Posts tagged with "SSRS"

Trump to Sessions: ‘Stop the rigged witch hunt right now’

August 2, 2018

President Donald Trump is feeling the heat—and it is not environmental. On August 1, he implored Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the federal investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections that is being helmed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

As usual, the president took to Twitter to make his intentions known. At 9:24 a.m., he tweeted, “This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!”

The angry “ask” came after a week in which the POTUS’s probable involvement in a Trump Tower meeting with the Russians in June 2016 grabbed headlines, thanks to a revelation by former Trump lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen.

In addition, Trump’s instructions to Sessions were issued on the second day of the Alexandria, Virginia-based federal trial of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager. Manafort is accused of bank and tax crimes.

The media quickly characterized his tweet as a form of obstruction of justice. The Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig was prompt to report (also on Twitter) : “NEW: Trump lawyers tell me his tweets this morning are simply “his opinions” and not evidence of an ongoing effort to obstruct the Russia probe. @RudyGiuliani and @JaySekulow call in to explain @realDonaldTrump well-established practice.”

What’s more,  Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell ( 15th District, California) rapidly tweeted, “Just as a reminder, @realDonaldTrumps tweets are official statements. [Press Secretary] Sarah Sanders might try to spin it now into “opinion,” but Trump is telling his subordinate Jeff Sessions what he wants him to do: stop Mueller’s investigation.”

And progressive organization, MoveOn, commented, “If @real DonaldTrump sabotages #Mueller‘s #TrumpRussia investigation we will need to take swift action. Text ALERT to 668366 & head here: …” 

Presidents typically do not weigh in on ongoing Justice Department investigations, The New York Times said, “but … Trump has been outspoken about his anger and frustration with the Russia investigation, which predates his presidency and was later taken over by …. Mueller.…. Trump has also said that he never would have made … Sessions his attorney general if he knew … Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia inquiry.”

The special counsel is also looking into some of Trump’s tweets about. Sessions and the former FBI Director James Comey —and whether the messages were intended to obstruct justice, the Time said.

A CNN poll conducted by SSRS posted on June 22 found that most Americans continue to believe that the Russian effort to influence the 2016 presidential election is a serious matter that should be investigated, but the constant criticism by President Donald Trump of special counsel Robert Mueller is taking its toll. The number of Americans who approve of how Mueller is handling the investigation has dropped from 48% in March to 44% in May to just 41% [in June], the lowest it has been in CNN’s polling.

Mueller has a lot of company; no one connected with this matter is coming out of it in a positive light. According to CNN, his favorable rating is just 32%; former FBI Director James Comey’s favorability is just 28%; Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s lawyers in the Russia investigation, is viewed favorably by only 31% of Americans.

Research contact: @CNNPolitics

Manufacturer capitalizes on controversy over Melania’s jacket

June 25, 2018

When First Lady Melania Trump made a humanitarian trip to Texas on June 21—in order to check on the welfare of children separated from their immigrant parents at the southern border—she wore a simple Zara jacket in transit that set off huge confusion and controversy among members of the press and the public.

At the airports in Texas and Washington, DC, she was photographed from the back—clearly showing a statement in printed white graffiti on her olive drab windbreaker. What it said was, “I really don’t care, do U?”—and those who saw it struggled to understand the message she was trying to convey.

According to a report by The New York Times, “’Insensitive,’ ‘heartless’ and ‘unthinking’ were some of the words hurled through the digisphere about the choice.”

“It’s a jacket,” her Communications Director, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement to reporters. “There was no hidden message.”

However, that’s hard to believe, because although little is known about the FLOTUS, what we do know is that she dresses carefully.

Now, a company is capitalizing on the windbreaker controversy by manufacturing a version of the jacket that has a carefully curated message: The new outerware collection, made and marketed by the feminist brand, Wildfang, puts its own spin on the wording, with “I really care, don’t U?” written on the front of a black tee-shirt and the back of two bomber jackets, as well as a sturdier Army-green jacket. The tee-shirt sells for $48; and the jackets, for $98.

With 100% of proceeds going to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), the line was created and put into production shortly after the photographs of Melania went viral

Within a few hours we decided as a team we wanted to do something —this could not go unnoticed —so we put our heads together and went with impact,” Emma McIlroy, the co-founder and CEO of Wildfang, said.

According to the brand, the army green jacket sold out in one hour, was already restocked and will be shipped out in three weeks. All proceeds go to RAICES immediately.

“Our customers have gone bananas over this,” McIlroy said. “The support is overwhelming and we couldn’t be more proud to align with them in support of these families.”

Melania has enjoyed greater popularity than Donald Trump since he was sworn in as president in January 2017. Based on findings of a CNN/SSRS poll conducted this week, her favorability rating among Americans stands at 51%. Whether or not a piece of clothing can change her image is yet to be determined.

Over the weekend, the First Lady supposedly let it be known that the message on the jacket referred to her husband, and not to the immigrant children or the media.

Research contact: @wearewildfang

Mike Bloomberg proffers $80M to help Dems win midterms

June 22, 2018

Media mogul and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg—who ran and won three times on a Republican ticket in the largely democratic Big Apple, although he is an Independent—has approved a plan to spend at least $80 million of his personal fortune, estimated to be over $50 billion, on the upcoming midterm elections. His goal, as was first reported by The New York Times on June 20, is to help Democrats wrest control of the House from the GOP.

According to the Times, “By siding so emphatically with one party, … Bloomberg has the potential to upend the financial dynamics of the midterm campaign, which have appeared to favor Republicans up to this point.”

In a formal statement on his own website, Bloomberg noted, “Republicans in Congress have had almost two years to prove they could govern responsibly. They failed. As we approach the 2018 midterms, it’s critical that we elect people who will lead in ways that this Congress won’t— both by seeking to legislate in a bipartisan way, and by upholding the checks and balances that the Founding Fathers set up to safeguard ethics, prevent the abuse of power, and preserve the rule of law.

“And so this fall, I’m going to support Democrats in their efforts to win control of the House”

He also remarked, “I’ve never thought that the public is well-served when one party is entirely out of power, and I think the past year and half has been evidence of that .…[Republicans] have done little to reach across the aisle to craft bipartisan solutions ― not only on guns and climate change, but also on jobs, immigration, health care, and infrastructure. As a result, Congress has accomplished very little.”

The Democrats need 23 seats in November to regain a majority in the House. Support for Democratic House candidates has ticked up slightly to 50%, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS and released on June 20.

Research contact: @MikeBloomberg

Chances look slimmer for Singapore summit

May 23, 2018

The budding détente between North Korea and the United States hung in the balance on May 22, as the Trump administration continued pushing Pyongyang to denuclearize as a condition of the scheduled meeting in Singapore on June 12 with the hermit kingdom’s Leader Kim Jong Un.

Meanwhile, according to a report by CNN, North Korea has released three strongly worded statements—slamming Seoul and Washington for their joint military maneuvers earlier in the month and demanding that South Korea take action against defectors it claimed were sending anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets across the border.

As tempers on both continents continued to flare, South Korean President Moon Jae In flew into Washington, DC, to meet with President Trump in an effort to salvage the summit.

But should the diplomatic deliberations even be saved?

Those in the know say the White House staff is balking—both because North Korea seems to already have taken denuclearization off the table; and because Trump has not taken the time or trouble to learn about the nuclear program, something necessary to have a substantive conversation.

South Koreans, however, blame Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton for the problems with the summit, according to The Washington Post.

Bolton has said that his goal is for the North Korean denuclearization process to go like the one that took place in Libya in 2003, when Colonel Muammar Gaddafi agreed to give up his country’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. That didn’t end well for the Libyan leader, who eventually found himself in the midst of a coup that led to his capture and execution.

While Trump continues to hold firm on the denuclearization demands, about three-quarters of Americans (77%) approve of his original decision to meet with Kim Jong Un, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS and released on May 10.  Trump’s approval rating for handling the situation with North Korea has jumped ten points since late March.

At press time, there were no reports coming out of the POTUS’s meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae.

Research contact: @jgriffiths

48% of U.S. viewers ‘very positive’ about Trump’s State of the Union address

February 1, 2018

In CNNinstant polling” results, nearly half (48%) of Americans who viewed President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address on January 30 said they had a “very positive” impression of the speech—down from 57% of  the audience after his first address, to match Barack Obama’s rating after his first State of the Union address.

Conducted on behalf of the news network by SSRS, the poll resulted in “ the lowest net positive rating for a State of the Union address since at least 1998, when CNN first asked the question,” the researchers stated. There is no equivalent poll for addresses before 1998.

There are some important caveats, the network pointed out: This survey reflected the views of only those who watched the speech-—not of all Americans. The poll was conducted among a group of Americans who said in prior interviews that they planned to watch the speech and were willing to be contacted after its conclusion. People who choose to watch a political speech tend to be more supportive of the speaker than the general population; this sample was about 7 points more Republican than the entire American population.

A narrow majority of viewers (54%) said they think Trump has the right priorities, down from 63% from a similar poll after his speech last year to a joint session of Congress. Not quite half (45%) said he hasn’t paid attention to the country’s most important problems. Still, fully 62% of respondents said they think his policies will move the country in the right direction.

Conversely, more than 40% of viewers said they were not confident in his abilities to carry out his duties as President.

Only 56% of viewers say they think his policies are headed in the right direction on immigration—down 6 points since his 2017 speech. His proposals on other issues rated higher: Roughly 80% of respondents said he has the right direction on infrastructure and 70% said he is going the right direction on the economy.

Research contact: @ryanstruyk

Melania Trump ditches Davos meeting

January 25, 2018

Just as President John F. Kennedy quipped, ”I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris,” during the couple’s trip abroad in 1961, current President Donald Trump might have commented about FLOTUS Melania Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week. However, the First Lady—who is more popular than her husband, according to findings of a poll released on January 20 by CNN—will not be at the conference, her office says, because of “a last-minute change of plans.”

Melania Trump enjoys a 47% favorable rating, while the POTUS’s approval number stands at 40%, according to the CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

Although her office offered her regrets, the First Lady has kept an extremely low profile this month, since news surfaced that her husband’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, made a $130,000 payment to ensure the silence of adult actor Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 electionwho nonetheless took the opportunity to talk about several hook-ups with Trump.

According to a story by the UK’s Independent newspaper, “After the story broke, [Melania Trump] accompanied the president to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in [Palm Beach] Florida, but she did not attend two dinners he hosted—one [for] former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and and another with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.”

On  January 20, the first anniversary of her husband’s inauguration, she shared an image of herself with a military escort before the swearing-in ceremony. The FLOTUS said the past year had been filled with “many wonderful moments” but did not mention President Trump.

Research contact: @KateBennett_DC

Men at work: 33% admit to sexual improprieties

January 12, 2018

Nearly half of U.S. working women say they have experienced some form of sexual harassment at least once in their careers, according to findings of a study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released last June.

But there has been little research about those responsible—that is, until The New York Times released results of its own poll on December 28.

In the new survey—conducted on behalf of the Times by Morning Consult online and by SSRS by telephone among a sample of more than 750 adult working men nationwide—about 33% of respondents said they had done something at work within the past year that would qualify as objectionable behavior or sexual harassment.

The most common type of action is what researchers call gender harassment. This includes telling crude jokes or stories and sharing inappropriate videos. About 25% of men self-identified as having done at least one of these things.

Another category is unwanted sexual attention: actions that include touching, making comments about someone’s body and asking colleagues on dates after they already have said no. About 10% of respondents reported such behavior.

Least common is sexual coercion, which includes pressuring people into sexual acts by offering rewards or threatening retaliation. Two percent of men said they had done such a thing recently.

And then there were men who had committed multiple types of harassing actions: In the Times polling, 12% of respondents said that they had either engaged in at least three of the listed actions in the past year, or performed the same action at least three times. Excluding jokes or remarks cuts that figure in half.

However, joking may by a “gateway behavior.” Men who admitted to telling sexual stories or jokes were about five times as likely to report other harassing behaviors.

The Times commented, “Some men were probably unwilling to tell the truth in the survey. But the results captured just how many admitted to some form of harassing behavior.”

“In general, frequency is the most important component,” Louise Fitzgerald, a leading researcher on sexual harassment, told the Times. “Even milder forms of harassment can be extremely damaging if they happen frequently and continue over time.”

The phenomenon cuts across demographic divides, the poll found. Harassing behaviors are committed by blue-collar and white-collar workers, Democrats and Republicans, the young and the old, the married and the unmarried, high earners and low ones, people who feel powerful at work and those who do not.


“Most harassment is not by high-profile celebrities,” Fitzgerald noted. “This is so common in places that are very far from the spotlight. This is endemic.”

Organizations play a big role in curbing or permitting harassment, according to a Times interview with Vicki Magley, a professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut. “Research finds that sexual harassment occurs when it is tolerated — that is, when policies are not enforced and when incidents are not taken seriously,” she said.

Men who worked in the food and beverage industry and in blue-collar jobs, as well as those who were white or Republicans, were more likely to acknowledge their own harassing behavior, the polling found.

So were those who described a feeling of resentment—saying that they were unappreciated by coworkers or superiors; or that colleagues received undeserved promotions.

Men with graduate degrees or strong disapproval of President Trump reported lower rates of harassing colleagues.

The online and phone surveys took place across three weeks from late November to mid-December, on days when sexual harassment dominated the news and on days when it did not. The results were about the same for each of those weeks.

Research contact: @jugal_k_patel

Most Americans believe North Korea can be contained

November 3, 2017

As President Donald Trump prepares for his first official trip to Asia this month, Americans are more likely than they were in September to think that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear aspirations can be contained without resorting to military action, according to results of a poll by CBS News.

Today, just 25% of American respondents think military action is needed to address the threat of nuclear bombardment by North Korea—an eight-point drop from the high of 33% two months ago.

According to the network news organization, the drop is primarily among independents and Republicans.  Now most Republicans think North Korea can be contained; in September, half of Republicans said military action was needed.

However, there is far less consensus about how President Trump is currently handling North Korea:  80% of Republicans approve, while 90% of Democrats and most independents disapprove.

By a measure of two-to-one, Americans think other countries in Asia, such as China and South Korea, should be the ones to take the lead in dealing with North Korea. Majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents all agree on this.

Overall, optimism that Americans of different political views can still come together and work out their differences has faded, CBS said.  Back in June – after a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress – more than half (55%) were optimistic. Now, 47% feel hopeful.

Pessimism has risen across party lines, but particularly among independents.

Americans are more likely to want their nation to be liked around the world for its policies (49%) than to be respected for its military power (39%).

The poll was conducted by telephone from October 27 through October 30, among a random sample of 1,109 adults nationwide.  Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS.

Research contact:

Forty-one percent predict middle class will get gouged by taxes

November 1, 2017

As Congress finally surfaces from its immersion in health care, in preparation for a deep dive into tax reform, CNN is releasing results of a poll conducted in late September on the network’s behalf by SSRS. Overall, the researchers say, the American public is interested in tax reform, but very wary of what President Donald Trump may have in mind—as no details on the plan have been released to date.

Many Americans agree with Trump’s contention that the tax laws deserve a major revamp. All told, CNN reported, 68% of respondents said they believe that the federal income tax system needs either a complete overhaul (35%) or major changes (33%). That cuts across party lines—including 77% of Republicans, 70% of independents and 62% of Democrats.

Asked about the impact of a reform effort led by Trump, though, about four in 10 (40%) say they expect—and fear—that taxes for the middle class will rise, while just 25% say middle class taxes will drop. Likewise, more respondents predict that their own personal taxes will go up under this effort than drop (34% to 21%).

By contrast, more see tax decreases on the horizon for big businesses (47%) and for the wealthy (42%).

Predictably enough, these views are divided by party. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say their own taxes will drop under a Trump-led plan (40% among Republicans, 11% among Democrats) and that middle-class taxes will decline (52% among Republicans, 9% among Democrats). But Democrats are more convinced that the wealthy will see a decline in their tax bills (61% vs. 19% of Republicans) and that big businesses also will get a break (57% vs. 36% among Republicans).

The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS by telephone September 17 to 20 among a random national sample of 1,053 adults. The margin of sampling error for results among the full sample is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.

Research contact: @jennagiesta