Meanwhile, 59 percent say things are going badly, a number up nine points since the last poll in April. The opinions were along a partisan divide, as well as a difference of opinion between younger and older people.
“There’s a slight generational divide, with 46 percent of those under age 50 saying things are going well. That number drops to 36 percent for those 50 and older,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
Americans are also pessimistic about the economy, the poll showed. Thirty-nine percent believe the economy is still declining, and just 24 percent believed a recovery is occurring. Meanwhile, 36 percent said they do not believe there is a recovery going on, but still think conditions are becoming stable.
The numbers were similar to those from a CNN/ORC International survey in October, when 59 percent predicted poor economic conditions a year from now, while 40 percent said the economy would be in good shape next year, marking the lowest level of optimism from the public in two years.
Partisan and geographic divides also came into play when it came to the economy. Forty-five percent of people who are 50 or older say the economy remains in a downturn, but 34 percent of people younger than 50 said the economy is declining.
The poll also found that 53 percent of those polled said Obama is not honest or trustworthy, marking the first time that the CNN/ORC polling found a clear majority questioning the president’s integrity, CNN said.
Forty percent of the 843 U.S. adults surveyed in the telephone poll early last week said Obama can manage the government effectively, down 12 percentage points from June.
The poll was conducted Nov. 18-20 amid ongoing problems plaguing the president’s signature domestic policy achievement, the healthcare law widely known as Obamacare.
HealthCare.gov, the administration’s web portal for offering private health coverage to uninsured Americans in 36 of the 50 U.S. states, has been at the center of a political firestorm over technical problems that overwhelmed its Oct. 1 launch and have dogged the system ever since.
In addition, insurance companies have canceled millions of existing insurance policies because of the law, raising questions about Obama’s promise that people would be able to keep their policies if they were happy with their coverage.
The pollsters said the survey, conducted by ORC International with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, recorded the worst scores for Obama during his five years in office in key categories.
It found that 56 percent of respondents said they did not admire Obama, disagreed with him on important issues and said he does not inspire confidence, while 53 percent said they do not see him as a strong and decisive leader, CNN said.
But the poll also found that the majority of those surveyed said the president still has a vision for the country’s future and cares about average people. Seventy percent said he is likable.
Another poll conducted by the Gallup organization put Obama’s overall job approval rating at 41 percent, according to the latest weekly findings for Nov. 11-17, down from 45 percent in September, before the healthcare law rollout.
By contrast, liberal Democrats have continued to the support the law at very high levels, 78 percent in the latest survey.
But the shift among moderates and conservatives is causing an overall drop in party support for the health care reform law, according to the poll 1,002 adults taken July 18-21.
Just 58 percent of Democrats now support the law, the lowest measure of support since the law was enacted. Last year at this time, 68 percent of Democrats voiced their support for it. Clement notes that the latest results are similar to those found in recent surveys by Fox News and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The poll suggested the trend downward in Democratic support could be driven by the administration’s recent announcement that the employer mandate requiring companies with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance is being delayed by one year.
According to the Post/ABC poll, 48 percent of survey respondents said the delay means the law is so flawed it should be dropped, but 46 percent dismissed the delay as something that just happens when changes are made to a complex system.
Gay activists love to point to the changes in public opinion regarding same-sex “marriage,” announcing triumphantly that this is a sign of moral and even spiritual advancement. In reality, it is part of a larger trend toward immorality, a sign of moral bankruptcy and spiritual apostasy.
According to a May 13 Gallupreport, “Just three years ago, support for gay marriage was 44 percent. The current 53 percent level of support is essentially double the 27 percent in Gallup’s initial measurement on gay marriage, in 1996.”
But let’s put that data into a larger, cultural perspective. A May 20 Gallup report is headlined, “In U.S., Record-High Say Gay, Lesbian Relations Morally OK,” with the subtitle reading, “Americans’ tolerance of a number of moral issues up since 2001.”
What exactly is meant by “tolerance”?
The report states, “Americans’ views toward a number of moral issues have shifted significantly since 2001. Their acceptance of gay and lesbian relations has increased the most, up 19 percentage points in the past 12 years—to a record high of 59 percent today. Americans’ tolerance toward having a baby outside of marriage is also now much greater, up 15 points since 2001 [actually, 2002], to the current 60 percent.”
Oh yes, “tolerance” is alive and well!
So, the America that increasingly deems homosexual relationships to be morally acceptable is the same America that increasingly deems having children out of wedlock (once called “illegitimacy”) to be morally acceptable. And this is supposed to be a sign of progress?
According to the poll, American approval of fornication—or, as the poll put it, “sex between an unmarried man and woman”—was up 10 percent (from 53 percent to 63 percent), while support for polygamy actually doubled, from 7 percent to 14 percent (keep your eye on that stat in the coming years). This is something to celebrate?
In 2001, Gallup didn’t even ask the question of the moral acceptability of teenagers having sexual relationships, but in the current poll, only 63 percent found it morally wrong, while 32 percent expressed their moral approval. How enlightening!
The pollsters used the following script: “I’m going to read you a list of issues. Regardless of whether or not you should think it should be legal, for each one, please tell me whether you personally believe that in general it is morally acceptable or morally wrong.”
Interestingly, while the word sex was used with reference to “sex between an unmarried man and woman” and “sex between teenagers,” and while the word affair was used with reference to “married men and women having an affair,” no such explicit or derogatory term was used with regard to homosexual practice. Rather, that was referred to as “gay or lesbian relations.”
I wonder if the response would have been different if the pollsters had asked about “two men or two women having sex”—unless, of course, “gay and lesbian relations” are all merely platonic. (Please forgive my sarcasm.)
But I digress. What is clear is that American sexual morals are in steady decline, and there is very little that shames us these days. After all, this is the nation in which a young woman’s quickest ticket to fame is a best-selling, graphic sex tape. Sometimes the girl’s parents even gush with pride at their daughter’s achievements, and at the risk of sounding trite, we can honestly say that what used to shame us now makes us famous.
It is against this backdrop that public approval for same-sex relationships continues to increase.
And let’s not forget that the same media that incessantly pushes the cause of gay activism also promotes shows like Teen Mom, glamorizing young women who have children out of wedlock, along with shows like Big Love and Sister Wives, normalizing and even celebrating polygamy. And this has no effect on the public’s perceptions?
Leading the way in these changing views toward gay and lesbian relations is the younger generation, aged 18-29. According to Gallup, in 1996, 41 percent of them supported same-sex “marriage”; today, that number is up to 70 percent. But this is the same age group that believes that roughly 30 percent of the population is gay or lesbian—an error of 1,000 percent! (The best studies put the number at roughly 3 percent.) Does the media have nothing to do with these skewed perspectives?
We should also remember that Barna polls conducted over the last 15 years indicate that only 0.5 percent of Americans aged 18-23 held to what Barna defined as a biblical worldview, in contrast with about 10 percent of the population as a whole. Is it any surprise, then, that they are so strongly supportive of same-sex relationships?
As for our country’s increasing “tolerance,” it is not happening quickly enough for 18-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt and her family. She has been arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl, one which her father says was consensual.
The Daily Kos reports, “Florida teen Kaitlyn Hunt, 18, is seeing her young life turned upside down and her future jeopardized simply because she fell in love. Unfortunately for her, she fell in love with a younger girl who has vindictive bigots for parents.”
Her father, Steven Hunt, wants prosecutors “to drop the two charges filed against his daughter in February. A rainbow-colored ‘Stop the hate, free Kate’ page on the online petition site Change.org had more than 56,500 supporters calling for prosecutors to drop the charges Monday afternoon, and a similar ‘Free Kate’ Facebook group page had more than 30,000 members.”
Well, just give it a little more time. Soon enough, these things will be accepted too. Immorality is trending.
Michael Brown is author of The Real Kosher Jesus and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrownon Twitter.
Barack Obama has maintained a sizable advantage over Mitt Romney in trust to handle a major crisis and regained his lead in being seen as the stronger leader, wielding the benefits of incumbency to stay competitive, economic discontent aside, in the razor-close 2012 election.
Obama also has managed essentially an even split with Romney in views of which candidate has better ideas on the size and role of government – another case, as with the economy, on which Romney has been unable to capitalize fully on a vulnerability of the president’s.
Romney’s held his ground nonetheless, notably with record levels of support within the Republican Party and broad backing in some of its key constituencies, and in the final weekend of the race the contest remains deadlocked, with 49 percent support for Obama among likely voters, 48 percent for Romney in the latest ABC News/Washington Post daily tracking poll.
There’s no clear evidence that Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy has directly helped him; while he holds a 10-point lead over Romney in trust to handle a major crisis, 52-42 percent, that’s the same as it was earlier this fall, long before the storm struck.
Still, Obama has improved in a related gauge: This poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that he now leads Romney by 6 percentage points among likely voters, 50-44 percent, in being seen as the stronger leader. That re-establishes an edge for Obama that Romney had reeled in to a nonsignificant 2 points after the first presidential debate.
A third result further underscores the difficulties Romney’s experienced in achieving a clear breakthrough. Earlier ABC/Post polling found a broad sense that Obama favors a larger government, while Romney is seen as favoring a smaller one; the latter is a view most likely voters profess to share. Yet asked in this poll who has better ideas about the right size and role of government, it’s a 48-45 percent split, Romney-Obama – not a significant difference, despite Romney’s built-in opportunity.
The economy is another such issue, indeed the key one. Romney opened a 9-point lead in trust to handle the economy the week before last, but his momentum didn’t hold; it’s a nonsignificant 3 points, 49-46 percent, now. And in economic empathy – better understanding the economic problems of average Americans – Obama holds a 6-point lead, again having recovered from a tighter division 10 days ago.
Certainly Obama faces difficulties of his own. His overall job approval rating is steady at 50 percent – passable enough to run competitively, but a good indication of why the contest is so close. There’s a strong correlation to vote preferences: Among likely voters who approve of Obama’s job performance, 93 percent back him for re-election; among disapprovers, 93 percent favor Romney. As a referendum on the incumbent, it’s a squeaker.
That brings it down to turnout (in an election in which 27 percent of likely voters say in fact they’ve already voted) and there Obama has a potential advantage. He holds a 7-point lead over Romney in the share of his supporters who say they’re very enthusiastic about their choice – 69 percent of Obama’s backers, 62 percent of Romney’s. That’s Obama’s biggest lead in strong support, numerically, since just after the conventions.
GROUPS – Romney, as noted, is remarkably strong in his base, with 97 percent support among Republicans; if it holds that would be an in-party high for any candidate in exit polls back to 1976. Obama has 91 percent of Democrats, losing more of them to Romney (7 percent) than Romney’s losses among Republicans (3 percent to Obama). Independents split essentially evenly, but Obama’s support among independents, 46 percent, matches his high.
Romney has 82 percent support among evangelical white Protestants, surpassing John McCain’s total in this group four years ago; their turnout this year is one potentially important element of the race. Among whites overall, it’s Romney by 57-39 percent; that compares to 55-43 percent for McCain vs. Obama four years ago.
The reason Obama won in 2008, while losing whites by 12 points, was his 80-18 percent support among nonwhites, a record 26 percent of the electorate four years ago. He has a similar margin now, 76-21 percent, including 96 percent support among blacks and 66 percent among Hispanics.
Among the many groups worth watching in a race this close, another is white women with college degrees. They back Obama by a 9-point margin in the latest data, while all other whites – less-educated white women, and white men regardless of their education – favor Romney by 60-35 percent. That difference contributes to the gender gap overall – Obama +7 among women, Romney +6 among men, a division, among the many, that keeps the popular vote estimate where it’s been: for all intents and purposes, a tie.
METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2012, among a random national sample of 2,069 likely voters, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 2.5 points, including design effect. (Question 12j and 13f-g were asked Nov. 1-Nov. 3 among 1,748 likely voters; those results have a 3-point error margin.) The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.
Partisan divisions, Democrats-Republicans-independents, are 33-29-34 percent among likely voters; they were 39-32-29 percent in the 2008 exit poll.
Obama pulled 50 percent of likely voters against Republican candidate Mitt Romney‘s 47 percent, a 3-point bump for the president from Pew’s last poll a week ago, which showed the candidates tied at 47 percent.
Pew’s numbers have closely followed the national trends over the last two months of the campaign. After convention season in early September, Pew picked up a large bump for the president, finding an8-point Obama lead. Then after the first presidential debate, Pew showed big movement for Romney,finding a 4-point lead in the former Mass. governor’s favor. Then as debate season ended, Obama and Romney had settled into a tie at 47 percent in Pew’s Oct. 28 poll. Now the president is ahead again, two days out.
“Nearly four-in-ten (39%) likely voters support Obama strongly, while 9% back him only moderately,” Pew pollster wrote. “A third of likely voters support Romney strongly, compared with 11% who back him moderately. In past elections, dating to 1960, the candidate with the higher percentage of strong support has usually gone on to win the popular vote.”
Pew pointed out that the president’s improved situation seems to draw from groups he’s found strength with all along, and Romney is lagging with his strongest:
Obama’s increases in likely voter support are most notable among women, older voters, and political moderates. Women now favor Obama by a 13-point margin (53% to 40%), up from six points a week ago and reflecting a shift toward Obama since early October. Right after the first presidential debate, the women’s vote was split evenly (47% each). Men, by comparison, favor Romney by a 50% to 42% margin, with little change in the past month.
Romney continues to lead among voters age 65 and older, by a nine point margin (51% to 42%) in the current survey. But that is only about half of the 19-point lead he held among seniors just a week ago. Political moderates now favor Obama by 21 points (56%-35%).
The Pew numbers also confirm the slight upward movement Obama saw in new national numbers from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, who found the president up 48 percent to Romney’s 47 percent.
The Pew poll used 2,709 live telephone interviews with likely voters via landline and cell-phone, conducted Oct. 31-Nov. 3. It has a sampling error of 2.2 percent.