Aug 19, 2016 12:17 pm

Trump supporters far less confident than Clinton backers that votes will be counted accurately

In a campaign marked by skepticism toward the political process, only about half of all registered voters (49%) are “very confident” that their vote will be accurately counted in the upcoming election. This view is particularly striking among supporters of Donald Trump and stands in contrast to the 2004 and 2008 elections, when substantial majorities of voters who backed George W. Bush and John McCain expressed confidence in the count of their votes.

Pew Research Center’s new national political survey finds that just 38% of registered voters who support Trump are very confident their vote will be accurately counted. Another 31% say they are somewhat confident, while 30% have little or no confidence their vote will be counted accurately.

Among Clinton supporters, 67% have a high degree of confidence that their vote will be counted accurately and 25% are somewhat confident. Just 7% have little or no confidence.

The gap between the two camps is about as large among those who express confidence in an accurate vote count nationally. Nearly half of Clinton supporters (49%) and just 11% of Trump supporters are highly confident that votes across the country will be counted accurately.

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Topics: 2016 Election, Elections and Campaigns, Political Party Affiliation, Trust in Government, Voter Participation

Aug 16, 2016 11:12 am

In both parties, men and women differ over whether women still face obstacles to progress

As Hillary Clinton seeks to become the first woman to win the presidency in U.S. history, the public is divided over whether women continue to face obstacles that make it more difficult for them to get ahead.

Just over half of Americans (53%) say there are “still significant obstacles that make it harder for women to get ahead than men,” while somewhat fewer (45%) say “the obstacles that once made it harder for women than men to get ahead are now largely gone.”

The survey, conducted June 7-July 5 among 4,602 adults on Pew Research Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel, finds significant differences on this question by gender.

A 63% majority of women say obstacles continue to make it harder for women than men today, compared with 34% who say they are largely gone. Among men, 41% think women still face obstacles that make it harder to get ahead, while 56% say those challenges have mostly been eliminated. (For more on women in society, see the Center’s report “Women and Leadership,” released last year.)

There is a substantial partisan divide on this question: Nearly seven-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (68%) say there are still significant obstacles for women, compared with just 35% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

Gender differences on the issue of women’s obstacles are also evident within the two party coalitions. Republican women are divided on the issue overall (48% say there are still obstacles, 50% say these challenges for women in getting ahead are largely gone), but they are more than twice as likely as Republican men (23%) to say there are still significant obstacles facing women today. Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Gender, National Economy, Political Attitudes and Values

Aug 15, 2016 12:30 pm

In debates, voters want to hear most about terrorism and the economy

If the 2016 presidential debates move forward as planned, voters have some clear preferences about what issues they want to hear the candidates talk about more – or less – in those forums. Given the chance to decide how much time is spent on each issue, voters would allocate more time to discussions of the candidates’ plans on keeping the U.S. safe from terrorism and on economic growth and much less time to discussion of abortion policy.

In a Pew Research Center American Trends Panel survey conducted in June, 3,767 registered voters were asked to imagine they were moderating a 100-minute national debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and to allocate that time across 10 issue areas.

On average, voters allocated 15 of a total 100 minutes to hearing the candidates’ plans for keeping the U.S. safe from terrorism. Just over half of voters (53%) earmarked more than 10 minutes to this topic, while only 18% gave it less than 10 minutes (29% gave it exactly 10 minutes).

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Topics: 2016 Election, Abortion, Domestic Affairs and Policy, Economic Policy, Foreign Affairs and Policy, Political Issue Priorities, Terrorism, U.S. Political Figures

Aug 12, 2016 7:00 am

Most states allow religious exemptions from child abuse and neglect laws

All states have laws prohibiting child abuse and neglect. But in 34 states (as well as the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico), there are exemptions in the civil child abuse statutes when medical treatment for a child conflicts with the religious beliefs of parents, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Additionally, some states have religious exemptions to criminal child abuse and neglect statutes, including at least six that have exemptions to manslaughter laws.

These exemptions recently drew renewed attention in Idaho when, in May, a state task force released a report stating that five children there had died unnecessarily in 2013 because their parents, for religious reasons, had refused medical treatment for them. The report has prompted some of Idaho’s legislators to begin pushing for a repeal of state laws that protected the parents of these children from civil and criminal liability when they refuse to seek medical treatment for religious reasons.  Read More

Topics: Health Care, Parenthood, Religion and Government, Religion and Society

Aug 11, 2016 10:00 am

A record 60.6 million Americans live in multigenerational households

The number and share of Americans living in multigenerational family households has continued to rise, even though the Great Recession is now in the rear-view mirror. In 2014, a record 60.6 million people, or 19% of the U.S. population, lived with multiple generations under one roof, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data.

Multigenerational family living – defined as a household that includes two or more adult generations, or one that includes grandparents and grandchildren – is growing among nearly all U.S. racial groups as well as Hispanics, among all age groups and among both men and women.  The share of the population living in this type of household declined from 21% in 1950 to a low of 12% in 1980. Since then, multigenerational living has rebounded, increasing sharply during and immediately after the Great Recession of 2007-09.  Read More

Topics: Generations and Age, Household and Family Structure, Population Trends, Race and Ethnicity

Aug 9, 2016 12:15 pm

Newspaper companies lag behind their broadcast siblings after spinoffs

In the past two years, several media companies that own both print and broadcast properties have spun off their newspapers and other print products into separate publishing companies to isolate this troubled sector from their more profitable broadcast stations. And this strategy has largely paid off.

Gannett Co. Inc., Tribune Company and E.W. Scripps Co., which together own more than 100 newspapers and more than 70 television stations, all made the decision in 2014 or 2015 to spin off their print properties into separate companies. An analysis of the spinoffs shows that the broadcasting components of the original companies (which also retained many digital properties) have mostly outperformed their publishing counterparts in terms of operating profit margins.

In 2014, before spinning off its publishing properties, Gannett had an operating profit margin of 39%. Following the 2015 spinoff, Gannett’s broadcasting arm, Tegna, had a similar operating profit margin of 37% – nearly three times that of its publishing sibling (13%), which retained the “Gannett Company” name. (Operating profit, often referred to as “operating income before depreciation and amortization,” represents the portion of every dollar in sales that accrues as profits, before paying taxes and investors, and excluding figures that fall outside the company’s typical operations.)  Read More

Topics: Media Economics, Media Ownership, Media Revenue Models, Newspapers, Television

Aug 8, 2016 11:00 am

Split-ticket districts, once common, are now rare

In this wild and woolly election season, the White House is by no means the only battleground. Not only are Democrats hoping to regain control of the Senate, but some even have their sights set on the House of Representatives, even though Republicans there hold their largest majority (247-186, with two vacancies) in nearly 90 years. Many GOP leaders also are concerned that troubles at the top of their ticket could lead to significant down-ballot losses, and some have expressed hopes that voters will be willing to split their tickets if the presidential race doesn’t go well.

However, districts’ willingness to split their tickets – choose one party’s presidential nominee and the other party’s candidate for representative – has been on a steep decline for more than two decades. In 2012, only 26 House districts out of 435 (6%) split their votes, according to our analysis of district-level election results. Of these, 17 voted to re-elect President Obama but sent a GOP representative to Capitol Hill; nine opted for Mitt Romney and also a Democratic representative. (On an individual voter level, a Pew Research Center analysis in 2014 estimated that about eight-in-ten likely voters in areas with multiple major contests would vote a straight-party ticket that fall. Split-ticket voting also has declined at the state level.)  Read More

Topics: Congress, Elections and Campaigns, Political Polarization, Voter Preferences

Aug 5, 2016 9:35 am

Surge in Cuban immigration to U.S. continues into 2016

The number of Cubans who have entered the U.S. has spiked dramatically since President Obama announced  a renewal of ties with the island nation in late 2014, a Pew Research Center analysis of government data has found. The U.S. has since opened an embassy in Havana, a move supported by a large majority of Americans, and public support is growing for ending the trade embargo with Cuba.

Cubans seeking to enter the U.S. may receive different treatment than other immigrants under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. Cubans hoping to live in the U.S. legally need only show up at a port of entry and pass an inspection, which includes a check of criminal and immigration history in the U.S. After a year in the country, they may apply for legal permanent residence.

During the first 10 months of fiscal year 2016, 46,635 Cubans have entered the U.S. via ports of entry – already surpassing full fiscal year 2015’s total of 43,159, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data obtained through a public records request. Fiscal 2015 was a surge year and was up 78% over 2014, when 24,278 Cubans entered the U.S. And those 2014 numbers had already increased dramatically after the Cuban government lifted travel restrictions that year. These totals are significantly higher than in all of fiscal 2011, when 7,759 Cubans came into the U.S.  Read More

Topics: Bilateral Relations, Hispanic/Latino Demographics, Immigration, Immigration Trends, Latin America, Migration

Aug 4, 2016 1:00 pm

Venezuelan asylum applications to U.S. soar in 2016

As political and economic unrest roils Venezuela, U.S. asylum applications filed by Venezuelans so far in fiscal 2016 have jumped 168% compared with the same time period a year earlier, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data.

Venezuela is now among the top nations of origin for asylum applicants to the U.S., accounting for 10,221 applications filed between October 2015 and June 2016 – up from 3,810 filed during the same time period the year before. (The data exclude applicants in the process of deportation.)

To be eligible for asylum in the U.S., people must have fled their home countries due to fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality or politics.

Once in the U.S., those who apply for asylum may legally stay in the country while their application is evaluated, a process that can take years. For example, in the asylum office in Arlington, Virginia, those who filed their applications in January 2014 had interviews scheduled in May and June 2016. The wait is longer in the Los Angeles office, where some with interviews scheduled in May and June had filed as far back as August 2011.  Read More

Topics: Immigration Trends, Latin America, Migration, World Economies

Aug 4, 2016 7:00 am

Why Americans are wary of using technology to ‘enhance’ humans

Emerging technologies that draw from biomedical technology, nanotechnology, information technology and other fields are developing at a rapid pace and may lead to any number of ways people might be able to “upgrade” themselves. Such technologies, in the pipeline now to address medical and therapeutic needs, could produce new ways for humans to push the boundaries of their abilities, making their minds sharper and their bodies stronger and healthier than ever before.

But a new Pew Research Center survey shows that majorities of Americans greet the possibility of these breakthroughs with more wariness and worry than enthusiasm and hope.  Read More

Topics: Bioethics, Emerging Technology Impacts, Health Care, Religion and Society, Science and Innovation