Clinton emails dominate the news, but voters have nuanced views. Speaking of emails, how are people–and companies–changing their online behaviors?

Hillary Clinton is at the top of our inbox

CNN/ORC released a poll this week showing the public is pretty divided on the email story. One big number here is 51%. That’s how many say it’s a serious story, that’s how many say she hasn’t done enough to explain herself, and that’s the same amount that say she did something wrong. Although, on the other side, 51% say she’s revealed enough about the emails & 52% say the story is really not relevant to her character or ability to serve as president.

The other thing to look for here is what effect the story is having on her numbers. There are signs she may have suffered some damage, but it’s not insurmountable. Her favorability has dropped just slightly, but she still has clear leads against all potential opponents, leading with crucial independents.

Kristen wonders if the Clinton’s favorability is fluctuating not because of the email story, per se, but because she’s simply in the public eye more in a political capacity. Margie discusses some focus groups her firm did with Bloomberg Politics, suggesting Democratic primary voters are worried about the impact the story may have on her candidacy, even if it won’t actually change their vote. And Reuters/IPSOS released a poll Democrats’ views are quite nuanced.

The GOP Popular Crowd

Gallup reminds us how important it is to compare both favorability and hard ID simultaneously, especially with such a varied field like did an analysis of the full crowd of candidates in the Republican field. Just looking at the favorability alone doesn’t take into account that some candidates are unpopular, or less well-known. In Gallup’s poll, Huckabee and Bush are both well-known and popular, while Chris Christie is well-known but not popular. Walker and Carson are less well-known, but popular.  But this is with Republicans. Among general election voters, CNN/ORC shows Bush and Christie net unfavorable, with everyone other than Huckabee essentially even favorable and unfavorable.

The parties themselves also have terrible favorability ratings—both parties have either dropped since the election or are near record lows. The only person with ratings moving in the right direction right now is the President—half say his presidency has been a success. Although it’s still just right at half.

Iran by the numbers & to the letter

So there continues to be polling on the negotiations with Iran. Some new polls came out suggesting a few consistencies, even as wording differs dramatically. First, people generally support diplomatic negotiations—even two-thirds of Republicans. But when it comes to the letter from 47 Republican Senators, there is more partisanship, as a majority of Republicans say it’s appropriate. How do we reconcile these two things?

And we can expect more people to be following Iran than we might normally expect, as concern about a terrorist threat is on the rise, according to Gallup.

Email in the time of Snowden

Two years after the Snowden/NSA story emerged, Pew finds more people than you would think have actually changed their online behaviors. Almost 90% of respondents have heard at least something about the government surveillance story, and fewer than a third say they’ve changed their behavior somehow.

But people aren’t necessarily opposed to government monitoring in general, or even of foreign citizens or leaders, just not of American citizens at large. And in the end, between about a third to 40% of Americans are worried about government surveillance of their own email, social media, or search data.

Is big data getting bigger?

But it’s not just the public that’s growing interested in scouring online data. A recent study by IDG-Enterprise of IT decision-makers showed really sizeable increase in the interest in Big Data projects. Twice as many companies now say they’ve already deployed big data projects than just a year ago.

And, while recall voters’ confidence in the security of their online information is waning, two-thirds of these companies feel confident in their own company’s security solutions—an increase over the last few years.

Religion is on the decline in public, but not in private

The Washington Post flags an interesting finding on religion from the General Social Survey, which is a very academically rigorous yearly poll that’s been around for over 40 years. Compared to about 30 years ago, fewer Americans affiliate with a religion, or attend worship at least once a month. But daily prayer has actually increased, although not by much. So the drop is not as much in religiosity, perhaps, but in the public identifying and communing over religion that is in decline.

None of this has hurt Pope Francis, according to a recent Pew study. He is incredibly popular, across religious groupings, and his popularity is only increasing. His very favorable rating among Catholics surpasses any past intense favorable rating of the last two popes—the only ones Pew has on record. Even people unaffiliated with any religion like the Pope.

Office bracketology

So people may be communing in church less often, but the communal experience that is March Madness continues unabated. The American Gaming Association estimates about 70 million people will fill out brackets this year. And lest you think this hurts productivity, it turns out about half of managers, according to a poll by the staffing company OfficeTeam, say it boosts morale. They did a similar poll last year and just 36% felt that way. How does your office boost morale?

The New Jersey rocker bracket       

But the winner of the top NJ rocker may finally have been decided! A poll for the Asbury Park Press shows Bon Jovi just barely edging out Bruce Springsteen for the top prize. But are there some voting irregularities?

Say no to the guest list, that portal of all things bridal, released its annual wedding survey. They found the average cost per wedding is up to an all-time high, while the average guest count is down. In addition to cutting friends and family, couples are now more likely than in the past to use their smart phone to plan, and look for unusual venues like historic homes or farms. There’s also been a drop from 49% to 28% of couples holding ceremonies in a religious institution—I guess that matches the trend regarding religion we discussed earlier.

Key findings

  • There’s more to the impact of the email story than the subject line. Voters are still trying to work out the nuance
  • Don’t forget to compare both favorability and hard ID when looking at the full range of GOP candidates.
  • Views toward negotiations with Iran aren’t always partisan, which is a good thing.
  • More companies are looking into big data, while some people are working harder to hide their own.
  • Private religiosity increasing while public religiosity decreasing. But we all like Pope Francis.
  • When it comes to basketball, Bon Jovi vs. Bruce, or how many cousins to invite to your wedding, well, there are some debates even the pollsters can’t resolve.

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