Politics and Public Opinion

What you may have missed in the polls: The unfair economy, ideology and the Supreme Court, and a third party

Up in the air: In a CNN poll of likely Florida Republican primary voters, 64 percent said they will definitely support their preferred candidate. Twenty-five percent said they might change their mind. A Quinnipiac poll this week found 61 percent of likely Florida Republican primary goers said their “mind is made up” and 38 percent said they “might change their mind.” Going into the South Carolina primary, CNN found that 53 percent of likely South Carolina primary voters said they would definitely support their candidate and 38 percent might change their mind.

Unfair to you, not to me: Forty-five percent told Gallup pollsters that the economic system in this country is fair, 49 percent unfair. But when asked if they think the U.S. economic system is fair to them personally, 62 percent agreed and 36 percent disagreed.

Economic worries: Fifty-one percent told Gallup that they are worried about being able to maintain their standard of living. Gallup notes that “Americans’ economic anxiety today is most similar to what it was in 1992, though Americans are slightly less worried about not being able to pay medical bills now (43 percent) than they were in 1992 (48 percent).”

Dinner with the boss: When asked by Suffolk University who they would rather have dinner with, Obama or Romney, 51 percent of Floridians said Obama and 35 percent picked Romney. When asked about investment advice, 53 percent said they would prefer to get it from Romney and 28 percent Obama. Equal numbers said they would respect Obama and Romney as their boss.

The High Court: Seventy-five percent told Kaiser Family Foundation pollsters that the Supreme Court justices sometimes let their own ideological views influence decisions. Seventeen percent said the justices usually decide cases based on legal analysis. In the poll, 54 percent thought the Supreme Court should rule the individual mandate is unconstitutional. Seventeen percent said it’s constitutional and 29 percent were unsure.

Third party politics: Forty-eight percent told ABC/Washington Post pollsters that the country needs a third party. Forty-nine percent disagreed. Sixty-one percent of Independents agreed. Far fewer nationally (22 percent) said they would vote for a third party candidate.

John Boehner and Harry Reid: In the Pew Research Center’s January poll, 21 percent had a favorable view of John Boehner and 40 percent an unfavorable one. A large 39 percent either never heard of him or could not rate him. The responses for Harry Reid were 18 percent favorable and 38 percent unfavorable. Forty-four percent couldn’t rate him. Both Boehner and Reid were less popular with their own party members in the new poll than they were in March 2011.

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