Election night 2020 will bring a blizzard of numbers about voters – who turned out to vote and whom they voted for. Some of the most important questions journalists and other election-watchers will be asking require a look back at recent elections: Can Donald Trump hold on to the large advantage he had in 2016 among White voters with no college degree? Will Joe Biden improve on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 showing among young voters? Compared with 2016, Democratic candidates made significant gains among men in the 2018 midterm elections. Can Trump regain the advantage he had among men in 2016?
To assist journalists and the public in making comparisons of 2020 data to the electorates of 2016 and 2018, Pew Research Center is making available an expanded set of data tables from interviews we conducted with national samples of verified voters in the wake of the 2016 and 2018 elections.
As the U.S. battles COVID-19, effective contact tracing has proven to be a major challenge for those trying to contain the spread of the coronavirus. A new Pew Research Center report from a survey conducted July 13-19, 2020, finds that Americans hold a variety of views that could complicate the ongoing efforts of public health authorities to trace and contain the virus.
The report largely focuses on what Americans tell us they might do when faced with three key parts of the contact tracing and quarantine process amid COVID-19, which we refer to as “speak,” “share” and “quarantine”:
How likely people say they would be to speak with a public health official who contacted them by phone or text message to speak with them about the coronavirus outbreak.
How comfortable they say they would be sharing information about the people with whom they have been in contact and where they have been (either via places they have recently visited or location data from their cellphone).
Whether they say they would act on advice to quarantine for 14 days if advised to do so by a public health official because they had the coronavirus.
This is a sliver of the roughly 5.2 million PPP loans that have been lent out to small businesses – but represents a large segment of newspaper companies. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics of U.S. Businesses, there were 4,166 U.S. companies in the newspaper publishing industry in 2016, and these companies collectively employed nearly 180,000 people.
The COVID-19 outbreak has upended life across the United States and exposed growing divisions between supporters of the two major political parties. And when Americans are asked to describe in their own words how the outbreak has affected them negatively, no topic divides Democrats and Republicans more than the subject of masks, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of survey findings collected in late August and early September.
Overall, 14% of U.S. adults mentioned the word “mask” when asked how the pandemic has made their life difficult or challenging. That made “mask” the fourth most common term in these responses, behind “family” and “work” – each of which was mentioned by 19% of the public – and “friend,” mentioned by 14% of respondents.
As Election Day draws closer, Americans are being inundated with polls about the state of the presidential race. And, understandably, many are wondering whether polls can be trusted after Donald Trump’s surprise victory in 2016.
A better question to ask may be what, exactly, are we trusting polls to do? If the answer is to predict the future, then trust in polls is misplaced. But if the answer is to reveal the public’s priorities and values – and why people vote the way they do – then polls are the best tool.
The United States and other countries have been struggling for most of this year with the twin challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak and the havoc it has wreaked on their economies. One key factor in how people assess how their governments are doing in dealing with these challenges is partisanship, measured by the difference in views between those who support a country’s governing party or parties and those who don’t.
Across 13 advanced economies surveyed by Pew Research Center this summer, the association with support (or lack of it) for the governing parties is particularly pronounced in the U.S. when it comes to attitudes about the handling of COVID-19 and the state of the economy.
The American public agrees on one measure, though: Three-quarters say the country is more divided than before the coronavirus outbreak, regardless of whether or not they support the current administration. Relative to those in the 12 other nations surveyed, Americans are united in seeing divisions in their country.
The November general election is rapidly approaching, with debates raging over how fairly news outlets are covering the candidates and important issues. Survey data from earlier this year shows that most Americans think news coverage in their country is one-sided, but they fault media organizations themselves much more than the journalists who work for them.
Overall, about eight-in-ten Americans (79%) say news organizations tend to favor one side when presenting the news on political and social issues, according to a survey conducted Feb. 18 to March 2, 2020. Far fewer (20%) say these organizations deal fairly with all sides. The share of Americans who say news organizations tend to favor one side has increased 7 percentage points since early 2019.
Republicans have long been more likely than Democrats to say news coverage unfairly favors one side, and that remains the case today. About nine-in-ten Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (91%) think news coverage of political and social issues favors one side, compared with 69% of Democrats and Democratic leaners.
Executives from three major U.S. technology companies – Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Sundar Pichai of Google’s parent company Alphabet – are slated to testify virtually before the Senate Commerce Committee this week. They will discuss Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which prevents websites from being held liable for content created by their users. Members of Congress in both parties have questioned the scope of the 1996 law – and whether it should continue to exempt big tech companies from liability – even as others have lauded the measure for protecting free speech online.
Latino voters are less likely than all U.S. voters to say they are extremely motivated to vote in the upcoming presidential election, with the Latino electorate expressing less interest overall in the presidential campaigns, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 5.
About half of Latino registered voters (54%) say they are extremely motivated to vote this year, compared with two-thirds of U.S. voters overall (69%). Meanwhile, a lower share of Latino voters (58%) than U.S. voters (69%) say they have given a lot of thought to the candidates. And compared with U.S. voters, a slightly lower share of Latino voters say it really matters who wins, 73% vs. 78%. In 2016, Latino voters also reported lower levels of interest in the election and in voting than U.S. voters overall.
A record 32 million Hispanics are projected to be eligible to vote in 2020, making up 13% of all U.S. eligible voters and exceeding for the first time the number of Black eligible voters in a presidential election. (Explore our interactive maps and tables to see Latino eligible voters by state and congressional district.)
Colleges and universities across the United States scrambled this fall to come up with a safe and practical approach to learning as the coronavirus outbreak showed no signs of easing up, with some schools opting to resume campus life and others going completely virtual.
Colleges are continuing to adapt amid new outbreaks in certain COVID-19 hotspots. Against this backdrop, the public has mixed views on whether providing in-person instruction this fall was a good idea. Half of all U.S. adults say colleges and universities that brought students back to campus made the right decision, while 48% say they did not, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. A separate analysis of Census Bureau data shows that college enrollment among 18- to 24-year-olds dipped only slightly from last year.
Views on whether colleges and universities made the right decision in bringing students back to campus are deeply divided along party lines, with Republicans and those who lean to the Republican Party more than twice as likely as Democrats and Democratic leaners to say bringing students back was the right decision.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.