Quite a few 2016 candidates are struggling to gain either notoriety or popularity. But what will drive the debate? One thing is for sure: little debate over Tina Fey.

2016: It’s tough news all around, but will ISIS drive the debate?

The latest NBC/WSJ poll has a ton of information, but before we get to the 2016 race, it’s worth looking at what the poll suggests about the top issues driving voters’ decisions—ISIS, and the Common Core? Sometimes there is a disconnect between what voters say they care about, and what actually will make a difference. And Same Sex Marriage is seen as one of the least acceptable positions for a candidate, but support for the position, broadly, is at an all-time high in the same poll. Gallup polling showing how salient government dysfunction is may give us another clue into what voters are thinking.

But onto 2016. In the Republican primary, Rubio, Walker & Huckabee are strongest. Bush, Paul & Perry are in a similar tier where they are essentially even between “could see supporting” and “could not see supporting.” Ben Carson—as we’ve seen in past polls—is pretty strong, stronger than Chris Christie. Cruz and Santorum are a little polarizing.

In the Democratic primary, Webb, Sanders, and O’Malley are unknown to over half of the primary electorate. And, while Clinton remains the strongest, there is still over a third who want to see a challenger. Majorities say Bush and Clinton represent the policies of the past, not the future.

Rahm & the runoff.

The polls this far out in the 2016 race may not matter, but the polls just a few weeks out of the April 7 runoff in the Chicago Mayor’s race matter quite a bit. The latest poll from Ogden and Fry shows Rahm with 43.5% of the vote to challenger Chuy Garcia’s 38%, with a pretty high number (18%) undecided. Could Latino turnout make a difference? Or Rahm’s latest ad? Despite the difficulty of polling this electorate, polls so far have been consistent—and right on.

Emails, what emails?

Washington has been abuzz with the Clinton email story. But Pew’s regular polling on what news topics are most salient shows not many people are following it closely. Only 17% following it very closely, with only the Boston marathon bombing trial below. But of the six stories Pew tested, the email story has the biggest party difference. More than twice as many GOP as Dems say they’re following it closely. Younger voters—who are going to follow news less than older voters, generally, are really not following this at all. In fact, younger voters are particularly likely to be following the Ferguson story, and this was before the shootings and most recent unrest.

Kristen’s firm Echelon Insights found a different reaction to the Clinton email story online. Predictably, there are more “haters” than supporters, and conservatives were very much likely to be talking about the Clinton story, while Democrats were focused on Iran and Ferguson. Will the email story have legs with voters? Or will it continue to be something mostly discussed by activists and professional campaign-watchers?

Trust in the safety of one’s personal information is down. But the real winner is…the banks?

Gallup shows this week that few Americans feel secure that their personal information is secure. Only about a fifth have a lot of trust in companies to protect their info. And this trust is dropping—over half say they are less trusting than they were a year ago. What’s interesting here is the differences in trust across industries. Banks are the most trustworthy at 91%. Brick & mortar stores, 69%, then “health insurance companies” broadly speaking, at 68%. What’s not surprising is the bottom of the list, state & federal government and then in last place: 23% trust social networks.

Gun ownership drops, yet the debate continues.

While gun production has increased in recent years, gun ownership has hit a 40-year-low. Now just under a third of households have guns, according to the General Social Survey—it used to be over 50% in the 1970s but now is just under a third. There hasn’t been a comparable change in overall appetite for stronger gun laws. But Margie argues that some of the tracking questions have outdated wording. And support for specific gun laws—like Margie’s own recent poll on permitless concealed weapons in West Virginia—show there is clear, even bipartisan, support for a variety of stronger gun laws, not the weaker laws currently up for debate.

Where are women thriving? And where are they laughing?

Happy International Women’s Day Everyone! Gallup celebrated with data, naturally, and ranked the countries where women said they had the “best possible life” for themselves. Typical paradises for women at the top of the list—Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, etc. and the US ranked 7th. What’s particularly interesting is another list about where women had the most recent positive experiences—like laughter, being treated with respect, smiling, and in that list, Latin American countries are at the top. The US is not at the top of that list. Although Denmark is the only country in both lists. I guess it’s a question of how do you define, or ask about, happiness.

Good news for Fox, but bad news for the news. 

Quinnipiac shows good news for Fox overall—it’s the most trusted network –29% compared to 22% for CNN, 10% for NBC & CBS, single digits for ABC & MSNBC.

But dig in a bit and all the networks are struggling. Every network has more—or the same amount—of folks saying they trust it “not at all” as “a great deal.” So intensity matters here. Local television news really fares well, with only 25% not finding it trustworthy—that’s lower than all the national networks tested. And the news as a category is less trusted—about half say the news is less trustworthy than in the “days of Walter Cronkite.”

That said, good news for Brian Williams & Bill O’Reilly here. A plurality (42%) think Williams should be allowed to come back. And half (51%) say they haven’t heard enough about the allegations against O’Reilly to have an opinion about his future. Although as you might imagine there are party differences in both these questions.

Tina Fey for anything! From TGS to TDS!

In the same Quinnipiac poll, Tina Fey bests the competition in who should take over The Daily Show. But there are interesting subgroups here too—with Dennis Miller doing quite well with the non-TDS demographic (Republicans and older voters). Oliver does better with men than with women. But Margie and Kristen (but particularly Margie) is a single-issue Tina Fey voter.

Speaking of Fan-boys & fan-girls, the apple watch hits wrists soon

A few unscientific online polls say over half of respondents say they don’t want the new apple watch. What do the Apple fanboys in our lives think? And as Steve Jobs said, “people don’t know what you want until you show it to them,” which could be true of a candidate, or of a watch.

Key Findings:

  • Whether it’s for a watch or a candidate, what people say they want may or may not be what they actually end up voting for—or buying.
  • The close race in Chicago will show the impact of straightforward advertising, and solid turnout efforts. Also runoffs are notoriously hard to poll for.
  • The Clinton email story hasn’t quite captured the nation’s attention yet—although Republicans are far more likely to be watching.
  • While people worry about their personal information, they want to trust the companies with which they have a relationship—their banks, their insurance companies, and their favorite stores.
  • Gun ownership on the decline, and few support weakening gun laws, but many still debate whether there is an actual policy debate.
  • All news is suffering some, aside from local news. But few seem angry over Brian Williams or Bill O’Reilly.
  • And Tina Fey for Anything! Don’t just take our word for it.

Don’t forget you can find us on twitter. We’re @margieomero & @ksoltisanderson.

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