Long Supreme Court vacancies used to be more common
If Senate Republicans stick with their declared intention to not consider anyone President Obama might nominate to replace Antonin Scalia, his seat on the Supreme Court likely would remain vacant for a year or more. That would be the longest vacancy on the court for nearly five decades, but by no means the longest ever in U.S. history. In fact, for much of the 19th century it was not uncommon for Supreme Court seats to be unoccupied for months – or, in a few cases, years – at a time.
A closer look at religion in the Super Tuesday states
Looking at the religious makeup of individual states, and at each party’s potential voters within a particular state, can help in understanding the electoral landscape.
Public support for environmental regulations varies by state
When it comes to potential trade-offs between the environment and the economy, most Americans say stricter environmental regulations are worth the cost, while fewer say stricter environmental regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy.
Scalia’s Supreme Court vacancy draws much public interest, unlike past open seats
Such high levels of interest and engagement weren’t common in past Supreme Court nomination battles.
U.S. religious groups and their political leanings
Mormons are the most heavily Republican-leaning religious group in the U.S., while a pair of major historically black Protestant denominations are two of the most reliably Democratic groups.
Americans feel the tensions between privacy and security concerns
Much of the focus has been on government surveillance, though there are also significant concerns about how businesses use data.
Near-record number of primaries this year, but not quite as early
All but five states will hold at least one primary this year, cementing the primary’s dominance over the older caucus system in the presidential nominating process. But compared to 2008, the last time both parties had open nomination contests, the voting started later this year and is a bit more spread out.
Millennials less confident about nation’s future, but so were their parents, grandparents when young
Two decades ago, Gen Xers, then in their teens and 20s, stood out for their lack of confidence in the nation’s prospects. And two decades before that, Boomers were less bullish than their elders in assessing America’s future.
What voters want in a president today, and how their views have changed
The presidential nomination contests are heating up and both parties’ 2016 fields have narrowed. And since it’s also Presidents Day weekend, it’s a good time to consider what voters want in a president, regardless of which candidate they may support.
Almost all U.S. presidents have been Christians
Most of the U.S. presidents have been openly religious, with many belonging to some of the country’s most prominent Protestant denominations.