Welcome to Pollapalooza, our occasional poll column.
Today we’re experimenting with a new format – we’ve rounded up recent polls that caught our attention, including those on some of the week’s top stories: extreme weather, US involvement in the war between Israel and Hamas, the bipartisan border deal, the Super Bowl and the Day Valentine’s Day.
Americans are worried about extreme weather
This week, most of California was hit by separate but related storms that caused strong winds in the north and flooding and mudslides in the south. The effects of climate change, including warmer ocean temperatures and more moisture in the atmosphere, are undoubtedly contributing to more frequent extreme weather events like these. And as local and national authorities mobilize to respond to the damage, this is just the latest reminder of how climate change has left some communities unprepared for the shifts in weather patterns caused by the warming planet.
Polls show that Americans’ doubts about whether climate change is real have diminished. The majority of Americans think climate change is happening (72 percent) and is caused primarily by humans (58 percent), according to the latest quarterly poll from the Yale Climate Change Communication Program, conducted in the fall. . A slight majority of 53 percent understand that “most scientists think global warming is happening”. The percentage of Americans who hold each of these views has slowly increased over the past 15 years, but has remained fairly stable in recent years, according to the Yale survey. These numbers also vary by state: in California, 77% of residents surveyed think global warming is happening.
Understandably, extreme weather events are causing some anxiety among Americans. In a CNN poll in November, 58 percent of adults said they were concerned about the effects of extreme weather on their communities and 63 percent were concerned about the risks of climate change. In that survey, a large majority, ranging from 77% to 84%, thought that each of several specified entities had a responsibility to reduce climate change – including the US and Chinese governments, individuals and humanity as a whole, and specific industries that may have contributed to the use of fossil fuels, such as the energy and automobile industries.
Despite this, the Yale survey suggests that Americans still view climate risks as something distant from their everyday lives. Forty-six percent of respondents thought Americans were being harmed “right now” by global warming, but that number has declined from previous quarters, including a high of 55 percent in fall 2021, after a year of events unprecedented extreme weather. Fifty-six percent said they had not personally experienced the effects of global warming. More than two-thirds of Americans think climate change will harm plant and animal species, future generations, and people in developing countries, but half or fewer think it will harm their communities or themselves. And for now, the potential for mass climate migration remains a question for the future: just 1 in 10 say they have considered moving due to the effects of global warming, a percentage unchanged from last year.
Support for Israel’s war against Hamas is waning
This week marked four months since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. Americans’ views on the war are complicated and somewhat contradictory. This is likely due in part to Americans’ generally poor understanding of foreign affairs, as well as inconsistencies in the types and wording of questions asked. But most high-quality polls show that Americans are starting to grow tired of Israel’s scorched-earth tactics in the Gaza Strip and U.S. involvement in the conflict.
In a recent AP-NORC poll, 50 percent of adults said they thought Israel’s military response had gone “too far,” while 31 percent thought it had been right and 15 percent thought it had not gone far enough. A December Quinnipiac poll showed a more divided public, with 43 percent saying they approved of the way Israel was responding to the October 7 terrorist attack carried out by Hamas and 42 percent saying they disapproved. These numbers are slightly below those of the November Quinnipiac poll, which put Americans’ approval of Israel’s response at between 46% and 40%.
American concern about the Israeli government’s actions in the Gaza Strip appears to have increased somewhat since the start of the war: for example, a YouGov poll conducted immediately after the initial attacks showed that only 29 percent of Americans thought Israel was deliberately attack Palestinians. civil areas. But in the latest YouGov/University of Massachusetts poll, respondents were split 50-50 on whether the State of Israel was committing genocide against the Palestinian people living in Gaza.
Despite sharply divided public opinion, a growing share of Americans appear to agree that they do not want the United States to become further involved in the war. The December Quinnipiac poll revealed a 9 percentage point drop from the previous month (from 54 percent to 45 percent) in support for sending military aid to Israel. And in a CNN poll conducted in late January, a plurality of 37 percent said the U.S. was currently doing the right amount to help Israel, while 33 percent said it was doing too much and 29 percent said it was do very little.
Republicans Scuttled a Widely Popular Border Agreement
The biggest story on Capitol Hill this week was the success of a long-awaited deal to bolster border security, make it harder for migrants to qualify for asylum and send foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Prospects for the bill appear bleak, despite months of bipartisan negotiations and, according to a YouGov/Blueprint poll conducted in late January, strong public support.
That poll found that the proposed deal was broadly popular among registered voters across the political spectrum. Fifty-eight percent said they supported such a deal, and just 22 percent opposed it – including net support of +46 points among Democrats, +34 among independents and +23 among Republicans.
Immigration measures were particularly popular, with 84 percent in favor of increasing resources for border security and 75 percent in favor of tightening asylum restrictions. Aid to Ukraine was the only central policy provision of the agreement that was not favored by a majority of both parties, with just 37% of Republicans supporting it.
But the inclusion of aid to Ukraine was not the main reason Republicans in Congress failed to reach the deal. Former President Donald Trump and House conservatives, including Speaker Mike Johnson, staunchly opposed a bipartisan deal from the start, indicating they would settle for nothing less than a full border closure. And while they have denied that is the case, Republicans certainly also have in mind the political calculation that striking any border deal with Democrats could help take immigration off the table as an election-year issue and rob Trump of a leverage point. fundamental discussion.
America’s love affair with the Super Bowl continues
This Sunday, millions of Americans will tune into Super Bowl LVIII to watch the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas. In a January survey conducted by Siena College/St. Bonaventure University’s Jandoli School of Communication, 75 percent of respondents said they plan to watch the Super Bowl, the same share that said the same in its 2023 survey. (With more than 115 million viewers, last year’s Super Bowl was the most-watched broadcast in American history.) Half of Americans in the survey said football is their favorite sport, which perhaps explains why 53% in an August Pew Research poll said football is “America’s sport.” , compared to just 27% who chose baseball. Americans love the Super Bowl so much that, according to the Siena/St. In the Bonaventure poll, 36 percent consider Super Bowl Sunday a national holiday and 50 percent said they would support offering the Monday after the game as a paid day off from work.
Of course, it’s not just the game that makes the Super Bowl America’s most beloved annual television event. According to a survey conducted this week by CivicScience, 44% of those planning to watch the game said they were very or somewhat excited about Super Bowl ads. And at Siena/St. Bonaventure survey, only about half of respondents (52 percent) said the game was the most interesting part of the Super Bowl, while 19 percent said it was the commercials and 21 percent said it was the halftime show. And as for who they want to win, just over half of Americans (53 percent) say it doesn’t matter, according to a YouGov/CBS News poll conducted last week. When it comes to the Super Bowl, it’s about more than winners and losers.
Valentine’s Day may be a fake holiday, but it’s a very real opportunity for researchers to ask Americans about their love lives. According to YouGov, 60% of adults were in a romantic or sexual relationship at the end of January, including 40% who were married and 10% who were living together but not married. The survey also found that the vast majority of adults have, at some point in their lives, been on a date (88 percent), been in a romantic relationship (86 percent), had sex (88 percent) and been in love (89 percent). Percent). ). Fewer have used an online dating site or app (33%), been on a blind date (34%), or been in a long-distance relationship (52%).
As for who they were dating, 55% of adults reported they had ever been in a serious relationship with someone at least five years older or younger than them, and 39% said they had ever been in a relationship with a person of another race or ethnicity. . Slightly fewer said they had seriously dated someone at least a foot taller or shorter than them (32 percent) or someone from the opposite political party (31 percent).
Yes, yes, that’s interesting and all, but let’s get to the point. The majority (51 percent) of adults said they had a one-night stand and 38 percent said they had a “friend with benefits.” Twenty-two percent said they had been in a love triangle and 11 percent said they had been in a polyamorous or open relationship (while 55 percent said polyamory was morally wrong). A staggering 58% said they were cheated on, but, naturally, only 34% actually agreed to cheat.