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Datapoints

Taking the public's pulse on business, politics, and culture, by KARLYN BOWMAN.
Putting Stock in the Market 04/16/2014 

Twenty-three percent of adults surveyed by Bloomberg News said the Obama administration was most responsible for the recent growth in the stock market, while a solid majority said the strength of the private sector was the cause. In another question in the poll, however, only 21 percent said the recent growth in the market made them feel more secure. Seventy-seven percent said it has had little or no effect on their personal financial situation.

 

Labor Unions 04/14/2014 

In a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, one-third of adults surveyed had positive impressions of labor unions, while a third had negative ones and 26 percent were neutral. In 1997, those responses were 38 percent positive and 33 percent negative, with roughly the same proportion, 24 percent, neutral about them. In a December 2013 AP/National Opinion Research Center poll, 13 percent of respondents said labor unions were doing too much to solve the country’s problems, 18 percent said they shouldn’t be doing anything to solve them, 36 percent said they were doing too little, and 30 percent said they were doing the right amount.

 

The Gap between Rich and Poor 04/11/2014 

In a new Gallup poll, 19 percent of adults volunteered that unemployment/jobs was the top problem facing the country today. It was closely followed by dissatisfaction with government/politicians/Congress (18 percent). Gallup listed the top 12 responses people volunteered, and the gap between rich and poor ranked last, cited by 3 percent of adults surveyed.

 

Unmanned Drones 04/09/2014 

In a late February CBS News/New York Times poll, two-thirds of adults favored the United States using unmanned drones to carry out missile attacks against suspected terrorists in foreign countries, while 29 percent were opposed. In May 2013, those responses were 72 and 22 percent, respectively.

 

Are You Better Off? 04/07/2014 

In a new poll from Fox News, 34 percent of registered voters said the country is better off than it was five years ago, while 60 percent said it isn’t. Eight percent of Republicans, 32 percent of Independents, and 57 percent of Democrats said the country is better off. A March Bloomberg poll asked whether respondents were personally better off than five years ago, and 46 percent said they were, while 36 percent said they were worse off, and 17 percent felt they were about the same.

Anti-incumbent Sentiment 04/02/2014 

In a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, 22 percent of adults surveyed said they would be inclined to vote to re-elect their representative to Congress in November, while 68 percent said they would be inclined to look for someone new. Anti-incumbent sentiment in the poll was at a 20-year high. Other polls show a similar appetite for change. In the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 55 percent of respondents said they thought it was time to give a new person a chance in their district, while 33 percent said their representative deserved to be re-elected.

A New Normal? 03/31/2014 

In the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, adults were asked if they thought the United States was still in an economic recession. Fifty-seven percent responded that the country was, while 41 percent disagreed. In late 2008 after the financial crash, 77 percent said the country was still in a recession. In another question in the new poll, a rough equivalent number of people said the economy would get better in the next year (26 percent) or get worse (25 percent). Nearly half, 48 percent, expected it to stay about the same.

The Affordable Care Act at 4 03/24/2014 

Four years ago, on March 23, the Affordable Care Act became law. In every major new poll, more people oppose than support it. Take the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Eighty-three percent of adults surveyed by the pollsters said they had seen, read, or heard a lot or some about implementation of the Act, a high level of attentiveness. In the poll, 35 percent said the health care law was a good idea but nearly half, 49 percent, said it was a bad one. Of the 49 percent, a whopping 42 percent felt strongly that it was a bad idea.

Spreading the Wealth 03/19/2014 

Fifty-five percent of registered voters surveyed by Fox News in early February said that it was a bad idea for the federal government to make policies that spread the wealth from the people who make more money to people who make less. Thirty-nine percent of respondents thought this was a good idea. Eighty percent of Republicans said it was a bad idea, as did 63 percent of Independents, but only 30 percent of Democrats gave that response. Sixty-one percent of whites were opposed to such redistribution, compared to 29 percent of blacks. People under the age of 35 split evenly on the question, while majorities of older age groups said it was a bad idea.

 

Getting By 03/17/2014 

A February McClatchy/Marist poll found that 80 percent of adults believe that it takes more effort to get ahead these days than it did for previous generations, while 15 percent said it takes about the same amount of effort, and only 5 percent thought that it took less effort. There was strong bipartisan agreement: 80 percent of Democrats, 79 percent of Republicans, and 80 percent of Independents agreed it takes more work. In another question in the poll, 31 percent of respondents said that people who work hard have a good chance of improving their standard of living, while 68 percent say they still have a hard time maintaining their standard of living. On this question too, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents were in general agreement.

 
AEI