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Americans are stressed out!

In our September 30th national poll, more than 18 months after the pandemic started, 77% of Americans were either as or more stressed despite a majority being vaccinated and COVID infections and deaths dropping nationwide ... Read Now >

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Poll Hub’s Trip to Spring Training

On Major League Baseball’s Opening Day, the Poll Hub team reflects on one of the most memorable events of the pre-season — their trip to Yankees Spring Training in Tampa, Florida.

During their adventure, Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist Institute for Public Opinion, Dr. Barbara L. Carvalho, Director of the Marist Poll, and friend of Poll Hub John Sparks spoke with fellow fans about the state of the game and the cost of going to the ballpark.

VIDEO: 1968: The Year That Rocked American Politics, A Discussion with Jeff Greenfield

In this fourth and final installment of the series, 1968: The Year that Rocked American Politics, the Poll Hub team welcomes author, journalist, and former aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Jeff Greenfield.

Greenfield reflects on his time as a staffer on Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign and offers his insights into the shifting political landscape of 1968 and the impact of that tumultuous time.

The entire event was streamed live on Facebook.

VIDEO: 1968: The Year That Rocked American Politics, The Marist Poll Welcomes Lynn Novick

In part three of the four-part panel series, 1968: The Year That Rocked American Politics, the team behind The Marist College Poll’s podcast, Poll Hub, speaks with Emmy and Peabody Award winning filmmaker Lynn Novick. Novick is the co-producer and co-director with Ken Burns of the 10-part, 18-hour epic documentary, The Vietnam War. In this insightful discussion, Novick addresses the significance of 1968 in the conflict, the idea that there is not just one truth to the war, and how her experience working on this groundbreaking documentary influenced her view of the Vietnam War.

The entire event was streamed live on Facebook as will our future conversation with author and political analyst, Jeff Greenfield. You can watch on our Facebook Page and if you follow us there, you’ll be notified when our next session goes live.

VIDEO: 1968: The Year that Rocked American Politics, The Marist Poll Welcomes Bob Herbert

In part two of the four-part series, 1968: The Year that Rocked American Politics, the team of Poll Hub, a production of the Marist College Poll, welcomed journalist, filmmaker, and Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, Bob Herbert. Herbert, writer and producer of the documentary Against All Odds, discusses 1968 as a pivotal year in the Civil Rights Movement, addresses where the quest for equality stands today, and reflects on his personal experiences during this tumultuous period.

1968: The Year that Rocked American Politics commemorates 50 years since 1968, the tumultuous year in American society which laid the groundwork for today’s political system and defined a generation. It is presented in conjunction with the course of the same name offered by Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion and member of the political science faculty at Marist College.

The panel series is hosted by the team behind the Marist Poll’s podcast, Poll Hub — Dr. Miringoff, Dr. Barbara L. Carvalho, Director of the Marist Poll, and Jay DeDapper, Director of Innovation at the Marist Poll.

1968: The Year That Rocked American Politics, A Discussion with E.J. Dionne, Jr.

The Marist College Poll presents the first installation in a four-part panel series, 1968: The Year that Rocked American Politics. The series commemorates 50 years since 1968, the tumultuous year in American society which laid the groundwork for today’s political system and defined a generation.

In this first discussion, we were pleased to welcome E.J. Dionne, Jr., columnist for The Washington Post, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and author of One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet-Deported. Dionne offered his unique insights into 1968 and its impact 50 years later.

1968: The Year that Rocked American Politics is hosted by the team behind the Marist Poll’s podcast, Poll Hub — Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion and member of the political science faculty at Marist College, Dr. Barbara L. Carvalho, Director of the Marist Poll, and Jay DeDapper, Director of Innovation at the Marist Poll.

1968: The Year that Rocked American Politics is presented in conjunction with Dr. Miringoff’s course of the same name offered this semester at Marist College.

11/22: Taking a Deeper Dive into Recent Congressional Generic Ballot Polls

By Dr. Lee M. Miringoff

At first glance, there seems to be a dramatic change in just a short time in the generic congressional ballot question. Last week, the Marist Poll showed a 15 point Democratic lead over the Republicans 51% to 36%. This week, the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll has the Democrats over the Republicans by a mere 3 points. Both polls have the same methods, sample size, and question. So, let’s take a closer look.

1. Digging deeper into the Marist Poll numbers, the difference between the two surveys on this question is almost entirely the result of movement among voters who identify as independents. In the most recent poll independents divide evenly on the congressional generic, 38% Democrat to 38% Republican. This is a drop in their preference for the Democratic congressional candidate of 12 points. What’s interesting is that change is not to the benefit of the Republicans who only gain a statistically insignificant 3 points. The difference instead is in the movement of independents from support for a Democratic candidate to responses of “neither one” or “undecided.” That change went from 21% to 30%.

2. Although there is a notable difference on the Congressional generic ballot, other results remain unchanged. President Trump’s approval rating is still at 39% and his favorability rating is still underwater: a positive to negative score in the first poll 38%/56% went to a statistically negligible difference of 37%/57%.

3. What about the other polls conducted during the same time period? Polls conducted proximate to Election Day 2017 including ABC News/Washington Post (D+11), Marist (D+15), and Quinnipiac (D+13) all had the “generic” Democrat leading by double digits. No outliers there. However, polls conducted since then, Reuters/Ipsos (D+7), Economist/YouGov (D+8), and NPR/PBS/Marist Poll (D+3 and the most recent) all show a single digit difference on this question.

4. One possible explanation may be timing. Could there have been an impact of the 2017 campaign on the question? The first polls were conducted during the November elections when partisan sentiment among “blue” voters was high. The later polls were conducted after campaign mode was nationally “turned off” (and, also of note, when President Trump was in Asia and limiting the frequency of his tweets). The average of the difference in Democratic and Republican support among the polls released went from D +13 points before and during Election 2017 to D +6 points after Election 2017.

It will be interesting to see which direction measures of the congressional generic ballot take in the coming weeks. Those looking at a potential of a “wave” election in 2018 may still be onto something when considering the impact of campaign mode on this question and Election Day voting.

Changing America: What’s at Stake?

In a political climate where opportunity and challenges abound, The Marist College Poll presents Changing America: What’s at Stake?

This fourth in a series of panel discussions will assess the condition of America’s institutions and will take an in-depth look at the Trump Administration as it nears its first one hundred days, the state of Congress, the future of the Supreme Court, and the turbulent relationship between politicians and the press.

This timely and pertinent discussion will take place on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.  Attendance at the Newseum event requires pre-registration.

The panel will also be live streamed here.  Join the discussion on social media by using #MaristDCForum.

Distinguished Panelists

Changing America: What’s at Stake? will be moderated by Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, and Dr. Barbara L. Carvalho, Director of The Marist Poll.

3/31: Who Says the Majority Rules? That Filibuster Thing Explained

WASHINGTON — It’s a safe bet that the most familiar image of a Senate “filibuster” comes from the movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

But, that’s Hollywood.  And, it’s Old Hollywood.  Jimmy Stewart wouldn’t recognize what people now call a filibuster.  And, it surely is not what will happen in the next several days when Democrats threaten a filibuster to block the Senate from confirming Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

Here’s a look at this odd tool of governing that looks awful when your side has power and fantastic when you’re out of power.

1. What is it?

A senator or group of senators speak as long as they can, thus forcing attention on an issue – as in the Mr. Smith movie – while also delaying a vote.  The practice is as old as the Roman Senate.  The term comes from the Dutch word for pirate.

2. Can’t the Senate shut them up?

Sure.  But, it’s controversial inside the Senate.

As early as 1841, Sen. Henry Clay threatened to use a majority vote to stop debate when Democrats were trying to block a bill he wanted.  It was the first attempt at what we now call a “nuclear option” blowing up Senate customs.  Back then, I’d guess it was a “gunpowder option.”

In 1917, as war loomed, the Senate adopted the “cloture” rule, saying a vote of two thirds of the Senate could stop a filibuster and allow the Senate to vote on a bill or nomination.

3. What was the impact?

The need for 67 votes in a 100-vote Senate set the bar pretty high to stop a filibuster.  Whether the proposals were more mainstream, the Senate was more congenial, or senators simply couldn’t muster the votes to end a filibuster, there were few votes to invoke “cloture” to end filibusters.

4. Why are there so many more now?

Led by Walter Mondale, D-Minn., the Senate changed its rules in 1975.  That made it easier to cut off debate by requiring just 60 votes for cloture.  In an interview several years ago, Mondale told me that was one of his proudest achievements in the Senate, a footnote to the filibusters that had made it so hard to enact civil rights legislation.

But, the Senate in 1970 also made it easier to simply threaten a filibuster rather than actually having to stand up and talk for hours and hours.  So, the parties did that, a LOT more often.

4. What will happen on Gorsuch?

Democrats led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, say they will filibuster, or block, a vote.  They say it should require at least 60 votes to put someone on the high court for life.

So, the Republicans will need their own 52 votes plus 8 Democratic votes to invoke cloture, end the threatened filibuster, and allow a vote on confirmation.

Republicans, who coincidentally would not allow a vote last year on Barack Obama’s nomination for the court, say it’s wrong for the Democrats to do the same thing, using a threatened filibuster against Donald Trump’s nominee.

“Senate Democrats have begun justifying their opposition to Judge Gorsuch by claiming a 60-vote standard for his confirmation,” said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.  “That standard doesn’t exist and these claims continue to be false.”

Spicer went on to note that Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico, argued in 2013 when Obama was president that a vote on a Supreme Court nomination should not be blocked by a filibuster.

“A minority in the Senate should not be able to block qualified nominees,” Udall said, then, as correctly recounted by Spicer.  “We could not agree more with Senator Udall.”

That was then.

Now, Udall says he will support a filibuster and vote against the cloture needed to end it.  “Every recent Supreme Court nominee has received at least 60 votes either for cloture (a procedural vote that allows a final vote) or confirmation.  Judge Gorsuch should be subject to the same test, and therefore, I will vote no on cloture and confirmation,” Udall told the Albuquerque Journal.

Republicans may fall short of the 60.

5. So, it’s over.

No. Republicans signal they will change the rules if necessary to remove the threat of a filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.  “Judge Gorsuch is going to be confirmed,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told reporters.

“By any means necessary.”

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the contributor and do not reflect the views of The Marist Poll.


Steve Thomma has written about Washington from Reagan to Trump, always aiming to explain politics and policy to an audience outside the Washington beltway. He won the Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 2010 from the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, the Aldo Beckman Award from the White House Correspondents’ Association for distinguished his reporting on the 2000 presidential campaign, and the National Press Club’s award for best regional reporting in Washington in 1994. He’s a former president of the White House Correspondents’ Association and a trustee of Dominican University in River Forest, Il. On Twitter @stevethomma

3/24: Impeaching Trump: A Real Thing or Just Another Way of Coping with the Death of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign?

By Steven Thomma

WASHINGTON – It takes two things to impeach a president.  A smoking gun proving a crime and the will to get rid of the perpetrator.

So far, there’s some smoke but no gun.  And so far, there’s a lot of will among Democrats to throw out Donald Trump but not enough to sway Republicans who control the Congress and the impeachment machinery.

Let’s look at the will.

For Democrats, the sudden death of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on Election Night has led to a series of reactions akin to the way people respond emotionally to a real death.  In her groundbreaking book, “On Death and Dying,” the late psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross outlined five stages of grief.  They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

The day after the 2016 election, Democrats first went into shock and anger.

Within days, they went into denial.  They argued — perhaps to themselves — that Trump did not really win because he did not win the nationwide popular vote.  They hung onto hopes that a recount would flip a few states.  Then, they hung onto hopes that members of the Electoral College would change the result and deny Trump the White House.

Now, they’re into bargaining, with voices on the left saying that Trump will be impeached.

To Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Trump could be impeached for accusing former President Barack Obama without evidence of wiretapping Trump Tower.

“If you do not have any proof and you have been saying this for three weeks,” Jackson Lee said, “then you are clearly on the edge of the question of public trust and those actions can be associated with high crimes and misdemeanors for which articles of impeachment can be drawn.”

To Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., a top voice of his party, it is the fact that Trump is profiting from foreign businesses staying at his hotels.  His reasons include Russian influence in the election, as well as profits from foreign interests.

“Donald Trump has already done a number of things which legitimately raise the question of impeachment,” he said while running to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee last month.

“On day one, he was in violation of the emoluments clause.  This is a part of the Constitution that says as a president, you can’t get payments from a foreign power.  The day people checked into his hotel and started paying him, who were foreign dignitaries, he was in violation of that law.”

And former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has tweeted several times about the cause.

“By my count, there are now four grounds to impeach Trump,” he wrote in one.  “The question is no longer whether there are grounds to impeach Trump.  The practical question is whether there is the political will.  As long as Republicans remain in the majority in the House (where a bill of Impeachment originates), it’s unlikely.”

The idea is gaining support.

On Twitter, “Impeach Donald Trump” has 143,000 followers.  “Impeach Trump Now” urges local governments to pass a resolution urging impeachment based on the foreign emoluments clause.

On Facebook, the page “Impeach Trump ASAP” has been liked by nearly 800,000 people.

And on Google, type in “Impeach Trump,” and it returns 16.9 million results.

However, all that does not add up to popular, or political, will.  At least not now.

Americans are evenly divided, 46-46, about whether to impeach the president, according to a February poll by Public Policy Polling*.

That is a very high level of support for impeaching a new president.

In 1973 and 1974, it took a long time for the American people to come around to the idea of impeaching Richard Nixon.  After Senate hearings on the Watergate scandals started in summer 1973, Americans supported impeachment by just 26-61, according to a Gallup Poll.  It wasn’t until June 1974, after nearly a year of revelations, that the country was about evenly divided, 44-41 in favor of impeachment.

This landscape starts out differently.

It’s immediately partisan, with Democrats favoring impeachment 80-11 and Republicans opposing it 90-6.  Independents are the swing, opposing it 45-41 with 14 percent unsure.  Unless that Republican number starts to change, Republicans in Congress won’t either.

And, there’s one more check on impeachment.

Americans don’t yet want the alternative.  When given a choice in the PPP survey, 38 percent said they wanted Trump as president, and 30 percent said they wanted Mike Pence to be president.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the contributor and do not reflect the views of The Marist Poll.

*See FiveThirtyEight for pollster rating.


Steve Thomma has written about Washington from Reagan to Trump, always aiming to explain politics and policy to an audience outside the Washington beltway. He won the Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 2010 from the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, the Aldo Beckman Award from the White House Correspondents’ Association for distinguished his reporting on the 2000 presidential campaign, and the National Press Club’s award for best regional reporting in Washington in 1994. He’s a former president of the White House Correspondents’ Association and a trustee of Dominican University in River Forest, Il. On Twitter @stevethomma

2/8: Top 10 Reasons Pollsters Would Make Good Meteorologists

By Dr. Lee M. Miringoff

The top 10 reasons pollsters would make good meteorologists are:

10. When surprised by a wintry forecast, a pollster already has experience using a big shovel to dig out
9. If a tornado is in the forecast, a pollster can instruct everyone on how to spin
8. When in doubt about tomorrow’s weather, a pollster can reference the ‘ol perfessor Casey Stengel (he taught Yogi Berra about Yogi-isms). “It’s very difficult making predictions, especially about the future”
7. Pollsters are already familiar with the map of the country although they are confused why meteorologists don’t color the states red and blue
6. Pollsters are 95% confident that, if they spot a few snowflakes, there are likely to be more
5. Pollsters are able to provide precise estimates of likely temperatures as in: “Expect tomorrow to be about 32 degrees, plus or minus 3 degrees”
4. Pollsters are experienced with anticipating landslides before they occur
3. Pollsters know that early predictions are about as reliable as the Farmer’s Almanac
2. A pollster knows that if the temperature is 80 degrees in Florida but only 40 degrees in Pennsylvania, the average temperature is 60
1. Pollsters have learned the hard way what a 70% chance of snow really means