Watch this space for a recap of the latest polls and data-driven studies curated by the CBS News Election & Survey Unit!
5/24/19: What We're Looking At Today
What does Memorial Day mean to you?
Memorial Day may mean many things to many people, but most Americans haven't forgotten the original purpose of the holiday. When asked what Memorial Day means to them, 67% of Americans say it is a time to remember those who died while serving in the armed forces. 19% say it means mostly barbecuing with friends and family, 8% think of it as the start of summer, while just 3% think of it as a good time to shop for sales in stores.
Still, there is evidence that the original intent behind the holiday may be fading for some Americans. When CBS last asked this question in 2015, 76% said it was about remembering soldiers who died - 9 percentage points higher than what is recorded today - while the percentage that says it is about barbecuing has risen six points.
Most Americans of all ages think of Memorial Day as a time to remember fallen soldiers, but younger adults are less likely to do so than older ones. While 81% of Americans 65 and older say Memorial Day is about remembering soldiers who have died, this drops to 57% of Americans under 45. More than a quarter in this age group say Memorial Day means barbecuing with friends and family. - by Fred Backus
This poll was conducted by telephone May 14-19, 2019 among a random sample of 1,019 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.
The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.
Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
Pew Report on News Photos on Facebook
A new Pew Research Center study finds a big gender imbalance in images accompanying news stories posted on Facebook. Over four in ten U.S. adults get news from Facebook, making it the most commonly used social media site for news. Researchers applied a method called machine vision to analyze over 22,000 images with people in them. Across images, men appeared twice as often as women, and more than half of images showed men exclusively. - by Kabir Khanna
5/23/19: What We're Looking At Today
What does the term "socialism" mean to Democrats, anyway?
In September 1949 during the early years of the Cold War, the Gallup poll asked, "we hear a lot about 'socialism' these days. Will you tell me what your understanding of the term 'socialism' is?" The bulk of the answers, as the poll categorized them, described government control of things, ownership of utilities, and "state control of business." A third didn't have an answer. When socialism was described for respondents as government running industries and also offering "services like medical and dental care." 49% felt the U.S. should move more in that direction. In June of 1965, Gallup asked Americans to describe the U.S. economic system. 37% said "capitalism" and 31% picked "moderate socialism."
Were you to ask people about their own finances they could explain things quite precisely, as you'd expect. Ask about larger economic ideas and theories like "capitalism," or "socialism," for instance, and things get more murky: these can be abstractions, and meanings differ even among experts. But terms like "socialism" have long been part of public discourse just the same, so pollsters rightly wonder just how Americans interpret it, and how to measure it in the first place.
It's become especially important now as "socialism" is heard or implied a lot in the 2020 campaign though it still isn't always clear, when people reference it, that they all agree on what it means. The President warns Democrats might impose it. Democrats look to define the term for themselves.
In our own recent CBS News/YouGov study, 18% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they had a very favorable view of socialism and another third, 31%, said they had a somewhat favorable view. Another third were neutral. But just what is it they were evaluating in the first place?
We gave a large sample of voters a list of items and asked whether they thought each of the ideas aptly described "socialism." People could pick as many as they wanted.
The most-cited answer of the choices we offered saw 60 percent of Democrats associating socialism with "more equal distribution of wealth and money" and closely followed by 55 percent who picked "More equal opportunity for people." Far fewer Democrats selected items with potentially more negative-sounding implications like "Fewer choices in products and services" picked by just 15%, and "More government control over people" at 23%.
In all, many Democrats picked associations that had more to do with economic outcomes they'd probably like (things like equality) and less with things that sounded like limitations or potential ill-effects.
There are some age differences among Democrats' views on socialism overall. In no age group does a majority hold a very favorable view of socialism. However, younger Democrats under 30 are about twice as likely to hold a very favorable view (23%) than those over 65 (12%). But there is not much difference by income or financial situation: higher income Democrats view socialism in much the same ways as lower income Democrats do, though those more confident in their ability to pay bills are more likely to associate it with higher taxes. Ideology appears to be more related to views, as those who call themselves liberal are more likely to hold favorable views than moderates. That may suggest that views on broader economic systems stem from ways in which people view the world, or the world as they'd like it to be, rather than just through the lens of their own pocketbooks. - by Anthony Salvanto
This poll analysis is drawn from a 2019 CBS News/YouGov survey using a nationally representative sample of 24,850 U.S. registered voters interviewed online between April 25 - May 6, 2019. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote. This analysis covers 12,000 registered voters who are Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents. MOE 1.1%
1949 Gallup Poll: Conducted by Gallup Organization, September 3 - September 8, 1949 and based on 2,896 face-to-face interviews. Sample: National adult.
1965 Gallup Poll: Conducted by Gallup Organization, June 4 - June 9, 1965 and based on 1,648 personal interviews. Sample: Sample: National adult.
Roe v. Wade and Religion
Looking deeper into our CBS News Poll out earlier this week, views on what the U.S. Supreme Court should do about Roe v. Wade differ little by religious preference. Majorities of Protestants, Catholics, and the group that identify with other religions would like to see the 1973 ruling stand.
It's when you look at how frequent those who have a religious preference attend religious services -- that's where there are differences. More than half of those who attend religious services the most often - at least weekly - would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned. However, large majorities of Americans who may identify with a particular religion but attend services less often or never think Roe should be kept as it. - by Jennifer De Pinto
5/17/19: What we found interesting this week
Americans Want China to Change Policies; Wary of Short-Term Tariff Impact
In views on trade and tariffs with China, most Americans applaud the goals but express some wariness about the tactics - at least in the short run, according to the latest CBS News Poll. Two-thirds of Americans say they'd be unwilling to pay more for goods impacted by any tariffs while the U.S. tries to renegotiate trade deals. Six in ten Republicans are willing to pay more, which sets them apart from most Democrats and independents, most of whom are not willing.
Partisan Divide on Ratings of the FBI, People Love the Postal Service
Most Americans (57%) rate the job the FBI is doing as excellent or good, according to a recent Gallup Poll. Overall, this rating has held fairly steady, but partisans' views have changed some over time. Democrats' opinions of the FBI have grown more positive, while Republicans have become more negative. It's the U.S. Postal Service that gets the highest marks from the public of any agency asked about in the Gallup Poll. 74% of Americans say it is doing an excellent or good job. Majorities of Democrats and Republicans agree on that. Chart from Gallup below and more from the poll here.
Trump Support and the Tea Party
Former supporters of the Tea Party are some of Donald Trump's strongest Republican backers, according to a new analysis from the Pew Research Center. The analysis is based on panel surveys conducted from 2014 through 2018. "In February 2018, those who had been Republican tea party supporters gave Trump an average rating of 78 on a 0-100 'feeling thermometer,' while Trump's rating averaged 59 degrees among those Republicans who had no opinion of the tea party and was a much chillier 53 degrees among those who disagreed with the tea party."
Public Divided on Fairness of College Admission Process
According to polling recently conducted by the AP-NORC center, 38% of Americans consider the college admissions process to be fair, 36% call it is unfair, and a quarter say it is neither fair nor unfair.Most say academic achievements like high school grades and standardized test scores are and should be the most important factors in determining admission. Just 11% think legacy status should be given much consideration.
5/16/19 Notes on abortion views
Recent legislation in states restricting abortions has put the topic back into the headlines. As has been the case for many years in CBS News polling, today a large majority of voters believes abortion should at least be available, though many of them say they'd like to see it under stricter limits than it is currently. One in five voters says abortion should not be permitted.
|Abortion Should Be...|
|(Among registered voters)|
|Be generally available to those who want it 45%|
|Be available but under stricter limits than it is now 33%|
|Not be permitted 22%|
|CBS News/YouGov survey of registered voters April 25 - May 6, 2019. MOE 1%|
In the 2018 midterms, exit polls asked voters what the Supreme Court should do with Roe v Wade. Two-thirds, 66%, said the Supreme Court should let it stand one-quarter, 25%, said the Court ought to overturn it. (CBS News Exit Poll Nov 2018 MOE 2%) -- by Anthony Salvanto
5/10/19: What we found interesting this week
Americans more willing to vote for a gay candidate for President, but a socialist not so much
Seventy-six percent of Americans say they would vote for a qualified gay or lesbian candidate for president, according to a Gallup Poll out this week. The figure marks a new high in Gallup polling. The survey asked about 12 hypothetical candidates.
More Americans are also open to candidates of different religious backgrounds. "Eighty percent of U.S. adults would vote for an evangelical Christian for president -- up from 73 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who would vote for a Muslim has grown from 58 percent in 2012 to 66 percent today," according to the poll.
Six in 10 would vote for an atheist, a new high. Just 47 percent say would vote for a socialist for president, the lowest for any attribute asked about in the poll. Read the full poll results here and chart from Gallup below.
More on Socialism...
According to a recent Monmouth University Poll, most Republicans hold a negative view of socialism, while most Democrats have a neutral opinion. Looking behind these broader views, a majority of Republicans say the phrase "it takes away too many individual rights" describes their view of socialism either a great deal (64 percent) or somewhat (17 percent). Fewer Democrats hold this view. For most of them, the descriptor of socialism as "a way to make things fairer for working people" matches their view a great deal (25 percent) or somewhat (51 percent).
The poll also found most Americans favor creating a universal health care system and when asked how they viewed that policy, far more called it socialist (37 percent) than capitalist (4 percent), but most described it as neither (53 percent). More from the poll here.
Most Obama-Trump voters still view the President favorably, but fewer than in 2016
According to a survey conducted by the Voter Study Group, 66% of Obama-Trump voters have a favorable opinion of President Trump, although this is lower than the 85% of this group who viewed him favorably in 2016, shortly after he was elected president. Overall, President Trump's favorability ratings have held steady. Eight-five percent of Americans have not changed their minds when it comes to the President's favorable ratings in the last two years, according to the survey. Read more here.
Most Value Workplace Diversity, But Few Think Race Should be a Consideration in Hiring
"Americans have a complicated, even contradictory, set of views about the impact of diversity and the best way to achieve it", according to a recent Pew Research Center Survey. Three in four Americans say it's very or somewhat important for companies to promote racial and ethnic diversity in the workplace, but most say only qualifications should be taken into account when making hiring and promotion decisions; just a quarter think race or ethnicity should be taken into account.
"The view that employers should only take a person's qualifications into account is widespread among whites (78 percent) and Hispanics (69 percent); about half of blacks (54 percent) share this view." Table from Pew Research below and more from the survey here.