CLAYTON • A new public opinion survey of St. Louis County residents shows the public perception of the death 18-year-old Michael Brown and its aftermath is sharply divided along racial lines.
The survey, released Monday morning by the Kansas City-based Remington Research Group, found that 65 percent of African-American county residents believe that Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson acted unjustly when he ended Brown’s life Aug. 9 on a Ferguson street.
Conversely, 62 percent of the white residents surveyed by Remington believe the shooting death of Brown was justified.
The fissure broke even wider when surveyors asked if Wilson should be “arrested and charged with a crime” with 71 percent of African American residents responding “yes” opposed to the 71 percent of white survey-takers who believe the police officer should not be held liable.
An equally stark divide emerged on the question of whether Brown was “targeted because of his race.”
Over three-quarters of the white respondents - 77 percent - responded “no” while 64 percent of the African-Americans answered in the affirmative.
Remington Research, which was founded by Republican political consultant Jeff Roe, based its findings on questions posed to 604 county residents on Sept. 13-14.
The firm based the non-commissioned poll on demographics weighted to match U.S. Census data. Remington Research said the margin of error, +/- 3.53 per cent, gives the survey a “95 percent level of confidence.”
Respondents based their answers on accounts gleaned from news accounts and others sources and not first-hand information.
Based on what the residents have seen and heard over the past month, 41 percent believe that “organized street gangs” bore the primary responsibility for the violence that erupted along West Florissant Avenue in the days following the Brown shooting.
But that number, again, split according to race with only 31 percent of African-Americans affixing the blame on gang members, compared to 46 percent of whites and 36 percent who offered other opinions on the source of the violence.
African-Americans were instead more likely to hold law enforcement accountable for spurring looting, shooting and other incidents that prompted the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and other means of crowd control.
A shade over 70 percent of white St. Louis County residents told Remington Research they have faith in County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch’s ability to handle the Brown case equitably during the grand jury process and possibly beyond.
According to the survey, McCulloch holds the trust of only 32 percent of African-Americans. Sixty percent disagreed that McCulloch will perform “fairly and impartially” as the case moves forward.
The media likewise did not fare well in the estimation of county residents participating in the poll.
Nearly 75 percent of all respondents told pollsters the media contributed to making the situation in Ferguson worse.
Of those criticizing the media coverage in Ferguson, 50 percent were African-American and 81 percent were white.
Nearly three-fourths of Americans favor letting the Washington NFL Team keep their nickname, but the percentage who think it should be changed has tripled in the past two decades, according to a poll conducted by Langer Research for “Outside the Lines.”
Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of Americans surveyed now think the name should be changed, up from 8 percent in 1992 and up 9 percentage points in the past year alone.
The poll of 1,019 Americans, conducted on landline and cellular telephones between Aug. 20 and Aug. 24, found that 71 percent favor keeping the nickname — but that’s down from 89 percent when the question was first asked 22 years ago. It also found that 68 percent of people responding believe the nickname is not disrespectful of Native Americans, compared to just 9 percent who say it is “a lot” disrespectful (19 percent said it showed “some” disrespect).
A total of 54 percent of respondents think the name is unlikely to be changed, compared to 42 percent who think it will (the rest had no opinion).
Calls to change the team’s nickname have increased recently.
In June, the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled the team’s trademarks in a 2-1 ruling on the basis they are “disparaging to Native Americans.” The team has appealed the ruling and has said it is confident it will be overturned.
Several politicians have urged NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to force team owner Dan Snyder to change the name, including Attorney General Eric Holder, Sen. Harry Reid and former secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. President Barack Obama said last year that if he owned the Redskins, “I’d think about changing [the name].”
Last month, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said on his Facebook page that it is “probably time” for the DC NFL Team to change the nickname. The team plays at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.
A non-scientific survey by ESPN’s NFL Nation revealed that 58 percent (167) of 286 players questioned say the DC NFL Team should not change their name, but 42 percent (119) said they should. Of 51 Washington NFL Team players polled, 26 said the team should keep the name, one said it should be changed, and 24 didn’t want to answer.
The polling conducted for “Outside the Lines” showed no difference in attitude between men and women, or whites and non-whites.
Politically, however, 89 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of conservatives say the team should keep its name, compared to just 58 percent for Democrats and 53 percent for people who consider themselves liberal, according to the poll. In terms of political leanings, 83 percent of Republicans see no disrespect in the Redskins name. That drops to 68 percent of independents and 57 percent of Democrats.
"Back in 1992, when about nine in 10 Americans opposed changing the team’s name, opinion was basically uniform across groups," according to Langer Research. "The increase since then in support for a change has occurred chiefly among Democrats, younger adults, those living in the Northeast and West, and people with higher incomes and more education."
I personally favor changing the name of DC’s NFL Team.
A new Pew Research Center analysis of media coverage of the event and subsequent protests finds that the story emerged on Twitter before cable, but the trajectory of attention quickly rose in tandem, peaking on both mediums the day after two journalists were arrested and protests turned more violent.
Also of note:
- MSNBC devoted far more time to the story than its top competitors Fox News and CNN
- The Twitter conversation about Ferguson popped much more quickly than the conversation about Trayvon Martin
On Monday, the Supreme Court is expected to deliver a highly-anticipated ruling in a case regarding whether for-profit companies can claim a religious exemption to Obamacare’s contraceptive coverage requirement. Two companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, argue that covering some types of birth control violates their religious liberty. Although there’s no telling how the justices will rule, most Americans already have their minds made up about the issue at hand.
According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll that surveyed more than 10,600 people earlier this month, the majority of Americans don’t believe that business owners should be able to invoke their religious beliefs in order to avoid offering contraceptive coverage to their workers.
When asked whether employers should be able to choose what types of birth control they cover based on their religion, just 35 percent of participants agreed. Meanwhile, 53 percent disagreed — and the majority of that group was firmly opposed to the idea. Forty percent of respondents said they “strongly disagreed” that for-profit companies should be able to refuse to cover certain contraceptive methods for religious reasons:
The Reuters/Ipsos polling falls in line with previous polling that has found most Americans don’t side with Hobby Lobby.
Last month, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that Americans make a clear distinction between specifically religious employers, like churches, and other types of businesses — so although most people favor allowing churches to claim an exemption to Obamacare’s birth control mandate, they don’t think that for-profit companies should be able to do the same. In April, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 55 percent of the public believe that companies should be required to cover birth control even if it violates their owners’ personal religious beliefs. Polling conducted in 2012 found that most Americans view birth control coverage as a matter of women’s health care, not as a matter of religious liberty.
Of the Americans who trust Fox News to give them the most accurate information about politics and current events, just 12 percent correctly believe that deportations have increased under the Obama administration, said the study, which measured cultural attitudes toward immigration in 2014. Overall, 25 percent of Americans correctly said deportations have risen.
Among Republicans, there were notable differences in attitudes toward immigrants between those who most trust Fox and those who prefer other news outlets.
Sixty percent of Republicans who most trust Fox say immigrants are a burden, while just 38 percent of Republicans whose most trusted news source is something else say immigrants are a burden.
Republicans who most trust Fox News are also less likely to support a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants (42 percent) than Republicans who trust other news sources (60 percent).
The study concluded that “trust in Fox News as an accurate news source is the most powerful independent predictor of opposition to a path to citizenship. Identifying as Republican and being a born-again Christian are also significant predictors of opposition to immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.”
By contrast, the most significant predictors of support for immigration reform were “[h]olding a four-year college degree, being female, identifying with the Democratic Party, and most trusting MSNBC as an accurate news source.”
h/t: Sahil Kapur at TPM
It didn’t take long for Gary Bauer and Tony Perkins to misrepresent a recent poll their groups commissioned which found that “82 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independents believe marriage ‘should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.’”
Speaking with Perkins on Washington Watch yesterday, Bauer claimed that the poll actually proves that most Americans opposed legalizing same-sex marriage: “While certainly, particularly among young people, there is some shift on this issue, most Americans still understand that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Bauer said of the Family Research Council/American Values poll.
In fact, the poll explicitly states [PDF] that it only surveyed Republicans and independents who typically vote Republican.
While the poll used heavily slanted Religious Right language when asking GOP voters if they “agree or disagree that politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples,” Perkins and Bauer accused nonpartisan polling firms — which have consistently found that a majority of voters support gay marriage — of using misleading questions to trick people into supporting marriage equality.
“I think, Tony, we both agree that there is an effort underway here to use polls not to measure public opinion but to form public opinion and move it in the direction of the demands of the gay rights movement,” Bauer said. Perkins agreed: “Absolutely, and a lot of that is done by the way the questions are worded.”
“If there had been really been a massive shift among the American people to the redefinition of marriage, I don’t think we would see all over the country the gay rights movement vehemently opposing every effort that happens in any state to actually vote on the issue,” Bauer added, ignoring the fact that gay rights supporters in 2012 successfully led a marriage referendum in Maine.
Bauer later said that the polls are “cooked” in favor of gay marriage and insisted that gay rights advocates are afraid of having a “national referendum” on marriage rights … even though there is no mechanism in election law or the US Constitution to trigger a national referendum on any issue.
“One would assume if there had been a big shift of opinion, the gay rights movement would say, ‘Let’s have a national referendum, we’ll prove it to you.’ But the fact that they will spend millions of dollars to keep off of the ballot in states a reaffirmation of the traditional meaning of marriage I think is further evidence that they know the polling data, which is often being touted in contrast to the poll we’ve got today, are really in many cases — the numbers have been cooked in order to advance a particular social agenda,” Bauer said.-
From the 04.22.2014 edition of FRC’s Washington Watch:
H/T: Brian Tashman at RWW
The Washington Post today looked into Rand Paul’s efforts to build a national political operation as he gears up for a presidential campaign, and revealed that Paul had hired Fritz Wenzel to serve as his pollster:For the rest of this year, his national team’s chief duties will be to take the lead in their respective states in planning fundraisers and meet-ups and helping Paul’s Washington-based advisers get a sense of where support is solid and where it’s not. This is especially important in key early primary battlegrounds, such as Iowa and New Hampshire, and in areas rich in GOP donors, such as Dallas and Chicago.
“A national leadership team is an important step, and it’s a critical one for the movement going forward,” said Fritz Wenzel, Paul’s pollster. “Rand has tremendous momentum, and the formation of this team will guide him as he gets closer to a decision and [will] serve as a foundation for a campaign.”
Wenzel runs Wenzel Strategies, the group behind several wildly inaccurate and conspiratorial polls, especially through its work as the polling arm for the far-right website WorldNetDaily. Wenzel’s group has:
- Suggested that a majority of Americans want Obama to be impeached over Benghazi.
- Said that most Americans were “despondent” over Obama’s re-election just two months after most Americans voted for him.
- Implied that Obama won re-election because Americans aren’t intelligent.
- Claimed polls showing Obama defeating Mitt Romney were unfairly skewed because most “survey interviews are conducted by college kids.”
- Insisted that Sarah Palinwould be a viable candidate against Obama in a Democratic presidential primary.
- Consistently predicted that Todd Akin would win his Senate race in Missouri (he lost by 16 points), and tremendously overestimated Republican support in contested statewide races in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin (where Republicans all lost).
Since Rand Paul is trying to distance himself from his own and his father’s extremist views, tapping WorldNetDaily’s pollster is probably not a good start to his effort to rebrand himself as a serious Republican leader.
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
A new survey of 25 GOP-held districts shows dwindling favorability for Republican members of the House in the wake of the recent government shutdown.
The survey, conducted by liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling and funded by MoveOn.org, is the third in a series of polls that indicate Democrats have a shot at taking back the House of Representatives in the 2014 election cycle.
The results of the latest survey show that incumbent Republicans in 15 of the 25 districts polled trail generic Democratic candidates. When combined with the results of the previous surveys, the polls show that generic Democratic candidates lead in 37 of 61 GOP-held districts.
When voters were informed their Republican candidate supported the government shutdown, 11 more districts flipped and one race became a tie.
Democrats in the House only need to see a net increase of 17 seats in order to take back the majority. This poll indicates that Democrats could see an increase of as many as 49 seats.
Public Policy Polling indicated several caveats to the results. The surveys were conducted during a high-profile budget crisis debate, a year before the elections will take place. And incumbent Republican candidates were compared to “generic Democrats,” who may not represent the actual candidates each district will see.
Pelosi for Speaker in 2014!
Shutting down the government may end up costing Republicans control of the House of Representatives.
A series of polls released Sunday show just how damaging the shutdown has been for the GOP. The liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling compiled two dozen surveys, commissioned and paid for by MoveOn.org Political Action, from House districts around the country, taken from Oct. 2 through Oct. 4. Sample sizes were between 600 and 700 voters in each district.
For Democrats to win a House majority, 17 seats would need to switch to their party’s favor. Results show that would be within reach, as Republican incumbents are behind in 17 of the districts analyzed: CA-31, CO-06, FL-02, FL-10, FL-13, IA-03, IA-04, IL-13, KY-06, MI-01, MI-07, MI-11, NY-19, OH-14, PA-07, PA-08, WI-07. In four districts, the incumbent Republican fell behind after respondents were told their representative supported the government shutdown: CA-10, NY-11, NY-23, VA-02. Three districts saw GOP incumbents maintain their hold over their Democratic challengers, even after hearing their elected officials’ views on the shutdown, including CA-21, NV-03 and OH-06.
A poll released Thursday provided confirmation of what’s long been anticipated: more Americans blame Republicans — not President Barack Obama and Democrats — for the first government shutdown since 1996.
According to the latest CBS News poll, 44 percent said they blame the shutdown on Republicans in Congress, compared with 35 percent who said they blame Obama and Democrats. Seventeen percent said they blame both sides.
Those numbers mirror the findings in a CBS poll last week and are consistent with other pre-shutdown surveys.
A CNN/ORC International poll released on Monday showed that Americans would be more inclined to blame congressional Republicans for a shutdown than Obama.
The CBS poll showed that 72 percent of Americans disapprove of shutting down the government over differences related to the Affordable Care Act, comparable to findings in a Quinnipiac University poll on Tuesday.
But the gambit has plenty of support from the tea party.
Fifty-seven percent of supporters of the conservative movement said they support a shutdown over the health care law, according to the CBS survey. Republicans were split on the question — 48 percent said they approve a shutdown over the law, while 49 percent said they disapprove. Eighty-six percent of Democrats said they disapprove.
A new poll released Thursday night by Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign shows trouble for Team McConnell.
A poll by the Mellman Group shows Grimes, the Democratic secretary of state, leading Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by two points, 44% to 42%. This comes the same day as Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning firm, showed Grimes ahead by one. Both results fall within the margin of error.
The Mellman poll shows Grimes leading among independents, 35% to 28%, and with an even higher margin among moderates, 56% to 23%.
Grimes’ lead isn’t insurmountable–except that McConnell’s approval ratings suggest that he’ll have a hard climb. The Mellman poll shows McConnell’s job disapproval ratings at 58%.
McConnell has been plagued with low approval ratings and PPP’s most recent survey showed 51% of Kentucky voters disapproved of the job he’s been doing. Lundergan Grimes’ campaign adviser Jonathan Hurst told MSNBC.com Thursday that McConnell’s unpopularity is “not surprising” and that Kentucky voters are “tired of the obstruction.”
The Grimes campaign continually attacks McConnell for being disconnected from Kentuckians and a creature of Washington.
“It’s no surprise that Mitch McConnell’s negatives are so high given the fact that he has sided with Washington special interest groups instead of siding with Kentucky’s working families,” said Hurst.
The McConnell campaign dismissed the Mellman results as “concocted” and “fictitious.”
The Mellman Group surveyed 750 Kentucky voters by telephone between July 20-24, 2013. The margin of error is +/- 3.6%.
Let’s go Team Grimes!
Support for increasing the militarization of the border drops 11 points when respondents are told how much it would cost.
Source: Washington Post
Same-sex marriage (top) and acceptance of homosexuality (bottom) around the world.
Republicans think by a 74/19 margin than Benghazi is a worse political scandal than Watergate, by a 74/12 margin that it’s worse than Teapot Dome, and by a 70/20 margin that it’s worse than Iran Contra.
One interesting thing about the voters who think Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in American history is that 39% of them don’t actually know where it is.
From Sea To Shining Sea: Gay Marriage Support Rises In All 50 States
Support for same-sex marriage has grown across all 50 U.S. states over the past eight years, a new report has found.
Published by the UCLA’s Williams Institute, “Public Support for Marriage for Same-Sex Couples by State” examines each state’s current stance on the legality of marriage equality, as well as the overall change in public opinion since 2004.
Over the past eight years, every U.S. state has increased in its support for same-sex marriage, with an average increase of 13.6 percent, and if the public opinion trends continue at the same pace, eight additional states will be above 50 percent support by the end of next year.
But lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates shouldn’t get overly optimistic by the report’s findings, as Williams Institute researchers pointed to what was described as “a notable disparity” that exists across state boundaries, according to a press release.
Still, the findings seem in line with a number of other polls: a POLITICO and George Washington University survey found that, out of 1,000 likely voters, 40 percent of respondents said they support marriage equality, while 30 percent said they supported civil unions.
Meanwhile, a LifeWay Research study released in March found that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe legalized same-sex marriage in the U.S. is inevitable.
Read the full Williams Institute poll here.