Bloomberg Warns of ‘Epidemic of Dishonesty’

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg warned that Americans are facing an “epidemic of dishonesty” in Washington that’s more dangerous than terrorism or communism, the AP reports.

Said Bloomberg: “There is now more tolerance for dishonesty in politics than I have seen in my lifetime. The only thing more dangerous than dishonest politicians who have no respect for the law is a chorus of enablers who defend their every lie.”

One-Fifth of Americans Have No Religious Affiliation

A new ABC News poll finds the number of adults expressing no religious affiliation has risen from 12% in 2003 to 21% of all adults in 2017. That includes 3% who say they’re atheists, 3% agnostic and 15% who say they have no religion.

The largest shifts during this 15-year period include 16-point increases among young adults (age 18 to 29) and political liberals.

Young People Are Staying Liberal

Jonathan Chait: “For obvious reasons, the broadly liberal demographic trends in American politics have received much less attention since the 2016 election. Yet the fact remains that America is politically sorted by generations in a way it never has before. The oldest voters are the most conservative, white, and Republican, and the youngest voters the most liberal, racially diverse, and Democratic. There is absolutely no sign the dynamic is abating during the Trump years. If anything, it is accelerating.”

“The most recent Pew Research Survey has more detail about the generational divide. It shows that the old saw that young people would naturally grow more conservative as they age, or that their Democratic loyalties were an idiosyncratic response to Barack Obama’s unique personal appeal, has not held. Younger voters have distinctly more liberal views than older voters.”

U.S. Satisfaction With the Government Remains Low

Gallup: “More than one year into Donald Trump’s presidency, Americans’ satisfaction with their national government shows no signs of improving. About a third of U.S. adults (34%) say they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ satisfied with the size and power of the federal government, down six percentage points from 2017 but on par with most readings since 2011. Thirty-eight percent of Americans are satisfied with ‘our system of government and how well it works,’ essentially unchanged from 2017 and much lower than it was between 2001 and 2008.”

Here Come the Post-Millennials

Ron Brownstein: “Americans are just growing accustomed to the impact of the massive millennial generation as consumers, workers and voters. But now the crusade for gun control led by survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting is heralding the arrival of the younger generation rising behind them. And in their racial diversity, attitudes toward religion and culture, their digital fluency and their political priorities, this emerging generation — usually called the post-millennials, sometimes labeled Generation Z — might shake American life even more profoundly than the millennials.”

“For Republicans who have nervously watched polls showing an enormous backlash against President Donald Trump’s insular nationalism among the millennials, this younger generation could represent an even greater threat.”

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.”