in New York, 39%, in September.
- A majority of voters, 54%, approves of the job Senator Chuck Schumer is doing in office, unchanged from September (Trend).
- 45% of voters rate Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s job performance highly (Trend). 38% give Gillibrand lower ratings, and a notable 18% have either never heard of her or are unsure how to rate her.
5/6: Optimism Wanes amid Racial Divide in New York City… Mayor de Blasio’s Approval Rating Inches Up, but Voters Not Enthralled with His Performance
New York City voters are increasingly pessimistic about life in the Big Apple. When asked about the overall direction of the city, the electorate divides. 49% report things are going in the wrong direction, and 45% say they are moving in the right one. This is the first time since November of 2013, just before Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected, that the proportion of voters who think the city is on the right track has dipped below 50%. Although a stark racial divide exists on this question, there has been a decrease in the proportions of both white and African American voters who think the city is moving in the right direction.
To compound New Yorkers’ downbeat attitude about the city, fewer than one in five residents, 17%, believes the overall quality of life in the city has improved over the last year. A majority, 56%, reports it has either gotten worse, 33%, or has remained the same which, in their view, is a bad thing, 23%.
On the specifics of life in New York City, only 9% of adults citywide believe the number of homeless, panhandlers, or mentally ill has decreased in the past year while more than four in ten, 42%, think this situation in New York City has gotten worse. 43% say the number of homeless, panhandlers, or mentally ill on city streets has remained the same. One bright spot does exist. Six in ten residents, 60%, have either a great deal of confidence, 25%, or a fair amount of confidence, 35%, in the police officers in their community to protect them from violent crime.
Opinions differ based on race on these questions. This polarization is also prominent in attitudes toward New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Views also differ based on the socioeconomic status of city dwellers.
Opinions about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are incongruous. The mayor’s overall job approval rating has inched up to 44% from 39% in March 2014, and nearly six in ten voters, 59%, have a favorable impression of him. However, only 40% of voters consider de Blasio to be changing New York City for the better, and a majority of voters, 53%, do not think his policies are historic and transforming the city.
On the specifics of Mayor de Blasio’s job performance, attitudes are lukewarm. While pluralities of residents citywide approve of how he is handling the city’s schools, 47%, and economic development, 47%, they divide about de Blasio’s performance on crime. Regarding the New York City budget, 42% disapprove and 40% approve, but a notable 18% are unsure how to rate Mr. de Blasio on this issue. Mayor de Blasio’s score on his handling of the relationship between police and the community is in negative territory. Not surprisingly, there is a substantial difference in opinion along racial lines.
Mayor de Blasio, as mentioned above, is well-liked by a majority of New York City voters. The mayor is viewed by, at least, a majority of voters as someone who cares about the average person, a good leader, and a unifier who can get things done. However, on each of these questions, there has been a dip in the proportions of voters who perceive de Blasio positively. The mayor is also viewed as a man of action.
A majority of voters, though, considers de Blasio to be irresponsible when he arrives late for public events, and they divide about whether or not the mayor is spending too much time discussing policy on the national level and not focusing enough on what he can be doing for New York City.
What does all of this mean for de Blasio in 2017? A plurality, 47%, reports he deserves to be re-elected.
On policy questions, more than three in four residents, 77%, support increasing the minimum wage. But, more than six in ten, 63%, oppose charging for plastic grocery bags and hiring more police if it means cutting other city programs, 62%.
“Depending upon one’s perspective of Mayor de Blasio, the glass is either half full or half empty,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, “Many New Yorkers are troubled by the direction and conditions of the city although they generally like the mayor.”
- Voters in New York City divide about the way things are going in the city. 49% believe the city is moving in the wrong direction while 45% say it is moving in the right one. There has been a shift on this question since it was last reported in March 2014. At that time, a majority, 53% considered New York City to be on track while 42% thought it was off course. This is the first time since November 2013 that fewer than half of voters think the city is moving in the right direction (Trend).
- Racial differences exist. African American voters, 53%, are more likely than whites, 35%, to say the city is moving in the right direction. Still, there has been a decline in the proportions of both African American and white voters who say the city is on course since the spring of 2014. At that time, 60% of African Americans and 45% of whites thought the city was on track.
- Voters in Manhattan, 50%, are more likely than those in the other boroughs to say the city is on the right course. A majority in Queens and Staten Island, 52%, and nearly half, 48%, of those in the Bronx, say the Big Apple is on the wrong path. Brooklyn voters divide with 48% reporting it is moving in the wrong direction. 44% say it is going in the right direction.
- 17% of residents say the quality of life in New York City has gotten better over the past year while one in three, 33%, says it has gotten worse. 47% report it has remained the same. Of those, 23% describe the status quo as a bad thing, and 20% say the lack of change is a good thing. Four percent who say the quality of life has remained the same do not specify whether the lack of change is good or bad.
- Only 9% of New York City residents say the number of homeless, panhandlers, and mentally ill on the city’s streets has declined in the past year. 42% report it has increased, and 43% think it has stayed the same.
- 60% of adults citywide have a great deal, 25%, or fair amount, 35%, of confidence in police in their community to protect them from violent crime. 18% have some faith in the New York City Police Department, and 20% have very little confidence.
- White residents, 76%, are more likely than Latinos, 54%, and African Americans, 49%, to trust their local police, at least a fair amount, to keep them safe from violent crime.
- Looking at the City Council’s move to decriminalize certain offenses, 66% support decriminalizing being in a park after dark, and 63% support downgrading bicycling on sidewalks to a civil violation. A majority, 55%, thinks public consumption of alcohol should be decriminalized, and nearly half, 49%, say the same about jumping a turnstile. Residents divide about whether public urination should be reclassified to a civil violation. 50% believe it should while 47% say it should not.
Ratings for de Blasio a Mixed Bag
- 44% of New York City voters think Bill de Blasio is doing either an excellent, 8%, or a good job, 36%, as mayor. This is up slightly from 39% in March 2014. A majority, 52%, currently rates his performance as fair, 34%, or poor, 18%.
- White voters, 32%, are less likely than African Americans, 59%, and Latinos, 49%, to approve of how Mayor de Blasio is doing in office. The biggest increase in the mayor’s standing has been among African Americans. In March 2014, 50% of African American voters approved of de Blasio’s performance. 45% of Latino and 30% of white voters, at that time, said the same.
- By borough, a majority of Manhattan voters, 53%, rates de Blasio highly. 49% of those in Brooklyn and 47% in the Bronx do the same. Voters in Queens and Staten Island, 33%, are the least likely to approve of how Mayor de Blasio is performing in office.
- 59% of voters citywide have a favorable impression Mayor de Blasio, unchanged from March 2014. 34% have an unfavorable view of him. Again, racial differences are present. 74% of Latino and 73% of African American voters, compared with just 40% of whites, have a positive opinion of the mayor.
- Four in ten voters, 40%, think Mayor de Blasio is changing New York City for the better while 20% say he is having a negative impact on the city. About one in three, 34%, believes he is not affecting the city at all. Six percent, down from 12%, are unsure. While the proportion of voters who say de Blasio is improving the city has changed little from 43% last year, there has been an increase in those who say he is not having any impact. Last year, 25% had this view.
- African Americans, 58%, and Latinos, 53%, are more than twice as likely as whites, 21%, to say Mayor de Blasio is changing the city for the better.
- A majority of voters, 53%, does not think the mayor’s policies are historic and transformative as he describes. 39% believe they are.
- 47% of New York City residents approve of how Mayor de Blasio is handling the city’s public schools while 40% disapprove. A notable 12% are unsure.
- 47% approve of the mayor’s approach to economic development. 42% disapprove. 11% are unsure.
- Adults in New York City divide about how Mayor de Blasio is handling crime in the city. 47% approve while 46% disapprove.
- Residents also divide about the mayor’s handling of the city’s budget, but a notable proportion are unsure. 40% approve of de Blasio’s approach while 42% disapprove. 18% are unsure.
- 57% of residents disapprove of how Mayor de Blasio approaches relations between the police and the community. 37% approve.
The Specifics of Mayor de Blasio’s Image
- 59% of voters, compared with 65% last year, view Mr. de Blasio as someone who cares about the average person.
- 53% of the city’s electorate report the mayor is a good leader for New York City. This is also down from 58% in March 2014.
- 51% of voters, down from 59% last year, say Mayor de Blasio can unify New York City and get it working again. 43% disagree.
- Nearly six in ten, 59%, do not think that the mayor is all talk and no action. 34%, though, say he is all talk.
- 55% of voters consider Mayor de Blasio to be irresponsible when he arrives late for public events. 37% disagree. 63% of whites and 53% of Latinos think de Blasio’s tardiness is not a favorable trait. African American voters divide. 46% think the mayor is being irresponsible when he does not show up on time while the same proportion, 46%, disagrees.
- Voters divide about whether or not Mayor de Blasio is spending too much time discussing his policy positions nationally and not enough time doing what he can for New York City. 44% believe this to be the case while 46% do not think he is focusing on the national stage.
- 47% of voters think Mayor de Blasio deserves to be re-elected. 42% do not think he should receive another term in office. 11% are unsure.
- Many voters, 69%, report de Blasio’s decision to not immediately endorse Hillary Clinton makes sense. 24% say he is being disloyal to the Democratic Party.
City Dwellers Favor Raising the Minimum Wage; Oppose Plastic Bag Surcharge and Hiring of Additional Police
- Nearly eight in ten adults, 77%, support raising the minimum wage to at least $13 even if some businesses say it will reduce hiring. One in five residents, 20%, opposes the proposal. Regardless of race, borough of residence, or class status, there is overwhelming support to increase the minimum wage.
- More than six in ten New York City residents, 63%, oppose a bill which would require grocery stores to charge 10 cents for each plastic bag. 36% support this proposal. Regardless of race or class status, at least a majority opposes charging for plastic bags in grocery stores.
- 62% of adults citywide are against hiring an additional 1,000 police officers if it means cutting back other city programs. 32% support this initiative. Here, too, opposition crosses racial lines. Latinos, 73%, and African Americans, 64%, are more likely to oppose hiring new police officers than whites, 52%.
If given $100,000 to spend or invest, with no strings attached, saving for long-term expenses such as retirement or college, 25%, buying a home or paying off a mortgage, 24%, and paying down their debt, 22%, top the list of ways Americans would spend or invest their newfound funds. Among Latinos, buying a home or paying a mortgage, 32%, is the top way they would invest their newly acquired cash. Saving for long-term expenses, paying off debt, and starting a business, follow.
When it comes to cell phone usage, American and Latino cell phone owners, alike, use a smartphone. Among Americans, the iPhone, 35%, edges android phones, 31%. Latinos, however, are slightly more likely to use androids, 34%, than the iPhone, 29%.
Only 30% of American smartphone owners, including 26% of Latinos, use their phone mostly to talk. Most employ their smartphone for other purposes. 20% of smartphone owners, overall, report they use their phone primarily to text. 14% use it mostly to connect via social media, 12% send email, and 11% surf the Internet.
While smartphone use among Latinos reflects Americans’ habits, overall, Latinos are more likely than Americans to use their smartphone mostly to listen to music, 14%, and are less likely to use it primarily to send email, 7%.
- If given $100,000 to spend or invest, Americans would save for long-term expenses like retirement or college, 25%, buy a home or pay off their mortgage, 24%, or pay off their debt, 22%. 11% of residents would invest in the stock market while 10% would start a business. Five percent would use the money toward non-necessities like vacations, entertainment, and gifts.
- A plurality of Latinos, 32%, cites buying a home or paying down a mortgage. 21% would save for long-term expenses while 19% would pay off debt. 16% of Latinos would start a business including 26% of Latino men. Eight percent would invest in the stock market, and 3% would use the funds on non-necessities.
- 74% of American cell phone owners, including 76% Latinos, use a smartphone.
- Among Americans, the iPhone, 35%, and android phones, 31%, are the leading smartphones. The Blackberry, 1%, and a Windows phone, 1%, are little used. Six percent have a smartphone but are unsure which kind, and 25% of U.S. cell phone owners say they do not have a smartphone.
- 34% ofLatino cell phone users have an android phone while 29% own an iPhone. Only 1% owns a Blackberry, and the same proportion, 1%, has a Windows phone. 11% have a smartphone but are unsure what type it is, and 24% of Latino cell phone owners do not have a smartphone.
- Just three in ten American smartphone owners, including 26% of Latinos, say the primary use of their phone is to talk. 20% of smartphone owners, overall, say they mostly text with their phone, and 14% turn to social media on their smartphones. Email is the key function for 12% while 11% surf the Internet. Other activities include listening to music, 6%, playing games, 3%, taking and sending pictures, 1%, and watching videos, 1%.
Blow out the candles and make a wish! It’s time for Dr. Lee M. Miringoff’s annual birthday poll.
Every year, Dr. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, yearns to know whether Americans consider his soon-to-be age young, middle-aged, or old. This year, Dr. Miringoff’s wish may come true one more time.
Nearly six in ten Americans, 57%, say 64 is middle-aged. 31% consider it old, and 12% think it is young. Miringoff’s age hangs on to the description of “middle-aged.” Last year, when he turned 63 years old, 60% said he was a middle-ager, 27% thought he was old, and 13% described him as young.
“Phew,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “I would be less than honest if I didn’t notice the increase among Americans who think my age is old. But, overall, I survived another year!”
Younger Americans, not surprisingly, are more likely than their older counterparts to consider 64 to be old. Among Americans under 30, six in ten, 60%, think 64 years of age is old, up from 48% last year who thought 63 was old.
Gender differences exist. While similar proportions of women, 13%, and men, 10%, say 64 is young, women, 61%, are more likely than men, 52%, to think it is middle-aged. Nearly four in ten men, 38%, compared with 25% of women, believe 64 is old.
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.
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
“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.”
- 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 expense. A 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.
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.
When 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.