August 7, 2018

Poll Watch: Congress, Kavanaugh, and more

It's been several weeks since we last took a look at any polling, so I thought it was time to see what's going on out there in the world.

Let's take a look at a recent Quinnipiac University National Poll, from last month.  As always, we'll start with the small print: the poll was conducted by cell and land line phones of people who say they are registered voters from July 18 - 23, 2018.  Party affiliation of the respondents was 25% Republican, 31% Democrat, 38% Independent, and 7% something else.

Here are some of the highlights (numbers are percentages), starting with Congress:
  • Hypothetically speaking, Dems have a 51-39 advantage in House races this year. Women support the Democratic candidates 57-32 while men are almost evenly split, 46% favoring the Republican and 44% the Democrat.  By race, whites are conflicted (46 Dem, 45 Rep), while blacks (78-16) and Hispanics (66-23) favor Dems. Probably most important are the  independents, who favor the Democratic candidate 50-33.
  • Sticking with Congress, it seems we are not amused with the job either party is doing, with disapprovals for the Rs at 66 and for the Dems at 63,and approvals at 27 and 30, respectively.  Surprisingly, the approval rates are actually up 5 and 4 points since April. 

Moving on to Brett Kavanaugh, president Trump's Supreme Court nominee, here's what we think:
  • We are split on whether Kavanaugh should be confirmed; 40% say yes, 41% say no. The pollsters compare this to a similar question from last year on Trump's first nominee, Neil Gorsuch; by 50-35 we supported that nomination.
  • Looking at the Kavanaugh approvals a little deeper, men favor him 50-35, while women don't, 46-32. By race, whites approve 46-38, blacks disapprove 61-15 and Hispanics are torn 37-38. And, in general we think  he'll make the court too conservative (45-38) if (well, when) he's confirmed.
  • And when he is confirmed, we think by a large margin (62-27) that Roe v. Wade will not be overturned, at least not within the next few years. Overall, it would be a bad thing to overturn the landmark decision (66-23), but Republicans (48-39) think it would be a good thing. They are the only demographic who thinks that's the case. 
  • Finally, on the legality (or lack thereof) of abortion, 64% say it should be legal in at least most cases, compared to 29% saying it should be illegal in at least most cases. On the outer edges, 26% say legal all the time, while 10% say illegal all the time.  The 'legal all the time' percentage is up 5 points since December, while the illegal all the time and illegal most of the time are both down (3 and 2 points, respectively.

Finally, let's turn to the president for the last section.
  • We don't like the way the president talk about the media (65-32) more than we don't like the way the media covers Trump (56-36). 
  • We trust the media more than Trump (54-34) to tell the truth on important stuff; again as has been true on so many surveys, Republicans are the only demographic (gender, age, race, education) who believe Trump more, and they do - by a huge margin (75-16). 
  • He hasn't made a whole lot of headway with his 'enemy of the people' charge; 71% think the media is an important part of our democracy, with only 21% falling on the 'enemy' side of the ledger. By a 1-point margin (45-44) Republicans have fallen for Trump's rhetoric on this. 
  • Other demographic groups  reject Trump on this issue by significant margins: Dems (90), blacks (82), women (57), Independents (56), 18-34 year olds (54), 65+ (50), whites and 50 -64 year olds (47), 35-49 year olds (46), men (43) and Hispanics (41).

In all, there's nothing really shocking here, except the continued allegiance of Republicans to the president, no matter what. It would honestly be OK if they disagreed with him on something - anything - in a single poll.  

It really would be OK.