January 17, 2022
Political Party Preferences Shifted Greatly During 2021
Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup
On average, Americans' political party preferences in 2021 looked similar to prior years, with slightly more U.S. adults identifying as Democrats or leaning Democratic (46%) than identified as Republicans or leaned Republican (43%). However, the general stability for the full-year average obscures a dramatic shift over the course of 2021, from a nine-percentage-point Democratic advantage in the first quarter to a rare five-point Republican edge in the fourth quarter.
Political Ideology Steady; Conservatives, Moderates Tie
Lydia Saad, Gallup
The way Americans identify themselves ideologically was unchanged in 2021, continuing the close division that has persisted in recent years between those describing themselves as either conservative or moderate, while a smaller share identifies as liberal. On average last year, 37% of Americans described their political views as moderate, 36% as conservative and 25% as liberal.
Biden at year one: Not enough focus on inflation leaves many frustrated
On one level, the story of President Biden's first year is a simple one: Americans feel worse about the pandemic and economy than they did earlier in his term, and his ratings have suffered for it. On another level, it's a little more nuanced: they do not exclusively blame his policies, but they do demand more attention to inflation just the same; there are many reasons the pandemic is seen as bad, but confusing information stands out as a factor that is hurting views of his handling of it.
American mask use and CDC guidance
COVID States Project
Late Friday, the CDC updated its guidance regarding mask types for Americans, saying that people now “can choose” to wear higher quality respirators such as N95 or KN95 masks, if they wish. In this report, we examine Americans’ attitudes towards mask use including whether and what type of masks Americans currently use, beliefs regarding CDC mask recommendations, beliefs about which types of masks offer the greatest protection, and how mask use has changed over the course of the pandemic. These data shed light on the current masking behavior of Americans and point to current popular understanding (or misunderstanding) of CDC recommendations.
New York State: 52% of Voters Say Minority New Yorkers Have Same Opportunities to Succeed as White New Yorkers
Siena College Research Institute
A small majority of voters, 52 percent, think that minority New Yorkers have the same opportunities as white New Yorkers, while 41 percent think they do not.
Biden backers ‘not seeing the results’ a year into his term
Steve Peoples, Associated Press
Just over a year ago, millions of energized young people, women, voters of color and independents joined forces to send Joe Biden to the White House. But 12 months into his presidency, many describe a coalition in crisis. Leading voices across Biden’s diverse political base openly decry the slow pace of progress on key campaign promises.
Battered White House searches for a Biden comeback scenario
John Harwood, CNN
Weighed down by the coronavirus pandemic, surging inflation and a stalled legislative agenda, Biden's approval rating has long since dropped into the low 40s danger zone. That leaves him below the level of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama at similar points before midterm contests that dealt them staggering setbacks. Their predicament leaves White House aides and political advisers reaching for recovery scenarios like this one: Maybe Biden's faster-than-normal decline will give way to a faster-than-normal comeback.
Biden's bad week and the unreality of great expectations
Domenico Montanaro, NPR News
The bad news keeps on coming for President Biden. He ended 2021 at a low point in his presidency, hoping to turn it around in the new year. But things have only gotten worse.
As Biden ends his first year amid many challenges, is there a second act ahead?
Dan Balz, Washington Post [via opiniontoday.com]
Nearing the first anniversary of his swearing-in, President Biden has suffered through arguably the worst week of his presidency. Whether he has a strategy for a course correction is the question on the minds of nervous Democrats looking ahead to the November elections.
When a National Unity Government Really Worked — And Why It Can’t Happen Now
Jeff Greenfield, Politico Magazine
During previous emergencies, some presidents reached across the aisle to form a governing coalition. Today’s polarization makes that impossible.
Some in GOP begin testing party’s lockstep loyalty to Trump
Jill Colvin, Associated Press
Less than two months before the 2022 primary season begins, Donald Trump remains the most popular figure among the voters who will decide which Republicans advance to the fall general election. But the recent dynamics bring new clarity to the debate that will likely animate the GOP all year: how closely candidates should align themselves with Trump and his election lie.
With Voting Bills Dead, Democrats Face Costly Fight to Overcome G.O.P. Curbs
Reid J. Epstein & Nick Corasaniti, New York Times
Party officials now say they are resigned to spending and organizing their way around the new voting restrictions passed in Republican-controlled states.
Time to start over on voting rights and election security
Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times [via Yahoo News]
After months of wrangling, the U.S. Senate plans to vote this week on an ambitious Democratic bill on voting rights. The bill is already doomed. It will be tempting for all sides to spend the coming week scoring partisan points and apportioning blame. But our elections still need to be protected. Better to walk away from the wreckage and get back to work.
Traditionally the United States had low rates of voting compared to most democracies, with especially low rates among blacks and the working class. Some observers say that groups which favor the Democrats, especially blacks, still face more obstacles. I looked for questions about experiences while voting or trying to vote and found a poll conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion in January 2020.
Trump officials interfered with the 2020 census beyond cutting it short, email shows
Hansi Lo Wang, NPR News
Former President Donald Trump's administration alarmed career civil servants at the Census Bureau by not only ending the 2020 national head count early, but also pressuring them to alter plans for protecting people's privacy and producing accurate data, a newly released email shows.
Omicron surge hasn’t hit rural communities … yet
Dante Chinni, NBC News
Many of the nation’s rural counties have far lower vaccination rates than their urban counterparts. And if there is massive spread in rural communities, there simply are not a lot of rural hospitals to serve people, never mind ICU beds.
Populist Gullibility: Conspiracy Theories, News Credibility, Bullshit Receptivity, and Paranormal Belief
Jan-Willem van Prooijen, Talia Cohen Rodrigues, Carlotta Bunzel, Oana Georgescu, Dániel Komáromy & André P. M. Krouwel, Political Psychology
The present research examines the relationship between populist attitudes—that construe society as a struggle between the “corrupt elites” versus the “noble people”—and beliefs in unsubstantiated epistemic claims. We specifically sought to assess the often assumed link between conspiracy beliefs and populist attitudes; moreover, we examined if populist attitudes predict conspiracy beliefs in particular, or rather, credulity of unsubstantiated epistemic claims in general.
What Leads to Measurement Errors? Evidence from Reports of Program Participation in Three Surveys
Pablo A. Celhay, Bruce D. Meyer & Nikolas Mittag, National Bureau of Economic Research
Measurement errors are often a large source of bias in survey data. Lack of knowledge of the determinants of such errors makes it difficult for data producers to reduce the extent of errors and for data users to assess the validity of analyses using the data. We study the determinants of reporting error using high quality administrative data on government transfers linked to three major U.S. surveys.
Why Americans are losing trust in elections and the media
Two researchers from the Pew Research Center, Bradley Jones and Katerina Eva Matsa, discuss data showing why Americans are losing faith in the media and U.S. elections.
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