Quebec’s governing party introduced legislation Thursday that would ban public employees from wearing “overt and conspicuous” religious garb, such as headscarves, yarmulkes, large crosses and turbans.
The so-called “Charter of Values” also would require all Canadians living in the province of Quebec to have their faces uncovered when they receive state-funded services, including health care and education. Several other countries have considered restrictions on religious attire, including France, which has banned full veils in public places and headscarves in schools.
The Quebec proposal already has sparked protests and political opposition. Much of the public debate over the charter has focused on the measure’s potential impact on immigrants and their religious beliefs and practices. Read More →
The amount that nonparty groups have spent so far in the 2013-14 election cycle.
All those TV spots add up: Nonparty organizations have spent $20.6 million so far in the 2013-14 election cycle, more than three times their spending at this point in the 2011-12 cycle, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Aside from candidates’ own campaigns and traditional party committees, there are several types of nonparty political organizations. They include traditional PACs that contribute directly to campaigns and so-called “super PACs” that can’t give money directly but can spend unlimited amounts independently of campaigns; both types must disclose their donors.
Another category, politically active nonprofits, don’t have to disclose their donors; for that reason, the Center for Responsive Politics calls them ”dark money” organizations. Such groups have spent $2.5 million so far in the 2013-14 cycle, accounting for 12% of all nonparty spending. At this point in the last cycle, “dark money” groups had spent less than $441,000, representing 7% of total nonparty spending.
Most of the “dark money” spent so far in the current cycle has been by liberal groups; over the past three cycles conservative groups had dominated that area of campaign finance. (The center characterizes a group as “liberal” or “conservative” based on its spending pattern.) The League of Conservation Voters, for instance, spent more than $800,000 to support Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in this summer’s special Senate election; Patriot Majority USA has spent almost $558,000 opposing Republicans Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.).
Category: Daily Number
Topics: Elections and Campaigns
As a use of cutting-edge graphics to visualize and explain complex data, it’s hard to beat this witty presentation on the changing patterns of global income distribution by Hans Rosling, a professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet. But you really need to see it in motion.
Rosling, who rather aptly calls himself an “edutainer,” starts with a chart of individual countries’ 2012 per-capita income plotted against average lifespan. Then, in what at times seems like a clip from “Minority Report,” Rosling pulls the data backward in time, focuses just on income, collapses the bubbles into four geographic income distributions and then runs them forward. The result: Not just an illustration, but a demonstration of how dramatically extreme poverty has fallen in recent years, especially in Asia, and how the world’s income distribution has taken on more of a classic bell-curve shape.
Rosling’s entire talk, in which he uses similar 3-D graphics to discuss population growth, life expectancy and other global trends, was broadcast by the BBC Thursday night. It’s a fascinating look not just at rapidly changing demographics but at innovative, informative display technology. (Nor is this Rosling’s first venture into the realm of high-tech visualization: A few years back he summed up 200 years’ worth of socioeconomic history in 200 countries in just about four minutes.)
Category: Chart of the Week
Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, outlines five factors related to Internet non-use at Washington Post Live’s 2013 Bridging the Digital Divide forum. They are:
1. Age: If you’re an older American you’re much less likely to use the internet than a younger person: 44% of those over age 65 do not go online, versus 17% of those 50-64, 8% of those 30-49 and only 2% of those 18-29. Overall, adults ages 65 and older account for almost half (49%) of non-internet users by age group. Read More →
Topics: Internet Activities
This weekend, top leaders in China plan to focus on a whole host of reforms, ranging from initiatives to open up the nation’s economy to addressing challenges such as corruption, environmental problems, and social issues. In our years of asking the Chinese questions about their views about the state of their country, here are their answers on key issues:
Inflation – Rising prices are seen as a very big problem by 59% in China, according to a spring 2013 Pew Research Center survey. When asked which is the issue most important for the government to address first, 53% of the Chinese public said inflation, while 26% named inequality and only 11% cited unemployment. Inflation shot up to 3.1% in September, making it a pressing issue for China’s Communist party elite. Read More →
The Food and Drug Administration’s new proposal to severely restrict trans fats in the U.S. food supply raises questions about the role the government should play in addressing broad public health concerns. A new Pew Research Center survey suggests that the public is divided over this kind of policy.
The nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Oct. 30-Nov. 6, 2013 among 996 adults nationwide, finds 44% in favor of prohibiting restaurants from using trans fats in foods, while 52% oppose the idea. While this is not the sweeping policy proposed by the FDA today, a number of cities have put such restrictions in place. This question is part of a Pew Research Center survey on how Americans view public health and obesity that will be released early next week.
Social media is becoming an important news source for many Americans. New research from the Pew Research Center shows 30% of Americans get news on Facebook and 8% get news on Twitter. We asked our Facebook and Twitter followers how they interact with news on the social media platforms. Here is what they had to say: Read More →
Close to half of those who consume news on Twitter are young people, ages 18 to 29.
Twitter goes public today as shares in the company start trading on the New York Stock Exchange. And if you are like 8% of U.S. adults who use Twitter to track news, you might be among those following developments about the IPO on Twitter.
Twitter has over 230 million monthly active users, with 77% of its accounts outside the U.S. About three-quarters of Twitter users access the site through mobile devices. All in all, 500 million Tweets are being sent each day, according to the company’s website.
A Pew Research Center survey conducted Aug. 21 – Sept. 2 found that 16% of U.S. adults use Twitter and roughly half of that number consume news there.
Close to half of those Twitter news consumers (45%) are young people, ages 18 to 29, compared with 34% of Facebook news consumers in the same age group.
Young people also stand out as a group who have increasingly turned to online sources for news. For the overall public, those who cite the internet as their main news source climbed from 13% in 2001 to 50% today — more than radio (23%) and newspaper (28%) but less than television (69%). But for young people, 71% say the internet is their main source of news, in contrast with 18% of those 65 and older.
Category: Daily Number
Despite strong support for Republican Ken Cuccinelli from white evangelical voters, Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated Cuccinelli on Tuesday in Virginia’s 2013 gubernatorial election by a 48%-45% margin. In New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie won re-election over Democrat Barbara Buono (60% to 38%) with strong support from both Protestants and Catholics.
Eight-in-ten white evangelical voters in Virginia (81%) backed Cuccinelli for governor, while just 15% voted for McAuliffe and 4% voted for Libertarian Robert Sarvis, according to exit poll results. But among all other Virginia voters, McAuliffe received twice as much support as Cuccinelli (61% vs. 31%).
Cuccinelli received about as much support from evangelical voters as outgoing Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell did in 2009. In that election, 83% of white evangelical voters supported McDonnell. But in 2013, white evangelicals accounted for 27% of Virginia’s electorate, down from 34% in 2009. This shift reflects broader changes in the racial and ethnic composition of Virginia’s electorate; in 2013, 72% of all Virginia voters were white, down from 78% in 2009.
Exit polls also show that while Cuccinelli was successful in retaining the strong support of evangelical voters, McAuliffe improved over Democrat Creigh Deeds’ 2009 showing among all other voters. In the 2009 exit polls, non-evangelicals supported Deeds over McDonnell by a 55%-44% margin.
In New Jersey, majorities of Protestants (59%) and Catholics (73%) supported Christie in his re-election bid. Religiously-unaffiliated voters, by contrast, supported Buono over Christie by a wide margin (69% vs. 31%), according to exit poll results. Religious “nones” accounted for a much smaller share of the New Jersey electorate (10%) compared with Catholics (43%) and Protestants (33%). A comparison with 2009 gubernatorial voting by religion is not available for New Jersey.
This report is based on the published results of exit polls conducted by Edison Research and reported on CNN.com. The Virginia and New Jersey exit polls included different questions about religion. In Virginia, voters were asked whether they identify as born-again or evangelical Christians. In New Jersey, voters were asked about their religious affiliation (e.g., Protestant, Catholic, no religion). The tallies for both states were current as of 8 a.m. ET today.
In his landslide re-election victory last night, New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie carried 51% of the Latino vote, a 19 point increase from his performance in 2009, according to exit polls.
Christie’s showing among Latinos came despite some strong headwinds for the GOP among this demographic group. In the 2012 presidential race, Republican candidate Mitt Romney won just 27% of the Hispanic vote nationally. In 2008, Republican John McCain won 31% of the Latino vote.
Topics: Hispanic/Latino Vote