Politics and Public Opinion

The ‘Weak’ GOP Field Myth, Economic Woe, and Other Items You May Have Missed in This Week’s Polls

A Weak Field? It’s a media trope that the Republican presidential field is weak and uninspiring. But 46 percent of likely Republican primary voters in a new national Suffolk University poll said they were generally satisfied with the field, while 40 percent were not.

The Problem of Pakistan: Sixteen percent in a new Fox News poll of registered voters call Pakistan an ally, while 74 percent disagree.

Predictions Post Mortem? After Osama bin Laden was killed, 68 percent of registered voters surveyed by Fox News said they had believed the United States would eventually get him. But that’s not what people said in the past. In a September 2010 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, only 30 percent said it was likely that the United States would capture or kill bin Laden.

Osama Alive? In the new Fox News poll, 15 percent of registered voters said there is a chance that Osama bin Laden is still alive, but 78 percent disagreed.

Suicide Watch: In the May Suffolk University poll, 35 percent favored allowing mentally able seniors to be able to end their own lives “to help save healthcare costs,” while 53 percent opposed this.

It’s The Economy, Stupid: Seventy-four percent told Gallup that economic problems are America’s most important problem.  That’s the highest response in two years. In other polls in recent weeks, pessimism about the economy is overwhelming.

Obama and Terrorism: In a bipartisan Battleground survey conducted after bin Laden’s death, President Obama does far better than Democrats in Congress on handling terrorism. When Republicans in Congress are pitted against Democrats, they have a 15-point advantage on safeguarding America from terrorism (47 percent for Republicans, 32 percent for Democrats). But President Obama beats the Republicans in Congress handily on this question that uses the same question structure, 55 percent for Obama, 35 percent for Republicans in Congress.

IDs R Us: Showing a photo ID before voting has widespread support. In the new Suffolk University poll, 77 percent nationally said they agreed with states that are considering laws that would require citizens to show a photo ID before voting. Eighteen percent disagreed.

Support for Gay Marriage Growing: For the first time in Gallup’s polling, a majority of Americans (53 percent) said they believed same-sex marriage should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages. This comes on top of other national polls that show majority support for gay marriage.

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