BUSINESSAND POLITICS IN THE MUSLIM WORLD

Global Opinion Report No. 140

October 03-09, 2010

Presentation: October 13, 2010

M. Zubair

Introductory Note                                                                                                      02

Summary of Polls                                                                                                       02

SOUTH EAST ASIA

·        Most Voters in Thailand Are Satisfied with the Country’s Democracy                05

·        Philippines Highly Satisfied With President Noynoy Aquino                               07

EAST EUROP

·        Gay Pride battles in Belgrade reflect opinions on the ground                               10   

·        Drug Threat To Russia: Public Opinion                                                              10   

WEST EUROP

·        New Leader Gives Opposition Labour Party First Place in Britain                     13

·        Britons and Catholics Want Church to Do More to Assist Sexual Abuse Victims                                                                                                            15   

NORTH AMERICA

·        Views of GOP's Ability to Govern Similar to 1994, 2006                                  16   

·        Supreme Court Starts Term With 51% Approval                                              20   

·        Obama Approval Averages 45% in September                                                 22   

·        Four in 10 U.S. Workers Say Their Company Is Understaffed                          25   

·        Likely Voters Demographically Typical, but Skew Conservative                        27   

·        Gay Marriage Gains More Acceptance                                                             30   

·        The Reversal of the College Marriage Gap                                                        40   

·        GOP Well Positioned Among Likely Midterm Voters                                        44   

·        Latinos and the 2010 Elections                                                                          47   

·        Majority of Canadians Support Move to Reinstate Long Form Census              52   

LATIN AMERICA

·        Before Protests, Ecuador's President More Popular Than Police                        54   

AUSTRALASIA

·        National-led Government Beginning to Lose Popularity in New Zealand             55   

MULTI-COUNTRY SURVEYS

·        Optimism About Financial Wellbeing Rebounds in Asia                                     57   

·        Experts Trust Ratings Organizations Less Than NGOs and Employees as Judges of Sustainability Performance                                                                                                      60   

CYBERWORLD

·        Blogs Take Test of Faith                                                                                   63   

 

 

 

 

Introductory Note

 

This week report consists of 21 surveys. 2 of these are multi-country surveys while the rest of 19 are national surveys from different countries.

 

 

Commentary:  Third Quarter 2010 Social Weather Survey:
Net +60 satisfaction rating for President Noynoy Aquino

 

Social Weather Stations - Rated for the first time as President, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III had 71% satisfied and 11% dissatisfied with his performance, for a very good net satisfaction rating of +60 (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied), according to the Third Quarter 2010 Social Weather Survey, conducted from September 24-27, 2010.

            For comparison, the initial net satisfaction ratings obtained by past presidents were: Pres. Cory Aquino, +53 in March 1986; Pres. Ramos, +66 in September 1992; Pres. Estrada, +60 in September 1998; and Pres. Arroyo, +24 in March 2001, and +26 in June 2004.

Very good ratings in all areas

            Pres. Aquino's net satisfaction rating is very good in all areas. It is +66 in Metro Manila (76% satisfied, 10% dissatisfied), +65 in Balance Luzon (73% satisfied, 8% dissatisfied), +54 in the Visayas (68% satisfied, 14% dissatisfied), and +52 in Mindanao (67% satisfied, 15% dissatisfied).

            Net satisfaction with Pres. Aquino is +62 in urban areas (72% satisfied, 10% dissatisfied) and +58 in rural areas (70% satisfied, 12% dissatisfied).

Class patterns

            By socioeconomic class, Pres. Aquino's net rating is a very good +64 in the poorest class E (73% satisfied, 9% dissatisfied) and a very good +59 in class D or the masa (71% satisfied, 11% dissatisfied), compared to a good +49 in class ABC (65% satisfied, 16% dissatisfied).

Very good ratings among men and women

            Net satisfaction with Pres. Aquino is +62 among women (73% satisfied, 11% dissatisfied) and +58 among men (69% satisfied, 11% dissatisfied).

 

Survey Background

            The September 2010 Social Weather Survey was conducted from September 24-27, 2010 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults in Metro Manila, the Balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, ±6% for area percentages).

           

[SWS terminology for Net Satisfaction Ratings: +70 and above, "excellent"; +50 to +69, "very good"; +30 to +49, "good"; +10 to +29, "moderate", +9 to -9, "neutral"; -10 to -29, "poor"; -30 to -49, "bad"; -50 to -69, "very bad"; -70 and below, "execrable"]

 

SOURCE: http://www.sws.org.ph/pr20101009.htm

 

 

Table 1

 

 

PHILIPPINES:

 

Text Box: PHILIPPINES:
Population: 97,976,603 (July 2010 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon Ilonggo 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4%, other 25.3% (2000 census)
GDP per Capita: $3,300 (2009 est.)
 
 The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel QUEZON was elected president and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence. A 20-year rule by Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a "people power" movement in Manila ("EDSA 1") forced him into exile and installed Corazon AQUINO as president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts that prevented a return to full political stability and economic development. Fidel RAMOS was elected president in 1992. His administration was marked by increased stability and by progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph ESTRADA was elected president in 1998. He was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, in January 2001 after ESTRADA's stormy impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down and another "people power" movement ("EDSA 2") demanded his resignation. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2004. On June 30, 2010 Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III was sworn into office as the fifteenth President of the Philippines, succeeding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The Philippine Government faces threats from three terrorist groups on the US Government's Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Decades of Muslim insurgency in the southern Philippines have led to a peace accord with one group and on-again/off-again peace talks with another.
§   https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rp.html

 

 

 

Summary of Polls

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Most Voters in Thailand Are Satisfied with the Country’s Democracy

The PAD’s Somsak Kosaisuk is the least popular politician in Thailand. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is the most liked. Most voters in Thailand are content with the way democracy operates in their country, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

October 05, 2010

Philippines Highly Satisfied With President Noynoy Aquino

Rated for the first time as President, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III had 71% satisfied and 11% dissatisfied with his performance, for a very good net satisfaction rating of +60 (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied), according to the Third Quarter 2010 Social Weather Survey, conducted from September 24-27, 2010.

October 6, 2010.

EAST EUROP

Gay Pride battles in Belgrade reflect opinions on the ground

On Sunday, the first Gay Pride march in Belgrade since 2001 took place against a backdrop of violent clashes between police and protesters, said to be chanting “death to homosexuals”. While such clashes could have been predicted, the latest Gallup Balkan Monitor results can help to put the riots in context. Almost 70 % of Serbians believe homosexuality to be wrong.

October 11, 2010

Drug Threat To Russia: Public Opinion

Drug abuse is a wide spread issue in Russian but every tenth Russian considers drug abuse as a private matter for each individual rather than a social problem.

September 29, 2010

WEST EUROP

New Leader Gives Opposition Labour Party First Place in Britain

Labour boasts impressive support in Scotland and the North following election of Ed Miliband as leader. In the online survey of a representative sample of 2,004 British adults, 38 per cent of decided voters and leaners say they would support Labour in the next General Election.

October 03, 2010

Britons and Catholics Want Church to Do More to Assist Sexual Abuse Victims

Respondents call for the Catholic Church to grant material support to victims and provide the names of all accused priests to the appropriate authorities so they can be prosecuted.

October 06, 2010

NORTH AMERICA

Views of GOP's Ability to Govern Similar to 1994, 2006

While views regarding several facets of Democrats' ability to govern are down sharply since 2006, views about Republicans remain similar to those from the last midterm elections, when the GOP lost majority control of Congress -- but also similar to 1994, when it won majority control.

October 7, 2010

Supreme Court Starts Term With 51% Approval

The U.S. Supreme Court begins its 2010-11 term with 51% of Americans approving of the way it handles its job. This is lower than a year ago, when approval surged to 61%, but is similar to the court's ratings in 2007 and 2008.

October 6, 2010

Obama Approval Averages 45% in September

President Barack Obama's job approval ratings remain below 50%, with an average 45% job approval score for the president in September. That is a slight improvement from his term-low 44% average in August.

October 4, 2010

Four in 10 U.S. Workers Say Their Company Is Understaffed

Even as millions of Americans are searching for work, 38% of those who do have a job say their company is understaffed, while 52% say their company has about the right number of employees. Few American workers believe their company has too many employees.

October 8, 2010

Likely Voters Demographically Typical, but Skew Conservative

Gallup's recent modeling of the vote for Congress finds 54% of likely voters identifying themselves as politically conservative, while moderates are in conspicuously short supply compared with recent midterms. Also, Republicans make up a larger share of the electorate in Gallup's initial 2010 likely voter pool -- greater than their 1994 share -- than do Democrats, and the gap is even more pronounced once the leanings of independents are taken into account.

October 8, 2010

Gay Marriage Gains More Acceptance

Polls this year have found that more Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally than did so just last year. In two polls conducted over the past few months, based on interviews with more than 6,000 adults, 42% favor same-sex marriage while 48% are opposed.

October 6, 2010

The Reversal of the College Marriage Gap

In a reversal of long-standing marital patterns, college-educated young adults are more likely than young adults lacking a bachelor's degree to have married by the age of 30.

October 7, 2010

GOP Well Positioned Among Likely Midterm Voters

Gallup's generic ballot for Congress among registered voters currently shows Republicans with 46% of the vote and Democrats with 43%, similar to the 46% to 46% tie reported a week ago. However, in Gallup's first estimates among likely voters, based on polling from Sept. 23-Oct. 3, Republicans have a double-digit advantage under two separate turnout scenarios.

October 4, 2010

Latinos and the 2010 Elections

In a year when support for Democratic candidates has eroded, the party's standing among one key voting group -- Latinos-appears as strong as ever. Two-thirds (65%) of Latino registered voters say they plan to support the Democratic candidate in their local congressional district, while just 22% support the Republican candidate, according to a nationwide survey of Latinos.

October 5, 2010

Majority of Canadians Support Move to Reinstate Long Form Census

Half of respondents believe the federal government should reverse its decision, and only one-in-four think long form is intrusive. Version française (PDF) A majority of Canadians welcome an opposition proposal to re-instate the abandoned mandatory long form census, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

October 06, 2010

LATIN AMERICA

Before Protests, Ecuador's President More Popular Than Police

Clashes between Ecuador's police and President Rafael Correa Thursday once again raise questions about the stability of the country's leadership and institutions. Prior to the violent uprising and Correa's military rescue from police protesters, Ecuadorians were much more likely to approve of the president's job performance than to express confidence in the local police, the military, or the national government.

October 4, 2010

AUSTRALASIA

National-led Government Beginning to Lose Popularity in New Zealand

The latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows support for John Key’s National-led Government has weakened slightly to 52.5% (down 0.5%), comprising National Party 49.5% (up 1%), Maori Party 2.5% (up 1%), ACT NZ 0.5% (down 1.5%) and United Future 0% (down 1%).

October 12, 2010

MULTI-COUNTRY SURVEYS

Optimism About Financial Wellbeing Rebounds in Asia

Reflecting Asia's resilience after the global economic crisis, Gallup surveys in 2010 show people's optimism about their financial wellbeing is rebounding across the region. A median of 53% of residents in 19 countries now say their standard of living is getting better, nearing the pre-crisis median of 57% in 2007.

October 6, 2010

Experts Trust Ratings Organizations Less Than NGOs and Employees as Judges of Sustainability Performance

Ratings and rankings organizations are trusted less than NGOs and a company’s employees when it comes to accurately judging that company’s sustainability performance. This is according to latest findings from The Sustainability Survey Research Program released by GlobeScan.

October 4, 2010

CYBERWORLD

Blogs Take Test of Faith

A news report that challenges conventional wisdom, especially one about a personal/cultural topic like religion, is often rich fodder for online conversation. This was the case last week as a Pew Research Center survey showing that atheists and agnostics were more knowledgeable about religion than followers of major faiths drew significant attention.

October 7, 2010

 

SOUTH EAST ASIA

 

Most Voters in Thailand Are Satisfied with the Country’s Democracy

 

(10/05/10)

 

The PAD’s Somsak Kosaisuk is the least popular politician in Thailand. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is the most liked.

The PAD’s Somsak Kosaisuk is the least popular politician in Thailand. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is the most liked.

Most voters in Thailand are content with the way democracy operates in their country, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,350 Thai adults who voted in the 2007 General Election, 57 per cent of respondents say they are either “very satisfied” (16%) or “moderately satisfied” (42%) with their country’s democracy.

Conversely, 38 per cent of respondents are dissatisfied with the way Thai democracy works.

 

 

 

Status Quo

Most Thai voters (54%) think the current parliamentary system, with a prime minister and a cabinet, is the best political system for Thailand.

One-in-five respondents (21%) would prefer to see the country adopting a semi-presidential system, with a president in charge of foreign policy and a prime minister managing the domestic agenda. Only six per cent of Thai voters would like to have a fully presidential political system with separate executive and legislative branches.

Political Leadership

The popularity of five different Thai political leaders varies greatly depending on the party affiliations of each respondent.

Among those who voted for the People’s Power Party (PPP)—allied with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra—in the 2007 General Election, Thaksin is the most popular politician. Three-in-five (59%) express a mostly favourable opinion of him.

Former prime minister and PPP leader Samak Sundravej is a close second among PPP voters with 54 per cent, followed by current prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of the Democrat Party (PP) with 31 per cent, and Prem Tinsulanonda—current head of the Privy Council—with 26 per cent. Somsak Kosaisuuk of the People’s Alliance for Demcracy (PAD) is last with 21 per cent.

Respondents who voted for the PP in the 2007 ballot rank Prime Minister Abhisit in first place with 85 per cent. Prem is next with 71 per cent. The least liked politicians for Democrat Party voters are Samak (24%), Somsak (22%), and Thaksin (14%).

Methodology: From September 15 to September 17, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,350 Thai adults who voted in the 2007 General Election. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.7%. The results have been statistically weighted to ensure a sample representative of the entire 2007 voting population of Thailand. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Philippines Highly Satisfied With President Noynoy Aquino

October 6, 2010.

Social Weather Stations

Rated for the first time as President, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III had 71% satisfied and 11% dissatisfied with his performance, for a very good net satisfaction rating of +60 (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied), according to the Third Quarter 2010 Social Weather Survey, conducted from September 24-27, 2010.

For comparison, the initial net satisfaction ratings obtained by past presidents were: Pres. Cory Aquino, +53 in March 1986; Pres. Ramos, +66 in September 1992; Pres. Estrada, +60 in September 1998; and Pres. Arroyo, +24 in March 2001, and +26 in June 2004.

Very good ratings in all areas

Pres. Aquino's net satisfaction rating is very good in all areas.

It is +66 in Metro Manila (76% satisfied, 10% dissatisfied), +65 in Balance Luzon (73% satisfied, 8% dissatisfied), +54 in the Visayas (68% satisfied, 14% dissatisfied), and +52 in Mindanao (67% satisfied, 15% dissatisfied).

Net satisfaction with Pres. Aquino is +62 in urban areas (72% satisfied, 10% dissatisfied) and +58 in rural areas (70% satisfied, 12% dissatisfied).

Class patterns

By socioeconomic class, Pres. Aquino's net rating is a very good +64 in the poorest class E (73% satisfied, 9% dissatisfied) and a very good +59 in class D or the masa (71% satisfied, 11% dissatisfied), compared to a good +49 in class ABC (65% satisfied, 16% dissatisfied).

Very good ratings among men and women

Net satisfaction with Pres. Aquino is +62 among women (73% satisfied, 11% dissatisfied) and +58 among men (69% satisfied, 11% dissatisfied).

Survey Background

The September 2010 Social Weather Survey was conducted from September 24-27, 2010 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults in Metro Manila, the Balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, ±6% for area percentages).

The area estimates were weighted by National Statistics Office medium-population projections for 2010 to obtain the national estimates.

The quarterly Social Weather Survey on public satisfaction with the President is a non-commissioned item, and is included on SWS's own initiative and released as a public service, with first printing rights assigned to BusinessWorld.

SWS employs its own staff for questionnaire design, sampling, fieldwork, data-processing, and analysis, and does not outsource any of its survey operations.

[SWS terminology for Net Satisfaction Ratings: +70 and above, "excellent"; +50 to +69, "very good"; +30 to +49, "good"; +10 to +29, "moderate", +9 to -9, "neutral"; -10 to -29, "poor"; -30 to -49, "bad"; -50 to -69, "very bad"; -70 and below, "execrable"]

#

Table 1

Table 2

Table 3

 

EAST EUROP

 

Gay Pride battles in Belgrade reflect opinions on the ground

October 11th 2010

On Sunday, the first Gay Pride march in Belgrade since 2001 took place against a backdrop of violent clashes between police and protesters, said to be chanting “death to homosexuals”. While such clashes could have been predicted, the latest Gallup Balkan Monitor results (September 2010) can help to put the riots in context.

When asked for their feelings about homosexuality, 70% of respondents in Serbia said they strongly agreed that homosexual relations were always wrong. Furthermore, three-quarters of those respondents strongly agreed that homosexuals should not show their sexual preferences in public. For those two questions, Serbia recorded the highest proportions for the whole of the Balkan region; the next highest figures were 64% and 66%, respectively, in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Serbia also had the most respondents (63%) strongly agreeing that homosexuals should not hold public posts, such as a teacher. Given that strength of feeling, the Gay Pride march through the centre of Belgrade was always going to attract the attention of extremists. Interestingly, however, Serbia also had the highest proportion of respondents (27%, the same as Croatia) strongly agreeing that homosexuals were entitled to the same rights as all other people. This last figure is mainly due to a difference in the opinions of metropolitan and rural dwellers in Serbia: while in large cities, a third (34%) of respondents were of such an opinion, in rural areas and small cities, only 22% strongly felt that homosexuals should have equal rights.

Over 100 people, mainly police, were hurt in the skirmishes, while over 100 people were arrested. Perhaps fearful of this dent in Serbia’s image as it strives for EU membership, Serbia’s President, Boris Tadic, condemned the “vandalism” on Belgrade streets and pledged that the rioters would be arrested and punished. He added, “Serbia will guarantee human rights for all its citizens, regardless of the differences among them, and no attempts to revoke these freedoms with violence will be allowed.”
On the question of whether homosexual acts were morally wrong, 82% of Serbs accepted this premise. This was compared to 91% in Kosovo and 89% in Bosnia & Herzegovina. The lowest figure in the Balkans was recorded in Croatia, where about two-thirds (65%) felt that such acts were morally wrong.

DRUG THREAT TO RUSSIA: PUBLIC OPINION

29.09.2010

 Every tenth Russian considers drug abuse as a private matter for each individual rather than a social problem.

 

MOSCOW, September 29, 2010. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data describing how serious, Russians think, the drug abuse problem is, and what are solutions to the problem.  

 

As two decades ago, the drug abuse problem is regarded to be serious for most of Russians (96%, in 1998 - 93%). Residents of all regions of Russia equally attach importance to this problem (91-99%), excepting Far Easterners (82%). Only 2% believe that drug abuse is not an actual problem for Russia (17% of Far Easterners).

 

The drug problem is of great importance both for those who have friends abusing drugs (96%), and for those who do not have such friends (97%).

 

The public opinion on how the drug problem should be solved has been changed over the recent years. In 2004 respondents thought that is was a social phenomenon, and it was the society that should have been treated (37%); in 2005 most of Russians reported that basically the assistance was required for drug addicts (38%). For the time being both positions are competing (32 and 36% respectively). Every fourth believes that the drug addicts are dangerous and they should be isolated from the society (24%). Those who think that drug abuse is a private matter of each individual and do no blame anyone for that are in the minority (5%). 

 

Respondents who believe that drug abuse is a disease and people should be treated are basically metropolitan residents (46%) and 35-44-year-old Russians (44%). Those who consider this problem to be social are rural area residents (36%) and 45-59-year-old respondents (36%). Those who have the most radical solution - to isolate drug addicts from the society - are mainly elderly respondents (33%) and those who do not have friends who abuse drugs and those who knows about it for sure (25-26%). Respondents aged 18-24 (11%) and those who have drug addicts among friends (15%) are tolerant towards people who abuse drugs.

 

The initiative Russian opinion polls were conducted on July 17-18, 2010. 1600 respondents were interviewed at 140 sampling points in 42 regions of Russia. The margin of error does not exceed 3.4%.

In your opinion, is drug addiction a serious problem for Russia?

(close-ended question, one answer)

 

1998

2000

2010

Very serious problem

72

74

73

Quite serious problem

21

22

23

Not very serious problem

4

1

2

No problem at all; the problem is blown up by mass media

1

0

0

Hard to tell

2

3

1

 

In your opinion, is drug addiction a serious problem for Russia?

(close-ended question, one answer)

 

Total respondents

I have friends who abuse drugs

 I do not have friends who abuse drugs

I am not sure if I know friends who abuse drugs

Very serious problem

73

72

75

68

Quite serious problem

23

24

22

27

Not very serious problem

2

3

2

3

No problem at all; the problem is blown up by mass media

0

1

0

0

Hard to tell

1

1

1

1

 

What is your attitude toward people who abuse drugs? (close-ended question, one answer)

 

2004

2005

2010

Drug abuse is a private matter for individuals; I do not blame such people

6

7

5

Drug abuse is a disease, and those people need help

29

38

36

Drug addiction is a social problem, and what is to treated is the society itself

37

30

32

Drug addicts are dangerous people; they should be isolated from the society

26

25

24

Hard to tell

1

1

2

 

What is your attitude toward people who abuse drugs? (close-ended question, one answer)

 

Total respondents

Age

Aged 18-24

Aged 25-34

Aged 35-44

Aged 45-59

Aged 60 and above

Drug abuse is a private matter for individuals; I do not blame such people

5

11

7

5

3

3

Drug abuse is a disease, and those people need help

36

32

38

44

35

33

Drug addiction is a social problem, and what is to treated is the society itself

32

32

33

31

36

28

Drug addicts are dangerous people; they should be isolated from the society

24

22

20

17

26

33

Hard to tell

2

2

3

3

1

3

 

WEST EUROP

 

New Leader Gives Opposition Labour Party First Place in Britain

(10/03/10) -

 

Labour boasts impressive support in Scotland and the North following election of Ed Miliband as leader.

Labour boasts impressive support in Scotland and the North following election of Ed Miliband as leader.

The election of Ed Miliband as the new leader of the Labour Party last month has given a boost to the opposition party across Great Britain, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 2,004 British adults, 38 per cent of decided voters and leaners say they would support Labour in the next General Election.

The governing Conservative Party is now in second place with 35 per cent, followed by their coalition partners—the Liberal Democrats—with 16 per cent. The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) remains the most popular of the minor parties with four per cent, followed by the Scottish National Party (SNP), the Green Party and the British National Party (BNP) all with two per cent, and Plaid Cymru with one per cent.

Analysis

Labour’s increased popularity is most notable in Scotland and the North, where 47 per cent of respondents would now support Labour in the next ballot.

In London, Labour and the Tories are now practically tied, with Labour leading by only two points at 39 per cent.

The two main parties are also neck-and-neck in the Midlands and Wales (Con. 39%, Lab. 38%). The Tories continue to have a strong following in the South of England, with 42 per cent compared to Labour’s 27 per cent.

Miliband’s new role as Leader of the Opposition has also affected the Liberal Democrats. The party now has considerably less support than it gathered at the last General Election, held on 6 May 2010.

Methodology: From September 30 to October 1, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 2,004 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Britons and Catholics Want Church to Do More to Assist Sexual Abuse Victims

(10/06/10) -

 

Respondents call for the Catholic Church to grant material support to victims and provide the names of all accused priests to the appropriate authorities so they can be prosecuted.

Respondents call for the Catholic Church to grant material support to victims and provide the names of all accused priests to the appropriate authorities so they can be prosecuted.

While a sizeable proportion of Britons and Catholics believe that the recent apology issued by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Britain was sincere, a considerable majority of respondents think the Catholic Church has not done enough to help victims of sexual abuse, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 2,005 adults, one-in-four Britons (25%)—and half of Catholics (50%)—say they followed Pope Benedict XVI’s recent visit to Britain “very closely” or “moderately closely.” The Pope’s apology to sexual abuse victims was deemed sincere by 43 per cent of Britons and 69 per cent of Catholics.

The detention of six men under the Terrorism Act during the Pope’s visit to Britain was not regarded as particularly significant. The threat was regarded as real for 22 per cent of Britons and 28 per cent of Catholics.

In 2009, The Vatican acknowledged that “in the last fifty years somewhere between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in sexual abuse cases.” Only 26 per cent of Britons believe the incidence of sexual abuse is actually at this level, including 41 per cent of Catholics.

More than a third of Britons (37%) believe the sexual abuse scandal is limited to a few priests in a few locations, while about a quarter (27%) think the scandal is considerable and affects about half of the Catholic Church. One-in-five (21%) claim the sexual abuse scandal is widespread and affects practically the entire Catholic Church. More than half of Catholics (56%) perceive the sexual abuse scandal as limited.

Four-in-five Britons (80%)—and two-thirds of Catholics (68%)—think the Catholic Church has done too little to assist the victims of sexual abuse. Only one-in-five Britons (20%) believe Pope Benedict XVI has handled the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church “very well” or “well.” Catholics are almost evenly divided on this question, with 39 per cent saying that the Pope has handled the scandal well, and 42 per cent claiming that he has performed badly.

Britons and Catholics agreed on some of the measures that the Catholic Church could take in order to assist the victims of sexual abuse. More than 80 per cent of respondents agree with an acknowledgment from the Catholic Church hierarchy for failing to act, with the Catholic Church granting material support to help victims of sexual abuse, and with the Catholic Church providing the names of all priests who have been accused of committing sexual abuse to the appropriate authorities so they can be prosecuted.

Methodology: From September 22 to September 24, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 2,005 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

NORTH AMERICA

Views of GOP's Ability to Govern Similar to 1994, 2006

Americans are much less optimistic about the Democratic Party now than they were in 2006

October 7, 2010

While views regarding several facets of Democrats' ability to govern are down sharply since 2006, views about Republicans remain similar to those from the last midterm elections, when the GOP lost majority control of Congress -- but also similar to 1994, when it won majority control.

In general, Americans do not rate the Republican Party that highly on any of the four attributes tested, ranging from a low of 32% who think it has a clear plan for solving the country's problems to a high of 43% who believe it can bring about needed change.

October 1994, 2006, and 2010 Trend: Please Tell Me Whether You Think Each of the Following Applies, or Does Not Apply to the Republican Party Today. Percentage Who Say It Applies.

Thus, the public does not appear to have a great deal of confidence in the Republican Party's ability to govern. And these perceptions have not changed much over the years even as voters have rendered very different judgments on the party's fate in Congress in recent midterm elections.

What have changed over the years are Americans' opinions of the Democratic Party on the same attributes. On all four, Americans were far more positive in their evaluations of the Democratic Party in 2006 than in 1994. An ominous sign for the Democratic Party is that the current results are similar to those from 1994, when Americans ended four decades of Democratic control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

October 1994, 2006, and 2010 Trend: Please Tell Me Whether You Think Each of the Following Applies, or Does Not Apply to the Democratic Party Today. Percentage Who Say It Applies.

In general, party groups are now less likely than four years ago to believe the various attributes apply to the Democratic Party, with sharp declines among independents and Republicans on most of these. Most notably, the percentage of independents who believe the Democratic Party can bring about needed change has fallen from 59% in 2006 to 34% today.

Ratings of Democratic Party on Attributes, by Party Affiliation, 2006 vs. 2010

Bottom Line

Polling on voters' 2010 vote intentions suggests Republicans are within range of taking back control of the U.S. House of Representatives and possibly the Senate. This is surely attributable to the decline in Americans' perceptions of the Democratic Party in recent years, although this has not been accompanied by a surge in positive perceptions of the GOP. Heading into the elections, Americans view both parties about equally unfavorably. This is yet another indication that potential Republican gains may not indicate a Republican mandate as much as a rejection of the Democrats.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2010, with a random sample of 1,000 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell phone-only). Each sample includes a minimum quota of 150 cell phone-only respondents and 850 landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, education, region, and phone lines. Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2009 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in continental U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Supreme Court Starts Term With 51% Approval

High court's approval rating is down from 2009, but exceeds that of other two branches

October 6, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court begins its 2010-11 term with 51% of Americans approving of the way it handles its job. This is lower than a year ago, when approval surged to 61%, but is similar to the court's ratings in 2007 and 2008.

2000-2010 Trend: U.S. Supreme Court Approval

The Supreme Court's current approval rating is among the lowest Gallup has recorded for the court over the past decade. Its record-low 42% rating came in June 2005, shortly after the court issued a decision broadening the government's ability to seize private land. Still, the current rating exceeds approval for President Barack Obama (44%) and Congress (18%) in the same poll, a pattern mirrored in Americans' trust level in the three branches of government.

Last year's near-record-high approval of the Supreme Court was driven mainly by Democrats -- reflecting a partisan shift in views toward the court that accompanied the 2009 transition from a Republican to a Democratic president. It may also have been boosted by Democrats' strong support of then-Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, who was seated on the court in the summer of 2009. However, Democrats' approval of the court has since receded some, as has approval among Republicans and independents.

Still, for the second year in a row, Democrats are significantly more positive about the Supreme Court than are Republicans, marking a continued shift from the eight years of the Bush administration.

2000-2010 Trend: Job Approval of U.S. Supreme Court by Party ID

Obama has appointed two new justices to the Supreme Court. While most observers agree that these appointments have not altered the political balance of the court, in the past year, Americans have become more likely to believe the court is "too liberal." The percentage saying this rose from 21% in 2008 to 28% in 2009, and 32% in a July/August 2010 USA Today/Gallup poll. Republicans are mainly responsible for this increase, and more than half of them (56%) now consider the court too liberal. The plurality of Americans, however, still consider the court to be "about right" ideologically.

1993-2010 Trend: Perceptions of Supreme Court's Ideological Bias

Bottom Line

A slight majority of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing as it begins the 2010-2011 session, during which it will look at cases dealing with such potentially fiery issues as free speech, information privacy, and illegal immigrant rights. The public's assessment of the court is worse than it was a year ago, but this is consistent with the drops also seen in approval of President Obama (from 54% to 44%) and Congress (from 31% to 18%) over the same period. Americans' satisfaction with the country, more generally, is also down -- by 10 percentage points since last September, from 29% to 19%.

While the sour national mood may have helped to push the court's approval rating back to the 50% level, heightened concern among Republicans that the court is too liberal may also be a factor.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 13-16, 2010, with a random sample of 1,019 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell phone-only). Each sample includes a minimum quota of 150 cell phone-only respondents and 850 landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, education, region, and phone lines. Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2009 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in continental U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Obama Approval Averages 45% in September

Blacks, Democrats, liberals show greatest support for Obama

October 4, 2010

President Barack Obama's job approval ratings remain below 50%, with an average 45% job approval score for the president in September. That is a slight improvement from his term-low 44% average in August.

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More generally, Obama's approval rating has not exceeded 50% in any month this year. Also, he has not had an approval rating above 50% in any Gallup Daily tracking three-day rolling average since mid-May.

These are troubling signs for the Democratic Party as presidents below 50% approval at the time of midterm elections typically see their party lose a substantial number of seats.

With his public approval solidly below 50% in September, it follows that less than a majority in most key demographic subgroups approve of the job the president is doing. His staunchest supporters remain blacks (91%), self-identified Democrats (79%), and self-identified liberals (75%).

Several other groups, all tending to be Democratic in their political orientation, give Obama approval ratings just above the majority level. These include young adults, Hispanics, Eastern region residents, political moderates, those who are unmarried, those with a postgraduate education, and those in the lowest income bracket.

Obama's approval ratings among whites (36%) and senior citizens (38%) continue to lag those from most other demographic groups.

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Bottom Line

Presidents' approval ratings at the beginning of October in their first midterm election year are generally similar to what they will be at the time of the election. Richard Nixon is the only president whose rating improved significantly (from 51% to 58%) in the final weeks leading up to his first midterm election. If Obama's approval rating does not improve in the coming weeks, his support will be similar to that of Ronald Reagan (42% in 1982) and Bill Clinton (45% in 1994), both of whose parties suffered substantial congressional losses in the midterm election.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking survey Sept. 1-30, 2010, with a random sample of 15,200 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point. Margins of error for subgroups will be higher.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each daily sample includes a minimum quota of 150 cell phone respondents and 850 landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, cell phone-only status, cell phone-mostly status, and phone lines. Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2009 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Four in 10 U.S. Workers Say Their Company Is Understaffed

Relatively few think their company is overstaffed

October 8, 2010

Even as millions of Americans are searching for work, 38% of those who do have a job say their company is understaffed, while 52% say their company has about the right number of employees. Few American workers believe their company has too many employees.

The relatively high percentage of workers who say their company is understaffed may partly reflect the residual impact of the economic recession, which sharply changed the employment picture in the United States in recent years. Many companies laid workers off, did not hire new workers to replace those who left, or did both.

Gallup's Job Creation Index -- based on workers' reports of employment at their companies -- was in negative territory for most of 2009 and the first part of 2010, with workers reporting more firing than hiring. The Index is now back in positive territory, but nowhere near as positive as it was throughout the first half of 2008, before the recession's impact was fully felt. Given these trends, it may not be surprising that a sizable percentage of workers who still have jobs at this point feel their company is understaffed.

This year marks the first time Gallup has asked this question, so there is no trend for comparison to previous time frames in which unemployment was much lower and companies were more steadily hiring. It may be that some percentage of workers will always feel their company is understaffed. At the other end of the spectrum, it may also be that some employees are reluctant to admit that their company is overstaffed, even if they perceive that to be the case.

There are few major differences in perceptions of staffing at companies across workers' demographic categories, including gender, age, education, and income. Workers who perceive that their companies are understaffed tend to be slightly less satisfied with their jobs, more stressed, and more likely to feel underpaid -- but it is not possible to determine which of these attitudes may be causing the other.

Implications

Companies may have reached a time of a new normalcy in hiring, attempting to get by with fewer employees than they might have in the past, even as business picks back up. If so, the number of workers who perceive their company to be understaffed may remain at its current level or go even higher in the months and years ahead. On the other hand, the relatively high number of workers who today say their company is understaffed may turn out to be a positive indicator, reflecting a pent-up need for companies to hire more workers, and thus foreshadowing a more positive jobs picture for the future.

Gallup will monitor this measure in the future in order to see whether workers' views of their companies' relative level of staffing move in sync with employment trends.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Aug. 5-8, 2010, with a random sample of 499 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S. who are employed full or part time, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

For results based on the total sample of employed adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell phone-only). Each sample includes a minimum quota of 150 cell phone-only respondents and 850 landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, education, region, and phone lines. Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2009 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in continental U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Likely Voters Demographically Typical, but Skew Conservative

Majority of likely voters are conservative and identify as or lean Republican

October 8, 2010

Gallup's recent modeling of the vote for Congress finds 54% of likely voters identifying themselves as politically conservative, while moderates are in conspicuously short supply compared with recent midterms. Also, Republicans make up a larger share of the electorate in Gallup's initial 2010 likely voter pool -- greater than their 1994 share -- than do Democrats, and the gap is even more pronounced once the leanings of independents are taken into account.

Political Profile of Gallup Pre-Election Likely Voters, Early October 2010, and Final Midterm Pre-Election Polls, 1994-2006

Gallup's initial likely voter models for the 2010 congressional midterm elections, based on polling conducted between Sept. 23 and Oct. 3, include one projection based on a lower, more typical voter turnout scenario (assuming that approximately 40% of eligible Americans will vote) and a second based on a higher voter turnout scenario (assuming that more than 50% will vote). It is important to note that the historical comparisons of likely voters reported here are based on the 40% turnout assumption for this year -- which could still change between now and Nov. 2 -- and the final pre-election polls conducted in the four prior midterm election years.

The composition of likely voters appears to have become more politically polarized, with the proportions of conservatives and liberals expanding since 1994 at moderates' expense. However, Gallup's initial 2010 estimate of likely voters shows a particularly sharp jump in the percentage of conservatives, from 42% in 2006 to 54% today, and a decline in the percentage of moderates, from 37% to 27%.

This ideological change is accompanied by a concomitant shift toward Republicans, who have a nine-percentage-point advantage over Democrats in the likely voter pool: 39% vs. 30% at this point, one month before the elections. This exceeds the GOP's five- and six-point advantages in Gallup's final pre-election polls in 1994 and 2002, respectively, and is a reversal from 1998 and 2006, when Democrats slightly outnumbered Republicans.

Once the "leanings" of independents are taken into account, the majority of the 2010 electorate, 57%, identifies either as Republicans or as independents who lean Republican, compared with 39% identifying as or leaning Democratic. The previous high was 51% in 2002.

Demographics of Likely Voters Look Fairly Typical

Despite these differences in the political composition of likely voters in 2010 compared with previous years, these voters' demographic profile is quite similar to what Gallup found in 2006, when the Democrats recaptured majority control of Congress. As in 2006, Gallup's latest poll shows a roughly even division of men and women among likely voters, and there is a similar breakdown of voters by age and educational background for both years.

When one looks more broadly at the midterm elections since 1994, the gender balance among likely voters has consistently been close to 50-50, while the proportions in the older age categories have gradually increased along with the aging baby-boom population. Notably, young Americans appear no more likely to vote in this year's midterm elections than they have been in any year since 1994.

At the same time -- and partially offsetting the elevated proportions of conservatives and Republicans within the likely voter pool -- whites make up a smaller share of likely voters this year than they did in 2006 or any year prior. Accordingly, there is a larger percentage of nonwhites, although the percentage of blacks has held constant at 7% to 10% of the electorate.

Demographic Profile of Gallup Pre-Election Likely Voters, Early October 2010, and Final Midterm Pre-Election Polls, 1994-2006

Likely voters skew more conservative this year partly because the underlying population has become slightly more conservative. According to Gallup's Sept. 23-Oct. 3 poll, 40% of national adults are conservative, up from 37% in Gallup's final 2006 pre-election survey, and 34% in 1994. However, conservatives also appear more activated to vote this year relative to moderates and liberals, thus sharply expanding their segment of the likely voter pie.

Bottom Line

Gallup's first sketch of what the electorate may look like on Nov. 2 indicates that the enthusiasm gap favoring Republicans all year -- as well as the "thought" gap evident in a late August survey -- may well translate into highly disproportionate turnout among Republicans and conservatives on Election Day. That is a key reason Gallup's latest polling finds Republican candidates leading Democrats by 13- and 18-point margins, depending on turnout, in two estimates of the vote. Another is that political independents are aligning themselves with the Republican Party to a degree unprecedented in recent history.

In contrast to these extraordinary political patterns, the demographic composition of likely voters looks fairly normal relative to the profile of the electorate in 2006, as well as consistent with the trends seen since 1994 toward an older, more well-educated, and less substantially white, electorate.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 23-Oct. 3, 2010, with a random sample of 3,037 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.

For results based on the total sample of 2,764 registered voters, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.

For results based on the total sample of 1,882 likely voters, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell phone-only). Each sample includes a minimum quota of 150 cell phone-only respondents and 850 landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, education, region, and phone lines. Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2009 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in continental U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Gay Marriage Gains More Acceptance

Majority Continues to Favor Gays Serving Openly in Military

October 6, 2010

Polls this year have found that more Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally than did so just last year. In two polls conducted over the past few months, based on interviews with more than 6,000 adults, 42% favor same-sex marriage while 48% are opposed. In polls conducted in 2009, 37% favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally and 54% were opposed. For the first time in 15 years of Pew Research Center polling, fewer than half oppose same-sex marriage.

The shift in opinion on same-sex marriage has been broad-based, occurring across many demographic, political and religious groups.

Notably, pluralities of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally -- the first time this has occurred in Pew Research Center surveys. Political independents are divided in their views of same-sex-marriage; in 2009, they opposed it by a wide margin.

The surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life have found that same-sex marriage ranks at the bottom of the list of issues in this year's congressional elections. Not surprisingly, far more voters are saying the economy and jobs will be very important to their vote this year.

The public continues to be far more supportive of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military than of allowing legal same-sex marriages. This year, 60% say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, while 30% oppose this. Support for gays serving openly in the military has remained fairly stable over the last five years. In 1994, shortly after the Clinton administration implemented the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, opinion was more evenly divided (52% favor vs. 45% oppose).

Persistent Generational Divide

There are substantial age and generational differences in opinions about same-sex marriage. Millennials, born after 1980, favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally by a 53%-to-39% margin. Support for gay marriage among Millennials has changed little in recent years, but is up from 2004 when opinion was more divided.

Among Gen Xers (born 1965 to 1980), 48% now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally while 43% are opposed. Support is up from 2009 when 41% favored this and 50% were opposed, but is on par with levels in 2001.

There is less support for same-sex marriage among Baby Boomers -- those born 1946 to 1964 -- than among younger age groups. Currently, 38% favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally while 52% are opposed. Still, support among Baby Boomers has increased over the past year (from 32%).

The Silent Generation (born 1928 to 1945) continues to oppose same-sex marriage; just 29% favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally while 59% are opposed. Even among the Silent Generation, however, there is somewhat more support than in 2009 (23% favor) and substantially greater support than in 2003, when just 17% backed gay marriage.

Partisan and Ideological Differences

There also are substantial partisan differences on the issue of same-sex marriage. A majority of Democrats (53%) favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally while 38% are opposed. By contrast, only 24% of Republicans support same-sex marriage and 69% are opposed.

Independents and other non-partisans are now divided in their view: 44% favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally while 43% are opposed. In 2009, more independents opposed same-sex marriage than favored it (37% favor, 51% oppose). Throughout the past decade, opinion among independents has tracked more closely with Democrats than Republicans on this issue.

Among Democrats and Republicans there is a substantial ideological divide. Liberal Democrats favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally by more than a three-to-one margin (75% favor, 20% oppose). And conservative Republicans oppose same-sex marriage by an equally wide margin (16% favor, 77% oppose). But moderate Republicans and Democrats are more divided in their views. While 41% of moderate and liberal Republicans support same-sex marriage, 51% are opposed. Similarly, 41% of conservative and moderate Democrats favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally and 48% are opposed.

Race and Gender Gaps

Whites are now evenly divided over gay marriage; in polls conducted this year, 44% of non-Hispanic whites favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally and 46% are opposed. In three surveys between August 2008 and August 2009, 39% of non-Hispanic whites favored same-sex marriage compared with 52% who were opposed.

By contrast, blacks continue to oppose same-sex marriage by a wide margin. In 2010, just 30% of non-Hispanic blacks favor gay marriage while 59% are opposed. From 2008 to 2009, 28% of blacks favored same-sex marriage and 62% were opposed (surveys were combined to increase sample size). Notably, the gender, age and education differences among the general public are mirrored among whites and blacks; however, there is far less support among all subgroups of blacks.

Overall, women continue to be more supportive of same-sex marriage than are men. Opinion among women is evenly divided: 46% favor same-sex marriage and 45% are opposed. Roughly four-in-ten (38%) men support allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally while 51% are opposed.

A majority (52%) of college graduates favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. Support is much lower among those without a college degree -- 46% with some college education and 34% with a high school education or less support same-sex marriage. But among these two education groups, more now favor same-sex marriage than did so over the past two years.

Americans living in the Midwest are now evenly split over same-sex marriage; 44% favor and 44% oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. Opinion has shifted substantially since 2008 and 2009 when only 36% in the Midwest favored this and 54% were opposed. Support also is up in the South but a majority (55%) continues to oppose allowing same-sex marriage. As was the case over the past two years, more in the Northeast favor than oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally (49% vs. 41%). Those living in the West are about evenly divided in their opinion (47% favor, 45% oppose).

White Catholics More Supportive

White mainline Protestants and white Catholics have become more supportive of gay marriage, though virtually all of the change in opinion among both groups has come among those who attend services relatively infrequently.

About half (49%) of white mainline Protestants support same-sex marriage while 38% oppose this. This is a reversal of opinion from the past two years when 40% favored and 49% opposed allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. Just 35% of white mainline Protestants who attend church at least once a week favor same-sex marriage, nearly the same percentage as in 2008-2009 (34%). Among those who attend services less often, support has increased by 11 points (from 42% to 53%).

There has been a similar shift among white Catholics -- 49% now favor same-sex marriage while 41% are opposed. Opinion was more evenly divided over the past two years (44% favor, 45% oppose). Here too, support has increased among those who attend services less than weekly, from 51% in 2008-2009 to 59% in 2010.

White evangelical Protestants overwhelmingly oppose gay marriage (20% favor vs. 74% oppose), and these opinions have changed little since 2008-2009. Similarly, black Protestants continue to oppose gay marriage by a wide margin (28% favor vs. 62% oppose).

By contrast, Jews and the unaffiliated have remained far more supportive of same-sex marriage. Their views also have changed little during this time. Three-quarters of Jews (76%) and 62% of the religiously unaffiliated say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally.

Same-Sex Marriage and the 2010 Vote

The economy and jobs overshadow other issues, including social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, in importance for voters. Fully 90% of registered voters say the economy will be very important to their vote while nearly as many (88%) rate jobs as very important.

By contrast, just 43% say abortion will be very important and just 32% say the same about same-sex marriage -- the lowest percentage for 13 issues tested. Opponents of same-sex marriage (44% very important) are more likely than supporters (22%) to say that this issue will be very important to their vote.

White evangelical Protestant voters are far more likely than any other religious group to say that same-sex marriage is very important to their vote in this year's midterm election -- 46% say this compared with less than a third in all other religious groups. For more on the importance of various issues in the 2010 elections and the impact of religion on various issues, see "Feww Say Religion Shapes Immigration, Environment Views: Religion and the Issues."

Gays in the Military

By a two-to-one margin (60% favor, 30% oppose), Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. While views on this issue have changed little in recent years, there was less support for gays serving openly in 1994 (52% favor vs. 45% oppose).

Across most demographic groups, majorities favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military -- and in most groups there is more support than in 1994. Nonetheless, as with views about same-sex marriage, there are differences of opinion across political and demographic groups. Democrats, women, whites, younger people and college graduates are more likely to support gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

Opinion is more divided among key groups who also oppose same-sex marriage -- 47% of Republicans favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military while 43% are opposed. By comparison, 67% of Democrats and 63% of independents favor this.

While 43% of white evangelical Protestants support allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, 47% are opposed. Black Protestants are similarly divided (46% favor, 41% oppose). Support is greater among other religious groups -- 68% of white mainline Protestants, 68% of Catholics and 66% of the religiously unaffiliated favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. And far fewer people who attend religious services weekly or more support gays serving openly in the military compared with those who attend less often.

"Few Say Religion Shapes Immigration, Environment Views," Sept. 17, 2010, Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

"Americans Spending More Time Following the News," Sept. 12, 2010, Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. This report includes an analysis of where gay rights supporters and opponents regularly get news.

"A Contentious Debate: Same-Sex Marriage in the U.S.," July 9, 2009, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

"Four-in-Ten Americans Have Close Friends or Relatives Who Are Gay," May 23, 2007 commentary by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

The Reversal of the College Marriage Gap

The Less-Educated Are Now Less Likely to Say "I Do"

October 7, 2010

In a reversal of long-standing marital patterns, college-educated young adults are more likely than young adults lacking a bachelor's degree to have married by the age of 30.

In 2008, 62% of college-educated 30-year-olds were married or had been married, compared with 60% of 30-year-olds who did not have a college degree.

Throughout the 20th century, college-educated adults in the United States had been less likely than their less-educated counterparts to be married by age 30. In 1990, for example, 75% of all 30-year-olds who did not have a college degree were married or had been married, compared with just 69% of those with a college degree.

As those numbers attest, marriage rates among adults in their 20s have declined sharply since 1990 for both the college-educated and those without a college degree. But the decline has been much steeper for young adults without a college education.

Young adults who do not have a college degree are delaying marriage to such an extent that the median age at first marriage in 2008 was, for the first time ever, the same for the college-educated and those who were not college-educated: 28. As recently as 2000, there had been a two-year gap, with the typical college-educated adult marrying for the first time at 28 and the typical adult lacking a college degree marrying for the first time at 26.

Among the possible explanations for this shift are the declining economic fortunes of young men without a college degree and their increasing tendency to cohabit with a partner rather than marry. From 1990 to 2008, the inflation-adjusted median annual earnings of college-educated men ages 25 to 34 rose by 5% (to $55,000 in 2008 from $52,300 in 1990), while the median annual earnings of those with only a high school diploma declined by 12% (to $32,000 in 2008 from $36,300 in 1990).

During this same time period, the number of cohabitating households (that is, partners of the opposite sex living together without being married) more than doubled. About half of all cohabiters are under age 35, and more than 80% do not have a college degree (Census Bureau, 2004).

There are gender differences associated with the reversal in the college marriage gap. Young women with college degrees are now just as likely as less-educated women to marry, and the timing of their marriages are increasingly similar. This was not the case in 1990. Back then, less-educated women were more likely to marry than were better-educated women, and they tended to do so at a younger age.

Men, like women, are increasingly delaying their first marriages, but the probability of marriage by educational attainment levels has remained unchanged among men. Indeed, it has been the case for many decades that college-educated men are at least as likely to marry at a relatively young age as are men without bachelor's degrees. In 1960, for example, a college-educated man in his mid-30s was just as likely to have married as a less-educated counterpart.

There have also been shifts since 1990 in later-in-life marriage rates among adults with differing levels of educational attainment. In 2008, 91% of both college-educated adults and adults without a college degree had ever married by ages 55 to 59. In 1990, more adults lacking a bachelor's degree (96%) than college-educated adults (94%) had ever married by this stage of life. Farther back in time, the marital gap was much bigger. In 1950, 92% of 55- to 59-year-olds without a college education had ever married, compared with just 80% of their counterparts with a college degree.

Income

Married adults tend to be better off, economically, than unmarried adults, and the declining marriage propensities of young adults who are not college-educated have exacerbated their economic challenges. The adjusted annual median household income was about $77,000 for married adults in 2008, compared with $54,000 for unmarried adults. Some of this difference reflects the fact that married adults typically reside in households with more earners. However, even when one compares married and unmarried adults in households with the same number of earners, married adults remain better off. The median adjusted household income of married adults in one-earner households in 2008 was about $63,000, compared with $53,000 for unmarried adults in one-earner households.

The economic well-being associated with marriage is not confined to the college-educated. In 2008, married adults without a college education had a median household income that was 34% higher than the median income of unmarried adults lacking a college degree. This differential has been relatively stable for the past half century.

Divorce

There is also a correlation between educational attainment and the likelihood of divorce. Newly available Census Bureau data show, for example, that in 2008, 2.9% of all married adults ages 35-39 who lacked a college diploma saw their first marriage end in divorce in the prior year, compared with just 1.6% of a comparably aged group that had a college education. There were similar gaps in divorce rates in 2008 among adults in other age groups. Unlike with marriage data, however, divorce data have not been collected by the Census Bureau in a way that permits comparisons over time in the divorce rates of those with and without a college degree.

GOP Well Positioned Among Likely Midterm Voters

Voting preferences remain close among registered voters

October 4, 2010

Gallup's generic ballot for Congress among registered voters currently shows Republicans with 46% of the vote and Democrats with 43%, similar to the 46% to 46% tie reported a week ago. However, in Gallup's first estimates among likely voters, based on polling from Sept. 23-Oct. 3, Republicans have a double-digit advantage under two separate turnout scenarios.

Vote Preferences in 2010 Congressional Elections, Various Turnout Scenarios

These initial estimates are based on interviews with more than 3,000 national adults, including more than 2,700 registered voters, and more than 1,800 adults who demonstrate a high probability of voting this fall, based on their answers to Gallup's standard likely voter questions that probe current voting intentions and past voting behavior.

Among registered voters interviewed over this period, the parties continue to have rough parity on Gallup's generic ballot for Congress, as they have since early September. If all voters turned out at this point, the national vote would be close, with Republicans having the slight edge.

Vote Preferences in 2010 Congressional Elections, Based on Registered Voters, March-October 2010

However, not all voters will turn out. For this reason, Gallup identifies the subsample of registered voters most likely to vote in November, employing methods first used in the 1950 midterm elections. These estimates are based on respondents' answers to seven separate turnout questions. The results are used to assign a "likelihood to vote" score to each registered voter and, in turn, to create hypothetical models of the electorate based on various turnout scenarios.

For this initial estimate of those most likely to vote, Gallup has modeled a lower turnout estimate (40%, typical for recent midterm elections) and a higher turnout estimate. In both cases, the Republican share of the vote is above 50% and the Democratic share is 40% or less, underscoring the strong position in which the GOP would find itself were the election held today.

Gallup has found Republicans, compared with Democrats, expressing higher levels of enthusiasm about voting and more thought given to the elections throughout 2010. It follows that models in which voting is restricted to those most likely to vote would show Republicans doing disproportionately well.

Gallup's historical election trends suggest that the race often tightens in the final month of the campaign. In September and October 1994, 2002, and 2006, Gallup's likely voter estimates showed larger margins for the leading party than what the final estimate showed (with the final poll in 2002 moving from a slight Democratic advantage to a Republican lead in the final poll). At this point, four weeks remain until Election Day, and given the already-high levels of Republican enthusiasm, it is possible that Democrats could have relatively greater gains among likely voters over the next month. This history suggests that the likely voter model results at this point should be viewed as describing the current state of affairs, but not as predictive of the final party vote shares on Nov. 2.

Within both likely voter pools, Republicans are highly likely to vote for the Republican candidate, and Democrats for the Democratic candidate. Independents in both likely voter models skew strongly toward the Republican candidate. Gallup has found independent registered voters consistently preferring Republican candidates throughout the campaign.

Across both turnout scenarios, the overall vote results reflect the fact that Republicans become a larger part of the sample as turnout shrinks.

Party Composition Based on Turnout Groups, 2010 Midterm Congressional Elections

Based on statistical modeling of the historical relationship between the national vote and seats, any situation in which the Democrats have less than about 47% of the actual two-party national vote for Congress (i.e., 53% voting for the Republicans and 47% for the Democrats among those voting for one of the two parties) would strongly predict that Republicans would win enough seats to gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives. If there is a widely disproportionate skew in turnout toward Republican voters and their national vote lead ends up being in the double digits, the Republican gains would be very substantial.

Gallup will continue to update both trends in registered-voter voting intentions and the hypothetical results of various likely voter models between now and Election Day. Gallup's final likely voter estimates have historically been very close to the final national vote.

Explore more Gallup data relating to the upcoming congressional midterm elections, including Gallup's complete generic ballot trend since 1950, in our Election 2010 Key Indicators interactive.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 23-26 and Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2010, with a random sample of 3,037 national adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.

For results based on the total sample of 2,764 registered voters, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.

For results based on the total sample of 1,882 likely voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell phone-only). Each sample includes a minimum quota of 150 cell phone-only respondents and 850 landline respondents per 1,000 respondents, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, education, region, and phone lines. Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2009 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in continental U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Latinos and the 2010 Elections

Strong Support for Democrats; Weak Voter Motivation

October 5, 2010

In a year when support for Democratic candidates has eroded, the party's standing among one key voting group -- Latinos-appears as strong as ever. Two-thirds (65%) of Latino registered voters say they plan to support the Democratic candidate in their local congressional district, while just 22% support the Republican candidate, according to a nationwide survey of Latinos.

If this pro-Democratic margin holds up on Election Day next month, it would be about as wide as in 2008, when Latinos supported Barack Obama for president over John McCain by 67% to 31%.

However, Hispanic registered voters appear to be less motivated than other voters to go to the polls. Just one-third (32%) of all Latino registered voters say they have given this year's election "quite a lot" of thought. In contrast, half (50%) of all registered voters say the same. And when it comes to their intent to vote, half (51%) of Latino registered voters say they are absolutely certain they will vote in this year's midterm election, while seven-in-ten (70%) of all registered voters say the same.1

The survey finds that among Latino registered voters, Republicans may be more likely to turn out and vote than Democrats. Some 44% of Latino Republicans say they have given the election quite a lot of thought compared with 28% of Latino Democrats. This partisan gap is consistent with survey findings of the full population of registered voters.

The findings for Latino registered voters emerge from a new national survey of 1,375 Latinos, including 618 registered voters, conducted from Aug. 17 through Sept. 19, 2010, by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

Strong support for the Democrats among Latino registered voters continues a recent trend. In 2008, they supported Obama by 67% to 31%. In 2006, 69% of Latino voters supported Democratic candidates in congressional races, while 30% supported Republican candidates. Even in 2004, a year when Republicans won a greater share of the Latino vote in the presidential election than at any time since the 1980s, nearly six-in-ten (58%) Latino voters supported Democrats John Kerry and John Edwards.2

In recent elections, Latinos have also represented a growing share of the electorate. According to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of Census Bureau data, in 2008 Latino voters were 7.4% of all voters nationwide, up from 6% in 2004.

When it comes to opinions of President Barack Obama, a greater share of Latino registered voters approve of his job performance than do all U.S. registered voters -- 63% versus 47%.

Yet when asked about the effect of his administration's policies on Hispanics, Latino registered voters are divided. More than half (51%) say his policies have had no effect on Latinos, while one-in-four (26%) say they have been helpful to Latinos and 13% say they have been harmful.

The new survey also reveals that the Democratic Party continues to hold a large advantage in party identification among Latino registered voters. More than six-in-ten (62%) Latino registered voters say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, while one-quarter (25%) say the same for the Republican Party -- a Democratic advantage of 37 percentage points.

Democrats are seen as the party that has more concern for Hispanics. Nearly half (47%) of Latino registered voters say this about the Democratic Party -- down from 55% in 2008, but similar to the share on this question expressed by Latinos for much of the past decade.

In contrast, very few see the Republican Party as more concerned about Latinos than the Democratic Party -- just 6% of all Latino registered voters and 18% of Republican Latino registered voters say this.

The survey also finds that Latinos are less negative than other voters about the direction of the country. Six-in-ten (59%) Latino registered voters say they are dissatisfied with the country's direction, while 73% of all registered voters say the same.

The Immigration Issue

When Arizona enacted an unauthorized immigrant enforcement bill earlier this year, the immigration policy debate reignited across the country. Even so, the new survey shows that immigration does not rank as a top voting issue for Hispanics. Rather, they rank education, jobs and health care as their top three issues of concern for this year's congressional campaign. Immigration ranks as the fifth most important issue for Latino registered voters and as the fourth most important issue for all Latinos.3

However, the survey finds that two-thirds (66%) of Latino registered voters say they talked about the immigration policy debate with someone they know in the past year. It also finds that those who have had these conversations are more motivated to vote in the upcoming election than are those who haven't. Nearly six-in-ten (58%) Latino registered voters who have discussed the immigration debate say they are absolutely certain they will vote in November, compared with just four-in-ten (39%) of those who have not talked about the immigration debate.

Latinos are the nation's largest minority group with an estimated population of 46.8 million in 2008, representing 15.4% of the nation's population. Nationally 19.3 million Latinos are eligible to vote (18 years of age or older and a U.S. citizen) according to Pew Hispanic Center estimates, up from 18 million in 2006. Latinos make up 9.2% of the nation's 211 million eligible voters. Two out of every three Latino eligible voters reside in one of four states: California, Texas, Florida and New York.

This report is based on a nationally representative bilingual telephone survey of 1,375 Latinos ages 18 and older, including 618 registered voters. Interviews were conducted from August 17 through September 19, 2010. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level; for registered voters, the margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. For a full description of the survey methodology, see Appendix B.

Among the report's other findings:


1. In recent midterm elections, Latinos have voted at lower rates than white non-Hispanics and black non-Hispanics. In 2006, one-third (32%) of Latino eligible voters (ages 18 or older and a U.S. citizen) said they voted. In comparison, more than half of white non-Hispanic eligible voters and more than four-in-ten (41%) black non-Hispanic voters said they voted
.2. This estimate is based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the complied 2004 National Election Pool combined 51 state exit polls. For more details, see Suro, Fry and Passel (2005).
3. These findings mirror other recent national opinion polls that reveal that immigration is not ranked as a top issue this year for the general public or for U.S. registered voters.

Majority of Canadians Support Move to Reinstate Long Form Census

(10/06/10)

 

Half of respondents believe the federal government should reverse its decision, and only one-in-four think long form is intrusive. Version française (PDF) A majority of Canadians welcome an opposition proposal to re-instate the abandoned mandatory long form census, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

Half of respondents believe the federal government should reverse its decision, and only one-in-four think long form is intrusive.

A majority of Canadians welcome an opposition proposal to re-instate the abandoned mandatory long form census, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,012 Canadian adults, 49 per cent of respondents (-5 since August) think the federal government should reverse its decision and keep the mandatory long form census.

Conversely, 29 per cent of respondents (-2) believe the federal government should stick by its decision and carry on with its proposed voluntary survey.

Alberta (42%) boasts the highest proportion of respondents who want the government to stand by its decision to scrap the mandatory long form census, while majorities of Ontarians (53%) and Quebecers (54%) call for Ottawa to reverse its decision.

 

The federal government’s argument that the long form census is intrusive and Canadians should not be forced to answer it is supported by 26 per cent of respondents (+2). Conversely, 53 per cent (-5) think the long form census yields data that is important to make policy decisions in all areas of public service, and should remain mandatory.

The opposition parties are contemplating whether to amend the Statistics Act to include the long-form census that was scrapped by the current government. More than half of respondents (54%) support this course of action, while one-in-four (23%) oppose it.

Political Allegiance

Respondents who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2008 federal election are more likely to want the government to stick by its decision to scrap the mandatory long form census (47%, compared to the national average of 29%), more likely to oppose the opposition’s plan to amend the Statistics Act (43%, compared to the national average of 23%), and more likely to claim that the long form census is intrusive (39%, compared to the national average of 26%).

At least 70 per cent of respondents who voted for the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party (NDP) or the Green Party in the 2008 federal election believe the long form census should remain mandatory, call on the government to reverse its decision, and support the move to amend the Statistics Act.

Analysis

The level of support for keeping the mandatory long form census was high in July and August (at 58%), and remains above the 50 per cent mark in October. There is also some fluctuation in the demands for the government to reverse its controversial decision (52% in July, 54% in August, 49% in October).

For the most part, Tory voters are standing by the federal government. The opposition reacted in harmony against the decision to scrap the mandatory long form census, and now has a unifying factor in the private member’s bill tabled by Liberal MP Carolyn Bennet. The bill would specify that a long-form questionnaire must be administered every five years and would also remove the existing threat of jail time for people who fail to answer the census.

Methodology: From October 4 to October 5, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,012 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

LATN AMERICA

Before Protests, Ecuador's President More Popular Than Police

A strong majority approve of President Correa's job performance

October 4, 2010

Clashes between Ecuador's police and President Rafael Correa Thursday once again raise questions about the stability of the country's leadership and institutions. Prior to the violent uprising and Correa's military rescue from police protesters, Ecuadorians were much more likely to approve of the president's job performance than to express confidence in the local police, the military, or the national government.

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Correa's presidency to this point has been a relative respite in Ecuador's long history of political instability. While it's too soon to know how the still-unfolding situation will affect public opinion, a Gallup survey conducted in July-August revealed that despite a slight decline, Correa's job approval remained high relative to confidence in the police. Confidence in the local police forces has been relatively steady at about 40% since 2008.

However, discontent with the national government is evident in the 11-percentage-point drop in Ecuadorians' confidence within the last year. About half of Ecuadorians at the time of the survey were confident in the military, which stormed a hospital to rescue the president after he was injured in the protests.

Johanna Godoy and Jesus Rios contributed to this story.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone/face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults in Ecuador, aged 15 and older, conducted in Aug. 11-Sept. 5, 2008, July 12-Sept. 1, 2009, and July 1-Aug. 10, 2010. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error in 2009 ranged from a low of ±3.5 percentage points in 2008, ±3.6 percentage points in 2009, and ±4.0 percentage points in 2010. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

AUSTRALASIA

 

National-led Government Beginning to Lose Popularity in New Zealand

 

National-led Government (52.5%, down 0.5%) lose ground on Opposition Parties 47.5%)
Smallest lead since 2008 New Zealand Election

 

Finding No. 4586 - This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone with a New Zealand-wide cross-section of 820 electors from September 20 – October 3, 2010. Of all electors surveyed, 8.5% (up 3%) did not name a party.:

October 12, 2010

The latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows support for John Key’s National-led Government has weakened slightly to 52.5% (down 0.5%), comprising National Party 49.5% (up 1%), Maori Party 2.5% (up 1%), ACT NZ 0.5% (down 1.5%) and United Future 0% (down 1%).

Support for Opposition Parties has risen to 47.5% (up 0.5%); Labour Party 36.5% (up 2.5%), Greens 8% (unchanged), New Zealand First 2.5% (down 2%), Progressive Party 0% (down 0.5%) and Others 0.5% (up 0.5%).

If a National Election were held today the National Party would be returned to Government.

The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is up 9.5 points to 139.5 with 61.5% (up 3.5%) of New Zealanders saying New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to 22% (down 6%) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction.’

Gary Morgan says:

“Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows a small drop in support for the National-led Government (52.5%, down 0.5%) for the fourth straight interviewing period. The lead over the Opposition Parties (47.5%, up 0.5%) is now at its narrowest since just after the General Election in November 2008.

“Despite the fall for the Government as a whole, the main governing National Party (49.5%, up 1%) has increased its own support at the expense of its Coalition partners — all of whom lost support. The main Opposition Labour Party (36.5%, up 2.5%) has increased its support to its highest since former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark lost the 2008 New Zealand Election.”

 

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?”

This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone with a New Zealand-wide cross-section of 820 electors from September 20 — October 3, 2010. Of all electors surveyed, 8.5% (up 3%) did not name a party.

# Roy Morgan GCR = Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating (The Roy Morgan GCR is 100 plus the difference between the percentage of New Zealanders who say the country is “heading in the right direction” and the percentage who say the country is “seriously heading in the wrong direction”).

MULTI-COUNTRY SURVEYS

Optimism About Financial Wellbeing Rebounds in Asia

In 10 countries, optimism at or above pre-economic crisis levels

October 6, 2010

Reflecting Asia's resilience after the global economic crisis, Gallup surveys in 2010 show people's optimism about their financial wellbeing is rebounding across the region. A median of 53% of residents in 19 countries now say their standard of living is getting better, nearing the pre-crisis median of 57% in 2007.

Standard of Living in Asia.gif

The speed and strength of Asia's rebound from the global crisis are two factors that enabled the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to conclude last week that recovery seemed to have taken a firm hold and to raise its economic growth forecast for the region. Strong export recovery, robust private demand, and sustained effects of stimulus policies that ADB says helped the region grow in the first half of 2010 may help explain why people's optimism has already recovered to pre-crisis levels in 10 Asian countries.

Asia Where Financial Wellbeing Recovered.gif

Residents' optimism about their financial wellbeing sank to great depths in developed economies such as Singapore and Australia during the crisis, which makes their almost meteoric recovery more remarkable. In Singapore, where ADB now forecasts double-digit growth in 2010, residents are even more likely to say their living standards are getting better this year than they were before the crisis.

But a return to pre-crisis levels or improvement beyond those levels doesn't mean majorities in all countries see their living standards as getting better; less than half of Mongolians, Cambodians, and Indonesians do so. Improvements, however, can still be interpreted as a positive indicator.

Financial Wellbeing Still in Recovery in Several Large Economies

In six countries, including some of world's larger economies, optimism hasn't fully recovered to pre-crisis levels, but it is recovering. In India, for example, where ADB has slightly upgraded its growth forecast, residents are more likely to see their standard of living improving this year than they were last year. They are still less likely than they were before the global economic crisis to say their standard of living is getting better.

Asia Where Financial Wellbeing Is Recovering.gif

It's important to note that Gallup conducted surveys in Pakistan before the devastating floods there, and the 40% of Pakistanis who saw their standard of living as getting better at the time has likely changed.

Little Change in China, Japan, and Afghanistan

Residents in China, Japan, and Afghanistan are among the few in the region who aren't more optimistic now than they were before the global crisis -- but each country's story is different. Chinese are already the most optimistic in the region about their financial wellbeing -- the 78% who say their standard of living is getting better is essentially unchanged from the 80% who said the same before the economic crisis hit.

Asia Where Optimism Has Not Increased.gif

Japan, on the other hand, entered recession in the third quarter of 2008, and Japanese consumers' somewhat dour outlooks on their standard of living have failed to improve since. Afghans' optimism has also stagnated during the same period and remains lower today than before the crisis, likely reflecting ongoing volatility there in the security situation and governance.

Implications

Gallup's data for the most part reaffirm the International Monetary Fund's assessment that "Asia is emerging from the recession with its standing in the world strengthened." Rebounding optimism in many Asian countries reflects the region's robust recovery from the global economic crisis and positions it well for sustainable, consumer-led growth going forward. That optimism has not fully rebounded in large economies such as South Korea, India, and Japan is a reminder that the outlook for global recovery still remains somewhat murky.

For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact SocialandEconomicAnalysis@gallup.com or call 202.715.3030.

Survey Methods

Results are based on face-to-face and telephone interviews with approximately 1,000 adults in each country for each year reported in this article, with the exception of the India sample, which was higher (2,000 to 6,000 interviews). For results based on each sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error ranged from a low of ±1.7 percentage points to a high of ±4.5 percentage points.

Experts Trust Ratings Organizations Less Than NGOs and Employees as Judges of Sustainability Performance

October 4, 2010

Ratings and rankings organizations are trusted less than NGOs and a company’s employees when it comes to accurately judging that company’s sustainability performance.* This according to latest findings from The Sustainability Survey Research Program released Wednesday by GlobeScan and SustainAbility.

More than 1,200 experts were surveyed in July and August 2010 on topics relating to corporate accountability: transparency and sustainability reporting, rating sustainability performance, and the implications of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the sustainability agenda. Respondents were drawn from corporate, government, NGO, academic, research, and service organizations, and span more than 80 countries in Asia, Africa / Middle East, Europe, North America, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. The Sustainability Survey is the largest global poll of the views of sustainability experts.

______________________
*SustainAbility’s research into the effectiveness of ratings and rankings in driving greater corporate sustainability performance continues as part of its ongoing Rate the Raters initiative. The phase two findings of Rate the Raters will be released publicly on Monday, October 4, 2010 at SustainAbility.com

Key findings from the survey include: 

·                     Transparency & Reporting: Sustainability reporting continues to add value. In fact, more than eight in ten experts believe that increasing transparency not only improves a company’s reputation, but its sustainability performance as well.

·                     Rating Performance:  The objectivity and credibility of data sources and the disclosure of the methodology are considered the two most important factors when determining the credibility of a rating. Therefore, ratings organizations must improve their own transparency in order to gain the trust of experts moving forward.

·                     Implications of Deepwater Horizon: The BP Deepwater Horizon incident is expected to accelerate regulatory and voluntary improvements to drive greater corporate accountability, but not expected to significantly transform the oil industry in the near term.

Chris Coulter, Senior Vice President at GlobeScan, notes, “That experts continue to find value in sustainability reporting is driving their expectations and the expectations of all stakeholders higher. To be considered a leader in reporting tomorrow, companies will need to be adept at using social media and engaging mainstream investors—by taking a more integrated approach to reporting.”

Jeff Erikson, Senior Vice President at SustainAbility, adds, “The results suggest that the BP Deepwater Horizon will accelerate regulatory and voluntary improvements in the oil industry. In practice, this means energy companies and regulators will be looking closely at the issue of acceptable risk, and how they manage low probability / high impact events. I expect this concern will spill over into other energy issues, including hydraulic fracturing in deep shale deposits which is accelerating rapidly in the United States.”

 

Select findings

All figures in the charts are percentages.

 

About The Sustainability Survey Research Program
The Sustainability Survey research program is a unique, collaborative platform using research-driven expert insights to explore solutions to business’ biggest sustainability challenges. The program is designed to assist corporate leaders navigate the challenges and opportunities related to sustainability by leveraging the insights polled from the most influential thought leaders in the sustainable development arena. These quantitative results then inform forward-looking strategic counsel and ongoing trends analysis for companies participating in the membership-based research program.

About GlobeScan

GlobeScan is an international opinion research consultancy. Companies, multilateral institutions, governments, and NGOs trust GlobeScan for its unique expertise in reputation research, sustainability, and issues management. GlobeScan provides global organizations with evidence-based insight and advice to help them build strong brands, manage relations with key stakeholders, and define their strategic positioning. GlobeScan conducts research in over 90 countries, is certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its quality management system, and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact. Established in 1987, GlobeScan is an independent, management-owned company with offices in London, Toronto, and San Francisco. www.GlobeScan.com

About SustainAbility

SustainAbility is a think tank and strategy consultancy working to inspire transformative business leadership on the sustainability agenda.  Established in 1987, SustainAbility delivers illuminating foresight and actionable insight on sustainable development trends and issues.  The company operates globally and has offices in Europe, North America and India. For more information, visit www.sustainability.com

 

 

CYBERWORLD

Blogs Take Test of Faith

October 7, 2010

A news report that challenges conventional wisdom, especially one about a personal/cultural topic like religion, is often rich fodder for online conversation. This was the case last week as a Pew Research Center survey showing that atheists and agnostics were more knowledgeable about religion than followers of major faiths drew significant attention.

For the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, almost a quarter (23%) of the news links on blogs were to a Los Angeles Times story about the survey, making it the No. 1 subject, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The survey from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that non-believers were able to answer more questions about religion correctly than believers, even when one controlled for educational background. It also showed that people were ill-informed on some of the questions related to their own religion. A majority of Protestants, for example, were unable to identify Martin Luther as the primary figure behind the Protestant Reformation. (The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Project for Excellence in Journalism are both are part of the Pew Research Center.)

While news stories about the survey were popular online, part of the appeal of the subject was a series of interactive surveys on the Web. On the Pew Forum website, visitors could take a shortened version of the quiz to compare their own knowledge with that of the general public (click here to test your knowledge of religion and take the quiz). In the first week it was posted, the quiz was taken more than a million times. In addition, both CNN.com and NYTimes.com also offered versions of the quiz.

Bloggers who discussed the results generally fell into two camps. One group, constituting a majority of bloggers, considered themselves atheists or agnostics and welcomed the results. The other, much smaller group consisted of people of faith who either saw the results as a wake-up call, or had problems with the notion of faith being tied to knowledge rather than beliefs. In both cases, many bloggers made personal connections to the news as they described their own religious journeys.

The No. 2 story on blogs last week, at 15%, involved a controversial legal and national security issue. According to a Sept. 25 Washington Post article, the Obama administration urged a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit over its targeting of a U.S. citizen living overseas with alleged ties to al Qaeda. The administration claimed the case would reveal state secrets while civil liberties groups argued that the government should not have unchecked powers to assassinate American citizens without due process.

Overwhelmingly, bloggers condemned Obama's position and worried about a precedent being set for future potential abuses of power.

Two different subjects tied for No. 3 on blogs with 9% of the links. One was a column in the Washington Post by Princeton philosophy professor Kwame Anthony Appiah suggesting that future generations will condemn the current one for institutions such as the prison system and practices such as industrial meat production. The other story was a Sept. 26 Los Angeles Times report about comments made by former CIA Director Michael Hayden that the president should have the authority to shut down the internet in times of crisis.

The fifth story, at 7%, was the discovery by astronomers of Gliese 581G, the first planet found in another solar system believed to have the basic conditions needed to support extraterrestrial life.

On Twitter, two of the top five stories were technology related. But the other three included a sports scandal, a scientific discovery and an unfortunate culinary surprise.

The top story, with 13% of the links, was a BBC report about a British food production company forced to pay a fine after a man found a dead mouse embedded in a loaf of bread. Tweeters were disgusted with the unappetizing discovery.

"Don't Look if You Want to Enjoy Your Next Meal," warned a Tweet from the The Stir: Food & Party channel.*

The announcement of Blackberry's Playbook, its answer to Apple's tablet iPad device, was second at 12%, followed by a report about Google's plans to announce a new computer image format that will decrease file sizes by as much as 40% compared with the popular JPEG file format.

The fourth story (at 6%) was the discovery in Peru of a 36-million-year-old fossil from a giant penguin. The animal was believed to be about five feet tall and weigh nearly twice as much as an Emperor penguin, the largest living species.

And news that 2010 Tour de France winner, Spaniard Alberto Contador, tested positive for a banned substance and has since been suspended was fifth with 5%. The cycling world has long been riddled with rumors and speculation about performance enhancing drugs. On Twitter, the story was particularly popular with people writing in Spanish as many noted that suspicions about Contador had persisted for months.

Continue reading the full report at journalism.org.


*For the sake of authenticity, PEJ has a policy of not correcting misspellings or grammatical errors that appear in direct quotes from blog postings.