survey says
February 11, 2019

A new poll has found that a stunning number of Americans believe wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume is okay.

A poll from the Pew Research Center found that 34 percent of respondents felt blackface for a Halloween costume is either sometimes or always acceptable. This included 19 percent who said it's sometimes okay and 15 percent who said it's always okay. For comparison, 16 percent said doing so is rarely acceptable, while 37 percent said it's never acceptable.

Opinions on this issue vary depending on party affiliation and race, as the poll found that while 51 percent of Democrats said blackface as part of a Halloween costume is never acceptable, only 21 percent of Republicans said the same thing, with 50 percent of those on the right saying it's sometimes or always okay. Young Americans were also far less likely to think blackface is okay under any circumstances, with 41 percent of adults under 29 saying it's never acceptable, compared to 29 percent of people between the ages of 50 and 64 saying the same. And while 39 percent of white respondents said it's sometimes or always okay, only 18 percent of black respondents agreed.

This survey was released Monday, but was largely conducted before Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) came under fire for saying he wore blackface in medical school while dressing as Michael Jackson for a dance contest. His admission came after a photo from his yearbook page was published showing a person wearing blackface standing next to a person in a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Pew Research Center conducted the poll from Jan. 22 to Feb. 5 by surveying 5,599 adult respondents online. The margin of error is 1.7 percentage points. Brendan Morrow

January 23, 2019

The majority of American voters think President Trump may have been compromised by a foreign power, a new poll suggests.

In the latest survey from Politico/Morning Consult, 57 percent of registered voters said it is either "very" or "somewhat" likely that Russia has compromising information on Trump. A plurality, 36 percent, said it's "very" likely, while another 21 percent said it's "somewhat" likely. This is compared to 31 percent who said it's either not very likely or not likely at all, and 13 percent who weren't sure.

Additionally, 43 percent of voters believe Trump's presidential campaign worked with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 race, while 38 percent said they don't think the campaign did so, and 19 percent weren't sure. Even more voters, 49 percent, said they believe Trump has tried to "impede or obstruct" the investigation into Russian interference in the election.

These findings come on a catastrophically bad polling day for Trump, whose disapproval rating in this survey has reached a new high of 57 percent. The poll also shows that 72 percent of voters oppose funding the president's proposed border wall if it's the only way to end the government shutdown. Another poll from CBS released Wednesday, in which Trump's disapproval rating is also at its all-time high, shows that 71 percent of Americans believe the border wall is not worth the shutdown fight.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll was conducted from Jan. 18-22 by speaking to 1,996 registered voters. The margin of error is 2 percentage points. Read more results at Politico. Brendan Morrow

December 17, 2018

Just four in 10 Americans — 38 percent — said they'd vote re-elect President Trump in new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll results published Monday.

But those numbers sound like good news for the president with a little historical context, NBC reports: They're quite close to the support former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama pulled after their party suffered midterm defeats in 1994 and 2010, respectively. Both went on to win re-election handily.

Still, the survey found a key difference between Trump's standing now and Obama's position eight years ago. Only 10 percent of respondents said "President Trump has gotten the message from the elections and is making the necessary adjustments" to his governing agenda. Fully 35 percent said the same of Obama in 2010.

Some, but not all, of that difference may be attributed to a larger proportion (31 percent in 2018 to 15 percent in 2010) claiming the midterms were not a message to the president at all. That was Trump's own argument after the midterms; before the election, he said he was on the ballot in a "certain way," but after GOP losses in the House Trump noted he "wasn't on the ballot." Bonnie Kristian

December 11, 2018

Americans are increasingly unhappy, a new CNN poll published Tuesday finds, with how President Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller are handling the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Approval for both has fallen since CNN asked the same questions in October:


Intriguingly, while each man's ratings vary along predictably partisan lines, Trump's performance in regards to the probe is a low point even for Republicans. GOP respondents ranked Trump well — often 80 percent support or higher — for his performance on other specific issues and for his presidency in general. But on the Russia probe, a bare majority of 51 percent approve of Trump, a record low.

See the full poll results here. The margin of error is +/- 3.8 percent. Bonnie Kristian

December 10, 2018

A pair of reports published Monday by Gallup and Pew Research show global interest in migration is rising while support for it is falling.

The Gallup survey found about 750 million people, 15 percent of the world's adults, said in the 2015 to 2017 polling period they would like to permanently move to another country. That's up from 13 percent in 2010 to 2012, though slightly lower than the 16 percent interest in 2007 to 2009. Interest in migration is on an upward trend in every region but Oceania and Asia, where it has held steady since 2010.


Pew's report, meanwhile, found a majority in 27 nations would prefer to maintain or lower the number of immigrants permitted to come to their country. Spain was the only nation polled in which more than a quarter of respondents said more immigrants should be allowed to move in, though the United States was a close second at 24 percent.

Concern about emigration is also high, Pew found, with a 27-nation median of 64 percent saying "people leaving their country for jobs in other countries is a very or moderately big problem." These emigration worries were around 80 percent or higher in Greece, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Tunisia, Argentina, and Mexico. Bonnie Kristian

November 26, 2018

The 2006 midterms saw a new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, while the GOP still held the White House via then-President George W. Bush. Polled by Gallup about the prospect of inter-party cooperation, Americans were reasonably optimistic, with about half expecting cooperation from each side.

No more. Posed the same question in a Gallup poll published Monday about the coming divided government, only a third said they expect President Trump to cooperate with House Democrats, and even fewer anticipate Democrats will work with Trump.


Lowered expectations for bipartisanship were consistent across party lines. Read here at The Week why gridlock might not be so bad. Bonnie Kristian

November 12, 2018

A new Axios/Survey Monkey poll finds Republicans and Democrats alike struggle to use positive descriptors of people in the other party.

A majority of Democrats say Republicans are racist, bigoted, sexist, and ignorant; while a majority of Republicans say Democrats are spiteful. Nearly half — 49 percent — of Republicans also said Democrats are ignorant, which is within the three-point margin of error of to be a majority statement as well.


Asked about positive descriptors, results were similarly bleak. Fewer than 5 percent of either party would characterize people in the other as fair, thoughtful, or kind. However, fewer than a quarter of each side were willing to make the leap to labeling their political opponents outright "evil." Bonnie Kristian

November 5, 2018

Just half of Americans report they have faith in U.S. democracy in a new Axios/Survey Monkey poll conducted late last month and reported Monday. Nearly one in 10 say they never had faith in democracy in the first place, and 37 percent report they once had faith but have now lost it.


Axios and Survey Monkey have asked the same question six times since October 2016 and found a rise in democratic faith around the presidential election that was erased over the following 12 months with steady numbers since.

While no demographic group expressed more than 70 percent faith in democracy, some demographics were substantially more likely to express it than others. White people and Hispanics, Republicans, suburbanites, men, the elderly, the college educated, and supporters of President Trump were the most likely to say they have faith in democracy now.

By contrast, black people, women, voters aged 18-34, urbanites, those with a high school education or less, Gary Johnson voters in 2016, nonvoters, and political independents were disproportionately likely to say they never had faith.

And self-identified liberal Democrats were the demographic most likely, at 55 percent, to say they have lost their faith in American democracy. Bonnie Kristian

See More Speed Reads