POLITICS

HUFFPOLLSTER: Wide Support For Keystone XL Pipeline

03/19/2014 05:50 pm ET
Tom Pennington via Getty Images

Pew Research finds wide support for the Keystone pipeline. The increasing political independence of Millennials rests on the "leaners." And a lot of Americans suspect Congress is having a "joint session" of a different sort. This is HuffPollster for Wednesday, March 19, 2014.

WIDE SUPPORT FOR KEYSTONE - Pew: "As the Obama administration deliberates over whether to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built, the proposed pipeline continues to draw broad support from the public. Currently, 61% favor building the pipeline while 27% are opposed. These views have changed little over the past year. As previous surveys on the pipeline proposal have found, there is far more support for constructing the pipeline among Republicans (84% favor) and independents (61%) than among Democrats. About half of Democrats (49%) favor building the pipeline while 38% are opposed." [Pew Research]

AMERICANS THINK CONGRESS IS HIGH, DON'T REALLY CARE - HuffPollster, with Emily Swanson: "Americans suspect that a pretty significant number of their representatives in Congress smoke marijuana, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds. But the poll also shows that most aren't especially concerned about their representatives' toking habits. While one politician, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), estimated that about 5 percent of his colleagues currently use marijuana, most Americans have a, well, higher estimate: On average, Americans guess that 30 percent of lawmakers smoke weed….Most Americans, however, wouldn't feel very upset if they did find out their member of Congress gets high. A combined 53 percent say they would be not very (21 percent) or not at all (32 percent) upset if they knew their rep was smoking weed." [HuffPost]

ARE MILLENNIALS ALL THAT INDEPENDENT? - Mark Mellman (D): "Hidden among those who profess to be independent are a great many closet partisans. Party identification...is usually derived from a poll question asking whether respondents consider themselves a Democrat, a Republican or an independent... [Many] surveys go a step further, asking independents which party they lean toward. It turns out that a great many of those who call themselves independents at first blush nonetheless feel closer to one party or the other (a group we affectionately call “leaners”), leaving a small group of true independents...Despite their attempt to adopt the independent label, leaners vote very much like partisans, giving the vast majority of their support to the party to which they feel closer." [The Hill]

Pew Research found a rise in independents among Millennials - Mellman: "Analyzing independent leaners as if they were true independents, Pew’s report concludes, “In the past decade, the share of self-described independents with no firm ties to either party has grown in every generation, but it has increased the most among Millennials"...Indeed, under this definition, the percentage of millennials who are independents rose from 38 percent in 2004 to 50 percent today...Counting leaners as partisans, the way I would, presents a very different picture — one which Pew, to it its credit, clearly draws. Defined this way, in 2004 half of millennials were Democrats and half are today — no change. Republican identification among millennials dropped a mere 3 points, while the number of independents grew from 13 percent to 16 percent. If leaners are really independents, we have witnessed a revolution. If they are really partisans, not much has changed. And the truth is that things haven’t changed very much. [ibid]

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WEDNESDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Rasmussen finds Daines (R) leading Walsh (D) in Montana's U.S. Senate race. [Rasmussen]

-Most people don't feel they've been affected by Obamacare. [YouGov]

-Coloradans are happy with legalization, support gay marriage. [PPP (D)]

-Massachusetts residents increasingly back medical marijuana, oppose casinos. [WBUR]

-Jonathan Bernstein notes that Barack Obama's approval rating is now higher than George W. Bush's rating at a similar juncture in his presidency. [Bloomberg]

-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R)'s camp disputes a poll showing him losing his lead. [HuffPost]

-David Hill (R) ponders the irony "that partisanship is held in such collective disdain, but most of us are more partisan than ever." [The Hill]

-Andrew Gelman renews his explanation for why Asian Americans mostly vote for Democrats. [Monkey Cage]

-NRCC strategists praise their new voter database, aka "Honeybadger." [National Journal]

-New DC mayoral poll next week? [@MikeMartinezDC]

-Alex Madrigal talks to Jay Boice about the "(frankly) amazing" HuffPost March Madness Predict-o-Tron. [The Atlantic]

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