Politics and Public Opinion

What you may have missed in the polls: Swing states, the Supreme Court, and the end of the world

Jobs Report: Sixty-eight percent in a recent Gallup poll know someone who has lost a job in the past six months. This morning’s disappointing jobs report reflects the pessimism the public feels on the job front.

Swing States Update: In a new Quinnipiac poll of three key swing states, Obama is up 8 points in Pennsylvania (47 percent Obama – 39 percent Romney), up 1 point in Florida (44O – 43R), and up 2 in Ohio (44O – 42R). In Pennsylvania and Ohio, there is a sizable gender gap. Women back Obama by a 17-point margin in Pennsylvania and a 13-point margin in Ohio. In Florida, women back Obama by a narrow 2-point margin. Men back Romney in all three states.

The War Against Women?: Responses to poll questions about the administration’s mandate on contraception coverage varied, pulling people in one direction or the other depending on how questions were worded. CBS and the New York Times recently asked a broader question about “women’s health issues” and 4 percent of men and 6 percent of women said these issues would be the single most important factor in determining their vote. Sixty-four percent of men and 73 percent of women said they would be one of several important factors, and 29 percent of men and 21 percent of women said they would not be an important factor.

The Catholic Vote: Based on aggregated data from Gallup’s daily polling, Hispanic Catholics back Obama by a significant margin, 70 percent to 20 percent for Romney. Non-Hispanic white Catholics, a much larger group, back Romney 55 percent to 38 percent for Obama.

Non-Hispanic white Catholics who self-identify as “very religious” back Romney 62 percent to 32 percent for Obama. “Moderately religious” Catholics back Romney 56 percent to 34 percent for Obama and “nonreligious” back Obama 54 percent to 40 percent for Obama.

Supreme Court: Fifty-two percent told Pew that they have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court, which is the Court’s lowest rating since the trend began in 1985. Much of the recent decline has been driven by the views of self-identified Republicans, whose favorability rating of the Court dropped 14 points since April 2009. Even still, the Supreme Court remains more popular than either the executive branch or Congress.

The End is Nigh?: An Ipsos poll of residents in 21 countries found that 14 percent believe the world will come to an end in their lifetime. Countries with particularly high responses were Turkey (22 percent), the United States (22 percent), South Africa (21 percent), Argentina (19 percent), Mexico (19 percent), and Indonesia (19 percent). The poll also fount that one in ten agreed that the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012 marks the end of the world.

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