Trends

Partisans Stay Locked In

CBS News Nation Tracker: “This study shows party attachments have remained very stable in 2017, with neither Republicans nor Democrats able to draw many independents over to their side so far. Democrats aren’t becoming Republicans en masse, nor are Republicans becoming Democrats, and the few who have vacillated between parties aren’t as likely to vote in the first place — which sheds light on why today’s politics often seems dominated by partisans.”

“Overall, 91% of respondents identified with the same party in their most recent interview as they did the first time we talked to them this winter.”

Taking Another Look at the Electoral Math

John Judis: “On one level, there’s no arguing with the math. If you take the percentage of Americans that the U.S. census defines as ‘minorities’ and project their past voting habits into the next decade and beyond, you’ll come up with a very sunny version of the Democrats’ prospects.”

“There are only two problems with this line of thinking, but they’re pretty big ones. For starters, the census prediction of a ‘majority-minority’ America — slated to arrive in 2044 — is deeply flawed. And so is the notion that ethnic minorities will always and forever continue to back Democrats in Obama-like numbers.”

Americans Have Lackluster Views of Their Country

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that just 28% of adults called America the “single best place to live in the world,” with another 17% calling it “among the very few best places.”

More respondents put United States closer to the middle of the pack, with 37% calling America merely “above average” and 14% rating the country as “average.” An additional four percent called the U.S. “below average” on the global scale.

Exurbs Begin to Turn Away from Republicans

Wall Street Journal: “Data from Gallup show 45.5% of adults in exurban communities self-identified as Republican in the second quarter of 2017, down from 49.6% in the first quarter of 2017 and 51.6% in the fourth quarter of 2016. It was also the lowest quarterly number for self-identified Republicans in the exurbs since 2013, the earliest numbers available.”

“The data also showed an increase in self-identified Democrats in exurban counties to 40.5% from 37.3% in the first quarter of 2017 and 36.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016. The 40.5% was the highest number recorded from Democrats since 2013.”

Baby Boomers Are No Longer the Largest Voting Bloc

“Baby Boomers and other older Americans are no longer the majority of voters in U.S. presidential elections,” according to Pew Research.

“Millennials and Generation Xers cast 69.6 million votes in the 2016 general election, a slight majority of the 137.5 million total votes cast, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. Meanwhile, Boomers and older voters represented fewer than half of all votes for the first time in decades.”

More People Paying Attention to Politics

Pew Research: “Nearly six-in-ten women (58%) say they are paying increased attention to politics since Trump’s election, compared with 46% of men. Overall, more Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents than Republicans and Republican leaners say they have become more attentive to politics. But there are similarly wide gender gaps in heightened interest to politics among members of both parties.”

Also interesting: “Most people (59%) say it is ‘stressful and frustrating’ to talk about politics with people who have a different opinion of Trump than they do; just 35% find such conversations ‘interesting and informative.'”

Big Majority Say U.S. Politics Is Less Civil Under Trump

A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds 70% of Americans say the level of civility in Washington has gotten worse since President Trump was elected, while just 6% say the overall tone has improved.

For comparison, 35% in 2009 said civility in the country had declined in the U.S. following President Obama’s election while 21% thought civility and the tone of discourse in the country had improved.

The survey also shows distrust of many of the nation’s fundamental democratic institutions.

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“By 2040, 70 percent of Americans are expected to live in the 15 largest states, which are also home to the overwhelming majority of the 30 largest cities in the country. By extension, 30 percent of Americans will live in the other 35 states. That means that the 70 percent of Americans get all of 30 Senators and 30 percent of Americans get 70 Senators.”

— Political scientist David Birdsell, quoted by City Limits.

Big Majority of Americans Feel ‘Alarmed’ or ‘Uneasy’

A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll finds that 42% of of those surveyed when asked how they felt when they think about how things are going in Washington today said there were “alarmed.” Another 33% feel “uneasy.” Just 11% choose the positive “excited.”

“The air of angst is bipartisan. Nine of 10 Democrats feel uneasy or alarmed; so do a majority of Republicans.”