Trends

State Partisanship Shifts Towards Democrats

Gallup: “For the first time in three years, more states can be considered Democratic than Republican, based on residents’ 2017 self-reported party preferences. Nineteen states, up from 14 in 2016, were solidly Democratic or leaned Democratic, while 16 states, down from 21 in 2016, were solidly Republican or leaned that way.”

Chart of the Day

After the New York Times broke the story that Harvey Weinstein repeatedly paid off sexual harassment accusers, the percent of the U.S. public indicating that “sexual harassment of women in the workplace is a problem in this country” was 10 percent lower than December 1992 and equivalent to October 1991, right after Anita Hill’s Senate testimony.

Source: Data from ABC News/Washington Post and ABC News surveys, obtained from searches of the iPOLL Databank provided by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University. Note: October ’91 reflects the average of two October surveys (76% and 74%)

Thanks to Peter K. Enns, Executive Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and Associate Professor of Government, Cornell University

Most Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that 60% of Americans support allowing adults to buy marijuana for personal use.

“A broad majority of Democrats — 73% — supported legalization, as well as 64% of independents. By contrast, only 43% of Republican respondents said they supported legalization. Among voters who supported President Trump in 2016, the number was even lower, at 37%.”

Chart of the Day

When it comes to potential government shutdowns, the public views Republicans as more responsible.

Source: Data from ABC News/Washington Post surveys, obtained from searches of the iPOLL databank provided by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University.

Thanks to Peter K. Enns, Executive Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and Associate Professor of Government, Cornell University.

Trust In U.S. Plummets

The Edelman Trust Barometer found trust in U.S. institutions crashed last year, “posting the steepest, most dramatic general population decline the Trust Barometer has ever measured.”

“Among the informed public, the trust crash is even steeper, with trust declining 23 points, dropping the U.S. from sixth to last place out of the 28 countries surveyed. The informed public trust crash is universal across age, region and gender. As a result, the gap in trust between the informed public and the mass population has been all but eliminated.”

Mike Allen interviewed CEO Richard Edelman: “It’s the first time we’ve seen such a trust drop delinked from either a major event, or economic chaos.”

U.S. Democracy Experienced Biggest Drop In 40 Years

A new Freedom House report finds “democracy is in retreat around the world” for the 12th year in a row.

Most striking: “The United States retreated from its traditional role as both a champion and an exemplar of democracy amid an accelerating decline in American political rights and civil liberties… The United States experienced its sharpest one-year drop since we began doing the survey more than 40 years ago.”

Ryan Says Americans Need to Have More Children

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) suggested that Americans need to have more babies or risk a collapse of popular entitlements like Medicare and Social Security, The Hill reports.

Said Ryan, a father of three children: “This is going to be the new economic challenge for America: people. Baby boomers are retiring — I did my part, but we need to have higher birth rates in this country. Baby boomers are retiring and we have fewer people following them in the workforce.”

Get Ready for the ‘Me Too’ Backlash

Emily Yoffe: “In the past few weeks, a number of accused men have disappeared Soviet-style from public life, with the work of some—Louis C.K. and Garrison Keillor, for example—withdrawn from distribution. There has been discussion about whether everyone accused deserves a professional death penalty, or whether there should be a scale of punishment. After all, the violations run the gamut from multiple allegations of rape to unwanted touching. But in a statement on Facebook calling for Franken’s resignation, New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand came out against making such distinctions.”

“Do we really want to create workplace policies where any perceived wrong of a sexual nature leads to possibly career-ending sanctions?”

“The movement to stop sexual harassment in the workplace will eventually move past this moment of shocking allegations against famous men, and should soon focus on the many nonfamous people in quotidian circumstances. But top news organizations are not likely to provide as much due diligence about those cases. No doubt many disputes will more resemble those on campus, in that the charges will be about ambiguous situations for which there is little evidence. This amazing moment has a chance to be truly transformative. But it could also go off track if all accusations are taken on faith, if due process is seen as an impediment rather than a requirement and an underpinning of justice, and if men and women grow wary of each other in the workplace. As Laura Kipnis, a feminist professor at Northwestern, writes in her book, Unwanted Advances, ‘I can think of no better way to subjugate women than to convince us that assault is around every corner.'”

A Father’s Lesson

Bret Stephens: “Many years ago, I committed an offense for which famous men are now being publicly, and rightly, shamed. I patted an office secretary on her behind. I won’t offer the usual lame defense that I didn’t know my advance was unwanted or that social attitudes were different back then.”

“My only excuse is that at the time of the incident I was about 7 years old.”

“I remember the moment because of what happened immediately afterward. The secretary, who worked at my father’s business in Mexico City, turned around and slammed a heavy stack of papers on my head. I marched indignantly over to my dad’s office to report her behavior — only so that he could march me over to her desk and have me apologize. He followed that up with a stern warning never to do anything of the sort again.”

“I don’t remember the secretary’s name. But what a service she did me by giving me a knock I’ll never forget, one that took courage and self-respect considering I was her boss’s son. What a service, too, that my dad defended her and gave me the talking-to that he did. It’s a lesson every boy should get — loud, clear, and early — from a male role model.”

A Great Migration Is Set to Transform Florida

New York Times: “More than 168,000 people have flown or sailed out of Puerto Rico to Florida since the hurricane, landing at airports in Orlando, Miami and Tampa, and the port in Fort Lauderdale. Nearly half are arriving in Orlando, where they are tapping their networks of family and friends. An additional 100,000 are booked on flights to Orlando through Dec. 31…  Large numbers are also settling in the Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach areas.”

“With so many arriving so abruptly, the migration is expected to transform Orlando, a city that has already become a stronghold of Puerto Ricans, many of them fleeing the island’s economic crisis in recent years. The Puerto Rican population of Florida has exploded from 479,000 in 2000 to well over one million today, according to the Pew Research Center. The number of Puerto Ricans in Orlando was 210,000 in 2014… and since then the count has risen rapidly as more arrived during the economic crisis.”

“The impact of this latest wave is likely to stretch from schools and housing to the work force and even politics. Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens and tilt Democratic, could sway the electoral results of one of the country’s most pivotal swing states.”

Americans Are Officially Freaking Out

Bloomberg: “Almost two-thirds of Americans, or 63%, report being stressed about the future of the nation, according to the American Psychological Association’s Eleventh Stress in America survey… The ‘current social divisiveness’ in America was reported by 59% of those surveyed as a cause of their own malaise.”

“A majority of the more than 3,400 Americans polled, 59%, said ‘they consider this to to be the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.’ That sentiment spanned generations, including those that lived through World War II, the Vietnam War, and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.”

Big Majority Say Politics Has Hit New Low Point

A new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll finds 71% of Americans say the nation’s politics have reached a dangerous low point, and a majority of those believe the situation is a “new normal” rather than temporary.

“The poll finds that 7 in 10 Americans view the Trump administration as dysfunctional. But dissatisfaction extends well beyond the executive branch: Even more Americans, 8 in 10, say Congress is dysfunctional, and there is limited trust in other institutions, including the media.”