Obama Viewed as Doing Better than GOP Leaders in Explaining Vision
With just over a month to go before the midterm elections, the latest Congressional Connection poll finds that the public by a wide margin says Barack Obama has done a better job than Republican congressional leaders in explaining his plans and vision for the country.
One Recession, Two Americas
For a narrow majority of Americans (55%), the Great Recession brought a mix of unemployment, missed mortgage or rent payments, shrinking paychecks and shattered household budgets. But for the other 45%, the recession was largely free of such difficulties.
Independents Oppose Party in Power … Again
For the third national election in a row, independent voters may be poised to vote out the party in power. Political independents now favor GOP candidates by about as large a margin as they backed Barack Obama in 2008. The “independent vote,” however, is in no way monolithic; this is not surprising given that most independents are recent refugees from the two major parties.
Brazilians Upbeat About Their Country, Despite Its Problems
At a time when global publics are mostly glum, half of Brazilians say they are satisfied with national conditions, and 62% say their economy is in good shape. Most also see their country as a rising global power.
Religious Beliefs and Political Issues
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans’ views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
Nearly six-in-ten Americans say it is “unacceptable” for homeowners to stop making their mortgage payments, but more than a third say the practice of “walking away” from a home mortgage is acceptable under certain circumstances. Homeowners whose home values declined during the recession and those who have spent time unemployed are more likely to say that “walking away” from a mortgage is acceptable.
Mixed Views of GOP Proposals on Entitlements
While a majority of Americans favors allowing changes to Social Security, there is very little support for replacing Medicare with a voucher system. Also, the public continues to see no clear leader atop the GOP.
Rise of the ‘Apps Culture’
While cell phone apps are popular among a segment of the adult cell phone using population, a notable number of cell owners are not yet a part of the emerging apps culture. But those who do download and use apps do so fairly frequently. Popular apps include entertainment (games, music, etc.) as well as those that provide information (maps, weather).
Since the Start of the Great Recession, More Children Raised by Grandparents
One child in 10 in the U.S. lives with a grandparent, a share that increased slowly and steadily over the past decade before rising sharply from 2007 to 2008, the first year of the Great Recession. About 40% of all children who live with a grandparent (or grandparents) are also being raised primarily by that grandparent.
Turks Downbeat About Their Institutions
Confidence in Turkish institutions and leaders — including the military, religious leaders, and the prime minster — has declined over the last few years. And Turks continue to express largely negative views of major world powers.