Politics and Public Opinion, Polls

The Oscars, the debt, and foreign policy goals: What you may have missed in the polls

Image Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

Image Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

Oscar Gold: Before the golden statues are given out at this year’s Oscar broadcast, CBS and Vanity Fair surveyed Americans on the silver screen.

  • Twenty-eight percent said Clint Eastwood came closest to their ideal of a quintessential leading man. Other top candidates were Denzel Washington (23%) and Cary Grant (12%). Thirty-one percent said Meryl Streep came closest to their ideal of a quintessential leading female actor.
  • Foreign language movies were considered the worst kind of movie for a first date by 36% of Americans. Other categories polled were tearjerkers (17%), action flicks (16%), romantic comedies (11%), thrillers (7%), and dramas (4%).
  • A majority enjoyed watching a great film (54%) over a powerful documentary (42%).
  • The movie version is not better than the book according to most Americans. Fifty-five percent prefer the book, as opposed to 31% who are willing to give the movie version a chance.
  • When asked to choose, Americans would remove some of the awards from the Oscar broadcast. Thirty-nine percent of men and 30% of women gave that response. Twelve percent of men and 20% of women would give the axe to the speeches. Thirteen percent of men and 9% of women would take out the “in memoriam” montage.

leading man and woman

Debt woes: In a new Bloomberg News poll, 55% approve of the way President Obama is handling his job as president. The deficit is one area where Americans are not enthusiastic about the president’s performance. Fifty-five percent disapprove of the way Obama is handling the deficit, while 35% approve. Expectations of the future could be playing a role. Fifty-six percent expect the size of the national debt to get worse in the next twelve months. Only 16% think it will get better and 21% said it would stay about the same.

Next 12 months

Foreign policy goals: Gallup surveyed Americans about foreign policy goals that the United States might have. Preventing future acts of international terrorism ranked at the top of the nine-item list, with 88% deeming it very important. Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction also placed high, with 83% ranking it very important. Tied for last place were promoting economic development in other countries and helping other countries build democracies. Thirty-one percent said each was very important.

Foreign Policy Goals

What sequester?: In the first poll from the new Pew/USA Today partnership, 27% had heard a lot about “major cuts in defense and domestic government spending that will automatically happen on March 1st unless the president and Congress reach an agreement on deficit reduction,” with Republicans more highly aware of the situation than Democrats (36%-23%). In a follow-up question that asked what should happen if the president and Congress can’t reach a deficit reduction agreement, 40% said it would be better to let the cuts go into effect, and 49% delay them. Among those most aware of the situation, people split evenly about letting the cuts go forward (47%) or delaying them (46%).

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