Posts tagged with "HuffPost/YouGov poll"

What’s ‘cancel culture’? Only 52% of Americans know

February 17, 2021

Does your friend always renege on lunch dates after you’re already at the restaurant? Well that may be unkind, self-centered, or disorganized—but it’s not “cancel culture.”

In fact, a newly released HuffPost/YouGov poll, conducted in late January, has found that only 52% of Americans even have heard of the term “cancel culture”—a number that’s virtually unchanged since last fall.

Only 22% of those who have heard the term―roughly one-tenth of the public―say they’ve ever used it, themselves. But, among those who are familiar with the term, 67% say it is a “very” or “somewhat” serious problem.

So what is it, really?

According to HuffPost, conservatives use the term to describe what they see as an increasing clamor in recent years aimed at silencing public figures for breaking with progressive orthodoxies—arguing the political left is aiming to silence conservatives and stifle public debate.

It’s been used to describe everything from actress Gina Carano’s dismissal from “Star Wars” following her controversial social media posts about the San Francisco Board of Education’s decision to rename schools that had been named for historical figures it deemed racist; to comedian Louis C.K.’s departure from mainstream public view following disclosures of sexual harassment.

One of former President Donald Trump’s lawyers described his second impeachment trial as “constitutional cancel culture.” Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a leading voice among the most conservative members of the House, told a Fox News audience that fighting cancel culture is “the number one issue for the country to address today.”

The theme of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 2021)? “America Uncanceled.”

Many liberals have argued “cancel culture” is not particularly novel—noting that public figures of all ideologies have always faced societal sanction for expressing unpopular viewpoints. They argue that conservatives who complain about the term are trying to neutralize fair-minded criticisms of racism and sexism.

Familiarity with the concept is especially high among self-described liberals— people with college degrees and those who say they regularly follow politics. Democrats and Republicans are about equally likely to express familiarity with the term. But they express vastly different outlooks about the seriousness of cancel culture and the sort of people it affects.

A 57% majority of Republicans who’ve heard of “cancel culture” describe it as a very serious problem, compared with just 11% of Democrats who’ve heard the term. Two-thirds of those Republicans say that conservatives are more likely than liberals to be negatively affected. The Democrats are most likely to say both ideological groups are equally affected.

As noted in September, polling on cancel culture is complicated by its nebulousness. There’s frequent debate about the precise definition of the term and on whether various events do or do not count as examples of its practice.

The HuffPost/YouGov survey didn’t try to define “cancel culture,” instead allowing Americans who’d heard of it to rely on their own impressions of what the term meant.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Voter concerns could sweep GOP out at midterms in ‘blue tsunami’

April 9, 2018

At a press conference on April 4, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he feared the Republicans would be swept by the Democrats in the midterms—noting, “We know the wind is going to be in our face. We don’t know whether it’s going to be a Category 3, 4, or 5,” according to a report by The Washington Times.

He just might be right: Heading into the midterm elections, American voters say they are more focused on healthcare than on any other political point of contention, based on findings of a HuffPost/YouGov poll released on April 6. And a vote for better healthcare, even the GOP concedes, would be a vote for the Democrats.

Asked to select their top two issues from a list in the recently conducted poll, 30% of 872 registered voters picked healthcare as most important.

The researchers reported that “an unusual trio of issues tied for second place,”with each named by about 25% of voters as a top priority—the economy, which perpetually ranks as a top campaign topic; but also gun policies, which rarely garner that level of attention; and immigration, a mainstay of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

With the caveat that, this far ahead of the election, there’s still plenty of time for campaign narratives to develop and change, if healthcare does play a prominent role , it would give an advantage to Democrats.

Healthcare, which, the researchers note, “likely contributed to Democrats’ midterm shellacking in 2010,” is now an issue they feel free to embrace. For the first election cycle since its passage, a majority of the public now approves of President Obama’s signature healthcare law, and Democrats enjoy a sizable advantage over the GOP on handling related issues

The poll also suggests that gun issues, which have long ranked low on Americans’ priority lists, are continuing to draw heightened attention in the wake of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting, especially among proponents of gun control.

By contrast, the economy — one of the relatively few bright spots for the GOP—remains a top issue, but isn’t overwhelmingly at the front of public opinion the way it was in past elections. And tax reform, which Republicans had hoped would serve as a midterm asset, has stalled out in popularity and doesn’t appear to be at the top of voters’ minds.

The survey also looked at which issues each party is perceived as focusing mostly on. In the case of the Democratic Party, that’s guns, followed by Trump’s record. In the case of the GOP, it’s taxes, immigration, and the economy.

Nearly 70% of voters say they are somewhat closely following news about the midterms and 30% say that they’re paying very close attention. Forty percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, but just 23%t of Republican and Republican-leaning voters, say they’re already paying very close attention.

Research contact: @aedwardslevy