Jul 30, 2014 2:43 pm

Support for Turkey’s Erdogan drops sharply in Middle East

FT_erdogan-views-mideastWith a presidential election just over a week away, a new survey finds that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s support has declined sharply in his home country and around the Middle East. Over a year after protests rocked Istanbul and other major cities in Turkey, the survey also finds many Turks disapprove of Erdogan’s handling of them. The anti-government demonstrations were in response to plans to build Ottoman-style military barracks with a shopping mall and luxury hotels within Gezi Park, a popular green space in Istanbul.

In Turkey, only about half (51%) have a positive view of their prime minister, down 11 percentage points from 2013. In all, 55% disapprove of his handling of Gezi Park protests, while just 37% approve. Despite all this, Erdogan is a heavy favorite going into next month’s presidential election because of strong support from his dominant Justice and Development Party (AKP) and a long record of economic growth in Turkey. Read More

Topics: Middle East and North Africa

Jul 30, 2014 10:11 am

ASNE: Two-thirds of U.S. newspapers employ women in top editing jobs

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of U.S. newspapers had at least one woman in their top three editing positions in 2013, according to the new annual census from the American Society of News Editors (ASNE), using 2013 data. Nearly half the papers responding (49%) said that one of those top editors was a woman, 12% employed two women in those top slots and 2% reported that all three top editors were women.


The year 2013 was another gloomy year for newspaper women and men. The overall count of full-time daily newspaper staffers dropped to about 36,700 from about 38,000 last year — down about 3%. If there is a silver lining, it is that the rate of job loss slowed from the previous year, when it was down about 6%. The high-water mark for the ASNE census was 56,900 full-time newsroom staffers in 1989 — fully 20,000 more than today. This year marks the first time that ASNE has tried to identify women in the very top tier of newspaper leadership. And it comes in the wake of the firing earlier this year of the nation’s most prominent female editor — Jill Abramson of The New York Times — for issues related to “management in the newsroom.” (She was succeeded by an African-American, Dean Baquet; 15% of the papers surveyed told ASNE they had a minority journalist in one of the three top editing jobs.) Read More

Topics: Newspapers

Jul 29, 2014 1:29 pm

PAA journal: Parents of better-educated kids live longer

Credit: istockphoto
Credit: istockphoto

Still another reason to send your children to college: You’ll live longer.

At least that’s what sociologists Esther M. Friedman and Robert D. Mare found when they examined the association between how far a child goes in school and how long their parents live.

Writing in the latest issue of the journal Demography, published by The Population Association of America (PAA), Friedman and Mare found that parents of college graduates lived about two years longer on average than those whose children didn’t graduate from high school. Read More

Topics: Education, Health

Jul 29, 2014 7:00 am

Hispanics split on how to address surge in Central American child migrants

Hispanics views of children immigrants, ObamaHispanics in the U.S. are divided on how to deal with the thousands of Central American children illegally arriving in the country, according to a Pew Research survey conducted earlier this month.  About as many Hispanics support the current system for deciding immigration cases as do those expediting the process (49% – 47%), which would have the effect of speeding up deportations.

The split among Hispanics is in contrast to views of the overall public, which backs a faster process over the current policy by 53% to 39%.

Under current practice, it can take months or even years before the children are processed through the U.S. immigration system and either given asylum (or other legal status) or ordered deported. President Obama has asked for $3.7 billion in emergency funds, in part to help shorten the legal process by providing more judges. Meanwhile, the Senate and House are considering legislation of their own to deal with the issue. Read More

Topics: Hispanic/Latino Vote, Immigration, Immigration Attitudes, Unauthorized Immigration

Jul 28, 2014 4:08 pm

Q/A: What the New York Times’ polling decision means

The New York Times and CBS News made big news in the polling world this weekend when they announced that they will begin using online survey panels from YouGov as part of their election coverage. YouGov, a U.K.-based research firm founded in 2000, uses such panels rather than traditional telephone surveys; the panel the Times and CBS are using has more than 100,000 members. The Times, citing concerns about the dearth of high-quality, non-partisan survey data, particularly at the state level, says it plans to include YouGov results as part of “a diverse suite of surveys employing diverse methodologies.”

Scott Keeter, the Pew Research Center’s director of survey research

While panels have long been used by market researchers, they’re relatively new in the opinion-research field, and views on them are sharply divided. We asked Scott Keeter, the Pew Research Center’s director of survey research, to explain the issues at stake and give us his preliminary thoughts.

What’s different about the YouGov panel surveys from the surveys previously used by the Times, CBS and Pew Research?

There are two big differences. One is that these are conducted entirely online, among internet users. People who don’t use the internet aren’t included (more on this below). The other – and arguably the biggest — difference is that the samples for these surveys are selected using so-called non-probability sampling methods. For decades, only probability – or random – samples have been generally accepted as a scientific way to produce accurate, representative samples for surveys.

Explain the difference between a probability and a non-probability sample.

The American Association for Public Opinion Research, the leading association of survey research professionals, has explained it well. Here’s how their Task Force on Non-Probability Sampling put it in their major report last year: “In a probability sample, everyone in the population of interest (e.g., all registered voters in a political poll) has a chance of being selected for an interview. Knowing those chances is critical to creating valid statistical estimates.” Non-probability samples, in contrast, “are those in which the participants are chosen or choose themselves so that the chance of being selected is not known.” Read More

Topics: Polling, Research Methodology

Jul 28, 2014 1:31 pm

Where refugees to the U.S. come from


In response to the recent surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America, the Obama administration is considering executive action to create a refugee resettlement center in Honduras. According to data from the Department of State’s Refugee Processing Center, more than 3 million refugees have arrived in the United States since 1975.

A look at the makeup of where refugees come from and their number provides a glimpse into global events and the U.S.’s role in providing a safe haven for people around the world. Most of today’s refugees are from Burma (Myanmar) and Iraq. The U.S. admitted fewer refugees in the wake of the terrorist attacks in 2001, but the total annual number of refugees has trended upward since then. Read More

Topics: Immigration, Wars and International Conflicts

Jul 25, 2014 10:24 am

At the border, a sharp rise in unaccompanied girls fleeing Honduras

The number of unaccompanied girls from three Central American countries caught at the Southwest border has increased more rapidly this year than the number of boys, particularly among teens, according to a new analysis of government data obtained by the Pew Research Center.

Rising number of unaccompanied girls at borderThe data, provided under a Freedom of Information Act request, shows a detailed demographic portrait of the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have crossed the border over the past 20 months. In addition to an overall increasing rate of young unaccompanied children apprehended at the border, the new analysis shows that girls, particularly from Honduras, are increasingly taking the dangerous journey from Central America to the U.S. without a parent or guardian. President Obama is scheduled to meet with the leaders of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala today to discuss the surge in unaccompanied children, which has risen to more than 57,000 from October through June this year, compared with nearly 39,000 unaccompanied children in the prior full fiscal year.

Our analysis finds that the number of unaccompanied girls younger than 18 caught at the U.S.-Mexico border has jumped 77% so far this fiscal year (through May 31) to 13,008, compared with just 7,339 during all of the last fiscal year ending Sept. 30. Although there are far more boys than girls apprehended at the border, the number of boys has grown more slowly, by just 8% during the same period, to 33,924 compared with 31,420 last year. Among those 12 and younger, the number of girls apprehended has grown even faster, increasing 140% over the last fiscal year, compared with a 100% increase among boys.  Read More

Topics: Unauthorized Immigration

Jul 25, 2014 7:00 am

Chart of the Week: The Great Baby Recession


The Great Recession of 2007-09 was followed by a sharp drop in the U.S. birthrate, which has yet to reverse. The birthrate in 2013 was a record-low 62.9 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, according to preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics. But just as the recession hit some states harder than others, birthrates generally declined more in states most affected by the slump.

That’s illustrated by this chart, from The Washington Post’s new Storyline project. States such as Nevada, Arizona and Florida that saw some of the biggest plunges in home values after the housing bubble burst had some of the biggest birthrate declines between 2008 and 2010. Conversely, birthrates fell only slightly in North Dakota and Alaska, states that avoided the worst of the recession due to the boom in oil and gas production.

The Post’s Jeff Guo noted (and Pew has well documented) that similar birthrate dips occurred after recessions in the 1970s and 1990s, and births likely will rebound as the economy regains its health. But as Fact Tank reported last month, the post-recession decline in births already has slowed the nation’s projected shift to a majority-minority youth population.

Category: Chart of the Week

Topics: Birth Rate and Fertility, Demographics, Economic Recession

Jul 24, 2014 12:06 pm

Most of the world trusts Obama over Putin to ‘do the right thing’

Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin meet during the G8 summit in 2013. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin meet during the G8 summit in 2013. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The U.S.-Russia confrontation over Ukraine is getting increasingly personal at the highest levels. U.S. President Barack Obama has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to “get serious about trying to resolve hostilities within Ukraine.” And Putin has criticized President Obama’s “aggressive” and “unprofessional” foreign policy.

In the eyes of many people around the world, the leaders of Russia and the United States are the embodiment of all that is good or bad about their countries. And their public standing is a proxy for the image of their countries.

FT_obama-putin-confidenceMost of the world has greater confidence in Obama than in Putin to do the right thing in world affairs by better than two-to-one (a median of 56% to 23%), according to a 44 nation poll by the Pew Research Center, conducted this year after the winter Olympics in Russia but before the recent conflict over responsibility for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which the U.S. has blamed on pro-Russian separatists supplied with weapons by the Russian military. An earlier 21 country survey in 2012 found a similar two-to-one margin of favorability for the U.S. president. Read More

Topics: Barack Obama, Russia

Jul 24, 2014 10:03 am

Voter turnout always drops off for midterm elections, but why?

midtermTurnoutWith three-and-a-half months to the midterm elections, it’s still unclear the extent to which Republicans’ advantage in voter engagement will translate into more actual House and Senate seats. But we’ll go out on a limb on two predictions: A lot fewer people will vote this year than did in 2012, and Democrats are likely to suffer accordingly.

Voter turnout regularly drops in midterm elections, and has done so since the 1840s. In 2008, for instance, 57.1% of the voting-age population cast ballots — the highest level in four decades — as Barack Obama became the first African American elected president. But two years later only 36.9% voted in the midterm election that put the House back in Republican hands. For Obama’s re-election in 2012, turnout rebounded to 53.7%. Read More

Topics: 2014 Election, Congress, Elections and Campaigns, Voter Participation