Labor Day Worries: Slightly more than a quarter of adults working full or part-time worry that they will be laid off in the near future (28 percent), that their hours will be cut (26 percent), their wages reduced (28 percent). Of far greater concern is benefit reductions (40 percent are worried.) In August 2008, before the financial crisis, people were much less concerned about these possibilities in this Gallup time series.
Party Time: In the new CBS News poll, 35 percent had a favorable opinion of the GOP, and 53 percent an unfavorable opinion. The responses for the Democratic Party were 43 and 47 percent, respectively. CBS asked a different question about the Tea Party, allowing people to say they were undecided or hadn’t heard enough about it to say. Forty-eight percent gave that response.
Convention Delegates: AEI has brought together a substantial collection of data from CBS News on who the delegates are and how they have changed over time. Read the AEI Special Report to learn what proportion of the delegates to each convention are men, women, under age 30, union members, lawyers, et al. and to see how the Republican and Democratic convention delegates differ.
Back to School, Strengthening the Public Schools: The new Gallup/Phi Delta Kappa poll asks people to suppose they are voting “solely on the basis of a desire to strengthen the public schools.” Forty-nine percent said they would vote for President Obama based on this criterion, and 44 percent said Mitt Romney. In 2008, Obama led John McCain by 46 to 29 percent, and in 2004, views about John Kerry and George W. Bush were identical (41 percent). They were also similar in 2000 (Bush 38 percent, Al Gore 37 percent).
When asked which would be more important in the next five year, 60 percent said balancing the federal budget and 38 percent said improving the quality of the education system. In 1996, those responses were very different: a quarter said balancing the budget would be most important and 64 percent said improving the education system.
The Rich Are Different: The Pew Research Center recently released a study on perceptions of class in America in which they asked a set of questions about how rich people differed from the average person. Forty-three percent said rich people are more likely to be intelligent, while 8 percent said they were less likely to be so. Forty-two percent said the rich were more likely to be hard working (24 percent less). Significant numbers of respondents said there was no difference or had no opinion.
People also thought the rich were more likely to be greedy than the average person (55 percent, 9 percent less likely) Only 12 percent said the rich were more likely to be honest and a third (34 percent) said they were less likely to be so.
Trust Gap: In a new Fox News poll, 58 percent of likely voters believe that Mitt Romney will say and do anything to get elected. Fifty-seven percent said the same about Obama.
Turnout Clues: Eighty-one percent of registered voters said they are certain they will vote for president this November in a new ABC/Washington Post poll. Around this time in 2008 and 2004, similar numbers gave that response.
Impressions of Mitt: In this week’s CBS poll, 17 percent of registered voters did not have an impression of Mitt Romney and 15 percent said they hadn’t heard enough to make up their mind. Will his prime-time convention speech could move those numbers? We will have to wait and see.