This week we think our podcast is called, What Do We Think! What do we think of that name, folks (heh)?

The CPAC straw poll, Christie struggles.

Kristen went to CPAC at the National Harbor, but did not go to the mechanical bull restaurant, which is Margie’s favorite. Rand Paul won the straw poll, with about a quarter of the vote, followed by Scott Walker (21%), Cruz and Carson at 11%, and Jeb Bush at 8%. Donald Trump garnered 3.5%, which sounds low, but it’s actually more than Perry, Jindal, and Christie earned. But we’re not sure the straw poll tells us much—it predicted the GOP nominee four of the last twenty times, according to an analysis by National Journal.

A Bibi bump?

Forget about a baby bump, here in Washington we’re watching for a Bibi bump. Polls in the runup to his speech before Congress are consistent; they show strong support for Israel, and favorable ratings toward Netanyahu himself, but opposition to the idea of him giving a speech without the approval of the President. Pew, Gallup, and MSNBC and CNN/ORC all ask their questions a little differently, but the bottom line is the same.

In Israel, the polling in advance of the March 17th election is more mixed. Most polls show the race has been tightening in recent weeks. But it doesn’t seem like it’s the speech—or the bravado it reflects—that’s driving the tightening. One recent poll by shows a majority thought the speech would warm relations with the US—we’ll see if that turns out to be true, although we’re skeptical. It’s also unclear what role “bottle-gate” will have—a scandal involving Netanyahu’s household spending on cleaning and entertaining. What we do know is no polls can be published the last few days before an election. The horror!

Israeli polling:

Jerusalem Post/Panels Research poll

i24 poll

Migdam/Zionist union

A different kind of poll briefing.

Recent national poll for the University of MD shows amazingly bipartisan support for a plan to make a deal with Iran that allows limited uranium enrichment: 61% of Republicans & 66% of Democrats. This poll is fascinating because it’s online, and it provided respondents with a very detailed briefing. In fact, the pollsters ran their briefing by a team of bipartisan hill staffers & outside experts (maybe this is why the results are so bipartisan?). You could never conduct a poll like this on the telephone, or you’d lose all of your participants after two minutes, but online, you can give people more reading and then get their take.

Health care & bad luck.

NPR, Harvard, and Robert Wood Johnson tried to find out what people think affects their own health, and the health of others. Socioeconomic turned out to be a major driver, particularly among lower-income adults. Respondents said access to quality care was the #1 cause of health problems. Higher income folks were more likely to name personal behavior as the top driver. Lower income folks also were quite a bit more likely to say poor housing conditions and poor working conditions caused health problems. More lower respondents said their own childhood experiences are still affecting their health. The bottom of the list? Bad luck.

But speaking of access to care, and maybe also bad luck, the Supreme Court heard arguments in King vs. Burwell this week, focusing on a small sliver of the Affordable Care Act that could have major implications. A few polls out there (Hart Research for SEIU; Hart Research/POS for NBC/WSJ) suggest majorities of voters don’t want to see health insurance taken away from those covered—whether the poll focuses on what the Supreme Court should do, or what Congress should do if the Supreme Court rules favors a narrow reading of the bill & against the ACA. But if the Supreme Court is struggling with a case—can we ask voters about it in a survey question?

Podcast listeners are special—but you knew that.

So last week we said we’d find out more from Edison Research about their Infinite Dial study on audio consumption habits, particularly with respect to podcasts. Weekly Podcast listeners listen to on average six podcasts a week! So it’s not just Serial, although Serial is big: 10% of everyone 12+ is aware of that podcast, and 3% of everyone 12+ listened to it. Edison also found some interesting demographic breaks. Podcast listeners skew upscale, both in terms of college education and income. But you probably already knew that, regular podcast listeners.

Who Will Survive The Apocalypse?

File this under “bizarre poll ideas that I love,” YouGov asked a thousand American adults if they thought they’d survive longer than the rest of their community in the event of an apocalyptic type disaster, and found that Republicans are much more confident in their survival odds. While only 22% of Democrats and and 33% of independents think they’d live longer than those around them, 43% of Republicans gave themselves strong survival odds.

The poll also asked what the most likely endgame for civilization is, and nuclear war was the top answer at 28%, followed by climate change and judgment day tied at 16%. As always, there was a partisan split, with climate change ranking as the most likely disaster among Democrats at 27% but only being chosen by 5% of Republicans.

And there was bipartisan agreement that a zombie apocalypse is unlikely, with only 2% of Democrats, Republicans and Independents thinking that’s how we’ll all go. Finally, something on which we can all agree! Zombies!

We Say Yes To The Dress!

The Dress! Or as Margie called it, “that dumb dress thing.” Is it black and blue, or white and gold, or whatever? It turns out Americans are divided! A Reuters/IPSOS poll showed 39% thought it was white and gold, and 37% thought it was blue and black.

The Key Findings

  • CPAC probably doesn’t mean much, but it is potentially bad news for Christie.
  • Bibi seems like he could be stronger here than is Israel
  • Access to care is particularly important—whether to you personally, or if you are thinking about the Supreme Court.
  • Podcast listeners like you are listening to tons of shows—definitely room for ours.
  • Everybody should get ready for their own personal apocalypse.
  • The dress debate is officially over!

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