Posts tagged with "Public Opinion Strategies"

SCOTUS decision hits labor unions where it hurts

June 28, 2018

In a 5-4 decision, written for the Conservative majority by Justice Samuel Alito on June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court found that public-sector workers who are not union members—but who are, nevertheless, represented by a union for bargaining purposes—cannot be required to pay “fair share” union dues.

According to a report by The Washington Post, the resolution of the case,  Janus v. the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31, effectively makes the entire U.S. public sector a “right-to-work” zone. As a result, millions of public employees will have the choice to no longer support unions that must continue to bargain on their behalf.

The latest finding by the court effectively overruled the high court’s decision in the 1977 Abood v. Detroit Education Association case on the grounds that it “was not well-reasoned.”

As the Huffington Post detailed, Janus, as the case was known, was widely seen as the” biggest judicial threat to organized labor in years, if not decades.” The news outlet further noted that, “The ruling in favor of Mark Janus [a state-employed child-support specialist in Illinois] … has the potential to squeeze some of the largest and most powerful unions in the country, reducing their clout in the workplace as well as in national and local politics.”

Alito was joined by Justices Roberts, Thomas, Kennedy, and Gorsuch in the majority decision; Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Kagan dissented.

Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the minority, said that the decision will have “large scale consequences,” and that “judicial disruption does not get any greater than what the court does today,” as reported by The Hill.

Reading her scathing comments from the bench, Kagan said the majority vote had turned “the First Amendment into a sword and [used] it against workaday economic and regulatory policy.”

In a poll conducted before the court voted by Public Opinion Strategies  and covered by Yahoo!, more than 400 government workers were asked whether they should be required to pay union dues to be represented for bargaining purposes. Fully 62% said they should be allowed to stop paying dues, if they so chose; 33% said they should be mandated to continue paying dues.

The unions rely on the dues of non-members to survive.

Research contact: @POStqia

Should Trump get credit for the economy?

April 2, 2018

While President Donald Trump has taken credit for everything from the success of the rebooted Roseanne sitcom, to low unemployment, to the decreased level of airplane mishaps in 2017, is there something for which the POTUS really should get kudos?

Voters consistently have given President Trump low marks when it comes to his job performance, but more and more voters believe that Trump, rather than former U.S. President Barack Obama, is responsible for the current state of the economy, according to the latest Quinnipiac University Poll. Fully 46% say Trump should be credited, either for good or for bad; while 42% say Obama laid the foundation.

Whether this is good news or bad news for the president hinges on knowing just how voters rate the state of the economy, and in this case, the data ought to be encouraging for him: 61% of voters say the economy is excellent or good. Although this percentage is down from a high of 70% last month and 66% in January, these numbers are a significant improvement over the 46% of voters who said the same. market researchers at Public Opinion Strategies point out.

Likewise, in the January NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey (for which POS is the Republican partner with Democratic firm, Hart Research Associates), 35% of voters said the economy would improve over the next 12 months, while just 20% said it would decline. Fully 43% said it would stay about the same.

Tellingly, POS states, among the 35% who said it would get better, nearly two-thirds (65%) said Trump’s new economic policies were the reason; just 6% of these voters believe it will improve because of what President Obama set in motion during his time in office; and 29% say it is due to the normal business cycle improving.

Research contact: kyle@pos.org

Workplace equality stalls for women

March 27, 2018

More than half of Americans (52%) say that men still do not accept and treat women as equals in the workplace—a plurality that remains virtually unchanged since the poll asked the same question in 1999, based on findings of an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on March 22.

Women are particularly pessimistic, with 61% of  the 1,100 respondents saying that their male counterparts fail to treat them as equals—again, exactly the same share as 19 years ago. What’s more, the same percentage (44%) say they have personally experienced discrimination because of their gender.

The stagnancy of how women view their treatment in the workplace comes as more of them have taken on a role as their household’s primary wage earner. Nearly half of employed women (49%) say that they work primarily because they are their family’s main breadwinner, up from 37% in 2000. That includes 42% of working women with children.

“While Americans have become less judgmental about working mothers, this is a story about taking one step forward and one step back,” says Corrie Hunt of Hart Research, which conducted the poll along with Public Opinion Strategies. “As Americans, we’ve become more willing to say the right things about women in the workplace, but we haven’t put the supports in place to back it up. Our words have not yet been put into actions.”

Perceptions of working women who also are raising children have, indeed, become far more positive in the last two decades. In 2000, just 46% of Americans called it a positive development that more women are working while raising children, while 38%  called it a negative development. Now? An overwhelming majority, nearly eight in 10 (78%) call it positive, and just 14 percent disagree.

However, the pollsters state, there also is a lingering partisan difference in views of how women overall are accepted in the workplace. While only 28% of Democrats say that women are treated as equals in the workplace and 68% disagree, Republicans say that women are treated equally by almost a 20-point margin. Nearly six in 10 Republicans (58 percent) say women are treated as equals by their male counterparts, while 36% disagree.

And there’s also a notable gender gap when it comes to ways that women experience workplace inequality. Majorities of employed men don’t believe that there’s a significant gap in how women are paid, promoted and valued at their workplaces, while employed women are a bit more divided. Only about one in seven men say male workers get promoted more readily than women and get paid more for doing the same work, while about one in three women say the same.

Research contact: contact.nbcnews@nbcuni.com

California Dreamin’ of DACA

December 8, 2017

According to a recent poll commissioned by The California Endowment, voters across the state are very familiar with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and want to see it become law.

About 75% of those surveyed offered overall support of DACA, with 74% saying they back a permanent DACA program. Conversely, voters overwhelming disapprove of a repeal of the program.

DACA is a U.S. immigration program that began under then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano of the Obama administration in June 2012. The administrative program allows undocumented residents who entered the country before their 16th birthdays— and before June 2007—to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. These young adults are often referred to as “dreamers,” and many came to America as young children, which means this is the only country they know as home.

The survey of more than 1,000 voters was conducted by a bipartisan team—Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates (FM3) and Public Opinion Strategies. They found that support cut across many of California’s demographic groups, including support from three in five moderate  and liberal Republicans (60%) who back DACA.

“Once again, California proves that we don’t follow; we lead,” said Dr. Tony Iton, senior vice president with The California Endowment. “We must not be divided by our differences. We believe in these young people, and we know they are the reason California thrives.”

Research contact: sreyes@calendow.org

Most U.S. households own more than two Apple products

November 10, 2017

With apologies to New York City, just call America “The Big Apple,” and be done with it. A CNBC All-America Economic Survey released last month has found that fully 64% of all Americans now own an Apple product—up from 50% when the question was last asked five years ago. The average American household reports owning 2.6 Apple products, up by one product from the 2012 survey.

Among the products offered by Apple are iPhones, iPads, iPods, Macbooks, iMacs, Apple Watches, Apple TVs and various accessories.

“I cannot think of any other product — especially any other product at a high price point — that has that kind of permeation with the public and level of growth,” said Jay Campbell, pollster with Hart Research, which conducted the survey  on behalf of CNBC, along with Public Opinion Strategies.

The Apple product line is pervasive by income group, age, race, sex and region of the country, according to the poll results. Indeed, more than half of nearly all demographic groups report owning at least one Apple product.

The household ownership rate is below 50% for only a few groups, including those with incomes under $30,000, retirees and women over age 50. By contrast, 87% of Americans with incomes over $100,000 report owning at least one. And the wealthiest Americans own 4.7 products per household.

The survey also found that 64% of respondents say their time on their smartphone is “mostly productive and useful,” while 27% acoutner that it is “mostly unproductive.” Young people, Midwesterners and those with just a high school education are most likely to report wasting time on their smartphones.

As for usage, it is dominated by phone calls, emails and texts, followed by social media. Few Americans say watching videos, playing games and shopping are the main uses for their handhelds.

The poll of 800 respondents across the country was conducted late last month and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points

Research contact: @steveliesman