Mar 6, 2014 11:33 am

Data Feed: Pope’s first year, SAT trends, women in parliament

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

Why Republicans should be worried about 2016, The Washington Post
Secretary of State John Kerry’s favorability rising in U.S., Gallup
Obama’s approval hits new low, topline, Fox News
Republicans resistant to Christie for 2016 bid, Washington Post/ABC News
More say Christie would not make good president, Fox News
Cuomo tops GOP opponents, but N.Y. voters worried about economy, NBC/WSJ/Marist
61% of Conn. voters support physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill, Quinnipiac
Most Americans say abortion should be legal at least sometimes, CNN/ORC International

Unusually cold weather hampered economic growth nationwide, Federal Reserve via WSJ
Do rising pickup sales signal good news for the housing market? The Washington Post
Which occupations are most widespread across industries?, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Interactive: Science and engineering workers in the labor force, Nat’l Science Foundation
Payroll/population ratio up in February, but still below 2013, 2012 averages, Gallup
Where have all the mortgages gone? Urban Institute

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Category: Data Feed

Mar 6, 2014 7:00 am

Regional polls show few Ukrainians, Russians want a united, single state

FT_ukraine-russia-open-bordersA pair of newly released polls conducted in Russia and Ukraine reveals that most in both countries favor the free movement of people and goods between the two nations, and relatively few support the wholesale merger of Ukraine with Russia. The current crisis in Ukraine traces its roots back to the question of whether Ukraine should align more closely with the EU or Russia.

The two surveys were conducted before pro-Russian troops seized control of Crimea. The Ukrainian poll was fielded February 8-18 by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, together with the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, and the Russian poll was conducted February 21-25 by the Levada Center. The reported margin of error for the Democratic Initiatives survey is 2.2%, compared with 3.4% for the Levada survey. Read More

Topics: Eastern Europe, Russia

Mar 5, 2014 2:10 pm

Public’s anti-incumbent mood hasn’t always predicted big electoral swings

anti_incumbencyThe public’s anti-incumbent mood is at record levels, but the vast majority of senators and representatives running for re-election appear to have little to worry about. What’s up with that?

The Rothenberg Political Report currently rates 383 House seats as safe and 13 as having a clear favorite; the Cook Political Report deems 358 seats safe and another 33 “likely” wins for either party. Both firms have similar estimates for the number of competitive seats in the November elections: 44 (Cook) and 39 (Rothenberg). The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, which rates 41 races as tossups or leaning to one party or another, also sees little prospect for massive change: As senior columnist Alan Abramowitz wrote last month on the Center’s “Crystal Ball” site, the fall elections “are likely to result in minimal change in the party balance of power.”

That would seem to be at odds with recent survey results.  A Washington Post/ABC News poll released this week, for instance, found that only 22% of the public said they were inclined to re-elect their representative in Congress. The all-time low (since 1990) was 17% in August 2011, just after that year’s debt-ceiling showdown. In the latest poll, two-thirds (68%) of people said they were “inclined to look around for someone else to vote for,” also a high for the Post/ABC poll. Read More

Topics: Congress, Elections and Campaigns

Mar 5, 2014 11:02 am

Data Feed: Same-sex marriage support, Ukrainian-Russian relations, Venezuela’s political culture

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

Despite challenges, most N.J. Christie voters sticking by him, Rutgers-Eagleton
Record 59% support same-sex marriage; half say it’s constitutional right, ABC/WashPost

60 years of budget deficits in one chart, Washington Post
Breaking down spending in Obama’s budget proposal, Washington Post
White House more optimistic about economy than CBO, The Wall Street Journal
Obama’s calculations on the deficit and debt, New York Times
Federal spending on science would remain tighttables, Chronicle of Higher Ed.
PC shipments dropped 9.8% last year, further declines expected, Wall Street Journal
Jobless rates in 25 states, D.C. fell significantly in 2013, BLS
U.S. job creation improved in February, Gallup

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Category: Data Feed

Topics: Russia

Mar 4, 2014 4:00 pm

Many Russians agree that it is natural for them to have an empire


In a spring 2012 survey, 44% of Russians agreed that a Russian empire is natural.

Russians views on empire and the Soviet Union.Recent events in Ukraine, including the ouster of the pro-Russian President Viktor F. Yanukovych and moves by Vladimir Putin’s military forces to seize control of the Crimea region, have brought renewed attention to Russia’s historical claims in its former Soviet empire. To that effect, a spring 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 44% of Russians agreed that it is natural for Russia to have an empire. Two decades prior, with the Soviet Union on the verge of collapse, only 37% shared this view.

Thoughts of empire might help explain why in 2011, 20 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, half of Russians agreed that it was a great misfortune that the USSR no longer existed. Russians aged 50 and older tended to express more longing for the Soviet era than did those under 50.

However, it is not clear that nostalgia for empire means average Russians are eager to get embroiled in the affairs of neighboring states. For instance, a recent February poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM), a prominent public opinion organization based in Moscow, found that 73% of Russians preferred to stay out of the Ukrainian conflict, with only 15% saying Russia should step in to prevent the ouster of then-President Yanukovych.

Category: Daily Number

Topics: Global Balance of Power, Russia

Mar 4, 2014 3:10 pm

Polls show strong support for minimum wage hike

President Obama sends his fiscal 2015 budget to Congress today filled with proposals aimed at contrasting Democratic economic approaches with those of Republicans. While many of those proposals may fall by the wayside in the GOP-controlled House during this midterm election year, one issue on which Obama can count on strong public support is his call for raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10.

Half of all adults say they would be more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who supports increasing the minimum wage, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted Feb. 27-Mar.2. About three-in-ten (28%) said a candidate’s stance on the issue wouldn’t make much difference and 19% said they would be less likely to vote for a lawmaker who backed the wage hike.

Democrats would be more likely than Republicans to vote for a wage hike backer by a 72% to 26% margin. Independents fall about in the middle with 50% saying they’d be more likely to support a candidate who backs the hike, compared with 30% who said it wouldn’t make much difference and 19% who would be less likely to vote for such a candidate.

A Pew Research Center survey conducted last month found strong support for increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, with 73% of those surveyed in favor.

When Obama joins a group of Northeastern governors on Wednesday in Connecticut to push for the wage hike, he will be going to a state where voters support an increase in a state-set minimum wage by a 71% to 25% margin, although only 42% would take it to $10.10, according to a new Quinnipiac University survey.

Surveys in three other states conducted among registered voters by a group of other polling institutions found about two-thirds or more backed the increase in Virginia (65%), New Jersey (69%) and New York (77%). (The polls were conducted by the Roanoke Institute for Policy and Opinion Research, Rutgers-Eagleton and the Siena Research Institute).

Topics: Business and Labor, Economic Policy

Mar 4, 2014 12:57 pm

More than half of Millennials have shared a ‘selfie’

Ellen DeGeneres selfie OscarsActress Ellen DeGeneres set out to create the most viral selfie ever on Oscar night and succeeded not just in capturing a celebrity moment but a digital one, too.

Taking a “selfie” was relatively difficult to pull off before digital phones and cameras made them easy. Not surprisingly, the generation that has taken to them more than any other are the Millennials (ages 18 to 33), who have grown up with the new digital technologies of the 21st century. They’re the heaviest users of the internet, cell phones and social media sites. And a new Pew Research Center survey finds that 55% of Millennials have posted a “selfie” on a social media site; no other generation is nearly as inclined to do this. Overall, 26% of Americans have shared a “selfie” on a photo-sharing or social networking site. How many Millennials have taken selfie?

Indeed, our new survey — taken a few weeks before Oscar night — found only about six-in-ten Baby Boomers and about a third of the Silent Generation say they know what a “selfie” is—though the term had acquired enough cachet to be declared the Oxford Dictionaries “word of the year” in 2013.

However, there’s some self-awareness of the downside to the “selfie” culture. Nine-in-ten Millennials say people generally share too much information about themselves online, a view held by similarly lopsided proportions of all older generations.

Here are more detailed results and survey methodology.

Topics: Digital Media, Millennials, Mobile

Mar 4, 2014 11:30 am

Data Feed: Public support for minimum wage hike, suicidal tendencies, tech gender gap

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

Dem. advantage on key issues doesn’t translate to midterm edge, topline, ABC News/Washington Post
Is the Democrats’ push on minimum wage working? Washington Post
Most voters in N.J., N.Y., Va. favor min. wage hiketopline, Roanoke/Rutgers/Siena
Conn. voters support state minimum wage hike 71%-25%, Quinnipiac
Virginians split on Obama’s job approval; 80% disapprove job Congress is doing, CNU
51% of N.C. voters oppose gay marriage, 40% support it, topline, Elon
Are the Democrats getting too liberal? Washington Post via Pew Research

White House spending projections vs. actual spending, The Washington Post
There is no gender gap in tech salaries, Quartz
February cold stalls auto-sales growth, Bloomberg

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Category: Data Feed

Mar 3, 2014 11:13 am

Data Feed: Ukrainian views of democracy, 2014 billionaires, Senate landscape

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

The 2014 Senate landscape, New York Times
Pa. voters support same-sex marriage, split on recreational marijuana, Quinnipiac
N.J. voters split on job Obama is doing; plurality approve of both Senators, Monmouth
Interactive: Industry voices dominate the trade advisory system, The Washington Post

The 2014 billionaires list, Forbes
Weather freezes consumer confidence in place in February, Reuters/U. Mich.
U.S. consumer spending rebounds in February, Gallup

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Category: Data Feed

Mar 3, 2014 7:00 am

As Obama meets with Netanyahu, Americans are divided on U.S. role in Israeli-Palestinian dispute

President Obama is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, and he intends to press him to help move Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations to a “conclusive round,” according to the New York Times. But after years of efforts to broker a resolution to the conflict, Americans are divided over how much they want the U.S. to be involved.

Until now, Obama has not been as personally involved as some presidents had been in peacekeeping efforts, although Secretary of State John Kerry has made the goal of a comprehensive peace agreement one of his top priorities.

Americans don't want more Israel involvement. But about four-in-ten (39%) of Americans say the U.S. should be less involved in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute compared with 36% who say it should remain is involved as it is now, according to a survey conducted last fall. About a fifth (21%) of Americans say the U.S. should be more involved.

Opinions on levels of U.S. involvement do not vary widely across party lines, although Tea Party Republicans are more likely, (by a 38% to 21% margin) than non-Tea Party Republicans to say the U.S. should be more involved.

As far as how those in Israel feel, a poll last spring found that while Palestinians and Israelis had starkly different views of the U.S. and Obama, both sides favored the idea of Obama playing a greater role in resolving their dispute. About half (49%) of Israelis expressed that view as did 41% of Palestinians, while smaller numbers on each side said Obama’s involvement should remain about the same or be smaller.   Read More

Topics: Barack Obama, Middle East and North Africa