NATIONAL AGENDA PUBLIC OPINION PROJECT

VOTER ID AND RACE - National Survey Shows Support for Voter ID Laws Strongest Among Those with Negative Attitudes Toward African Americans

Research by CPC faculty David Wilson, Paul Brewer

July 17, 2012 – A new National Agenda Opinion Poll by the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication reveals support for voter identification laws is strongest among Americans who harbor negative sentiments toward African Americans.The survey reveals strong partisan and ideological divisions on a "racial resentment" scale used in the study.

Republicans and conservatives have the highest "racial resentment" scores, and Democrats and liberals have the lowest; Independents and moderates are in the middle. Democrats and liberals are least supportive of voter ID laws, whereas Republicans and conservatives are most supportive.

Read more about it…

 

HEALTH CARE MANDATE - National Survey Shows Public Is Deeply Divided on Health Insurance Mandate

Research by CPC faculty David Wilson, Paul Brewer

June 22, 2012 – As the United States Supreme Court prepares to rule on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law, a new National Agenda Opinion Poll by the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication reveals Americans are divided along party and ideology lines on a key provision of the law. Democrats and liberals overwhelmingly favor insurance mandates at both the federal and state levels, whereas large majorities of Republicans and conservatives oppose either type of mandate.

Read more about it…

 


 

OCCUPY WALL STREET - National Survey Shows Fox News Viewers are Least Informed, Most Negative, About OWS

Research by CPC faculty Paul Brewer, Dannagal Young

2012 - OCCUPY WALL STREET: MANY AMERICANS KNOW LITTLE OR NOTHING ABOUT IT

January 30, 2012 – A new national University of Delaware study reveals that four months since the start of the Occupy Wall Street movement, almost one in five Americans have heard nothing at all about it. Even among those who are aware of the movement, one third cannot identify the protest’s main message (that too few control the majority of the nation’s wealth and power). Nineteen percent say (incorrectly) that the movement was protesting excessive regulation of business and industry.
Still, many Americans see the protests as bringing something unique to public debate. Of those who say that they have heard about the protests, a majority agrees that the protests offered new insights on social issues.

 

Almost 1 in 5 Americans have heard nothing at all about the OWS protests.

Heard/Know about OWS?

 

Q - How much have you heard or read over the past few months about the protests and rallies held in New York City and other cities, called Occupy Wall Street: a lot, some, not much, or none at all?

 

 

 

 

One-third of Americans cannot identify the OWS protesters’ main message.

OWS Main message?

 

Q - Which do you think comes closest to the protesters’ main message? Is it that too few people control the majority of the nation’s wealth and power OR that there is too much regulation on business and industry?

 

 

 

 

Most people familiar with the protests agree that they offered new insights on social issues.

New insights?

 

Q - Please tell me how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statement about the Occupy Wall Street protests: “The protesters offered new insights on social issues.”

 

 

 

 

About the study
The study was conducted by the University of Delaware’s Dannagal G. Young, assistant professor of Communication and Paul Brewer, professor of Communication. The Occupy Wall Street Protest research was funded by UD’s Center for Political Communication and the UNIDEL Foundation.

Method

The “Perceptions of the Occupy Wall Street Protests Survey” conducted telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 901 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (541) and cell phone (360, including 170 without a landline phone). The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Interviews were conducted in English by Princeton Data Source from January 18-25, 2012. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 3.8 percentage points.


 

2012 - MEDIA INFLUENCE ON PERCEPTION OF CANDIDATES IN IOWA CAUCUSES

January 17, 2012 – A new University of Delaware opinion study shows citizens' television news exposure can dramatically affect their perceptions of Republican primary candidates. News coverage could similarly affect voters in this weekend's South Carolina primary, where conservatives are narrowing their field of candidate to battle President Barack Obama for the presidency. Before the Iowa caucus on Jan. 3, study participants were asked to watch coverage on ABC World News, the FOX News Channel’s Hannity with Sean Hannity, or Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Another group of participants received no special viewing instructions. A post-caucus survey measured the effects of the coverage on participants’ perceptions of the candidates.

 

Romney perceptions

  • Citizens who followed the Iowa caucuses on ABC News or the Hannity show were more likely to come away thinking of Mitt Romney as “knowledgeable” than those not asked to watch any coverage.
  • Watching any of the three news programs led viewers to see Romney as more likely to capture the GOP nomination.

Santorum perceptions

  • Viewers who watched Hannity more often perceived Rick Santorum as “inspiring” and “in touch with average Americans” than those not asked to watch any coverage.
  • Viewers who watched The Daily Show on Comedy Central were more likely to see Santorum as “in touch” than those not asked to watch any coverage. ABC News viewers were more likely to see Santorum as “taking consistent stands on issues” than those not asked to watch any coverage. Those who watched coverage on ABC or Hannity were also more likely to see Santorum as having a strong chance of winning the nomination.

Other findings

  • Media reporting about the Iowa caucus also influenced perceptions of Romney’s and Santorum’s prospects in the general election. Watching ABC or Hannity led viewers to see each candidate as having a stronger chance of defeating President Barack Obama in November. On the other hand, watching The Daily Show did not influence viewers’ perceptions of either candidate’s chances in the general election.
  • Watching ABC or The Daily Show led to more positive perceptions of the news media. Watching Hannity, however, had no such impact.
  • ABC and Fox viewers came away more likely to know which candidate (Santorum) was most strongly supported by evangelical voters, compared to those not asked to watch any coverage.

About the study

The study was conducted by the University of Delaware’s Paul Brewer, professor of communication, Philip Jones, assistant professor of political science and international relations, and Dannagal Young, assistant professor of communication. The Iowa Caucus research was funded by UD’s Center for Political Communication and the UNIDEL Foundation.

Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted by Survey Technology and Research Center, Allentown, Pa., using a panel of 1,060 Delaware residents. A pre-caucus survey took place from December 22, 2011 to January 2, 2012. Each of the 506 pre-caucus respondents was randomly assigned to one of four viewing groups. Those in the first group were asked to watch ABC World News; those in the second, Hannity; those in the third, The Daily Show. The final group was not given any special viewing instructions. The post-caucus survey took place from January 6 to January 10, 2012 (all surveys on January 10 were completed before 7:00PM ET). A total of 306 participants completed the post-caucus survey. Interviews were conducted by landline or cell phone, depending on the preferred contact number of the respondent. Analyses of candidate perceptions incorporated statistical controls for pre-caucus partisan identification. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in UD’s Center for Political Communication surveys. The data have not been weighted. Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation in the panel rather than a probability sample, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, and measurement error.