60% Say It’s Very Important to Limit Power of Big Corporations

Sixty percent (60%) of voters nationwide say it’s Very Important to place limits on the power of big corporations. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that another 28% consider it Somewhat Important to do so.

The survey also found that 62% think it’s Very Important to place limits on the power of governments. And, 28% say that’s Somewhat Important.

Majorities of every measured demographic group consider both of these objectives to be Very Important.

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53% More Worried About Pandemic Threat to Health Than U.S. Economy

When asked about what worries them most about the coronavirus threat to our nation, 53% now express concern about the health threat while 40% are more worried about the threat to the U.S. economy.

These numbers reflect a significant change from mid-June when a Ballotpedia national survey found more concern about the economy.

Broadly speaking, optimism about recovering from the pandemic grew steadily from late March until mid-June. Since then, they have moved in the opposite direction.

  • In late March, just 38% were more worried about the economic threat while 53% expressed greater concern about the health threat.
  • By mid-June, however,three straight weeks of polling found more concern about the economic threat rather than the health threat.
  • Now, the numbers have returned to the levels first recorded in late March. Whatever bounce in optimism took place, it is gone.

Most Republicans (59%) are still more concerned about the economic threat. Most Democrats (69%) and Independents (54%) are primarily concerned with the health threat.

Other data from the survey shows that just 15% of voters believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Sixty-three percent (63%) believe the worst is still to come. That also reflects growing pessimism since mid-June. The highest level of optimism measured found that 29% of voters believed that the worst was behind us while 42% thought the worst was still to come.

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Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any connection or relationship with Rasmussen Reports. Scott Rasmussen left that firm more than seven years ago and has had no involvement with it since then.

Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 23-25, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 161 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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Biden 45% Trump 37% Jorgensen 2% Hawkins 1%

The latest Scott Rasmussen national survey of 1,200 Registered Voters shows Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by eight points– 45% to 37%. That’s little changed from a month ago.

The survey also found that 2% would vote for Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen and 1% for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins. This is the first time they’ve been included in a Scott Rasmussen national poll.

Three percent (3%) would cast their ballot for some other candidate and 12% are not sure.

Biden leads by four points among private sector workers and 30% among government employees.

Among White voters, the president holds a narrow lead: 44% to 38%. However, he attracts support from only 8% of Black voters and 22% of Hispanic voters.

Many voters dismiss polls they don’t like because they are convinced the polls were wrong in 2016. Actually, the polls were pretty good. However, the analysis and interpretation of those polls was horrible.

Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any connection or relationship with Rasmussen Reports. Scott Rasmussen left that firm more than seven years ago and has had no involvement with it since then.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 23-25, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 161 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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13% Believe More Freedom Leads to Less Equality

Thirteen percent (13%) of voters nationwide believe that there is a conflict between two of America’s founding ideals. These voters believe that giving people more freedom will lead to less equality. A Scott Rasmussen survey found that a much larger number–42%–take the opposite view and believe increasing freedom will also increase equality.

Twenty-five percent (25%) believe that more freedom would have little impact on equality while 20% are not sure.

Most Black voters (51%) believe more freedom will lead to more equality. So do 41% of White voters and 35% of Hispanic voters

Men (49%) are more likely than women (36%) to believe more freedom means more equality.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of Republicans see a positive correlation between freedom and equality. That view is shared by 42% of Democrats and 37% of Independents.

As on many issues, there is a divide between the views of White and Black Democrats. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Black Democrats believe more freedom means more equality. Just 36% of White Democrats agree.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 23-25, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 161 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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42% Believe Professional Sports Should Be Shut Down Until 2021

As Major League Baseball launches its truncated 2020 season, American voters are evenly divided as to whether they should be allowed to do so. A JustTheNews.com national survey found that 44% think they should be allowed to play while 42% believe professional sports should remain shut down until next year.

Most men (51%) favor a resumption of sports while a plurality of women (46%) are opposed.

More generally, attitudes towards the reopening of sports follow patterns similar to reopening other aspects of American society. Most Republicans (59%) like the idea while most Democrats (52%) are opposed. Independents are fairly evenly divided.

Older voters and White voters are more supportive of re-opening than younger voters and non-White voters.

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27% View Economy, Health Care as Top Voting Issues

Twenty-seven percent (27%) of voters name the economy as the top voting issue in the upcoming presidential election. A JustTheNews.com survey conducted by Scott Rasmussen found that an identical number–27%– say health care is the top issue.

Those numbers reflect a growing concern about health care over the past month. In June, a Ballotpedia survey found that 30% named the economy as most important while just 17% said health care.  That’s a 10 point gain in the importance of health care.

For Independent voters, health care is now the top issue. A month ago, they were more concerned about the economy.

Currently, 12% say Law and Order is the top issue, little changed from a month ago.

Eleven percent (11%) now see Civil Rights as the top issue, down five points from last month.

 Overall, in naming the top issue, voters are evenly divided between issues that generally favor Democrats (health care, Civil Rights, income inequality, and the environment) and those that generally favor Republicans (economy, law and order, immigration, and freedom of speech). However, while the Republicans started the year with a clear advantage on the economy, that has faded amidst the pandemic lockdowns.

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68% Trust American People More Than Government Officials

When it comes to making important decisions about America’s future, 68% of voters nationwide trust the American people more than  government officials. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 11% take the opposite view and 20% are not sure.

This view is shared broadly by all segments of society, although there is somewhat less confidence in the American people among younger voters. Just 64% of voters under 35 trust the American people more than government officials. Among senior citizens, that number in 79%.

Those with a college degree are a bit more skeptical of the American people than those without.

However, other survey data shows that in certain circumstances, voters are more willing to defer to government officials. For example, 50% support a national mandate requiring everyone to wear a mask in public.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 16-18, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 176 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

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76% Believe American Politics Is More Polarized Than American Society

Seventy-six percent (76%) of voters nationwide believe that American politics is more polarized than American society. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 12% disagree and 12% are not sure.

The totals include 43% who Strongly Agree and only 2% who Strongly Disagree with that perception.

Belief that politics is more polarized than society is found in all segments of society. It is a view shared by 81% of men and 72% of women; 90% of Senior Citizens and 67% of voters under 35; 79% of White voters, 78% of Hispanic voters, and 60% of Black voters. In fact, a strong majority of every measured demographic group believes American politics is more polarized that American society.

On a partisan basis, 84% of Republicans see this gap along with 72% of Democrats and 72% of Independents.

Those who do not see a gap between American society and politics are more pessimistic about the nation itself. By a 56% to 29% margin, they say that the U.S. is not a good role model for the world to follow. The numbers are reversed among those who see a gap between politics and society.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 9-11, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 117 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the final sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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34% Believe U.S. One of the Best Countries in the World for Black People; 22% Say One of the Worst

Thirty-four percent (34%) of voters nationwide believe that the United States is one of the best places in the world for Black people to live. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 22% believe it is one of the worst.

Sixty percent (60%) believe the U.S. is one of the best places in the world for White people to live while 6% say it’s one of the worst.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 9-11, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 117 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the final sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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Voters Cautiously Optimistic About America’s Future

In terms of living up to our founding ideals, Americans are cautiously optimistic.

When it comes to the topic of equality, 45% believe we will be doing better in a decade. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 19% take the opposite view and believe we will be heading in the opposite direction.

Polling released earlier shows that voters overwhelmingly consider the ideal of equality to be important. However, 46% don’t believe we’re doing a good job of living up to that ideal.

Overall, just 8% of voters believe both that we are doing a poor job on equality today and that things will continue to get worse. Another 17% are pessimistic about how we’re doing today and aren’t expecting much change over the coming decade.

When it comes to the founding ideal of Freedom, 39% expect progress over the next decade.

 

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 9-11, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 117 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the final sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

 

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On Equality, 52% Say U.S. Doing Well; 46% Disagree

Eighty-six percent (86%) of voters believe that Equality is a Very Important ideal for the United States to seek. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that another 10% consider it Somewhat Important. The survey also found that 83% consider Freedom Very Important (along with another 15%) who say it is a Somewhat Important ideal.

While recognizing the importance of those ideals, voters give the nation mixed marks for the way we’re living up to them. On equality, 52% say we’re doing at least Somewhat Well while 46% disagree. On Freedom, 63% believe we’re doing at least Somewhat Well while 35% disagree.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Republicans believe the nation is doing okay when it comes to equality. Just 47% or Independents and 33% of Democrats agree. As on many issues, there is an interesting difference between the opinions of White Democrats and Non-white Democrats.  Just 28% of White Democrats think the nation is doing at least Somewhat Well in terms of living up to the ideal of equality. However, Non-white Democrats are a bit more upbeat, 40% think the nation is doing okay.

Data released earlier showed that 74% of voters nationwide believe that “In daily life, most Americans generally get along regardless of race. They find ways to work together and create a better community.

The survey also found that 75% believe Community is a Very Important ideal and 48% say the same about Self-Governance.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 9-11, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 117 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the final sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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78% Proud to Be An American; 62% Proud of Our History

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of voters nationwide are proud to be an American. A Scott Rasmussen national survey also found that 62% are proud of our nation’s history.

Other findings from the survey show that 52% consider themselves Very Patriotic and another 28% are Somewhat Patriotic. Older voters are more patriotic. In fact, by a 47% to 42% margin, voters aged 18-24 say they’re not patriotic.

Additionally, 48% believe the United States is a good role model for the world to follow while 35% disagree and 17% are not sure. A majority of White voters (52%) believe the U.S. is a good role model while a majority of Black voters (54%) disagree. Hispanic and other voters are evenly divided.

There are significant partisan, racial and generational differences on these topics.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 9-11, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 117 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the final sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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49% Rate Their Personal Finances As Good or Excellent

Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters nationwide rate their own personal finances as good or excellent. A Scott Rasmussen survey conducted July 9-11, 2020 found that 32% rate their finances as “fair” while 17% say poor.

Twenty-three percent (23%) say their finances are getting better while 26% say worse. Forty-nine percent (49%) say their finances are staying about the same at this time.

Republicans, by a 35% to 17% margin, believe their finances are getting better. Democrats, by a similar margin say they are getting worse.

Views of the overall economy are more pessimistic. Just 25% believe things are getting better while 50% say worse. Still, that’s a slight improvement compared to a month ago when 55% believed the economy was getting worse.  The current numbers are similar to optimism measured in late May.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 9-11, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 117 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the final sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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President Trump Job Approval Up to 44%

Forty-four percent (44%) of Registered Voters nationwide approve of the way President Trump is performing his job. That’s up five points from a week ago. It’s also the highest level of support the president has enjoyed in a Scott Rasmussen poll since mid-May.

A five-point swing in a single week is unusual and some of the change is likely due to statistical noise. However, it remains to be seen whether this week’s results represent a return to the earlier levels of support for the president.

Prior to mid-May, President Trump’s approval ratings held steady around 45% for several months. However, from late May throughout the month of  June, the president’s job was several points lower in a range between 39% and 42%.

This week’s polling found that 88% of Republicans approve of the president’s performance, up eight points from a week ago. That may reflect a positive response among GOP voters to the president’s speech at Mount Rushmore. Media commentary on the speech portrayed it as divisive but many Republicans considered it a strong appeal to unity. The new numbers may also be in response to the media criticism of the president.

The president now also gets positive reviews from 37% of Independents and 12% of Democrats. Both figures are up slightly from a week ago.

The current totals include 28% who Strongly Approve and 46% who Strongly Disapprove.

Recent polling by Scott Rasmussen has also shown that 34% of voters say it will be at least six months before they’ll feel safe in public without a mask. Additionally, 74% Believe Most Americans Generally Get Along Regardless of Race and 24% Support DC Statehood.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 9-11, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 117 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the final sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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34% Say It Will Be At Least Six Months Before They’ll Feel Safe in Public Without a Mask

Thirty-four percent (34%) of voters nationwide say it will be six month or longer before they feel safe going out in public without a mask. That total is up from 25% three months ago and includes 9% who say they will never feel safe without a mask.

  • Forty-eight percent (48%) of Democrats say it will take at least six months, up twelve points from the earlier survey.
  • Thirty percent (30%) of Independents say it will be at least six months, up ten points from May.
  • Nineteen percent (19%) of Republicans share those views, up four points in three months.

At the other extreme, 37% are already comfortable without a mask or expect to be soon (within a month). That’s down two points from the earlier survey. The decline is primarily driven by Republicans. In May, 58% of GOP voters were comfortable or expected to be soon. That’s down to 51% now.

From a different perspective, a majority (55%) of those in the May survey expected they would be comfortable going out with a mask by now.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 2-4, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 129 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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74% Believe Most Americans Generally Get Along Regardless of Race

Seventy-four percent (74%) of voters nationwide believe that “In daily life, most Americans generally get along regardless of race. They find ways to work together and create a better community.” Twenty-one percent (21%) are not sure while 5% are not sure.

The totals include 30% who Strongly Agree and just 6% who Strongly Disagree.

By a 50% to 47% margin, Very Liberal Voters disagree with the statement.  In every other measured demographic group, more people agree than disagree.

Still, there are significant differences among political and demographic lines. Eighty-two percent (82%) of senior citizens agree that most people get along regardless of race. Just 55% of voters under 25 share that view.

Ninety percent (90%) of Republicans believe people generally get along in daily life. Seventy-one percent (71%) of Independent voters and 63% of Democrats agree.
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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 2-4, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 129 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

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President Trump’s Job Approval: 39%

Thirty-nine percent (39%) of Registered Voters nationwide approve of the way President Trump is performing his job. That’s the lowest level of approval yet measured in polling conducted by Scott Rasmussen. The survey also found that 58% disapprove.

Perhaps most concerning for the president is that support is slipping among Republicans. The latest results show that just 80% of those in his party offer their approval. That’s down slightly from 84% in mid-June.

Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day podcast today looks at why the president’s strong and loyal base of support may be a double edged sword for his campaign. Tomorrow, he’ll be looking at an topic that may pose a similar challenge for the Biden campaign. On Thursday, Scott’s podcast will look at an issue Democrats are pushing that may help Republicans retain control of the Senate.

In mid-June the president’s job approval was at 41%. Earlier in the year, President Trump’s approval ratings held steady in the mid-40s for several months.

The current totals include 27% who Strongly Approve and 47% who Strongly Disapprove.

Research conducted earlier found that 17% of all voters Strongly Disapprove of President Trump but also Strongly Oppose removing statues honoring George Washington.

The president also gets positive reviews from 33% of Independents and 8% of Democrats.

He also earns approval from 46% of white voters, 11% of black voters, and 27% of Hispanic voters.

Forty-four percent (44%) of self-employed voters approve of the president’s performance as do 40% of other private sector workers. Among government employees, however, just 31% approve.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 2-4, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 129 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

 

 

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24% Support DC Statehood

Twenty-four percent (24%) of voters nationwide favor granting statehood to Washington, DC. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 49% preferred giving some of the land in DC back to Virginia and Maryland. That would give residents of the city voting rights while still preventing any one state from having an unfair advantage over the others. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which approach is better.

On Thursday, Scott Rasmussen’s Podcast will explore how this issue might help Republicans retain control of the Senate.

Very Liberal voters, by a 43% to 32% margin favor DC statehood over the alternative. However, in every other measured demographic group, more voters supported returning the land to Virginia and Maryland. Black voters were nearly evenly divided (38% prefer giving the land back, 35% would rather see DC statehood).

The survey found that just 46% of voters don’t believe it’s fair for DC residents to lack a voting representative in Congress.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 2-4, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 129 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

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Most Who Strongly Disapprove of Trump Also Oppose Removing Statues Honoring Washington

Among those who Strongly Disapprove of President Trump, 57% also disapprove of removing statues that honor George Washington. Those findings come from an analysis of a JustTheNews.com national opinion survey conducted by Scott Rasmussen.

These results help explain why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden publicly opposed efforts to remove statues honoring early presidents who were also slave-owners. Both had earlier expressed support for taking down statues honoring honoring Confederate soldiers. Pelosi said the issue was not about slaveholding, but loyalty to the United States: “I do believe that if people have committed treason against the United States of America their statue should not be in the Capitol.”

Politically, as the party out of power, Democrats are hoping to draw support and energy from those who Strongly Disapprove of President Trump’s performance. However, that message could be complicated if those who most oppose the president come to see the Democrats embracing a policy of removing statues honoring George Washington and other early presidents. This represents significant block of voters. Seventeen percent (17%) of all voters Strongly Disapprove of President Trump and also Strongly Oppose efforts to take down statues honoring George Washington.

Overall, among all voters, the survey found that 24% favor removing the Washington statues while 65% are opposed.

Voters nationwide are evenly divided about removing statues honoring Confederate soldiers. There is a strong alignment between those who disapprove of the president and those who support removing statues honoring those who rebelled against the United States.

The JustTheNews.com survey found plurality support for removing statues honoring just one historical figure–Karl Marx.

Posted in Deeper Currents

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54% of Those Out Working Believe Lockdowns Did More Harm Than Good

Among workers having in-person interaction with customers and co-workers, 54% believe that the lockdowns have done more harm than good. However, among workers who are socially isolated, 62% take the opposite view. The socially isolated workers have no in person interaction with customers and co-workers.

Among all workers, 40% believe the lockdowns did more harm than good while 53% disagree.

A Ballotpedia national survey of 1,764 working Americans also found a significant gap between these groups on perceptions of the economy.  Those out working are evenly divided as to whether the economy is getting better or worse. Among the socially isolated workers, however, perceptions are decidedly more pessimistic. By a 47% to 30% margin these workers believe the economy is getting worse.

Methodology

To accomplish this, we asked a series of standard pandemic-related questions in national survey interviews with 1,746 working Americans. The interviews were conducted between May 28 and June 6, 2020.

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Biden 47% Trump 39%

The latest Scott Rasmussen national survey of 1,200 Registered Voters shows Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by eight points– 47% to 39%. Six percent (6%) would cast their ballot for some other candidate and 7% are undecided.

This is a slight improvement for the president from two weeks ago when he trailed Biden by 12. The week before that, it was Biden by ten.

There are two basic ways to assess these numbers. The first is that the difference are merely statistical noise–this latest survey is two points closer than the ten-point margin and the previous survey was two points higher.

The other approach is to consider that the two previous polls were the biggest leads enjoyed by Biden all year. Prior to that, Biden’s lead has ranged between five and nine points since late March. It may be that Biden enjoyed a modest bounce in the polls as the Civil Rights issues initially emerged and that the bounce has now faded.

The president does better among private sector workers than government employees. Within the private sector, he does better among the self-employed rather than those who work for someone else.

Many voters dismiss polls they don’t like because they are convinced the polls were wrong in 2016. Actually, the polls were pretty good. However, the analysis and interpretation of those polls was horrible.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from June 25-27, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 132 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

NOTE: Partisan breakdown of the sample: Democrats 37% Republicans 32% Other 31%.

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Supreme Court Approval Rating at 52%

Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters nationwide approve of the way the Supreme Court is performing its role. A Ballotpedia survey found that 31% disapprove and 17% are not sure.

The survey also found that a narrow plurality (30%) believe the Court’s ideological balance is about right. However, 28% believe it is too conservative and 19% believe it is too liberal.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Hispanic voters approve of the Court’s performance as do 53% of White voters. However, just 39% of Black voters share that assessment. Among Black voters, 44% disapprove.

A plurality of Republicans believe the Court is too liberal while a plurality of Democrats believe it is too conservative. Seven-out-of-ten Independent voters believe either that the balance is about right (30%) or are not sure (40%).

Data released yesterday showed that 47% of voters see Supreme Court nominations as a Very Important voting issue.

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Methodology

The online survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen on June 20, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc.  Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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47% Say Supreme Court Nominations Are Very Important Voting Issue

Forty-seven percent (47%) of voters nationwide say that Supreme Court nominations will be a Very Important voting issue in terms of deciding their vote for President. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that total includes 56% of Democrats, 48% of Republicans, and 35% of those not affiliated with either major party.

Still, despite the significance of the Supreme Court, five other issues were seen as Very Important by a larger number of voters. Seventy-three percent (73%) consider health care to be a Very Important voting issue while 67% say the same about the economy. Close behind, 64% say Civil Rights issues are Very Important while an identical number say Law and Order is that important. Immigration is seen as Very Important by 53% of voters.

On most of the issues, there is little difference between the views of those who are out working and those who are not interacting with customers or co-workers. However, there is a substantial divide on the issue of law and order. Among those workers who regularly interact with both customers and co-workers, 78% say Law and Order is a Very Important Issue. Among those who are not interacting with others, just 49% hold that view.

Methodology

The online survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen on June 20, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc.  Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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64% Believe Worst of Pandemic is Still To Come–Most Pessimistic Assessment Yet Measured

Just 16% of voters now believe the worst of the Coronavirus is behind us. A Ballotpedia national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters found that 64% believe the worst is still to come.

That’s quite a change from earlier in the month when 29% believed the worst was behind us and only 42% took the more pessimistic view. In fact, those earlier numbers were the most optimistic yet recorded. The current numbers are the most pessimistic.

  • In mid-April, just 16% believed the worst was behind us. That matches the current numbers. At that time, 60% feared the worst was still to come, four points lower than the current total.
  • Later in April, 23% held the optimistic view while 49% disagreed.
  • However, in mid-May, confidence fell. The number thinking the worst was behind us fell to 17%. At the same time, the number fearing the worst was still to come jumped seven points to 56%.

Given this history, it seems likely that the emotional roller-coaster will continue.

The pessimistic view is now shared by 75% of Democrats, 62% of Independents, and 52% of Republicans.

Those who are out working and interacting with customers and co-workers are a bit more optimistic. Twenty-seven percent (27%) of them believe the worst is behind us. Among those who have no in-person interactions, just 11% share that view.

 

Methodology

The online survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen on June 20, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc.  Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

 

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39% Trust Democrats on Economy, 38% Trust Republicans

When it comes to the economy, voters are evenly divided as to which party they trust more. A Ballotpedia national survey found that 39% trust Democrats more while 38% trust the GOP. The survey of 1,000 Registered Voters also found that 14% don’t trust either party and 9% are not sure.

There is an interesting gap among working Americans based upon how they are currently working. Those workers who have no personal interaction with either customers or co-workers trust Democrats more than Republicans by a 45% to 27% margin. However, among those who regularly have in-person contact with both customers and co-workers, the opposite is true. Fifty-two percent (52%) of those who are out working trust Republicans more while just 34% have more confidence in Democrats.

Ballotpedia will continue to explore the gap between these groups of workers in the coming weeks.

 

 

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38% Believe American Society is Fair and Decent

Just 38% of voters nationwide believe our society is generally fair and decent. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that nearly half (47%) believe our society is unfair and discriminatory.

These numbers reflect a dramatic change from the first time Scott asked that question back in the 1990s. In those days, voters routinely said society was generally fair and decent by roughly a 2-to-1 margin.

The current numbers show a significant partisan divide. Sixty-two percent (62%) of Republicans say our society is fair and decent while 69% of Democrats take the opposite view. By a 45% to 31% margin, Independent voters agree with the Democrats.

Not surprisingly, there is also a big racial divide on this question. White voters are evenly divided while 77% of Black voters say our society is unfair and discriminatory. Forty-nine percent (49%) of Hispanic voters agree.

Other data from the survey found that 76% of voters believe most Americans want to live in a society where white and black Americans are treated equally. Thirteen percent (13%) believe that’s not true and 11% aren’t sure.

Twenty-three percent (23%) of Black voters don’t believe that most Americans want racial equality.

The survey also found that just 49% of all voters believe most Republicans favor racial equality. Thirty-three percent (33%) disagree.

A majority of Black voters (54%) do not believe most members of the GOP want whites and blacks treated equally. Forty-five percent (45%) of Hispanic voters share that view.

Methodology

The online survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen on June 20, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc.  Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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55% Believe Economy Getting Worse

Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters nationwide believe the economy is getting worse these days. A Ballotpedia national survey found that figure is up five points from a survey conducted in late May.

Since that earlier survey, the number who believe the economy is getting better has inched up just two points to 24%.

To some, these results may be surprising. The initial survey was conducted before the most recent jobs report, at a time when many experts projected the report would show millions of jobs lost. Instead, that report showed a net gain of 2.5 million jobs. However, after an economic slump, it often takes many months of good economic news before confidence rebounds.

Additionally, the partisan dynamics are interesting. Since that earlier survey, Republicans have grown more optimistic while Democrats and Independents have gone in the opposite direction.

Fifty percent (50%) of GOP voters now believe the economy is getting better–up nine points since late May.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of Democrats now believe the economy is getting worse–up ten points from the previous survey.

The number of Independents who believe the economy is getting worse jumped eight points to 58%.

Data released earlier showed showed that 42% of voters know someone who lost their job due to the shutdowns and have since been rehired. On that question, there is no significant partisan gap.

We will continue to monitor economic expectations as American recovers.

Ballotpedia is Documenting America’s Path to Recovery by providing comprehensive coverage on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting America’s political and civic life. Click here to sign up for daily email updates.

Coverage includes how federalstate, and local governments are responding, and the effects those responses are having on campaigns and elections. We document the plans for recovery put forth by states, localities, and others in a way that allows citizens, policymakers, influencers, pundits, and the nation’s reporters to engage in fruitful comparisons about moving forward. We will curate the ongoing debates, as well as the political impact of the conversations.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from June 11-13, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 306 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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42% Know Someone Who Lost Their Job During The Pandemic and Have Been Rehired

Forty-two percent (42%) of voters nationwide have a close friend or family member who lost their job during the shutdown and since been rehired. A Ballotpedia survey of 1,200 Registered Voters found that 49% do not and 9% are not sure.

There is a significant generational divide on this question. Among voters under 45, just over half (51%) know someone close to them who has been rehired. That falls to 27% among senior citizens.

Beyond that, however, there are few noticeable demographic divides.

Forty-three percent (43%) of Republican voters know someone who lost their job and been rehired. So do 38% of Democrats and 44% of Independents.

We will continue to track this measure as part of our effort to monitor the reopening of American society.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from June 11-13, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 306 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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For Second Week in a Row, Trump Approval At 41%

For the second straight week, a Scott Rasmussen national survey of Registered Voters found that 41% approve of the way President Trump is performing his job. That matches last week as the lowest level of approval measured in a Scott Rasmussen national survey.

The number disapproving increased a point to 58%, a new high.

Those totals include 27% who Strongly Approve and 49% who Strongly Disapprove.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of this finding is the timing of the survey. Most interviews for last week’s survey were completed prior to the surprisingly positive jobs report showing a gain of 2.5 million new jobs. However, that does not appear to have had any immeidate impact on the president’s job approval numbers.

Looking ahead to the November election, the president’s numbers are especially weak among uncommitted voters. Among those who say they will vote for some other candidate or are undecided, just 23% approve of the president’s performance. Sixty-five percent (65%) disapprove.

Overall, approval currently come from 84% of Republicans, 34% of Independents, and 8% of Democrats.

The president earns approval from 47% of white voters, 15% of black voters, and 27% of Hispanic voters.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from June 11-13, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 306 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

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Economy, Health Care, Civil Rights Top Three Voting Issues

Thirty percent (30%) of voters nationwide rate the economy as the top issue facing the nation today. A Ballotpedia national survey found that 17% view health care as most important, 16% name Civil Rights and 11% say Law and Order. No other issue reaches double digit support at this time.

Other polling has shown that health care and the economy have been top issues for years. However, both terms have taken on a different tone in the coronavirus pandemic era.

When it comes to issue priorities, there are significant partisan and demographic differences.

Civil Rights is the top issue for 24% of Democrats. Twenty-three percent (23%) say healthcare and 20% name the economy as most important.

For Republicans, the economy is far and away the top issue. Forty-one percent (41%) of GOP voters consider it most important followed by Law and Order (20%) and healthcare (13%).

Among Independents, the economy is number one (30%). That parallels the Republican view. However, unlike Republicans, number two on the list for Independents is the issue of Civil Rights(15%).

Voters under 35 see Civil Rights as most important. Older voters place a higher priority on the economy and health care.

Among black voters, Civil Rights is number one. Among white and Hispanic voters, the economy is seen as a top priority.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from June 11-13, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 306 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

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51% Worry About Economic Threat from Pandemic More Than Health Threat

When asked about what worries them most about the coronavirus, 51% now say it’s threat to the U.S. economy. A Ballotpedia national survey found that 43% are more worried about the health threat.

This is the third straight week that more people have expressed greater concern about the economic threat rather than the health threat. It’s the first time more than 50% have expressed that concern.

These figures represent a significant change from late March when just 38% were more worried about the economic threat. At that time, 53% expressed greater concern about the health threat.

By late April and early May, the figures had generally evened up. Since then, the trend has continued to show a relative decline in concern about the health threat.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from June 4-6, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 246 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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22% Don’t Think It Matters Whether Biden or Trump Wins

Twenty-two percent (22%) of Registered Voters don’t think it matters much whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden wins the presidential election in November. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that total includes 11% who say it won’t make any real difference in their life and 11% who aren’t sure if it will make a difference.

On top of that, another 17% say it will make only a minor difference.

That leaves 62% of voters who believe the outcome of the election will make a major difference in their life.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of Trump voters say it will make a major difference along with 68% of Biden voters.

However, among those who say they’d vote for some other candidate, 53% don’t think it will make a difference and another 20% say it would make just a minor difference.

As for undecided voters, 74% say it won’t make a difference in their lives and another 15% expect only a minor difference.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from June 4-6, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 246 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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29% Believe Worst of Pandemic Behind Us

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of voters now believe the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us. A Ballotpedia survey found that 42% disagree and think the worst is still to come. Another 29% are not sure.

These are by far the most optimistic assessments of the situation found in months of regular polling on the topic.

  • In mid-April, just 16% believed the worst was behind us while 60% feared it was still to come.
  • Later in April, 23% held the optimistic view while 49% disagreed.
  • However, in mid-May, confidence fell. The number thinking the worst was behind us fell to 17%. At the same time, the number fearing the worst was still to come jumped seven points to 56%.

Given this history, it’s too early to say whether the optimism will continue.

Throughout all the bouncing around, Republicans were always more optimistic than Democrats or Independents. That remains true today. By a 52% to 23% margin, Republicans believe the worst is behind us. Democrats, by a 56% to 14% margin, take the opposite view and believe the worst is still to come. Among Independents, 23% say it’s behind us while 42% worry that the worst is still to come.

Women, by a 2-to-1 margin, believe the worst is still to come. Men are evenly divided.

This data was featured in Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day on Ballotpedia. The Number of the Day has now expanded to a podcast format with a new release every weekday morning at 8:00 a.m. Eastern.

Ballotpedia is Documenting America’s Path to Recovery by providing comprehensive coverage on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting America’s political and civic life. Click here to sign up for daily email updates.

Coverage includes how federalstate, and local governments are responding, and the effects those responses are having on campaigns and elections. We document the plans for recovery put forth by states, localities, and others in a way that allows citizens, policymakers, influencers, pundits, and the nation’s reporters to engage in fruitful comparisons about moving forward. We will curate the ongoing debates, as well as the political impact of the conversations.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from June 4-6, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 246 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

Posted in Poll Results

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Just the News Adds Daily Podcast from Pollster Scott Rasmussen

Washington, D.C. and New York, NY, June 9, 2020 – Pollster, political analyst and author Scott Rasmussen unpacks newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics and technology with his “Number of the Day.” His long-running feature at Ballotpedia is now expanding to become the newest show on the Just the News podcast platform.

Just the News is a multiplatform news network launched in January 2020 by award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon.

“Scott has been conducting our widely quoted daily poll and now he will give our listeners a podcast that makes sense of the numbers that define what Americans are thinking,” Solomon said. “He is one of the most respected barometers of American sentiment. The context and insights he brings to politics are a must-listen opportunity as we head into the 2020 fall election.”

Rasmussen, for decades one of America’s most trusted pollsters and political analysts, says “I am excited by the opportunity to share my passion for data-driven analysis with a new audience.  And it’s great to work with John and the entire Just the News team.”

His podcast will be released each weekday morning at 8:00 a.m. Eastern.

“Scott has earned his place among America’s premier pollsters and political analysts,” said Ron Hartenbaum, managing member of Crossover Media Group, the cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales firm which produces, sells and distributes audio and video programming for Just the News.   “He gets it right more often than most, and his insights can be essential to understanding the 2020 races.”

“Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day,” which will be produced from studios in New York City and Washington, DC, joins a growing lineup of Just the News content including:

  • “John Solomon Reports,” a twice-weekly podcast on Tuesdays and Thursdays, featuring the veteran investigative reporter and Editor in Chief of Just the News;
  • “The Pod’s Honest Truth with David Brody,” a Monday and Wednesday podcast hosted by longtime CBN correspondent and Just the News senior contributing editor David Brody; and
  • “The Sharyl Attkisson Podcast,” published weekly on Fridays, featuring the Emmy-Award winning investigative television correspondent.

About Just the News

Just the News is a Washington-based news outlet that delivers exclusive reporting, podcasts, books, polling and video content showcasing some of the most respected and trusted journalists and editors in news media today.

Watch for additional announcements soon by visiting www.JustTheNews.com, or get updates via social media @JTNReports on Twitter and @JustTheNewsReports on Facebook. For interview or media inquiries, please email media@justthenews.com.

About Scott Rasmussen

Long recognized as one of the world’s leading public opinion pollsters, Scott Rasmussen is committed to enhancing the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion.   The Wall Street Journal called him “a key player in the contact sport of politics,” while the Washington Post said he is a “driving force in American politics.”  Among his many activities, he is editor at large at Ballotpedia, the Encyclopedia of American Politics.  His latest book is The Sun is Still Rising: Politics Has Failed But America Will Not.   More information, including recent poll results, can be found at ScottRasmussen.com and @ScottWRasmussen.

About Crossover Media Group  

Crossover Media Group is a media & ad sales consulting firm serving all of North America, with expertise including TV, radio, podcasts, streaming, OTT networks and other platforms.   Crossover Media Group, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas, is a collaborative and adaptive results-driven company committed to engaging and expanding clients’ audiences through digital and social platforms.

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Posted in Deeper Currents

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Biden 47% Trump 37%

The latest Scott Rasmussen national survey of 1,200 Registered Voters shows Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by ten points– 47% to 37%. Nine percent (9%) would cast their ballot for some other candidate and 7% are undecided.

That’s an improvement for Biden who held a seven-point advantage last week. It’s also the biggest lead Biden has enjoyed in Scott Rasmussen polling all year. Prior to this, Biden’s lead has ranged between five and nine points since late March.

The former Vice President leads by 30-points among urban voters and by 14 points in the suburbs. President Trump leads by 19 among rural voters.

The survey was conducted Thursday evening through Saturday morning (June 4-6, 2020). Most of the interviews were completed prior to the surprisingly positive jobs report released on Friday. It remains to be seen whether the more encouraging economic news will have any impact on these numbers.

The same survey found the president’s job approval rating falling to a new low at 41%.

Many voters dismiss polls they don’t like because they are convinced the polls were wrong in 2016. Actually, the polls were pretty good. However, the analysis and interpretation of those polls was horrible.

Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day is published each weekday morning by Ballotpedia. Starting today, Scott is releasing a daily PODCAST in partnership with Just The News.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from June 4-6, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 246 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

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68% Have Had Protests In Their Area; Overwhelmingly Peaceful

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of voters have recently had protests in their area. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 27% have not and 5% are not sure.

Among those who have had protests in their area, 67% say they have generally remained peaceful. Just 31% say they have turned violent.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of urban and suburban voters have had protests near where they live. Just 54% of rural voters say the same.

In those rural areas, 79% report that the protests have remained peaceful. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of those in the suburbs agree.

However, in urban areas, the responses are more mixed. While 54% of urban voters report that the protests in their area have remained peaceful, nearly as many (44%) say they have turned violent.

Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day is published each weekday morning by Ballotpedia. Starting today, Scott is releasing a daily PODCAST in partnership with Just The News.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from June 4-6, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 246 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

Posted in Poll Results

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President Trump’s Job Approval Falls to 41%

President Trump’s Job Approval rating has fallen to 41% among Registered Voters. That’s the lowest level measured in a Scott Rasmussen national survey. Fifty-seven percent (57%) currently disapprove.

Those numbers include 28% who Strongly Approve and 47% who Strongly Disapprove.

The president earns approval from 46% of white voters, 15% of black voters, and 31% of Hispanic voters.

While most rurual voters (55%) approve of the president’s performance, that view is shared by 39% of suburban voters and 31% of those living in urban areas.

Last week, polling conducted by Scott Rasmussen for JustTheNews.com found the president’s Job Approval at 45%. In fact, several months of survey results found President Trump’s approval ratings holding steady in the mid-40s.

The survey was conducted Thursday evening through Saturday morning (June 4-6, 2020). Most of the interviews were completed prior to the surprisingly positive jobs report released on Friday. It remains to be seen whether the more encouraging economic news will have any impact on the approval numbers.

Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day is published each weekday morning by Ballotpedia. Starting today, Scott is releasing a daily PODCAST in partnership with Just The News.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from June 4-6, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 246 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

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48% Think Businesses Can Decide Mask Rules for Their Customers

Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters believe private businesses should be allowed to decide whether or not their customers are required to wear masks. A Ballotpedia survey found that 47% disagree and 5% are not sure.

There is a strong partisan divide on this question. By a 64% to 32% margin, Republican voters believe businesses should set the rules for their customers. By a 57% to 38% margin, Democrats disagree and say businesses should not be allowed to do so. Independent voters are evenly divided.

Moving out of the business environment into public spaces, 68% believe governments have the legal authority to require masks in public. But, again, there is a wide partisan divide. Eighty percent (80%) of Democrats believe state and local governments have such authority. Only 60% of Independents and 56% of Republicans agree.

Methodology

The online survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen on June 1, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Respondents were selected at random from a combination of voter lists and Random Digital Engagement techniques. Certain quotas were applied and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

 

 

 

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45% of Today’s Workers Using Zoom Calls

Forty-five percent (45%) of workers today are regularly taking part in Zoom calls or other video conferencing efforts. A Ballotpedia survey total includes 65% of those working primarily from home and 29% of those working primarily in a company office.

The survey found that total includes 24% of workers who use Zoom but have no in-person interaction with either co-workers or customers. Not surprisingly, 93% of those Zoom-only workers are primarily working from home.

Seventy percent (70%) of these Zoom-only workers have a college degree and 25% earn more than $100,000 annually.

Forty-two percent (42%) are Democrats, 28% Republican, and 30% are not affiliated with either major party.

Just 27% approve of the way President Trump is performing his job.

The survey of 1,026 working Americans was conducted online by Scott Rasmussen from May 30- June 2, 2020.

 

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38% of Today’s Workers Interact With Customers In Person

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of working Americans today regularly see customers in person.

A Ballotpedia survey found that 64% of those workers are generally comfortable with the safety protocols that have been established during the pandemic. Thirty percent (30%) are nervous about seeing customers and/or co-workers in person while 5% are not sure.

In terms of their own personal situation,  52% of these workers worry more about the economic threat of the coronavirus than the health threat. Forty-two percent (42%) are more concerned about the health issues.

Those numbers are nearly the reverse of attitudes expressed by workers who don’t interact with customers these days. Among those workers, 54% worry more about the health threat while 41% have greater concerns about the economic impact.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of those interacting with customers believe the lockdowns have done more harm than good. Just 33% of other workers share that view.

The national survey of 1,026 working Americans was conducted by Scott Rasmussen. Additional data from the survey will be released in the near future.

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22% Say Economy Getting Better; 50% Say Worse

Twenty-two percent (22%) of voters nationwide now believe the economy is getting better. A Ballotpedia survey also found that 50% believe it is getting worse and 23% believe it is staying about the same.

The U.S. economy had been strong before the coronavirus pandemic and unemployment levels were reaching record lows. In response to the pandemic, however, government ordered shutdowns of the economy have cost more than 40 million workers their jobs. As lockdown orders are easing, it is unclear how quickly the economy will rebound.

At this point in time, Republican voters are much more optimistic about a  potential rebound than Democrats or Independents. In fact, a modest plurality of Republicans (41%) believe economic conditions are starting to improve. Still, 34% of the GOP voters think things are still getting worse.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of Democrats believe the economy is getting worse while 9% take the more optimistic view. Among Independents, 50% say the economy is getting worse while 16% believe it is getting better.

In one sense, these results are fairly typical. When a Republican is in the White House, Republicans are more optimistic about the economy. When a Democrat is in the White House, the reverse is true. However, the magnitude of the gap at this time is especially significant.

The survey also found that men are more optimistic than women. Older voters are more optimistic than younger.

We will continue to monitor economic expectations as American recovers.

Ballotpedia is Documenting America’s Path to Recovery by providing comprehensive coverage on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting America’s political and civic life. Click here to sign up for daily email updates.

Coverage includes how federal, state, and local governments are responding, and the effects those responses are having on campaigns and elections. We document the plans for recovery put forth by states, localities, and others in a way that allows citizens, policymakers, influencers, pundits, and the nation’s reporters to engage in fruitful comparisons about moving forward. We will curate the ongoing debates, as well as the political impact of the conversations.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 28-30, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 172 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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53% More Worried About Coronavirus Threat to Their Health Than Their Finances

Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters nationwide are more worried about the Coronavirus threat to their health rather than their finances. A Ballotpedia survey of 1,200 Registered Voters found that 39% are more concerned about the economic threat.

Perhaps surprisingly, there is only a modest difference between young and old on this question. Among voters under 45, nearly half (48%) are more concerned about their health. As for older voters, 56% are concerned primarily about their health.

The similarity of concern exists alongside the reality that older people are far more likely to have coronavirus related health issues. While nursing homes house less than 1% of the U.S. population, they account for 42% of all deaths attributed to the disease.

There is no gender gap on the issue, and views are broadly similar across racial lines, employment status, income levels, and other factors. The only exceptions are found along partisan and ideological lines.

  • Seventy-one percent (71%) of Democrats are more concerned for their health, a view shared by just 38% of Republicans.
  • Fifty-two percent (52%) of conservatives are more concerned about their personal economic challenges, a view shared by just 19% of liberals.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 28-30, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 172 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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21% Believe It Will Be At Least Six Months Before Most Businesses Re-Open

A Ballotpedia survey found that 21% of voters nationwide believe it will be at least six months before most businesses reopen and social activity resumes. That total includes 6% who believe it will take more than a year.

Ballotpedia, the encyclopedia of American politics, provides the most comprehensive source of information on the various state efforts to reopen in their Documenting America’s Path to Recovery Click here to sign up for daily email updates.

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters conducted by Scott Rasmussen found that a much larger number–45%–believe most businesses will reopen within a month or two. Twenty-eight percent (28%) believe it will take three to six more months.

These figures highlight a much more pessimistic assessment of the situation than was found earlier. In fact, in late March, 58% of voters expected that most businesses would be open by now. At that time, only 8% thought it would take six months or more.

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Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 21-23, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 258 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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20% Lack Confidence They Could Receive Appropriate Treatment for Coronavirus

If infected by the coronavirus, a Ballotpedia national survey found that 20% of registered voters nationwide lack confidence they could receive appropriate medical treatment. That total includes 14% who are Not Very Confident and 6% who are Not at All Confident about access to treatment.

Those figures reflect a ten-point improvement since early April when 30% lacked such confidence. 

Looked at from a different angle, 75% are now confident they could receive appropriate treatment. That’s up nine-points from 66% in the previous survey.

Among lower-income voters today, 28% lack confidence they could receive appropriate treatment. That concern is shared by 19% of middle-income voters and 13% of upper income voters.

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39% Have Family Member Who Lost Primary Income Due to Shutdowns

Thirty-nine percent (39%) of voters have a family member who has lost their primary income due to the government shutdowns of the economy. A Ballotpedia survey of 1,200 Registered Voters found that 57% have not experienced that challenge.

Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 21-23, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 258 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

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45% Rate U.S. Health Care System as Good or Excellent

A Ballotpedia survey found the 45% of Registered Voters rate the United States health care system as good or excellent. Thirty-six percent (36%) rate it as “fair” while 16% say poor.

Methodology

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 21-23, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 258 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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Just 34% Trust Government Officials More Than Voters On Questions About Re-opening Society

When it comes to making decisions about re-opening, just 34 percent of voters trust government officials more than everyday Americans. Let’s face it, it’s hard to have confidence in government decision-making when decisions about which businesses can open seem either irrational or blatantly political. That’s one reason why more voters—43 percent—place their trust in the general public.

On the core issue of who do you trust, upper-income Americans, government employees, college graduates and Democrats alike are all more comfortable with the government making sweeping decisions. The reverse is true for lower- and middle-income Americans, private sector workers, retirees, those without a college degree, Republicans and independents.

Other recent data shows that 41% of voters believe shutting down businesses and locking down society did more harm than good. Additionally, 52% agree with Ronald Reagan’s assessment: the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Those words continue to resonate with many Americans.

The implications of these findings were addressed in a Newsweek column by Scott Rasmussen. “Despite the fact that the public is anxious to re-open society, several Democratic governors are desperately clinging to their lockdown policies. Their efforts could help ensure the re-election of Donald Trump.”

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 14-16, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or by text while 238 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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41% Believe Lockdowns Have Done More Harm Than Good

Despite good intentions, 41% of voters nationwide believe shutting down businesses and locking down society did more harm than good. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 51% disagree and 8% are not sure.

The implications of this finding were addressed in a Newsweek column by Scott Rasmussen. The column notes “As the economic trauma continues, those numbers are almost certain to shift and cast the initial lockdowns in an even less favorable light.”

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Republicans believe the lockdowns have done more harm than good. That view is shared by 36% of Independent voters and 27% of Democrats.

There is a racial divide on this question among Democrats. Overall, just 20% of white Democrats believe the lockdowns have done more harm than good. However, 38% of non-white Democrats believe that to be true.

Overall, 40% of white voters, 41% of black voters, and 42% of Hispanic voters believe the lockdowns have done more harm than good.

Other recent polling found that 52% agree with Ronald Reagan’s assessment: the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Those words continue to resonate with many Americans.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 14-16, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or by text while 238 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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52% Share Reagan’s View That “Help” From the Government Can Be Terrifying

Ronald Reagan famously declared that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Those words continue to resonate with many Americans.

The latest Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 52% of voters share Reagan’s view of how terrifying government “help” can be. Only 35% disagree while 13% are not sure.

The implications of this finding during a time of lockdowns were addressed in a Newsweek column by Scott Rasmussen.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of Republicans today agree with Reagan’s view. So do 46% of Democrats and 44% of Independents.

The view is shared by 51% of white voters, 49% of black voters, and 54% of Hispanic voters.

It is also shared by 56% of Rural voters, 53% of Suburban voters, and 48% of Urban voters.

Just 45% of college graduates share Reagan’s view. Among those without a degree, that figures rises to 55%.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 14-16, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or by text while 238 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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President Trump Job Approval Steady at 45%

Forty-five percent (45%) of voters approve of the way President Trump is performing his job while 51% disapprove. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found those totals include 30% who Strongly Approve and 41% who Strongly Disapprove.

These results have remained little change over the past few months.

Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Republicans approve of the president’s performance while 84% of Democrats disapprove. Among Independents, 39% approve while 53% disapprove.

Just 39% of college graduates approve while 50% without a degree do not.

The president earns positive reviews from 56% of rural voters, 47% of suburban voters, and 36% of urban voters.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of white voters approve along with 35% of Hispanic voters and 12% of Black voters.

When it comes to making decisions about re-opening, just 34% of voters trust government officials more than everyday Americans. More voters—43%—place their trust in the general public. Upper-income Americans, government employees, college graduates and Democrats alike are all more comfortable with the government making sweeping decisions. The reverse is true for lower- and middle-income Americans, private sector workers, retirees, those without a college degree, Republicans and independents.

Other recent data shows that 41% of voters believe shutting down businesses and locking down society did more harm than good. Additionally, 52% agree with Ronald Reagan’s assessment: the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Those words continue to resonate with many Americans.

The implications of these findings were addressed in a Newsweek column by Scott Rasmussen. “Despite the fact that the public is anxious to re-open society, several Democratic governors are desperately clinging to their lockdown policies. Their efforts could help ensure the re-election of Donald Trump.”

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 14-16, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or by text while 238 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

 

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56% Believe Worst is Still to Come

Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters believe the worst of the pandemic is still to come. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that just 17% believe the worst is now behind us.

That’s a more pessimistic assessment than voters offered at the end of April. At that time, just 49% believed the worst was still to come while 23% thought it had come and gone.

Sixty-six percent (66%) of Democrats believe the worst is still to come, as do 60% of Independents. However, Republicans are fairly evenly divided–39% say the worst is still to come while 32% believe it is behind us.

Still, while recognizing the difficulties that lie ahead, polling data shows that voters are ready to re-open society. Most are ready to resume visiting their favorite restaurants, salons, and churches.  Sixty percent (60%) of voters nationwide  believe every business that establishes safe social distancing protocols should be allowed to open. Just 26% are opposed.

 

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47% Primarily Concerned About Health Threat from Pandemic; 47% About Economic Threat

Voters are evenly divided about what is the greatest threat from the coronavirus pandemic. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 47% of Registered Voters are most concerned about the Health Threat while another 47% are primarily concerned about the Economic Threat.

This is the third consecutive week of polling that has found an even divide. Two weeks ago, a slight plurality was more concerned about the Economic Threat. Last week, a slight plurality was more concerned about the Health Threat.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of Republicans worry more about the Economic Threat while 64% of Democrats take the opposite view. Independent voters are evenly divided. While there are modest differences along various demographic lines, partisanship is the strongest indicator of an individual’s perceptions on this topic.

Men, by a 50% to 45% margin, are more worried about the economy. Women, by a 49% to 44% margin, are more worried about health issues.

Rural voters are somewhat more worried about the economy while urban voters are a bit more likely to worry about the health aspects of the pandemic.

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 14-16, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 238 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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Just 14% of Voters Want Congress to Stop Spending Now

Just 14% of voters believe Congress should stop spending money on new programs at this time. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 73% believe the federal government should continue to provide additional financial support for businesses and individuals directly impacted by the shutdown.

Support for such spending comes from 82% of Democrats, 71% of Independents, and 63% of Republicans.

The results are broadly consistent with other data showing that 64% believe the government should be required to compensate business owners for any losses caused by the government ordered shutdown.

Strong support for new government spending is a rarity in American politics. In this case, the support likely exists because of the connection with government actions that caused the economic harm. Additional research will be needed to determine whether there is public support for spending beyond providing compensation for those harmed by the lockdowns.

That could emerge as a significant dividing line in Congressional debates concerning next steps. Early indications are that House Democrats envision this as a time to enact a broader level of new spending. Some Republicans think it’s time to stop all new spending while others are searching for a way to define meaningful limits to preserve some measure of fiscal discipline.

If Republicans do not come to the table with a plan, however, 58% of voters are ready for President Trump to make a deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Just 18% are opposed while 23% are not sure. If Republicans won’t support any new spending, even Republican voters, by a 45% to 31% margin, want the president to make a deal with Pelosi.

Other recent polling shows that 60% of voters nationwide  believe every business that establishes safe social distancing protocols should be allowed to open. These numbers cut strongly against the narrative that voters remain committed to continuing the lockdowns. I take a look at some of the reasons behind this disconnect in my latest column.

Currently, 38% believe it would be appropriate to continue the lockdowns in their own neighborhood and community. Fifty-seven percent (57%) disagree. That total includes 40% who believe it is time to ease the restrictions and 17% who believe it is time to end the lockdowns.

Additionally, 65% are concerned that some public officials are using the pandemic as an excuse to infringe upon the Constitutional rights of individual Americans.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 7-9, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 174 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied and the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

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64% Believes Governments Should Cover Losses of Businesses They Shut Down

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters nationwide believe the government should be required to compensate business owners for any losses caused by the government ordered shutdown. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that just 15% disagree and 21% are not sure.

This is one aspect of the lockdown era that enjoys support across party lines. The idea that government should be liable for the costs of shutting down businesses is embraced by 67% of Republicans, 65% of Independents, and 61% of Democrats.

It’s also supported by 71% of private sector workers and 64% of government employees. Retirees aren’t as enthusiastic, but still support the concept by a 49% to 23% margin.

Other recent polling shows that 60% of voters nationwide  believe every business that establishes safe social distancing protocols should be allowed to open. These numbers cut strongly against the narrative that voters remain committed to continuing the lockdowns. I take a look at some of the reasons behind this disconnect in my latest column.

Currently, 38% believe it would be appropriate to continue the lockdowns in their own neighborhood and community. Fifty-seven percent (57%) disagree. That total includes 40% who believe it is time to ease the restrictions and 17% who believe it is time to end the lockdowns.

Additionally, 65% are concerned that some public officials are using the pandemic as an excuse to infringe upon the Constitutional rights of individual Americans.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 7-9, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 174 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied and the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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60% of Voters Okay Allowing All Businesses to Re-open With Social Distancing Protocols

Sixty percent (60%) of voters nationwide  believe every business that establishes safe social distancing protocols should be allowed to open. The latest Scott Rasmussen national survey found that just 26% oppose the idea. 

Support for allowing all businesses to responsibly re-open comes from 78% of Republicans, 60% of Independents, and 45% of Democrats.

At first glance, these results appear to contradict data suggesting ongoing public support for the lockdowns. In fact, the very same poll found that only 23% of voters think government officials have gone too far in shutting things down. Seventy-one percent (71%) believe those officials have either not gone far enough (35%) or have found the right balance (36%).

 Digging a little deeper highlights the connections between these results.

 * Not surprisingly, just about everyone who thinks the government has gone too far believes that businesses should be allowed to open with appropriate safety protocols.

 * Among those who think the government response so far has been about right, 61% agree that all businesses should be allowed to re-open with safety protocols. Just 23% are opposed. The overall tone seems to be that the response has been okay so far and allowing businesses to open responsibly is the next logical step.

 * The most stunning response comes from those who think the government has not gone far enough in shutting things down. On the question of allowing every business to re-open, they are evenly divided: 39% say yes while 45% do not.

 In my weekly column for the Deseret News, I address some possible reasons for the apparent disconnect. It may be that “words like lockdown and shutdown being used in the public dialogue almost interchangeably with social distancing and flattening the curve.” 

Whatever the explanation, the fact remains that only one-out-of-four voters today is opposed to letting all businesses re-open in a responsible manner. That cuts strongly against the narrative that voters remain committed to continuing the lockdowns. At the same time, voters still expect a strong societal commitment to social distancing and appropriate health protocols.

Other recent data shows that 65% of voters are concerned that public officials may be using the pandemic as an excuse to infringe upon the Constitutional rights of individual Americans.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 7-9, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 174 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied and the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

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The Value of Asking Questions From a Different Perspective: 60% Favor Allowing All Businesses to Re-open

One of the great joys of being a public opinion pollster comes when results to different questions seem to contradict each other. Some people — far too many in the political world — simply dismiss such apparent contradictions as evidence that people are either irrational or stupid. However, for those of us who trust the commonsense wisdom of everyday Americans, seemingly contradictory results provide an opportunity to better understand the public mood in a more nuanced manner.

I’ve seen many examples of this since first writing about how pollsters may be asking the wrong questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, I noted that most Americans understand it’s not a question of stay home to stay safe or go out and get sick. Instead, most recognize that there are significant health risks involved in continuing the lockdowns. Since no options are completely safe, voters are weighing the difficult trade-offs based upon the underlying facts.

My polling this past weekend found that 23% of voters think government officials have gone too far in shutting things down. However, 71% believe those officials have either not gone far enough (35%) or have found the right balance (36%).

Most pollsters have found similar results. In most cases, the polls show slight growth in the number who think the government has gone too far, but that perspective still reflects a minority view. Using this as the only point of reference, one might conclude that voters remain committed to maintaining the lockdowns. Indeed, that’s the way much media coverage defines the public mood.

But when you ask questions from a different perspective, it becomes clear there is another side to the story. Sixty percent (60%) of voters believe every business that establishes safe social distancing protocols should be allowed to open. Every business! Not just a chosen few. Just 26% oppose the idea.

These numbers cut strongly against the narrative that voters remain committed to continuing the lockdowns.

What’s especially fascinating about this is that the results come from the exact same poll finding that 71% reject the idea that governments have gone too far. The same 1,200 survey respondents provided these seemingly very different answers.

It gets even more interesting when you dig a little deeper.

  • Not surprisingly, just about everyone who thinks the government has gone too far believes that businesses should be allowed to open with appropriate safety protocols.
  • Among those who think the government response so far has been about right, 61% agree that all businesses should be allowed to reopen with safety protocols. Just 23% are opposed. The overall tone seems to be that the response has been OK so far and allowing businesses to open responsibly is the next logical step.
  • The most stunning response comes from those who think the government has not gone far enough in shutting things down. On the question of allowing every business to reopen, they are evenly divided: 39% say yes while 45% do not.

What’s going on with about the people who think that governments have not gone far enough in shutting things down? How come only 45% of them oppose letting all businesses reopen?

One possible explanation may have something to do with words like lockdown and shutdown being used in the public dialogue almost interchangeably with social distancing and flattening the curve. As a result, some voters may viscerally equate ending the lockdowns with ending all social distancing efforts. So, they are uncomfortable ending lockdowns but OK with businesses that establish appropriate safety protocols.

Another possibility is that we may be misinterpreting the perceptions of the 35% who say governments have not gone far enough. Many in that group undoubtedly want even stricter government limits on social interaction. However, others may think the governments haven’t done enough to establish safe approaches for reopening society.

Whatever the explanation, the fact remains that only 1 out of 4 voters today is opposed to letting all businesses reopen in a responsible manner. That really shouldn’t be all that surprising given America’s historic commitment to individual freedom. In fact, the same survey found that 65% are concerned that some public officials are using the pandemic as an excuse to infringe upon the constitutional rights of individual Americans.

The bottom line is that most voters are ready to end the formal, government-imposed, lockdowns. But they are still demanding a strong societal commitment to social distancing and appropriate health protocols. The new rules will be enforced by individual Americans deciding which businesses are safe enough to visit and which ones should be avoided.

Scott Rasmussen is an American political analyst and digital media entrepreneur. He is the author of “The Sun is Still Rising: Politics Has Failed But America Will Not.”

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Biden 44% Trump 38%

The latest Scott Rasmussen national survey of 1,200 Registered Voters shows Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by six points– 44% to 38%. Seven percent (7%) would cast their ballot for some other candidate and 10% are undecided.

The candidates are essentially even among men and voters over 45. Biden leads by double digits among women and voters under 35.

Three weeks ago.  Biden was up by nine points. Two weeks ago, he led by eight. Last week, the lead had slipped to seven. This brings the race back to where it was in late March, when Biden enjoyed a five point advantage.

Thirty-eight percent (38%)  of voters nationwide believe it would be appropriate to continue the lockdowns in their own neighborhood and community.  However, 57% disagree. Most believe the rules and guidelines should be established locally.

Sixty-five percent (65%) are concerned that public officials are using the pandemic as an excuse to infringe upon the Constitutional rights of individual Americans. That total includes 39% who are Very Concerned.

Fifty-five percent (55%) believe the nation needs stricter immigration policies going forward.

Twenty-six percent (26%) of voters nationwide consider trade policies to be primarily a national security issue. However, most clearly see trade policy than raw economics.  Most voters (58%) say ensuring that important materials are produced in the United States is a higher priority than keeping costs down. Just 28% say keeping costs down and promoting economic growth matters more.

Finally, many voters are convinced the polls were wrong in 2016. Actually, the polls were pretty good. However, the analysis and interpretation of those polls was horrible.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 7-9, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 174 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied and the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

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65% Concerned Officials Using Pandemic As Excuse to Infringe on Constitutional Rights

Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters nationwide are at least somewhat concerned that public officials are using the pandemic as an excuse to infringe upon the Constitutional rights of individual Americans. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that total includes 39% who are Very Concerned.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of Republicans are concerned along with 63% of Independent voters and 52% of Democrats.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of urban voters are concerned. So are 66% of rural voters and 63% in the suburbs. Other data shows that urban voters tend to be more supportive of lockdowns than others. Their level of concern about Constitutional Rights being infringed may result from the fact that many urban voters are living under more severe restrictions than others.

Data released earlier shows that 38% of voters want the lockdowns to continue in their community. However, 57% disagree. Most voters believe rules and guidelines should be set locally rather than nationally.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 7-9, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 174 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied and the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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38% Want To Continue Lockdowns In Their Own Community, 57% Disagree

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of voters nationwide believe it would be appropriate to continue the lockdowns in their own neighborhood and community. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 57% disagree. That total includes 40% who believe it is time to ease the restrictions and 17% who believe it is time to end the lockdowns.

Forty-four percent (44%) of urban voters want to continue the lockdowns. That view is shared by 38% in the suburbs and 34% who live in rural areas.

The survey also found that 34% believe the rules and guidelines appropriate for their area be applied to the entire nation. However, 57% believe each community should establish its own guidelines in response to local conditions.

Forty-five percent (45%) of Democrats believe that the rules for their community should be applied to the entire nation. Just 30% of Independents and 24% of Republicans agree.

Most (55%) of those who want lockdowns to continue in their community believe the same rules and guidelines apply to the entire country. As for those who want to ease restrictions, 72% take the opposite view and believe each community should establish its own guidelines. Among the group who want to end lockdowns in their area, 77% think each community should decide for itself.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 7-9, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 174 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied and the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

 

 

 

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26% Consider Trade Policies As a National Security Issue

Twenty-six percent (26%) of voters nationwide consider trade policies to be primarily a national security issue. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 56% disagree and consider them primarily an economic issue. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure.

However, other data from the survey confirms that voters see more to trade policy than raw economics.

Most voters (58%) say ensuring that important materials are produced in the United States is a higher priority than keeping costs down. Just 28% say keeping costs down and promoting economic growth matters more.

The view that ensuring U.S. based production matters more than keeping costs down is shared by 67% of Republicans, 60% of Independent voters, and 49% of Democrats.

Fifty-six percent (56%) say they are willing to pay significantly higher costs on many goods to ensure that U.S. production capability. Twenty-five percent (25%) disagree.

Data released earlier shows that, following the pandemic, 70% of voters want to either reduce or eliminated trade with China.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 30-May 2, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 179 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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55% Favor Stricter Immigration Policies Going Forward, 32% Oppose

Looking to the future, 55% of voters believe it will be appropriate for the United States to establish stricter immigration policies? A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 32% disagree and 13% are not sure.

Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Republican voters support a stricter immigration policy. Democrats, by a 53% to 31% margin, are opposed. Among Independents, 53% believe a stricter immigration policy will be appropriate while 29% disagree.

The need for a stricter immigration policy is supported by 69% of rural voters, 53% of suburban voters, and 49% or urban voters.

Data released earlier showed that 70% of voters favored a temporary ban on entry into the U.S. during the pandemic.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 30-May 2, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 179 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

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Biden 46% Trump 39%

The latest Scott Rasmussen poll of 1,000 Registered Voters shows Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by seven points– 46% to 39%. Seven percent (7%) would cast their ballot for some other candidate and 8% are undecided.

Last week, Biden led by eight points. The week before that, he was up by nine. In late March, it was Biden 45% Trump 40%.

While the results suggest a close race in the fall, it is important to keep in mind the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus lockdowns. What happens in the coming months as American society re-opens is likely to have a significant impact on the race. In fact, it is likely that the way society is re-opened will be the decisive factor in November’s election.

Data released yesterday, showed that 49% of voters nationwide now fear the economic threat from the coronavirus more than the health threat. Forty-five percent (45%) take the opposite view and are more worried about the health threat. These numbers reflect a significant change over the past month. In late March, by a 55% to 38% margin, voters were more concerned about the health threat.

The survey also found that 26% of voters now believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us. That’s an increase of three points from a  week ago and ten points from a month ago. Forty-six percent (46%) believe the worst is yet to come. That’s down from 60% earlier in the month.

Voters over 65, by a 40% to 32% margin, believe the worst is behind us. Younger voters are more pessimistic.

Perceptions of whether the worst is behind us or is still to come have a significant impact on perceptions of the overall threat. Among those who believe the worst is behind us, 68% are more worried about the economic threat. As for those who believe the worst is still to come, 57% are more worried about the health threat.

These results are consistent with other data showing that people are looking to loosen some of the restrictions. Voters nationwide are evenly divided as to whether the lockdowns should continue. And, they have come to recognize that it’s not simply a question of stay home to stay safe or go out and get sick. Voters recognize that there are significant mental and physical health risks associated with ongoing lockdowns. Those who know the latest data are more likely to support easing lockdown restrictions.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of voters favor a proposal that would allow all who are not sick or vulnerable in their area to return to work.

The president’s job approval rating has held steady at 44%.

Scott Rasmussen is now providing virtual briefings about the impact of the pandemic on business, politics, and American society. If you’d like Scott to provide a briefing for your company or organization, please contact Shawn Hanks.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 30-May 2, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 179 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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49% Fear Economic Threat More Than Health Threat From Coronavirus

Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters nationwide now fear the economic threat from the coronavirus more than the health threat. A Scott Rasmussen national survey conducted over the past weekend (April 30-May 2) found that 45% take the opposite view and are more worried about the health threat.

These numbers reflect a significant change over the past month. In late March, by a 55% to 38% margin, voters were more concerned about the health threat.

By a 53% to 42% margin, men are more worried about the economic threat. Women are evenly divided.

There remains a gaping partisan divide. By a 73% to 21% margin, Republicans are more worried about the economic threat. Democrats, by a 64% to 31% margin, worry more about threats to health.

In late March, Independent voters were more worried about the health threat by a 55% to 34% margin. Now, they are evenly divided (49% say health, 45% economy).

These results are consistent with other data showing that people are looking for actions that may loosen some of the restrictions. Voters nationwide are evenly divided as to whether the lockdowns should continue. And, they have come to recognize that it’s not simply a question of stay home to stay safe or go out and get sick. Voters recognize that there are significant mental and physical health risks associated with ongoing lockdowns.

Additionally, 51% now  favor a proposal that would allow all who are not sick or vulnerable in their area to return to work. Thirty-eight percent (38%) are opposed, and 10% are not sure. That question was framed in the context of the area that the respondents lived in. These numbers are not a call for a national rule, but a recognition that different dynamics exist in different communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 30-May 2, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 179 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied, and the overall sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

Posted in Poll Results

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The Healthcare Trade-offs of Continued Lockdowns

As America begins to reopen society, individual Americans have come to recognize that there are significant health risks involved in continuing the lockdowns associated with the coronavirus.

Polling I conducted last week (April 24-26, 2020) for FreedomWorks shows that 61% of voters nationwide are concerned about the health risks associated with prolonged isolation. An even larger share of voters — 73% — say that it’s important for their own mental well-being to be able to see people face-to-face again.

At one level, this is just an expression of common sense. Human beings are social creatures who suffer from a lack of social interaction. However, much of the awareness comes from firsthand experience.

· Thirty-three percent have close friends or family members who have been severely depressed during the lockdown.

· Twenty-three percent know of people close to them who have been drinking too much during the lockdown.

· Thirty-five percent have personally put on weight or experienced health-related problems associated with the stay-at-home orders.

In other words, voters recognize there are no easy answers. It’s not a question of stay home to stay safe or go out and get sick. There are difficult trade-offs involved and no options are completely safe.

The dynamics of these risks change over time. When conducted for a very short period of time, lockdowns and social isolation present very low levels of health risk. The longer the isolation, however, the higher the risk.

As a result, locking down society was clearly the lower-risk alternative when the pandemic began. Voters recognized that reality by strongly backing many government actions to shut down both travel and social interaction. Looking back on it now, 72% of voters continue to believe the aggressive government actions prevented the spread of the coronavirus and saved lives. Just 14% disagree.

Not only that, few believe the actions should have been taken only in large cities with severe outbreaks. Sixty-nine percent (69%) believe the lockdowns were appropriate throughout the country. In our highly polarized political era, it’s astounding to find 7 out of 10 voters agreeing on any type of government action.

But now, after experiencing and taking into account the risks of extended social isolation, voters are reevaluating the trade-offs. While 51% think it’s appropriate to continue the lockdowns, 47% think it’s time to either ease the restrictions (36%) or end the lockdowns entirely (11%). The FreedomWorks data shows that some of the differences of opinion are actually based upon the different realities that voters are experiencing. Most urban voters (58%) want to continue the lockdowns while most rural voters (55%) think it’s time to ease restrictions or end the lockdowns.

Looking a bit further down the road, people see the risks of continued isolation growing. Today 36% believe that continuing the lockdowns poses greater health risks than easing restrictions. Another 18% believe that will be the case if lockdowns continue for 60 more days.

In other words, a combined 54% of the nation’s voters believe that 60 more days of lockdowns will present a greater health risk than easing lockdown restrictions. At the other extreme, just 21% believe that continuing the lockdowns for another couple of months will be the safer approach.

As voters have experienced and considered the health risks associated with social isolation and lockdowns, scientists have been gathering additional information about the coronavirus itself. The evidence indicates that voters are factoring this data into their understanding of the trade-offs involved.

Specifically, 76% of voters are aware that recent data has shown that far more people have been infected with the coronavirus than previously thought. Voter thoughts about when and how to reopen society are being made with awareness that COVID-19 is extremely contagious.

At the same time, just 44% are aware that the latest data shows that people who get the coronavirus are less likely to die than previously thought. That decline weighs heavily on the trade-offs involved. When people believe the fatality rate of the contagion is higher and the costs of lockdowns are lower, they are more likely to embrace the lockdowns. But as the costs of social isolation increases and the data shows the fatality rate to be lower, the equation shifts.

Not surprisingly, therefore, those who are aware of the latest scientific data favor easing lockdown restrictions by a 66% to 33% margin. Those who mistakenly believe the fatality rate has not fallen favor continuing the lockdowns by a 71% to 28% margin.

For those who believe in America’s commitment to self-governance, this is encouraging news. Even in the midst of a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, individual Americans are weighing the difficult trade-offs based upon the underlying facts.

In the coming months, we will learn many more facts as individual cities and states take different approaches to reopening society. The choices will be difficult. Some approaches will work better than others and some will be more appropriate in one part of the country rather than others. As individual Americans consider it all, they will swiftly guide the nation towards the best practices for safely reopening society.

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36% Would Turn In Neighbors for Violating Social Distancing Rules

What do you do if your neighbor has 15-20 people over and it’s in violation of stay-at-home orders? A JustTheNews.com survey found that 36% of voters would report their neighbors to the police. Forty-three percent (43%) would not. 

Suburban and Urban voters are evenly divided on the question. However, by a 53% to 28% margin, rural voters would not report their neighbors.

There is a huge partisan difference. By a 44% to 31% margin, a plurality of Democrats would turn their neighbors in. By a 60% to 25% margin, Republicans would not. Independents are evenly divided.

Women are also evenly divided. Men, by a 51% to 32% margin, would not report their neighbors to the police.

See crosstab results.

Posted in Poll Results

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Generic Ballot: Democrats 43% Republicans 36%

April 29, 2020–If the election for Congress were held today, 43% of voters nationwide say they would vote for the Democrat from their district while 36% would vote for the Republican. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 4% would prefer some other candidate and 18% are not sure.

Republicans lead by six points among men, Democrats by 20 among women.

Last month, a Generic Ballot survey conducted  by Scott Rasmussen found Democrats with a nine-point lead: 48% to 39%. Last week, the numbers showed the Democrats with an 11-point advantage on the Generic Congressional Ballot: 46% to 35%. It is possible that the numbers are shifting due to the dynamics of the pandemic and other issues. However, it is perhaps even more likely that these shifts reflect little more than statistical noise. Compared to the data from March, last week’s results showed the Democratic lead 2 points higher and this week’s numbers show that lead to be 2-points smaller.

All the results are similar to the actual eight point advantage the Democrats won in the 2018 mid-term elections.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 23-25, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 272 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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33% Believe Government Response to Pandemic Has Not Gone Far Enough

Thirty-three percent (33%) of voters believe that, in responding to the pandemic, government officials have not gone far enough. However, a Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 20% believe they have gone too far. A plurality–41%–believe the balance has been about right.

These numbers reflect a significant shift since late March. At that time, 41% believed government officials had not gone far enough while just 14% believed they had gone too far.

Forty percent (40%) of Republicans believe the balance has been about right along with 43% of Democrats and 38% of Independents.

However, beneath that apparent common ground, there are significant partisan differences.

  • Thirty-six percent (36%) of Republicans believe the government actions have gone to far while only 18% say not far enough.
  • Democrats see it much differently–44% say not far enough while just 8% believe they have already gone too far.
  • Among Independents, 34% say not far enough and 19% say too far.

Other data shows a similar trend as people are looking for actions that may loosen some of the restrictions. Fifty-one percent (51%)  favor a proposal that would allow all who are not sick or vulnerable in their area to return to work. Thirty-eight percent (38%) are opposed, and 10% are not sure. That question was framed in the context of the area that the respondents lived in. These numbers are not a call for a national rule, but a recognition that different dynamics exist in different communities.

Currently, 23% of voters believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us, an increase of seven points over the past two weeks.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 23-25, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 272 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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Biden 46% Trump 38%

April 28, 2020– The latest Scott Rasmussen poll of 1,000 Registered Voters shows Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by eight points– 46% to 38%. Six percent (6%) would cast their ballot for some other candidate and 9% are undecided.

That’s little changed from a week ago when a poll conducted by Scott Rasmussen for JustTheNews.com showed Biden with a nine-point advantage. In that poll, Biden led 49% to 40%. Interestingly, support for both candidates dropped a bit in the most recent poll.

In late March, it was Biden 45% Trump 40%.

While the results suggest a close race in the fall, it is important to keep in mind the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus lockdowns. What happens in the coming months as American society re-opens is likely to have a significant impact on the race. Currently, 23% of voters believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us, an increase of seven points over the past two weeks.

Thirty-three percent (33%) believe the government has not yet gone far enough in responding to the pandemic. That figure is down eight points since late March.

Other polling shows that 51% of American voters favor a proposal that would allow all who are not sick or vulnerable in their area to return to work. Thirty-eight percent (38%) are opposed, and 10% are not sure. That question was framed in the context of the area that the respondents lived in. These numbers are not a call for a national rule, but a recognition that different dynamics exist in different communities.

Scott Rasmussen is now providing virtual briefings about the impact of the pandemic on business, politics, and American society. If you’d like Scott to provide a briefing for your company or organization, please contact Shawn Hanks.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 23-25, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 272 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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23% Believe Worst of Pandemic Is Behind Us, Up 7 Points in Two Weeks

Twenty-three percent (23%) of voters nationwide now believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us. That’s up seven points from just 16% two weeks ago.

A Scott Rasmussen national survey also found that 49% believe the worst is still to come. That’s down 11 points from 60% in the earlier survey.

The survey also found that, if infected by the coronavirus,  24% of Registered Voters nationwide are not confident they could receive appropriate medical treatment. That’s down from 30% two weeks ago. The number who are Not at All Confident about access to treatment has fallen from 10% to 6%.

The partisan divides remain very significant and most of the increased confidence comes from Republicans.

Sixty percent (60%) of Democrats believe the worst is yet to come, down from 72% earlier. Among Independent voters, 52% now believe the worst days remain ahead of us (down from 58%).

However, Republicans perceive things much differently. By a 43% to 35% margin, a plurality of GOP voters now believe the worst is behind us. Two weeks ago, just 28% of Republicans thought the worst was behind us. Forty-nine percent (49%) believed the worst was still to come.

Data released earlier showed that 22% believe our nation’s response to the pandemic would have been better if private insurance companies were banned and all health coverage was provided by the federal government. However, a Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 38% believe things would be worse.

Overall, 34% of voters at least somewhat favor the idea of banning private insurance companies to create a national health care system. Fifty-four percent (54%) are opposed.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 23-25, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 272 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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46% More Worried About Pandemic’s Economic Threat Than Health Threat

Forty-six percent (46%) of voters are more worried about the economic threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic than the health threat. However, the latest Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 49% are more worried about health issues. The survey was conducted this past weekend (April 16-18).

Those figures reflect a modest increase in concern about the economic threat.

Last month, just 38% were more worried about the economic threat while 53% primarily feared the health threat.

The partisan divide on the issue is sharp. Sixty-six percent (66%) of Republicans are more worried about the economic threat while 67% of Democrats are more concerned about the health threat. Independent voters are evenly divided.

Data released earlier showed that, when the lockdown ends, 34% of voters expect the U.S. economy to bounce back quickly. However, a 45% have the opposite view and believe the nation will suffer through a long recession. There’s a similar partisan divide on that question, though the differences are not as sharp.

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 16-18, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 167 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

Posted in Poll Results

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Generic Ballot: Democrats 46% Republicans 35%

Democrats currently enjoy an 11-point advantage on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

The latest Scott Rasmussen national survey shows that 46% of voters would cast their ballot for the Democrat from their District while 35% prefer the Republican. Four percent (4%) would prefer some other candidate and 15% are not sure.

Among those most interested in the election–and presumably the most likely to vote–the race is a bit closer. Among these voters, the Democrats enjoy a seven-point advantage (48% to 41%).

In the key demographic group of suburban women, Democrats lead by a 51% to 31% margin.

A Generic Ballot survey conducted last month by Scott Rasmussen found Democrats with a nine-point lead: 48% to 39%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 16-18, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 167 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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The Polls Weren’t Wrong in 2016–But The Analysis of the Polls Was Horrible

Contrary to popular myths, the national political polls in 2016 were very accurate. According to the Real Clear Politics average, Hillary Clinton was projected to win the popular vote by 3.3 percentage points and she actually won it by 2.1 percentage points. Ten of the last twelve national polls released were within two percentage points of the actual margin. One of the others overestimated Clinton’s margin by four points and one underestimated it by four points.

That’s about as accurate a projection as you could hope for!

However, while the polling was good, the analysis of the polling was not.

Many in the media and political worlds simply could not imagine a Clinton loss. Some looked at the polling, noted the margin of error, and assumed the Democratic nominee would win by far more than three percentage points. Some thought she could win a few traditionally Republican states while few imagined the reverse could happen.

The problem was not the polls, but the analysis.

This failure of polling analysis was not supported by the underlying data. Heading into Election Day, the Real Clear Politics projections showed that Clinton was clearly favored to win just 203 of the needed 270 Electoral College votes. Donald Trump was favored to win 164 and an astounding 171 were in the Toss-Up category. Reviewing the toss-up states at that time, I noted publicly that it was fairly easy to envision how Trump could reach 263 Electoral College votes.

That reality should have dented the overwhelming confidence of a Clinton victory expressed in the media and political worlds. Polling data showed a race close enough that a surprise in a single traditionally Democratic state could elect Donald Trump. But that possibility was largely ignored in media coverage of the race.

On Election Day, of course, then-candidate Trump stunned the political world by capturing three traditionally Democratic states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Once again, the surprise was more a failure of analysis than public polling. In Pennsylvania, the polling averages showed Clinton ahead by just 1.9 percentage points. In Michigan, she was up just 3.4 points. Both results were clearly in toss-up range. Additionally, in both states, the final public poll released showed Trump ahead.

The only true polling misfire was in Wisconsin, where Clinton was projected to win by 6.5 percentage points and Trump won by just under a point.

The bottom line is that the actual public polling in 2016 was far better than the pundit’s analysis of that polling data.

Posted in Deeper Currents

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69% Believe China’s Disinformation Made Pandemic Worse; 10% Believe China Telling Truth Now

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of voters believe the Chinese government made the global pandemic worse by withholding important research and releasing false information. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that just 8% disagree with that assessment while 23% are not sure.

The belief that China’s untruthfulness made things worse is shared by 83% of Republicans, 65% of Independents, and 60% of Democrats.

The survey also found that just 10% consider information the Chinese government is now releasing to be truthful and reliable. Thirty-nine percent (39%) believe it is not while 50% are not sure.

Most Republicans (57%) say information coming from China today is not truthful and reliable. Most Democrats (62%) and Independents (51%) are not sure.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 16-18, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 167 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

Posted in Poll Results

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70% Favor Temporary Ban on Entry Into United States

Seventy percent (70%) of Registered Voters believe the federal government place a temporary ban on allowing people from any other country to enter the United States. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that total includes 34% who believe that even Americans living abroad should have to wait until the pandemic is over before returning.

The temporary ban is supported by 82% of Republicans, 66% of Independents, and 64% of Democrats.

Among those who Strongly Approve of President Trump, 84% support the ban. Among those who Strongly Disapprove of the president, 57% share that same view.

Overall, among all voters, just 15% oppose a temporary ban. In no measured demographic group does opposition reach 25%.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 16-18, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 167 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

Posted in Poll Results

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After Lockdown, 34% Expect Economy to Bounce Back Quickly

When the lockdown ends, 34% of voters expect the U.S. economy to bounce back quickly. However, a Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 45% have the opposite view and believe the nation will suffer through a long recession.  Twenty-one percent (21%) are not sure.

By a 48% to 34% margin, Republicans expect the economy to bounce back quickly. Democrats, by a 56% to 24% margin, take the opposite view. Among independents, 43% expect a long recession while 33% think a quick recovery is likely.

It’s important to note that these dynamics are broadly consistent with pre-pandemic attitudes. Republicans were far more optimistic about the economy, Democrats more pessimistic, and Independent voters in between.

As for the prospects when the lockdown is lifted, white voters are evenly divided. Black and Hispanic voters are more pessimistic.

Investors are evenly divided–42% expect the economy to bounce back quickly while 38% think a long recession is coming.

Just 31% of non-investors expect a quick recovery while 50% disagree.

Data released earlier showed that 60% of all voters expect the worst is yet to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 9-11, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 217 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

Posted in Poll Results

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The pandemic is shaking up everything. Government shouldn’t be an exception

Last week, I wrote about how the pandemic-induced experiment in home schooling will shake up our system of education. By unleashing the creativity of great teachers, the next wave of innovations will give teachers and parents more control over how and what their students learn.

This week, I’ll focus on a similar change coming to the larger political realm.

In Federalist 8, Alexander Hamilton wrote that “Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. … To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.”

Hamilton’s clear appreciation of human nature is now visible in every day’s news coverage during the pandemic. There is broad public support for lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and other measures that would have been unimaginable just a few months ago. Who could have conceived of a scenario where political leaders would be allowed to define which businesses are essential and which are not?

However, when the crisis is over, many politicians will resist giving up the emergency powers they enjoyed exercising. Even worse, some will see the pandemic as a breakthrough moment when voters finally appreciate the value of a powerful government.

For example, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio has expressed his preference for a system where “the city government would determine (for) every single plot of land, how development would proceed.” He thought most voters “would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be.”

When the pandemic is over, these attitudes will pit citizens who want a restoration of freedom against politicians who don’t want to give up their newfound powers.

In the larger sense, though, the pandemic is merely bringing to a head a battle that has been brewing for decades. Since the 1970s, our political system has been growing more centralized with ever increasing authority being vested in a regulatory state. The regulators are treated as experts — many are — and are generally unaccountable to any external checks and balances.

The regulatory state promised to make our society safer, but it required giving up individual freedoms and our commitment to self-governance.

Additionally, while the political system has been growing more centralized, America’s culture has been moving in the opposite direction. Following the invention of the microchip and what I call the Great Turnaround, everything in America has been decentralizing —everything that is except our political system.

The disconnect between a decentralizing society and a centralizing government is simply not sustainable. It’s also the reason that so much of our political dialogue seems so irrelevant or toxic. Twenty-first century politics is simply out of synch with twenty-first century America.

How did we get to this point? How did this disconnect come to be? How did the American people come to accept a regulatory state that is at odds with our founding ideals of freedom, equality, and self-governance?

The short answer is that, in the immediate aftermath of World War II, the American people trusted their government as never before or since. Not only did the government win the war, a long economic boom followed. The trust faded quickly, but not before the Nixon administration put in place the foundations of today’s regulatory state.

The imposition of the regulatory state created the central political conflict of our time. It’s a conflict between our nation’s founding ideals and our current form of governance.

The pandemic is highlighting this disconnect. People see governments exercising draconian power, but they do not trust the governments. They are willing to accept and support such decisions during an emergency but can’t wait for the emergency to end.

When the pandemic is defeated, the defeat of the regulatory state will follow. Hamilton’s words of warning are certainly appropriate, but the American people are not yet ready to give up their freedom for promises of security.

Posted in Scott's Columns

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50% Say Top Priority Should Be Letting People Gather in Homes

There has been a lot of recent debate about how and when to re-open the U.S. economy. However, data from the latest Scott Rasmussen survey suggests that voters are interested in a broader discussion about how to re-open American society. The survey asked voters to prioritize the re-opening of various activities when the lockdown ends. For each activity, voters were asked whether it should happen right away or if it should be a second or third priority.

  • Fifty percent (50%) said that allowing people to gather in small groups at someone’s home should happen right away.
  • Thirty-five percent (35%) said that churches and other religious gatherings should be opened right away.
  • Re-opening retail stores was also seen as a top priority by 35%.
  • Thirty-one percent (31%) said the same about schools.
  • Just 21% thought re-opening bars and restaurants should happen right away.
  • Only 14% said the same about major league sports events and stadium concerts.

These results suggest that voters are interested in the broader questions of re-opening society, rather than narrow concerns about the economy. That’s not surprising since 23% say that the biggest impact they’ve felt from the pandemic is boredom, depression and isolation. Thirty percent (30%) cited loss of income as the biggest impact.

Additionally, even the re-opening of retail stores may reflect something more than economic concerns. Many people have experienced difficulties obtaining needed supplies during the pandemic—everything from food to health care items. Opening retail stores may be seen as a way to help address those concerns.

There are significant partisan differences in priorities. The most dramatic concerns the re-opening of churches and religious services. Forty-seven percent (47%) of Republicans believe that should be a top priority while only 29% of Democrats agree.

These results come from a survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 9-11, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 217 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

Posted in Poll Results

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On Pandemic, 60% Believe Worst is Yet to Come, 16% Think It’s Behind Us

In terms of the pandemic, 60% of voters believe the worst is yet to come. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that just 16% believe the worst is behind us and 24% are not sure.

As on just about everything these days, there is a significant partisan divide. Seventy-two percent (72%) of Democrats believe the worst is yet to come, a view shared by just 49% of Republicans. Independent voters are in the middle with 58% believing the worst days remain ahead of us.

Data released earlier showed that 22% believe our nation’s response to the pandemic would have been better if private insurance companies were banned and all health coverage was provided by the federal government. However, a Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 38% believe things would be worse.

Overall, 34% of voters at least somewhat favor the idea of banning private insurance companies to create a national health care system. Fifty-four percent (54%) are opposed.

If infected by the coronavirus, 30% of Registered Voters nationwide are not confident they could receive appropriate medical treatment. That total includes 20% who are Not Very Confident and 10% who are Not at All Confident about access to treatment.

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Worst Is Still To Come: 60%

Behind Us: 16%

Not Sure: 24%

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 9-11, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 217 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

Posted in Poll Results

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34% Favor National Health Care System That Eliminates Private Health Insurance

Just 34% of voters favor a national health care system that replaces private insurance companies. A Scott Rasmussen national poll found that 54% are opposed to such a plan. Those totals included 14% who Strongly Favor the approach and 38% who are Strongly Opposed.

Seventy-three percent (73%) of Republicans are opposed along with most (54%) Independent voters. However, by a 48% to 39% margin, Democrats lean in favor of the concept.

It’s important to note that most voters (53%) favor the vague concept of a national health care system. Just 37% are opposed.

However, support falls significantly when the possibility of banning private health insurance is mentioned. One reason for this is that 66% of voters rate their current health insurance coverage as good or excellent. Seventy-two percent (72%) are just as upbeat about the medical care they personally receive. Given these realities, it is very difficult to see how any plan that forces people to give up their current insurance will be politically viable.

The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 2-5, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 198 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45% Rate US Health Care System as Good/Excellent; 22% Say Poor

Forty-five percent (45%) of Registered Voters rate the U.S. Health Care System as Good or Excellent while 22% rate it as poor. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 30% believe our health care system is merely Fair while 3% are not sure.

The survey also found that 72% rate the medical care they personally receive as good or excellent. Just 6% say the quality of their medical care is poor.

Sixty-six percent (66%) rate their insurance coverage as good or excellent. while 11% say poor.

There are large partisan divides on the question about the U.S. health care system. Sixty-four percent (64%) of Republicans say it’s good or excellent while just 8% say poor. Democrats are evenly divided–32% say good or excellent, 29% say poor.  As for Independent voters, 40% rate the health care system as good or excellent while 28% rate it as poor.

Partisan differences are much more modest on questions of personal medical care and insurance coverage.

Data released earlier showed that 22% believe our nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic would have been better with a national health care system run by the federal government. Thirty-eight percent (38%) believe that would have made things worse.

Other data showed that, if infected by the coronavirus, 30% are not confident they would receive appropriate medical care.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 2-5, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 198 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

Posted in Poll Results

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22% Say Response to Pandemic Would Have Been Better With National Healthcare System

Twenty-two percent (22%) of Registered Voters believe our nation’s response to the pandemic would have been better if private insurance companies were banned and all health coverage was provided by the federal government. However, a Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 38% believe things would be worse.

Eighteen percent (18%) don’t believe things would be all that different while 21% are not sure.

In just about every measured demographic group, a plurality believes things would be worse with such a national healthcare system in place. The only exceptions are among Democrats and political liberals. Democrats, by a 36% to 21% margin, believe a national healthcare system would have produced a better outcome. Liberals, by a 36% to 20% margin, share the same sentiment.

Republicans strongly disagree. Sixty-one percent (61%) of GOP voters believe a national healthcare system would have made things worse. Only 11% say better. The numbers are similar among conservatives (64% to 10%).

Nineteen percent (19%) of independent voters believe things would have been better while 35% say worse

A plurality of all age groups believe things would have been worse, but the belief is much stronger among voters over 55.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 2-5, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 198 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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30% Not Confident They Could Receive Medical Treatment for Coronavirus

If infected by the coronavirus, 30% of Registered Voters nationwide are not confident they could receive appropriate medical treatment. That total includes 20% who are Not Very Confident and 10% who are Not at All Confident about access to treatment.

At the other end of the spectrum, a Scott Rasmussen national survey found 66% are confident they could receive appropriate treatment. That total includes 27% who are Very Confident and 37% who are Somewhat Confident.

Confidence is lowest in urban areas and highest in the suburbs.

Among those living in Urban areas, 58% have at least some confidence that they could receive appropriate treatment while 37% do not have such confidence.

In the suburbs, 70% are confident while 26% are not.

As for Americans living in rural areas, 66% have confidence that they could receive treatment while 31% are not.

Republicans have more confidence than Democrats or Independents.

Those with a high level of interest in the presidential election are more confident than others

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from April 2-5, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 198 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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Just the News and Scott Rasmussen Announce Polling Partnership

Just the News and independent pollster Scott Rasmussen announced Thursday a partnership to produce polling that measures sentiments on issues resonating with everyday Americans outside the Beltway.

The year-long partnership with Rasmussen’s RMG Research will provide Just the News readers a fresh daily poll each Monday through Friday from a sample of 1,200 registered voters reached by phone and online. The polling will provide insights about political and policy issues facing everyday Americans.

Rasmussen said the partnership will help illuminate the difference between how voters perceive topics and the way they are discussed in official Washington.

“I’m very excited to be working with JustTheNews.com,” Rasmussen said. “When it comes to issues, we will always strive to avoid using inside-the-beltway terminology and ask questions in a language that makes sense to everyday Americans.”

John Solomon, the CEO and Editor in Chief of Just the News, said the collaboration is a natural extension of the one-month-old news venture’s commitment to cover Washington for those who live outside it.

“Scott Rasmussen has long been one of the country’s most influential pollsters, able to spot and keenly analyze trends in real America long before others,” Solomon said. “We are thrilled he is partnering with us on this project to measure American sentiments about the issues that matter on a daily basis.”

A best-selling author, co-founder of ESPN and Rasmussen Reports (which Rasmussen departed from in 2013), Rasmussen currently serves as editor-at-large for Ballotpedia.  He also runs his own Web site ScottRasmussen.com.

Rasmussen said the current polling industry does a “great job” on elections and fundamental measures of the political environment, yet the analysis and reporting of these factors, including during the 2016 presidential election, is lacking.

“The built-in belief that Trump couldn’t win caused many pundits to ignore the real possibility of an Electoral College upset. So our challenge will be to look carefully at what the data is telling us,” Rasmussen said. “Many people believe the polls were wrong in 2016, but that’s not the case.

“The Real Clear Politics polling average showed Clinton winning the popular vote by 3 points and she won by 2. The state polling was also better than is commonly believed. Two of the biggest surprises on election night were Pennsylvania and Michigan. The Real Clear Average showed those races within the margin of error and the last poll in each showed Trump ahead. Wisconsin was the only state with a true public polling miss.”

Innovation has been a hallmark of Rasmussen’s career. In 1978, the then-new technology of satellite communications dramatically reduced the cost of sending a broadcast signal around the nation. Building upon that opportunity, Rasmussen and his father, Bill, founded ESPN, the cable sports network.

In the 1990s, the birth of the Internet provided the unique opportunity to capitalize on another ground-breaking technology. Rasmussen launched his first website in 1994 and became the first pollster to offer data directly to the public rather than filtered through a network reporter.

It was also at this time that Rasmussen saw the potential for the concept of automated polling and ultimately revolutionized the polling industry. In just over a decade, Rasmussen’s work attracted more Google searches than the long-established industry leader – Gallup.

His most recent book, “The Sun is Still Rising: Politics Has Failed But America Will Not,” was published in 2018 by the Sutherland Institute.

The book explains Rasmussen’s optimism about our nation’s future, despite his deep pessimism over our broken political system. Co-founder of No Labels, Mark McKinnon, said the book features “some of the freshest, most inspiring thinking I’ve read in years There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and Rasmussen has found it.”

Posted in Deeper Currents

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51% Want Stricter Security on Future Trade and Travel With China

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Registered Voters believe the United States should require stricter security on future trade and travel with China. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 27% disagree and 22% are not sure.

By a 71% to 12% margin, Republicans think stricter security is needed. Among Independent voters, 48% want stricter security while 28% disagree. Democrats are evenly divided–37% say yes to stricter security and 40% say no.

Overall, 42% of Registered Voters believe that we need stricter security on future trade and travel with ALL nations. Thirty-four percent (34%) disagree and 25% are not sure.

Data released earlier showed that 47% believe China is primarily responsible for the coronavirus pandemic.

Looking ahead, should the United States require stricter security on future trade and travel with China?

51%    Yes

27%    No

22%    Not Sure

Okay… what about other nations? should the United States require stricter security on future trade and travel with all other nations?

42%    Yes

34%    No

25%    Not Sure

The survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from March 26-28, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Approximately 72% of the survey respondents were selected at random from lists of Registered Voters. The remainder were selected through Random Digital Engagement. Most were contacted online while 247 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

 

 

Posted in Poll Results

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Coronavirus Polling in Utah

A Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll found that Utah voters think the federal government was slow to react to coronavirus, but give high marks to President Trump.

The survey also showed how the virus has impacted the life of just about every Utah voter in some way.

The survey of 979 Registered Voters was conducted by me from March 23-28. It’s part of a monthly polling series.

Posted in Deeper Currents

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Biden 45% Trump 40%

If the presidential election were held today, 45% of Registered Voters would vote for Democrat Joe Biden while 40% prefer Republican Donald Trump.

However, the survey conducted by Scott Rasmussen found that 70% of Trump’s supporters have a high level of interest in the election.  Just 61% of Biden’s voters say the same. Among those who have a high level of interest–and are most likely to vote–it’s Biden 47% Trump 46%.

Among all Registered voters living in Urban areas, Biden leads by a 60% to 23% margin. Trump leads by 19 points (50% to 31%) among Rural voters. The candidates are essential tied among Suburban voters with Biden at 44% and Trump at 43%.

Among Suburban voters with a high level of interest in the election, it’s Trump 48% Biden 47%. Biden’s margin among Urban voters slips to 32 points among those with a high level of interest (61% to 29%). Trump’s lead among interested Rural voters increases to 32 points (62% to 30%).

The survey also explored attitudes on the coronavirus pandemic.

On just about every question there is a wide partisan divide.

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The survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from March 26-28, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Approximately 72% of the survey respondents were selected at random from lists of Registered Voters. The remainder were selected through Random Digital Engagement. Most were contacted online while 247 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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55% Fear That Government Officials Will Re-Open Businesses Too Soon

Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters worry that government officials will re-open businesses too soon. A national survey by Scott Rasmussen found that just 29% take the opposite view and fear they will wait too long. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.

Data released earlier shows that 45% of voters expect the lockdown to last another month or two. Thirty-seven percent (37%) think it will last for three months or longer. While most (53%) worry primarily about the health crisis, 38% are more worried about the economic impact of the pandemic.

On just about every question there is a wide partisan divide. By a 72% to 15% margin, Democrats worry that the government is likely to re-open things too soon rather than wait too long. Republicans lean in the opposite direction–46% believe government officials will wait too long while 36% think they will re-open things too quickly. Independent voters, by a 56% to 28% margin, fear that businesses will be allowed to re-open too soon.

Other data from the survey found that 41% believe government officials have not gone far enough in shutting things down. Thirty-eight percent (38%) believe the balance has been about right while 14% believe they have gone too far. These results are consistent with strong support for actions taken so far–everything from the ban on travel from China to canceling sports events.

So far, most Democrats (58%) believe government officials have not gone far enough. Most Republicans (52%) believe the balance has been about right. Independent voters are evenly divided (42% Not Far Enough, 34% About Right).

In responding to the coronavirus pandemic, have government officials gone too far in shutting things down, not far enough, or has the balance been about right?

41%    Not Far Enough

38%    Balance About Right

14%    Gone Too Far

  7%    Not Sure

Which worries you the most—that government officials will re-open businesses too soon or that they will wait too long?

55%    Too Soon

29%    Wait Too Long

16%    Not Sure

The survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from March 26-28, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Approximately 72% of the survey respondents were selected at random from lists of Registered Voters. The remainder were selected through Random Digital Engagement. Most were contacted online while 247 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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38% Fear Economic Impact of Pandemic More Than Health Concerns

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of voters are more worried about the economic threat posed by the coronavirus than the health threat. However, a national survey conducted by Scott Rasmussen found that 53% are more worried about the health issues.

Republicans, by a 60% to 33% margin, are more worried about the economic impact. Democrats, by a 70% to 22% margin, are more worried about the health threat. Fifty-five percent (55%) of Independent voters are most concerned about the health issues, but 34% take the opposite view.

In terms of their own life, 46% are Very Worried the coronavirus will cause serious economic problems for their immediate family.

Thirty-six percent (36%) are Very Worried it will cause serious health issues.

How worried are you that the Coronavirus will cause serious health issues for you or a member of your immediate family?

36%    Very Worried

43%    Somewhat Worried

16%    Not Very Worried

  5%    Not at All Worried

How worried are you that the Coronavirus will cause serious economic problems for you or a member of your immediate family?

46%    Very Worried

38%    Somewhat Worried

13%    Not Very Worried

  3%    Not at All Worried

For the United States as a whole—which worries you the most about the coronavirus: the health threat or the economic threat?

53%    Health Threat

38%    Economic Threat

  8%    Not Sure

The survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from March 26-28, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Approximately 72% of the survey respondents were selected at random from lists of Registered Voters. The remainder were selected through Random Digital Engagement. Most were contacted online while 247 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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47% Believe China To Blame For Pandemic

Forty-seven percent (47%) of voters believe that China is primarily to blame for the coronavirus pandemic. A national survey conducted by Scott Rasmussen found that 34% disagree and 19% are not sure.

The survey also found that 27% of voters think it’s at least somewhat likely that the Chinese government intentionally created and released the coronavirus.

As with just about everything in the news, there is a massive partisan divide. Seventy-three percent (73%) of Republicans believe that China is primarily responsible for the pandemic. That view is shared by 41% of Independent voters and 30% of Democrats.

Forty-three percent (43%) of Republicans believe it’s likely the virus was intentionally released by the Chinese government. Just 23% of Independents and 16% of Democrats agree.

Is China primarily to blame for the coronavirus pandemic?

47%    Yes

34%    No

19%    Not Sure

How likely is it that the Chinese government intentionally created and released the coronavirus?

13%    Very likely

14%    Somewhat likely

  9%    Not Very Likely

  6%    Not at All Likely

  5%    Not Sure

53%    Not Asked

NOTE: This question was asked only of those who believed China was primarily to blame for the pandemic.

The survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from March 26-28, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Approximately 72% of the survey respondents were selected at random from lists of Registered Voters. The remainder were selected through Random Digital Engagement. Most were contacted online while 247 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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America may not be the same after coronavirus. That may be a good thing

NOTE: This column was originally published in the Deseret News.

Last week, I began to explore what life will be like when the coronavirus lockdown finally ends.

Initially, people will crave a return to in-person social gatherings and some sense of normalcy. Still, when the stay-at-home orders and mandatory business closings are lifted, the reopening of society will proceed cautiously. Guided by a mix of joy and fear, some people will jump right back into old routines while others will take it more slowly. Many, without consciously thinking about it, will never again attend events with huge crowds or ride a crowded subway.

Some businesses will open their doors and offices faster than others. Sadly, many will never reopen. Returning workers will learn new routines and procedures to ensure a safe and healthy work environment, especially for businesses that deal directly with consumers.

Politicians will debate what sort of international trade and travel restrictions might be appropriate going forward. What kind of security can protect against an invisible virus? Should the new restrictions apply only to China? Or to all nations? It will soon become clear that the pandemic has reset discussions on just about every political issue.

Still, it won’t be long before a new normal sets in. Our culture and lifestyle adapt so quickly to new realities that we soon forget what came before. If you doubt that’s true, consider the phrase social distancing. A month or so ago, hardly anybody had heard of it. Now it’s a part of daily conversation.

These new routines will never replace in-person gatherings — humans need such contact for their physical and mental well-being. But, when the crisis is over, the new approaches will not wither away or disappear. Americans will not unlearn what they are learning today. Instead, they will use what they have learned in ways that will alter the frequency and purpose of our face-to-face encounters with others.

A friend of mine works with a large team that has been forced to telecommute during the current crisis. It’s going so well that he’s now thinking of working from Florida for a month next winter. Following the experience of the past month, he figures his boss will have no reason to object. My friend values the regular, in-person interactions with his co-workers and will have plenty of it for most of the year. But the month in Florida will also give him more time with family and friends in a pleasant setting.

Millions of Americans will do the same and seamlessly adopt what they’ve learned during the lockdown to make changes in their daily life. After a while, it won’t seem different at all. It will just be a new normal.

Though the novelty of our new routines will quickly wear off, the impact of those changes will bring about massive social disruption. To take just one example, when my friend and his team telecommute more regularly, their company will need less office space. That seemingly minor change will ripple through the economies of major cities.

  • For two centuries leading up to the 1970s, the trend was for everything in America to get bigger, more centralized and more homogenized.
  • After the ’70s, however, cultural trends moved in the opposite direction with everything becoming more niche-oriented, decentralized and personalized.

It is hard to overstate the significance of this cultural turnaround. “The devices and connectivity so essential to modern life put unprecedented p ower in the hands of every individual,” according to Harvard’s Nicco Mele. This is “a radical redistribution of power that our traditional institutions don’t and perhaps can’t understand.” As if that wasn’t enough, he adds, “Radical connectivity is toxic to traditional power structures.”

This decentralizing force has been transforming our society for decades. Many institutions and industries have already adapted or disappeared. Following the pandemic, the scale and pace of change will increase dramatically.

In the coming weeks, I’ll look at how our decentralizing culture is poised to bring about massive changes to our health care, education and political systems.

While transitions are always unsettling, we have reason to be optimistic about the future. That’s because this new era has put “unprecedented power in the hands of every individual.” That’s a good thing!

Taking power away from the few and giving it to the many is right in line with our nation’s founding ideals. From a pragmatic viewpoint, it means more people will have a greater ability to work together and create a better world.

Scott Rasmussen is an American political analyst and digital media entrepreneur. He is the author of “The Sun is Still Rising: Politics Has Failed But America Will Not.”

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45% Expect Lockdown to Last A Month or Two

Forty-five percent (45%) of voters nationwide believe it will be a month or two before most businesses re-open and social activity resumes.  A national survey conducted by Scott Rasmussen found that 37% think it will take three months or longer. At the other end of the spectrum, 13% believe the lockdown will end within a couple of weeks.

There is a significant partisan divide on the question. Seventy-one percent (71%) of Republicans expect business and social activity to resume within a couple of months. Just 44% of Democrats are that optimistic.

Most Democrats (51%) believe at least three months will pass before things re-open. Just 23% of Republicans agree.

As for Independent voters, 57% expect social activity to resume within a couple of months. Thirty-six percent (36%) believe it will take three months or longer.

How long do you think it will be before most businesses re-open and social activity resumes?

13%     A couple of weeks

45%    A month or two

29%    Three to six months

  6%    Six Months to a year

  2%    More than a year

  6%    Not Sure

The survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from March 26-28, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Approximately 72% of the survey respondents were selected at random from lists of Registered Voters. The remainder were selected through Random Digital Engagement. Most were contacted online while 247 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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89% Support Ban on Travel from China

A One America News survey found strong support for early actions taken by governments and private companies to address the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Seventy-three percent (73%) Strongly Approve of the ban on travel from China, higher than support for any other action.
    *  The lowest level of support was found for suspending college basketball tournaments and professional sports events. Still, 51% Strongly Approve.
  • In all cases, approval is higher among older people than younger voters.
  • In the case of the travel bans, support is higher among Republicans than other voters. However, a majority in all parties support the travel bans.
    *  Eighty-five percent (85%) of Republicans Strongly Approve of the ban on travel from China. That view is shared by 66% of Democrats and 66% of Independent voters.
    *  The ban on European travel earns Strong Approval from 77% of Republicans, 52% of Democrats, and 54% of other voters.

SUMMARY OF VIEWS TOWARDS VARIOUS ACTIONS

APPROVE (Strongly)DISAPPROVE
China Travel Ban89% (73%)10%
European Travel Ban84% (61%)13%
Encouraging Work From Home89% (63%)10%
Suspending Sports Events75% (51%)20%
State Bans of Large Gatherings81% (54%)16%
Co-payment Waivers90% (72%)9%
Campus Closures82% (57%)15%
  • Seventy-three percent (73%) Strongly Approve of the ban on travel from China, higher than support for any other action.
    *  The lowest level of support was found for suspending college basketball tournaments and professional sports events. Still, 51% Strongly Approve.
  • In all cases, approval is higher among older people than younger voters.
  • In the case of the travel bans, support is higher among Republicans than other voters. However, a majority in all parties support the travel bans.
    *  Eighty-five percent (85%) of Republicans Strongly Approve of the ban on travel from China. That view is shared by 66% of Democrats and 66% of Independent voters.
    *  The ban on European travel earns Strong Approval from 77% of Republicans, 52% of Democrats, and 54% of other voters.

The survey was conducted by Scott Rasmussen.

Survey respondents were randomly selected from a comprehensive panel of potential participants. Field work was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Certain quotas were applied, and the final results were lightly weighted by gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of the nation at large.

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ScottRasmussen.com Data in WSJ Best of the Web Column

ScottRasmussen.com polling data was featured in the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web column today.

The column explores whether or not the Democratic presidential candidates are moving too far to the left.

“Today pollster Scott Rasmussen shares results suggesting Democrats may not want to fall so hard for illegal immigration:”

Twenty-one percent (21%) of voters nationwide believe the United States has no right to decide who is eligible to enter the country. They believe anyone who wants to live in the United States should be allowed entry. However, 79% disagree and take the opposite view.

This is consistent with a vast collection of survey data showing that eight-out-of-ten voters believe illegal immigration is bad for the United States (eight-out-of-ten also believe that legal immigration is good for the country).

Posted in Deeper Currents

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A Farewell to Pat Caddell

Legendary pollster Pat Caddell passed away on Saturday at the far too young age of 68. Many pollsters of my generation looked up to Pat when they were getting started. We all followed trails that he blazed.

I had the honor of knowing Pat, working with him, and trying to hold my own in countless spirited conversations with him. He was brilliant, blunt, insightful, and passionate.  Intense is another word that comes to mind.

We once did a press conference together where a reporter asked about taxes. The premise of the question was flawed and Pat lit into him with a tour de force presentation drawing upon history, data, and Pat’s personal experience. It was so brutal that I actually felt bad for the reporter.  There was no follow up question.

But there was another side of Pat. I remember him being very kind/supportive to my wife and I during a difficult season in our family life.  I also remember how, in the middle of a heated phone conversation, he seemed to melt when his grandchildren came into the room.

Perhaps what I liked best about Pat is how he was constantly irritated by anyone who was comfortable with the status quo. He was irritated because he knew that America could be so much better.

Posted in Deeper Currents

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Is Phone Polling Dead?

There is a vigorous debate as to whether phone polling is dead or just dying. Some of it is fueled by the erroneous notion that the pollsters total missed the mark in the 2016 election. Actually, the national poll results were generally accurate in forecasting a modest popular vote victory for Hillary Clinton. While the polling was decent, the analysis wasn’t.

Still, there are legitimate questions about the viability of phone polling in a time when fewer than half the nation’s households have a landline telephone. And, calling cell phones isn’t necessarily the answer. Hardly anybody answers their cell phones unless they know the caller. Hard as it is for older Americans to accept, phones just aren’t for talking anymore.

The challenges for the industry go beyond just phone technology and etiquette. When I did my first live-operator poll more than 30 years ago, Americans shared a much more unified culture. Not only did we use the phone as our primary means of communication, our news and entertainment came from only a handful of sources that we all knew.

In the 1970s, 94% of Americans watched one of three television networks at night. As if that wasn’t enough, when the president spoke, we all watched because the networks ditched their regular coverage in favor of the White House messaging. Different people placed different levels of trust in the media or the president, of course, but we were all getting the same narrative as a starting point. That world no longer exists.

Today, it is certainly possible though difficult, to conduct a quality phone poll. Many firms continue to do it well. However, it will not be possible much longer. Reasonable people can disagree as to how much longer phone polling can hang on, but the future of polling will be built on digital platforms.  That’s why I’ve chosen a digital approach for all ScottRasmussen.com polls (see Methodology).

It takes more than a digital platform, though, to generate reliable data. It takes a team of top-quality professionals to use the platform appropriately and with rigorous standards. That’s why I’ve chosen HarrisX, a leading research company specializing in online surveys, to be my partner at ScottRasmussen.com. They will survey one thousand registered voters for us five nights a week. Each night’s survey collects responses from diverse panel of Americans and is designed to reflect a nationally-representative sample weighted for gender, region, race/ethnicity, income, political party, education, and other relevant demographics.

Reliable data is the foundation of public opinion research. But, as we saw in 2016, good data can be distorted by bad analysis. The starting point for good analysis is asking the right questions.

At ScottRasmussen.com we have an experienced team of research professionals who suggest topics, draft questionnaires, and guide all aspects of the survey process. We are constantly and consciously seeking to supplement rather than simply repeat data collected by other public polling firms. We believe that intentionally exploring contrarian themes enhances the public debate by highlighting other perspectives and providing a richer understanding of the topics at hand.

Once we have the data, our analysis is based upon great respect for the common-sense wisdom of the American people. If, for example, most people don’t know who represents them in Congress, we conclude that such knowledge is of little value to them. If the answers to two questions seem inconsistent from a political perspective, we assume that the political perspective is missing something important. Often, that will lead us to ask further questions to improve our understanding of the public mood (read About Us).

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Polling Methodology

The appropriate methodology for any public opinion survey is dependent upon the survey objective and needs of the client. Scott Rasmussen relies primarily upon online survey techniques to conduct his surveys. However, in some instances, the online research is supplemented by automated phone polling approaches.

There are two basic approaches to selecting respondents for online surveys. One is to randomly contact participants from a comprehensive panel of potential participants. The other is to randomly contact participants from an appropriate list (i.e.—voters or customers). Again, the appropriate approach depends upon the needs of the client.

Automated phone polling interviews are made exclusively from appropriate lists and only land line phones are contacted. Such calls generally reach an older and more rural audience than is representative of the population at large. However, in some circumstances, this can be useful to offset the fact that online surveys find it easier to reach younger and more urban participants.

In all surveys conducted by Scott Rasmussen, certain quotas are applied to insure adequate representation of diverse demographic and geographic populations. The final results are lightly weighted by gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the population being studied. Other variables are frequently reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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The Senate Protects Our Freedoms

Based upon census bureau projections, 69% of all Americans are projected to live in the 16 largest states. Given the uncertainties of predicting how people will live in an era of self-driving cars and other cultural changes, the precise numbers may be a bit off. But, it is certainly true that a handful of large states will hold the bulk of the population. That’s the way it’s always been and probably always will be.

These states will dominate the House of Representatives. If they have 69% of the population, they will have roughly 69% of the seats in Congress.

The Senate, however, is different. Each state is represented by two Senators regardless of population. California gets two Senators for its 39 million residents. But Wyoming gets two as well, despite having barely 600,000. At a very instinctive level, that seems unfair. Our underlying view of democracy demands that every person should have an equal voice in selecting government officials.

On a larger scale, some pundits express great concern that the 34 smaller states will have an outsized presence in the United States Senate. A recent Washington Post column noted that roughly “30 percent of the population of the country will control 68 percent of the seats in the U.S. Senate.” Critics also note that these smaller states are generally in the center of the country and are demographically different than the larger coastal states.

If America was supposed to be a pure democracy, this would be wildly inappropriate and troubling. However, our nation was founded on a belief in freedom as well as democracy. The architects of our Constitution recognized that one of the greatest threats to individual freedom would be a tyranny of the majority. Allowing 51% of voters to set rules for the other 49% to live by would be a recipe for disaster, not democracy.

Without the Senate, tyrannical majorities in coastal America could completely ignore the concerns of those who live in the middle of the country. They could pass laws that make sense in New York and California but are completely inappropriate in Missouri or Wisconsin. The Senate protects against such an outcome.

It’s important to note that this does not give the smaller states the ability to ignore the wishes of the coastal states. Those larger states have plenty of power in the House. In practical terms, as the Post notes, “The House and the Senate will be weighted to two largely different Americas.” For the federal government to work, the two Americas need to recognize each other’s’ concerns and find ways to address them.

This requirement to address the concerns of others annoys those who want an efficient government to quickly implement their own pet policies. It irritates those who believe 51% of the people should be able to use the government for whatever purposes they want. It frustrates presidents and other politicians who want to implement their agendas without working through a complex system of checks and balances.

But those concerns are the very reason for having a Senate. It is part of a carefully designed structure of government that forces leaders to build a strong consensus before unleashing the power of the federal government. As such, the Senate is essential to protecting our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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The Culture Leads, Not the Supreme Court

Just about every American election year is peppered with quotes from seemingly very serious people claiming that, for some reason, this is the most important election of our lifetime. This year, we’re also being told that the political battle to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy may be the most important confirmation vote of all time. News stories are littered with references to how it will change the direction of the court and the country for a generation or more.

Such rhetoric misses the important reality that we live in a land where the culture leads and politics lag behind. Yes, elections are important. They have consequences. Yes, it matters who serves on the Supreme Court. That, too, has consequences.

But elected politicians and appointed Supreme Court Justices do not lead the nation. They follow.

For example, one of the hot-button issues that has activists worked up is abortion. Liberal activists are terrified that a more conservative court may overturn Roe v. Wade. Social conservatives are thrilled at the prospect. But, it’s important to recognize that the threat to Roe v. Wade is not President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Instead, the threat to Roe v. Wade is the fact that the controversial ruling is far from settled law in the Court of Public Opinion.

As of last month, according to Gallup, 48% of Americans considered themselves pro-life while 48% considered themselves pro-choice. Those numbers are little changed over the past 18 years. And, if anything, they have shifted a bit in the pro-life direction since the 1990s. Ultimately, it is these underlying public attitudes that created a Supreme Court equally divided on the question.

Of course, abortion is far from the only issue on the Supreme Court’s agenda. The Nixon Administration launched an effort in the 1970s giving the federal bureaucracy more power to issue rules for the rest of us to live by. Some call this enormous centralization of power the Administrative State. I call it the Regulatory State. Whatever you call it, the Supreme Court placed few limits. Now, that appears to be changing. In fact, a Brookings Institute article suggests that reigning in the Regulatory State may be one of Kavenaugh’s first big impacts on the court.

Why would this happen? Because the Regulatory State has never enjoyed the consent of the governed. In the nearly half-century of Regulatory State prominence, a majority of Americans has never trusted the federal government to do the right thing most of the time. According to Monmouth University polling, 60% of Americans believe unelected officials have too much power. Just 26% believe the balance between elected officials and the bureaucracy is about right. To top it off, Monmouth reports that 80% believe these officials monitor and spy on American citizens.

The list could go on and on. America is led by a deep cultural commitment to freedom, equality, and self-governance. As a society, we pragmatically apply those core values to the issues of the day and eventually a broad societal consensus is achieved. Elected officials and Supreme Court justices have an important role to play in this process. But, we must never forget that their role is to reflect the nation rather than lead it.

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Is Populism a Blessing or Curse?

As we celebrate our nation’s 242nd birthday, America is caught up in a populist moment. Whether this is a good thing or not depends largely upon how you define populism.

For some, populism is nothing more than a belief that, in America, the people are supposed to be in charge. It’s reminding government officials of the timeless principles eloquently expressed in the Declaration of Independence: governments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed. All of us are created equal with an unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

If that’s what populism is all about, it’s a real blessing.

However, Brookings Institute scholar William Galston properly sees other strains of populism as a fundamental threat to American democracy. Populists, according to Galston, believe there are no limits to what a majority of voters can authorize the government to do. It “puts pressure on the individual rights and limits on public power at the heart of” our system of government.

If populism is about simply winning 51% of the vote and imposing rules for the other 49% to live by, it’s an invitation to tyranny of the majority. That’s a curse that rejects our founding ideals and will destroy the United States. Unfortunately, there are plenty of extremists on both the political right and left embracing this view.

We can leave the definition of populism to academics. A more important task at the moment is figuring out how the nation can move forward to more fully live out its founding ideals. On this topic, Galston offers a helpful four-point framework defining the way our governing system is supposed to work.

The first, what he calls the Republican Principle, is that the people are the “sole source of legitimacy” for our government.  The second is Democracy, a concept suggesting that everybody has an equal right to participate in governing decisions and that the majority rules.

The third point in Galston’s formula is Constitutionalism, a set of enduring rules for formal governance. Fortunately, the American Constitution includes an elaborate system of checks and balances built upon a separation of powers. That is essential for protecting the fourth pillar of Galston’s approach: “creating a sphere beyond the rightful reach of government in which individuals can enjoy independence and privacy.”

In today’s world, we’d call that fourth pillar a commitment to individual freedom. Galston calls it “liberalism”, based on an historic understanding of the term. It does not reflect political liberalism as understood in the 21st century.

This commitment to individual freedom is the most important part of the entire structure. It limits what a majority of voters, a majority of legislators, a majority of Supreme Court Justices, or any president can do to other Americans. That protection of individuals and minority groups is essential to the most basic of all American values: the belief that we all have the right to live our own lives as we see fit so long as we respect the rights of others to do the same.

Galston’s book, Anti-Pluralism: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy (Yale University Press, 2018)is a healthy reminder of the ongoing challenge of balancing freedom and democracy in the 21st century. There’s plenty I disagree with in it, but even more thought-provoking insights.

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The Immigration Mess

Problems with U.S. immigration policy played a big role in the 2016 presidential election and are likely to do so in election after election until significant changes are made. It’s a serious issue worthy of substantial public debate. However, what passes for a public dialogue on the issue is anything but serious.

It is, for example, heartbreaking to hear about and see pictures of young children separated from their parents at the U.S. border. According to a CBS poll, only 4% of Americans support that approach for dealing with families who enter the country illegally. But, beyond that, there’s not a clear consensus on what should be done.

Under the Obama Administration, families who entered the country illegally were released into the United States and required to report back for a hearing on their status at a later date. Not surprisingly, many failed to report as promised. Also not surprising is the fact that only 21% of Americans support that policy.

Roughly half of all Americans believe that families who enter the U.S. illegally should simply be returned to their home country.  While understandable, that approach raises the question of how we will ensure that those sent home won’t try again to illegally enter the United States. Since coming to the United States could offer a better future for their children, it’s reasonable to assume that caring parents won’t give up after just one try.

Clearly, a debate focused around the narrow question of how to deal with families entering the U.S. illegally will not lead to a lasting solution for the current immigration mess.

Instead, the starting point for a serious debate would focus on what sort of legal immigration the nation is willing to encourage or accept. Most Americans support a generally welcoming immigration policy so long as those who come here can support themselves and do not pose a national security or criminal threat. Such concerns cannot be lightly dismissed. Sixty-one percent (61%) believe that some of those seeking to enter the country illegally are criminals and gang members. Sixty-seven percent (67%) believe that some are seeking handouts and welfare payments.

Coming up with a policy to address those concerns raises an important subset of questions. Do we prioritize those who have valuable skills or relatives of U.S. citizens? How much legal immigration should we allow? What exceptions should be allowed for humanitarian purposes?  How do we classify seasonal workers who want to legally enter the country and then return home? Should the states or federal government determine how many such workers are allowed? How long should new immigrants be required to live in the United States before being eligible for citizenship? The list could go on and on.

While difficult, it is quite possible to build a consensus around policies that respect America’s great tradition as both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. As on most issues, there is far more common ground among the American people on immigration than the elites would like to admit.

And, a key part of that common ground is a belief that a functioning system of legal immigration must be supported by a rational program for preventing illegal immigration.

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Politicians Learn How Governments Are Held Accountable

Political leaders often talk as if the right to vote is our most powerful tool for holding government accountable. Voting is important, but its impact is limited by an electoral process that protects incumbents and offers voters’ few meaningful options.

Fortunately, as the Seattle City Council learned recently, there are other ways to hold politicians and governments accountable.

The Seattle politicians passed a law requiring big companies to pay a special tax for every person on the payroll. This “head tax” was the brainchild of a socialist council member Kshama Sawant. She apparently reasoned that big companies like Amazon had enough money and should be forced to kick in a bit more for the good of the city.

While that may have sounded good to progressive political activists, the councilwoman didn’t seem to consider the reality that Amazon could hire people anywhere. The giant employer didn’t have to stay in Seattle and many citizens worried that the new tax would lead to fewer jobs in the city.

Quickly, petition signatures were gathered, the issue was placed on the November ballot, and the city council surrendered. With voters set to repeal the tax on their own, seven-of-the-nine city council members decided to cut their losses rather than endure a five-month debate highlighting how out of touch they were.

The key to understanding this reversal is recognizing that citizens have more power as consumers than we do as voters. Cities and towns must constantly compete for residents, employers, and jobs. That competition places great constraints on the power of local government officials.

The concept of using consumer power to hold governments accountable was first seriously developed in 1956 by Northwestern University’s Charles M. Tiebout. He compared the act of moving or failing to move to the typical consumer decision-making about whether or not to buy a particular product.

Looked at this way, when we choose a place to live, we are “buying” a mix of lifestyle benefits, and the “price” we pay is determined by housing costs, taxes, regulations, and other factors. If the costs go up or the benefits go down, we might initially try voting in a new team to fix the problem. After all, it’s a bit of a hassle to move. But, if the prices keep going up or the services keep going down, we can simply move to greener pastures.

In Seattle, residents quickly recognized that the “head tax” would make it harder for the city to retain and attract quality jobs for its citizens. Had it not been repealed, many Seattle residents would have followed the jobs and moved elsewhere.

There’s a larger lesson here as well. People who mistakenly believe that voting is our most powerful tool for holding government accountable misunderstand how society is governed. They believe governing a city or a society is the responsibility of government alone.

Nothing could be further from the truth. We need a pragmatic all-hands-on-board approach that draws upon family, community groups, businesses, and government to all play a role in governing society. Each of us has a role to play.

As citizens, we can most powerfully influence the governing process by our decisions about what to walk away from… and what we walk towards.

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Let’s End Official White House Visits for Sports Champions

One of this week’s silliest news “controversies” swirled around the Philadelphia Eagles’ cancelled visit to the White House. Pundits on the right were offended that many players refused the honor of a White House invitation just because they don’t like the president. On the left, CNN’s Chris Cillizza was deeply offended by President Trump’s decision to rescind the invite and his “appalling” statement about it.

In other words, the entire episode was simply a Rorschach test that provided a platform for partisans on both sides to voice entirely predictable opinions. If the president said his favorite color was yellow, some would hail the wisdom of the choice while others would find evidence of corruption. That’s just the way things work in politics today.

But this incident reveals a deeper rot in the entire political process. Both sides in the partisan sniping implicitly assume that the president should act like royalty and treat the White House like a palace.  It’s part of a larger attitude pretending that the president’s every utterance is of supreme importance and that he must express an opinion on just about everything.

I disagree.

The president’s job is to lead the government, not bestow royal blessings on successful citizens or offer a running commentary on every fad in the news cycle. Bluntly, I don’t care what President Trump thinks about the Philadelphia Eagles any more than I cared about the March Madness brackets filled out by President Obama. If you want royalty, go to London.

In America, it should be possible to watch a football game or go to the theater without hearing from or about the president. In fact, it should be normal to go about daily life without encountering the intrusion of partisan politics into every nook and cranny of society. Unfortunately, that’s not the case today.

To restore balance in our public life, it’s well past time to establish social boundaries protecting large segments of public life from the civic pollution of politics. We must get rid of the false media narrative that every problem has a political solution and every situation must be analyzed politically. President Trump could take a simple step in the right direction by ending the practice of inviting teams to the White House.

With boundaries protecting society from politics, it would be easier to remember that the president runs the government, not the country. We would see more reminders that almost all positive change in America comes from far outside of official Washington. Leaders like Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates have each had a more lasting impact than any politician.

That’s the way it’s supposed to work in a nation founded upon the ideals of freedom, equality, and self-governance. Politics do have a role to play in governing our society, but it is not the lead role. Instead, progress comes from unleashing the creativity and resources of individual Americans, families, community groups, churches, entrepreneurs, small businesses, local governments and more. Leadership comes from millions of everyday Americans who work together in community to create a better world.

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Republicans Poised to Gain Senate Seats in 2018

Last December, Democrat Doug Jones won a Senate race in Alabama by defeating a horribly flawed Republican candidate Roy Moore. For the first time, it appeared that the Democrats had a plausible path to winning control of the U.S. Senate in 2018. The Republican advantage was trimmed to a 51-49 margin and a net change of two seats would make New York Senator Chuck Schumer the new Senate Majority leader.

To win the Senate, all the Democrats had to do was win GOP seats in Arizona and Nevada and successfully defend all of their incumbents. At the time, the Democrats had a double-digit lead on the Generic Congressional Ballot and being opposed to President Trump seemed to be all that was needed. It looked like the Democrats were poised to ride a blue wave back to power.

My, how times have changed!

Shortly after Doug Jones won that special election in Alabama, the Republicans in Congress cut taxes and eliminated the Obamacare mandate. Having demonstrated that they could do something that their voters wanted, the GOP prospects began to improve. Now, with the elections just six months away, it seems that Republican are more likely to gain seats in the Senate rather than lose control.

Sure, it’s still possible that the Dems could pick up seats in Arizona and Nevada. But, such an outcome is far from a sure thing as both races are now toss-ups.

And, even if Schumer’s party wins both of those races, the chances of successfully defending all of the vulnerable Democratic incumbents is increasingly in doubt. The Dems are playing defense hoping to hang on to five Senate seats in states that President Trump won by double digits—West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, and Montana. On top of that, Florida Governor Rick Scott has entered the fray to challenge Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in a toss-up state. Early indications are that Scott has all the energy and momentum in the race.

The numbers clearly favor the GOP. If, for example, the Democrats pick up BOTH toss-up races in Arizona and Nevada, the Republicans need to win just one of the other six competitive races to keep the Senate at a 50-50 tie. With Vice President Mike Pence empowered to cast the deciding vote, the GOP would remain in control.

At this moment in time, however, it seems like the Republicans should expect to do much better than a mere 50-50 tie in the Senate. There is certainly a chance they could win at least one of the toss-up Senate races in either Arizona or Nevada (especially if Martha McSally wins the Republican nomination in Arizona).

Beyond that, Democrats Claire McCaskill and Joe Donnelly face uphill battles in Missouri and Indiana. It’s very easy to imagine the R’s picking up at least one of those seats. Democrat Heidi Heitkamp is probably a slight underdog in her North Dakota re-election bid. In West Virginia, Joe Manchin’s personal popularity may be enough to overcome the fact that President Trump carried the state by 42 points—but it will probably be very close. And, as always, Florida remains a pure toss-up.

Add it all up, and the Democrats need to pull an inside straight to avoid losing seats in the Senate this November.

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The Fundamental Reason President Trump Will Not Be Impeached

President Trump is in no danger of being impeached and removed from office. I say this with confidence despite having no knowledge of what Special Counsel Mueller and his team may find.

That’s because impeachment is a political process rather than a legal process. As a result, things that happen outside the world of government matter far more than the things official Washington obsesses about.

Politically, the most important outside factor governing any president’s fate is the U.S. economy. This truth is confirmed by the two modern efforts to impeach a president. In 1974, President Nixon was forced to resign from office. In 1998, however, President Clinton not only stayed in office but grew more popular over time.

In the months leading up to Nixon’s landslide re-election in 1972, consumer confidence reached its highest level in years. According to the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, confidence reached 95.2 in the third quarter of that year. Less than two years later, confidence collapsed all the way to 64.4 and Nixon was forced from office.

Shortly after Nixon’s victory, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached an all-time high. But, in the two years that followed, a brutal recession shook the nation’s confidence and stock prices fell nearly 40%. The numbers don’t begin to capture the bleak mood as the country was forced to ration gasoline for the first time since World War II.

In Bill Clinton’s case, exactly the opposite occurred. When he was re-elected in 1996, consumer confidence was at roughly the same level as when Nixon won his second term. Rather than crashing, though, consumer sentiment improved by nine points in the following two years. Stock prices increased by 28% in 1997 and 16% in 1998. Once again, the numbers don’t tell the full story. The national optimism during Clinton’s tenure was boosted by an emerging tech industry that promised amazing breakthroughs.

In other words, it was the economy that put the final nails in Nixon’s presidential coffin. But, it sustained Bill Clinton through tough times. If the economy performed for Nixon as it did for Clinton, he would not have been forced from office. If Clinton had suffered through Nixon’s economy, many Democrats would have urged him to step aside.

None of this suggests that everyday Americans don’t care about corruption in politics or the toxic nature of our dysfunctional political system. They would love honest politicians who put others first. But in the real world, voters rarely have a choice between the devil and an angel. On the day he was elected president, 64% of voters believed Donald Trump was NOT honest and trustworthy. However, 61% said the same of Hillary Clinton.

Rather than holding out for a saintly politician, pragmatic voters go with the lesser of two evils. As a result, today’s economy is protecting Trump as it did Clinton a generation ago. Since the months leading up to Trump’s victory, consumer sentiment has gone up about the same amount as it did under Clinton. Several polls have shown that Americans feel better about the way things are going than they have in a long time. Stock prices are up 25% as well.

Trump will not be forced from office in such an environment.

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STATE OF THE MIDTERMS

Last December, the midterm outlook looked bleak for Republicans. With the Democrats enjoying a 13-point lead on the Generic Ballot, pundits talked of a “big blue wave.” The question was not whether the Democrats would win the two dozen seats needed to gain control of the House, but whether they might win 40-50 seats in a landslide approaching the Republican gains in 2010.

Since then, Republicans passed a tax cut, eliminated the Obamacare mandate, and took other steps to reduce the regulatory burden. The economy took off, people are feeling better about how things are going in the nation, and recent primaries suggest that the enthusiasm of Republican voters is higher than expected.

As a result, the Democratic lead on the Generic Ballot is down to five points. At that level, control of the House is close to a Toss-Up. Nancy Pelosi’s party may be slight favorites to win the 23 additional House seats they need, but they could easily fall short. While seeking to navigate this newly treacherous electoral landscape, the Democrats are dealing with the reality that the enthusiasm of the progressive base can be a double-edged sword. It can help with turnout but may also create electoral headaches.

Earlier this week, for example, progressives helped social worker Kara Eastman win the Democratic nomination in Nebraska’s second Congressional District. It’s a district that the president won in 2016 and is expected to be competitive this fall. With a more centrist candidate, the race was considered a pure toss-up. With a far-left nominee in the race, however Republican incumbent Don Bacon is now favored to win.

The importance of a single race like this can be seen in the numbers. Currently at ScottRasmussen.com, we rate 202 races as leaning towards the Democrats. Additionally, there are 24 races rated as either a Toss-Up or just barely Tilting towards the Republican. To win control, Pelosi’s party will need to win 16 of these 24 races. Every potentially competitive race they give away makes the odds more challenging. Primaries in the next month or so will give us a good sense of how big a problem this is for the Democrats.

On top of that, the double-edged sword of progressive enthusiasm provides Democrats with another challenge. The issues that appeal to the progressive base are likely to turn off swing voters. Nancy Pelosi recently confirmed that her team will raise taxes if they win. That message will appeal to Bernie Sanders’ supporters but not middle-income families.

And, of course, progressive Democrats want their party to impeach President Trump. The more that such talk dominates the midterm elections, the more it helps Republicans. Impeachment talk will not play well with the swing voters who disapprove of the president but still view him as the lesser of two evils.

It’s been six months since Democrats enjoyed their 13-point lead on the Generic Congressional Ballot and dreamed of historic gains in the midterm election. With six months to go, there’s obviously plenty of time for the political environment to change again. For now, however, the parties are locked in a tight race-by-race contest that could go either way.

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Was The Blankenship “Momentum” Real?

In the final days before the West Virginia primary, breathless media coverage suggested that businessman Don Blankenship was gaining ground rapidly and had a real shot at winning the Republican Senate nomination. ABC News quoted a “national Republican operative” who said it’s “down to the wire” and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the controversial candidate won.

All this concern even prompted President Trump to tweet that Blankenship “can’t win the General Election” and encouraging West Virginia voters to cast their ballots for someone else.

But Blankenship didn’t win or even come close. Instead, he finished a distant third with just 19% of the vote. It’s possible that the presidential tweet turned the tide. But it’s even more likely that there wasn’t any real Blankenship momentum to unwind.

A couple of weeks before the primary, public polls showed Blankenship a distant third, trailing two quality candidates—Attorney General Patrick Morrissey and Congressman Evan Jenkins. A Fox News poll showed Blankenship picking up 16% of the vote, not far from the 19% he actually received on Election Day. It certainly doesn’t provide any sense of pro-Blankenship momentum.

The Blankenship-was-surging storyline came from “internal polling” leaked to the media. As a general rule, it’s wise to be very skeptical of such internal polls and to remember that the leaker has an agenda. But such skepticism was missing in the run-up to primary day as Politico reported that victory was “within reach” for Blankenship. Not only that, there were reports of “finger-pointing” going on behind the scenes in GOP circles. Some were blaming the White House, some the other West Virginia candidates, and some Mitch McConnell.

How did this happen? I suspect the story took off because elite journalists and national Republican political operatives were predisposed to believe it.

Blankenship was a horrible candidate. He recently spent time in prison on charges relating to a mining disaster that killed 29 miners. His campaign rallies and comments included racist and hateful commentary. Many in the national media believe that conservative voters are primarily driven by racial resentment, especially in places like West Virginia. So, it made sense to them that a candidate like Blankenship was surging.

On top of that, the West Virginia Senate race represents a prime pick-up opportunity for the GOP. Incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin is vulnerable in a state that President Trump won by 42 percentage points (68% to 26%). A good candidate could defeat Manchin and help the Republican party retain control of the Senate. Blankenship could not.

Sadly, many national Republican political operatives also have a condescending view of their party’s voters. They were ready to believe in a Blankenship surge because they feared those voters weren’t smart enough to understand what was at stake.

When the votes were counted, however, it was the journalists and operatives who looked foolish. Their frenzied speculation in the election’s final days were as far off the mark as their discussions about how big the Hillary Clinton landslide victory would be in 2016.

Once again, the elites demonstrated how little they understand the American people.

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The Primary Season Has Arrived

After months of speculation and shifting expectations, the midterm elections will start to really take shape in the coming two months. A dozen states will host primaries in May; a dozen-and-a-half more in June.

In the battle for control of the U.S. Senate, we currently know both party’s nominees in three of the GOP’s best pick-up opportunities: Republican Governor Rick Scott is challenging Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in Florida; Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley is taking on Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in Missouri; and, Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer is challenging Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.

Next week’s primaries will determine the GOP nominees in two other states featuring vulnerable Democratic incumbents: West Virginia and Indiana. Donald Trump carried both states by wide margins and both are rated as Toss-ups at ScottRasmussen.com.

In West Virginia, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is a popular figure who won his first election in the state 36 years ago. He’s won statewide elections as Secretary of State, Governor, and U.S. Senator. While Manchin is popular, his party is not. President Trump won the Mountain State by 42 percentage points (68% to 26%).

Tuesday’s primary will determine Manchin’s opponent. Either of the two favorites–Congressman Evan Jenkins and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey—could present Manchin with a serious challenge. Veteran political analyst Larry Sabato believes that “Jenkins is the most electable, but under the right conditions Morrisey could win too.”

Democrats are hoping that former coal company CEO Don Blankenship pulls off an upset to win the nomination. He served time in prison on charges related to a mining explosion that killed 29 miners. A Blankenship victory next Tuesday would virtually guarantee another term for Manchin. Republicans are breathing easier, though, as recent polls show the former CEO falling behind Jenkins and Morrisey.

Three Republicans are also running for the right to challenge Indiana’s Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly. However, none of the three are unelectable. A pair of Congressmen– Luke Messer and Todd Rokita—have been feuding since college and were the early favorites for the nomination. Former state Representative Mike Braun has self-funded his campaign and made it a three-way race. Braun is seen by some as the frontrunner.

The bitter primary fight has some Democrats in the Hoosier State hoping for a divided Republican party. However, Sabato notes that “it’s only May and the assumption is that Republicans will unite.” He adds that the unification effort will be Vice President (and former Indiana Governor) Mike Pence’s job. As a side note, it’s possible that the Vice President’s brother will be one of the GOP nominees for the House.

Following next Tuesday, then, the contenders will be clearly identified for all the Republican’s five most likely pick-up opportunities in the U.S. Senate. Barring an upset victory by Blankenship, the GOP will have solid candidates in all five. Additionally, each of these races will be conducted in states won by President Trump (four of them by double digits). If the GOP is able to win even one of these seats, it will be very difficult for the Democrats to win control of the U.S. Senate.

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Microtrends, Not Politics, Lead the Nation

If you want to understand where America is heading, a good place to start is with Mark Penn’s new book, Microtrends Squared. Penn came to fame in the 1990s as a pollster in the Clinton White House, later served as Chief Strategy Officer for Microsoft, and is now Chairman of the Harris Poll.

One of the most valuable parts of the book is its implicit recognition of the reality that the culture leads and politicians lag behind. Of the 50 microtrends identified by Penn, only 7 deal with politics. That ratio seems about right. The other 43 highlight trends involving Love and Relationships, Health and Diet, Technology Lifestyle, and Work/Business.

Penn sees these microtrends as “dots on a global impressionist painting that comes to life when you step back and look at it holistically.” He correctly believes they have already “started to upend society.”

As if to emphasize the societal impact, the very first chapter jumps right into a data driven analysis of “Second Fiddle Husbands.” A steadily growing number of working wives earn as much or more than their husbands. Penn doesn’t get distracted arguing whether this is good or bad. As an analyst, he simply notes that this is a new reality with significant cultural implications.

He takes the same approach to identify 49 other microtrends including Independent Marrieds, Wellness Freaks, The New Addicts, Nerds with Money, Happy Pessimists, and Self-Data Lovers. These microtrends may seem small in and of themselves, but they are upending the culture we live in and reshaping the future of the nation.

These microtrends are the ways that society is working out the details of what I have called The Great Turnaround. From colonial times up until the 1970s, everything in America tended to get bigger, more centralized, and more homogenized. Then, the invention of the microprocessor along with the birth of Apple and Microsoft sent American society heading in the opposite direction. Over the past four decades, our nation has steadily become more decentralized and personalized.

Unfortunately, while our society has decentralized, our political system and government have continued on the path to increased centralization. The disconnect between a decentralizing society and a centralizing political system is unsustainable. A one-size-fits-all-government cannot survive in the iPad era. Something has to give.

That tension has weighed on Penn’s assessment of 21st century America. In a 2007 prequel to this book, he saw “boundless opportunities.” He confessed to an “over-the-top” optimism about the promise of the digital era.  Now, the veteran analyst sees a world filled with unintended consequences and a need for society to tame the power that has been unleashed. “Modern life is at a crossroads.” Microtrends “are simultaneously pulling society in different directions, often diametrically opposed.”

I remain more optimistic than Penn (though I believe the toxic political environment is likely to get worse before it gets better). And, I don’t agree with all the recommendations he makes in the closing chapter. But I strongly commend his commitment to raising the alarm about the unfolding cultural changes and challenges facing our nation. Understanding the realities presented in Microtrends Squared is an important first step towards moving our nation forward.

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Politics Polarizes, Community Unites

News outlets are routinely filled with commentary and analysis suggesting that 21st century America is a deeply polarized nation. Countless stories are presented as a battle between conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, private sector and public.

Political activists fan the flames with talking points “proving” that they hold the moral and rational high ground. They convey a sense that anybody who disagrees with them is either stupid or corrupt.

Watching all this makes many people fighting mad and fills them with a burning desire to beat the other team. Far too many nice and reasonable people get so riled up by the partisanship that they do rude and obnoxious things. Friends begin to tune them out and avoid them because their intensity and single-minded focus is tiresome.

The saddest part of all comes when the campaigning ends and people learn the ultimate futility of engaging in politics as usual. Even when your team wins, nothing really changes and the anger increases.

Some commentators bemoan all the anger and long for a more civilized form of political combat. They want to believe that social media or alienated voters or some other outside force is causing the problem.

Such a utopian fantasy misses the point: Polarization is not a cancer on the body politic, it is the lifeblood of politics. Politicians grasping for power and money need polarization to pose as heroes protecting “their” voters from the “other” side.

Polarization distracts attention from the reality that politicians are less important than they think they are. It hides the truth that the culture leads and politicians lag behind.

Perhaps worst of all, political polarization blinds many to the common ground we share as Americans. As a nation founded upon the ideals of freedom, equality, and self-governance, we share a common creed:

· Just about all of us believe we have the right to live our lives as we see fit, so long as we respect the rights of others to do the same.

· We also share a nearly universal desire to create a better world by working together in community. That’s the best use of our individual freedom.

Building upon these shared values, America’s real leaders reside far from Washington and serve their communities in a variety of ways. Most importantly, they recognize that governing is not the responsibility of government alone. Instead, every organization and relationship has a role to play in making society work.

Community leaders work through a variety of local groups typically formed to meet a specific need. It could be anything from a volunteer fire department to a beautification committee or theater group. When a need arises, servant leaders seek to unleash the creativity of individual Americans, families, community groups, churches, entrepreneurs, small businesses, local governments, and anyone willing to help.

Most of these efforts produce an important side benefit that is even more valuable than the task at hand. Working together in community build relationships between people from different backgrounds and with different experiences. That builds social capital which can unify a community and a nation.

America is much bigger—and better—than its politics. Our political process may be divided and dysfunctional. But our nation is not. Thankfully, the leadership that can bring us together is already hard at work in communities throughout the land.

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An Epic Power Struggle: Government Fights The Tech Industry

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony on Capitol Hill is merely the latest round in an ongoing power struggle between official Washington and the tech industry.

It’s a struggle that stems from a core reality identified years ago by Harvard’s Nicco Mele. “The devices and connectivity so essential to modern life put unprecedented power in the hands of every individual.” Empowering individuals is great for everyone except for those elite officials who used to wield more power over the rest of us. “Radical connectivity is toxic to traditional power structures.”

As Mele describes it, smartphones and other tech innovation have led to “a radical redistribution of power that our traditional institutions don’t and perhaps can’t understand.” That failure to understand is clearly on display in the Zuckerberg matter.

Millions of Americans are understandably upset about Facebook’s failure to protect private information. Those who place their faith in traditional governmental institutions believe this should lead to regulation protecting individual privacy rights. But the notion of the federal government protecting our privacy is laughable to millions.

Rather than believing the feds will protect our privacy, most Americans (53%) believe the federal government is engaged in widespread spying on American citizens. Another 29% believe the spying goes on but is not all that widespread. A Monmouth University poll found only 14% believe the government does not engage in such behavior.

This is not just an abstract fear. A majority of Americans are specifically concerned that the federal government has invaded their own privacy. Despite the mistakes made by Facebook, the company’s behavior is widely perceived to be the lesser of two evils.

Another misunderstanding is the belief held by some that the tech industry should be regulated to eliminate the scourge of “Fake News.” As viewed by official Washington, real news comes from traditional media sources like newspapers and major TV outlets. In this world view, “Fake News” refers to information that is circulated on social media without official blessing from traditional news outlets.

The problem with this view, however, is that 77% of Americans believe such traditional news outlets report “Fake News.” And they don’t think it happens by accident.  Most believe that such false reports are released intentionally to push an agenda. Just 13 percent of Americans believe that the media does a very good job covering both sides of political issues fairly.

While those who place their trust in traditional journalists see social media as the purveyor of “Fake News,” a much larger number view social media as an antidote to the “Fake News” peddled by traditional journalists. It gives people a way to learn about issues ignored by the elite media and hear a wider variety of perspectives on things that matter. It may not be perfect but relying upon social media is seen by many as a lesser evil than relying solely upon traditional journalists.

There are certainly legitimate concerns about tech companies and some of their products. It’s also reasonable to ask whether tech companies are too big and should be broken up. But, we should never lose sight of the fact that digital technologies have empowered individuals at the expense of traditional power structures.

For those in power, that’s a cause for concern. For the rest of us, it’s a reason to celebrate.

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Iowa Leads the Way on Obamacare Reform

Lawmakers and bureaucrats in official Washington often act as if their decisions lead the nation forward. News from Iowa this week, however, shows once again that the culture leads and politicians lag behind.

Kim Reynolds became Iowa’s Governor last May when her predecessor (Terry Branstad) resigned to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China. Reynolds is now running for her own full term in a state where the average Obamacare premiums jumped 57%. “Many Iowans faced a choice of going broke or going without insurance,” according to Reynolds.  “And that’s really not a real choice.”

Seizing the opportunity to solve a problem during an election year, Reynolds signed a bill allowing the Iowa Farm Bureau to offer “health benefit plans” that aren’t covered by the Obamacare regulations. Most significantly, the law will give Iowa residents more choice in the amount of insurance they want to buy.

In purely economic terms, this directly addresses a core reason that insurance prices have jumped so high. The Obamacare regulations mandated that all insurance policies must cover all kinds of medical conditions. Insurance companies loved that one-size-fits-all approach because it forced many people to buy more insurance than they needed or wanted.

For consumers, though, the result of those regulations was sticker shock. An Iowa woman who watched the Governor sign the new law observed “there’s no reason a healthy 32-year-old should be paying more for health insurance than for her mortgage.” Because of Iowa’s new law, she will now have a choice between lower premiums for a basic level of insurance and higher premiums for more comprehensive coverage.

Choice is the key.

The enduring resistance to Obamacare mandates stems from the fact that the law clashed with one of America’s deepest values and cultural traditions. Americans overwhelmingly believe that we have the right to live our own life as we choose, so long as we respect the rights of others to do the same.

That core belief is the reason Obamacare’s individual mandate—a requirement forcing people to buy a specific type of insurance—was so unpopular. Fifteen million Americans said they would drop the insurance coverage if they were allowed to do so. Another six million paid a fine rather than sign up.

These people received a little relief late last year when Republicans in Congress repealed the individual mandate. However, they are still saddled with other mandates requiring insurance companies to sell only the most expensive and comprehensive plans. The states are taking the lead in addressing that problem.

Earlier this year, Idaho passed a law explicitly authorizing insurance companies to sell more basic insurance plans with lower premiums. That effort has encountered strong resistance from the federal government. Iowa has taken a different approach to achieve the same objective. Governor Reynolds and her team found a loophole in the law and are taking advantage of it. It’s likely that many other states will try similar approaches as they search for ways to serve their residents.

The important thing about this development, however, is not the cleverness of the Iowa Governor. It’s about America’s cultural rejection of the idea that bureaucrats know best. Our cultural commitment to freedom will keep driving the process forward and giving individual Americans more control of their own health care choices.

Posted in Scott's Columns

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68 Republican House Seats Potentially At Risk

Democrats must pick up 23 seats to win a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives this November. They have plenty of openings since 68 seats currently held by Republicans are at varying levels of risk.

A race-by-race analysis at ScottRasmussen.com shows that 28 of these Republican seats are at a high level of risk (Democrat favored, Toss-Up, Tilt Republican). Fourteen more are modestly competitive while leaning in the GOP direction. Finally, 26 others might be at risk depending upon the political environment this fall.

Seven (7) Republican seats are already tilting or leaning to the Democrats. These are races where Republican incumbents like Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) retired.

Another 13 races are rated as pure toss-ups bringing the number of top-tier Democratic opportunities to 20. Five (5) are found in Pennsylvania due to a court-ordered redistricting plan and most are suburban districts.

Given that midterm election dynamics typically favor the party out of power, all 20 GOP seats rated as toss-ups or tilting in the Democratic direction could easily flip from R to D in November. Adding to the challenge for Republicans is that there are very few opportunities for GOP gains. Only two Democratic seats are rated as toss-ups.

While these realities are encouraging for Democrats, they can’t win the majority without defeating some Republican candidates who are currently favored. In fact, control might be determined by the results in eight (8) Republican seats currently rated as barely tilting in favor of the incumbent party. While each race has its own distinct characteristics, the results are likely to be reflective of the national political dialogue.

For example, Minnesota-3 could be decided by the electoral power of the Republican tax-cuts. In a district Clinton won by 9 points, Democrats hope to use that issue against incumbent Republican Erik Paulsen. On the other hand, Paulsen believes that “tax cuts and regulatory reform have created real momentum in our economy.”  If the tax cut message works, it will help Paulsen keep his job along with many other Republicans in competitive districts.

In Texas-3, John Culberson was seen early on as a potential target for Democrats. Clinton narrowly won his district and the incumbent was slow to build a campaign team and fundraise. But he may have caught a break due to the deep divide between progressives and more centrist candidates. National Democratic strategists openly opposed progressive Laura Moser in the primary, but she made it to the run-off anyhow.

The Democratic civil war may benefit Culberson and other Republicans hoping to keep their jobs. If progressive candidates like Moser are nominated, it could turn off more pragmatic voters. On the other hand, if more centrist Democrats are nominated, it’s not clear whether progressive voters will maintain their enthusiasm to vote in November.

If tax cuts and the Democratic civil war help candidates like Paulsen and Culberson win, the GOP might have a decent election night and retain narrow control of the House.  Still, even a good night for Paul Ryan’s party would probably mean losing 15 – 20 seats.

On the other hand, there’s a lot of potential upside for the Democrats. With 68 Republican seats at risk, Nancy Pelosi’s team can dream of a victory as big as the Republican gains in 2010.

Posted in Scott's Columns

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Dems Get Good News from PA, But There’s a Long Way to Go

Just over a week ago, turnout in the Texas primary raised serious questions about how big the Democratic wave could grow by November. This week, however, Connor Lamb won a narrow special victory in a Pennsylvania district that President Trump had carried by 20 points. Democratic spirits soared and some began dreaming that 100 or more Republican House seats could be at risk.

It’s natural for political types to overstate the importance of the most recent election or the one that’s coming up next. After all, convincing voters that the fate of the world hinges on the results is a key part of getting them out to vote. In reality, however, the events of the last two weeks are just early signs of what might happen rather than what will happen.  It’s important to keep things in perspective.

The good news for Democrats from both Texas and Pennsylvania is that President Trump has energized the opposition. The early results confirm polling and anecdotal evidence that Democratic voters are more excited about voting this cycle than Republicans. It’s almost a mirror image of what happened in 2010 when President Obama energized his opposition party.

If the enthusiasm advantage persists into November, the Democrats are likely to win a majority in the House of Representatives. A race-by-race analysis at ScottRasmussen.com currently projects that Nancy Pelosi’s party would end up with 222 seats while the Republicans would have only 213 (assuming a good turnout for the Democrats). And, there’s plenty of upside for the Democrats if the political winds keep blowing in their direction.

Another good sign for the Democrats is that some of these early expectations can take on the character of a self-fulfilling prophecy. A sense of momentum may help in recruiting top-tier candidates in competitive race and will certainly help the party’s fundraising. On the flip side of the coin, evidence of a coming Democratic wave could open up more opportunities by convincing even more Republican incumbents to retire.

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