×
FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
October 25, 2017

Fifty-one percent of Democrats have a favorable view of former President George W. Bush, a surprising new Economist/YouGov poll has found. Among people who voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, 54 percent have a favorable view of America's 43rd president.

Last week, Bush spoke out against "discourse degraded by casual cruelty" in a speech many interpreted to be a thinly-veiled knock on President Trump. A spokesman for Bush denied that the president was the target of the speech.

Still, liberals overall have a much rosier opinion of Bush now than they had eight years ago. Gallup found that in January 2009, a mere 6 percent of Democrats approved of Bush. As Paul Waldman writes for The Week: "[T]his story also demonstrates … that you can be a decent person, which Bush certainly is — friendly, engaging, even kind — and do terribly indecent things, like lie repeatedly to the public to get them to support a disastrous war that winds up killing thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for no good reason."

Among Republicans surveyed by The Economist/YouGov, 76 percent had a favorable view of Bush while 64 percent of people who voted for Trump had the same opinion. The poll reached 1,500 American adults between Oct. 22-24. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent. Jeva Lange

October 23, 2017
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A new Military Times poll finds that nearly one in four U.S. service members say they have witnessed examples of white nationalism in the ranks, and they view this as a greater national security threat than Syria and Iraq.

The poll, released Monday, was conducted about a month after white supremacists held a violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. When it comes to national security, 30 percent of respondents said white nationalists pose a significant threat to the U.S., more than Syria (27 percent), Pakistan (25 percent), Afghanistan (22 percent), and Iraq (17 percent).

Close to 5 percent commented that they thought the Black Lives Matter movement should have been included among the options for threats to national security, and some were bothered that the poll even mentioned white supremacists. "White nationalism is not a terrorist organization," one anonymous Navy commander wrote, while an anonymous Air Force staff sergeant asked, "You do realize white nationalists and racists are two totally different types of people?"

This voluntary survey was conducted online between Sept. 7 and 25, with 1,131 active-duty service members responding, and it has a margin of error of about ±3 percent. Of the respondents, 86 percent were male, 14 percent were female, 76 percent identified as white, 9 percent as black, 8 percent as Hispanic, 2 percent as Asian, and 5 percent as other ethnicities. Catherine Garcia

October 19, 2017
iStock

About half of all Americans are in agreement: The U.S. hasn't done enough for gender equality. But there's a big difference between how Democrats and Republicans feel about the issue.

A new survey from Pew Research Center found that 69 percent of Democrats think the country hasn't gone far enough when it comes to giving women equal rights with men. Only 26 percent of Republicans feel the same. What's more, 18 percent of Republicans believe the country has gone too far to address gender inequality.

In the same survey, Pew found that 43 percent of women surveyed said they'd experienced gender discrimination. Less than half as many men — 18 percent — said the same thing.

The survey of 4,573 U.S. adults was conducted Aug. 8-21 and Sept. 14-28. It has a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points. You can read more on the study on Pew's website. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 10, 2017
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Seven in 10 Republicans are in favor of making it illegal to burn or otherwise desecrate the American flag, finds a new YouGov/Cato Institute poll previewed by Reason on Tuesday. Half say you should lose your citizenship if you do the desecrating, an idea President Trump suggested in 2016.

The survey also probed American attitudes on First Amendment rights more broadly. About one-third of Republican respondents said they backed a ban on offensive public statements about police and the military, and half of Democrats similarly agreed the "government should prevent people from engaging in hate speech against certain groups in public." Slightly more than half (53 percent) of Democrats also said that to defend racists' free speech rights is just as bad as "holding racist views yourself."

On the subject of press freedom, Republicans and other poll participants differed significantly. Two in 3 Republicans said journalists are "an enemy of the American people," but only 1 in 3 poll respondents in aggregate said the same. Likewise, half of Republicans said the media has too much freedom in the United States, but only about a third (31 percent) of total respondents concurred. Bonnie Kristian

October 6, 2017
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A full third of Republicans disapprove of President Trump's performance in office, a poll released Friday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans still approve of Trump's performance, though that is a marked decrease from when the poll was taken in March, when 80 percent of Republicans supported the president's performance.

Predictably, Trump's approval rating among other demographics was even lower: Just 28 percent of independents and 5 percent of Democrats said they approved of his work in office. Overall, just 32 percent of Americans approved of Trump's efforts, while 67 percent disapproved. Legislators fared even worse, however, as just 18 percent of Americans approved of Congress' efforts.

Overall, just 24 percent of Americans feel the country is heading "in the right direction" under Trump, the poll found — a 10-percent decrease since the poll was last taken in June. In March, the poll found 37 percent of people felt the country was progressing positively.

The poll surveyed 1,150 adults nationwide online and over the phone from Sept. 28-Oct. 2. It has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points. Read the full topline results here. Kimberly Alters

September 28, 2017
Mario Tama/Getty Images

While pundits and dinner party pontificators throughout President Trump's political career have argued that attitudes about race aren't a major factor in his popularity, a new survey from the Pew Research Center indicates otherwise. The poll shows a strong association between political leanings and views about whether white people experience advantages in society over other races — and identifies a correlation between these views and approval of Trump's performance as president.

The survey finds that 74 percent of people who believe white people do not have advantages also approve of Trump's job performance, and 60 percent approve strongly. Of those who merely think white people don't benefit "too much," 57 percent approve of Trump, while 36 percent approve strongly. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who share these beliefs are even more likely to be Trump fans: Eighty-nine percent think he's doing a good job. Conversely, 97 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who believe white people do benefit a "great deal" from privilege disapprove of Trump's work so far.

During his time in office, Trump has continued to push for a wall separating Mexico and the U.S.; blamed "both sides" for a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia; and, most recently, referred to athletes peacefully protesting racism and police brutality as "sons of bitches."

Overall, Pew found that 56 percent of Americans believe in white privilege of some kind. Specifically, 92 percent of black people believe white people benefit a "great deal," while only 46 percent of white respondents said they felt they benefited a "fair amount." See the full findings here. Roxie Pell

September 26, 2017
Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

Americans' views on President Trump's tax reform proposals are split along predictably partisan lines, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll reports Tuesday, albeit with some noteworthy details.

A mere 7 percent of Democrats back Trump's plan compared to 60 percent of Republicans — a strong majority, but not an indicator of enthusiasm as dramatic as Democrats' distaste — and 29 percent of independents. In aggregate, just 28 percent of Americans support the plan. Another 44 percent oppose it, while 28 percent told pollsters they have no opinion, perhaps due to ongoing uncertainty as to what, exactly, the plan will change.

One point on which Americans can agree, however, is that middle and lower income earners deserve a tax break. Tax cuts for businesses receive greater support (45 percent) than those for the wealthy (33 percent), and corporate tax cuts are viewed most favorably, another survey published Monday noted, if they are cast as an opportunity for economic growth. Most of the Post/ABC poll respondents (51 percent) believe Trump's plan will cut income taxes for the rich, while a third say it will favor the middle class or treat both groups equally. Bonnie Kristian

August 8, 2017

Most Americans are uneasy when they think about how President Trump might handle North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, results from a new CBS poll released Tuesday reveal. Predictably, answers were split along partisan lines, but in the national average, 6 in 10 say they are not confident in Trump's ability to deal with this tension:


(CBS)

The poll also found nearly the same proportion of Americans — 60 percent — remain confident the North Korean nukes situation can be contained without war. Another 29 percent say military action is necessary, while 7 percent say Pyongyang's weapons development is not a threat to the United States. Answers to this question were clearly linked to respondents' belief about whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is actively planning a strike on the U.S. or merely posturing to look tough in the international arena. Bonnie Kristian

See More Speed Reads