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HUFFPOLLSTER: Worldwide Opinion Sours On Russia

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Negative ratings of Russia are on the rise worldwide. Americans want to hear less from Sarah Palin. And the Washington Post puts its charts before the horse. This is HuffPollster for Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

OPINIONS OF PUTIN, RUSSIA SINK - Pew Research: "As the European Union considers further sanctions on Russia for its role in the standoff in Ukraine, Russia is broadly unpopular in many countries around the globe and increasingly disliked in Europe and the United States. President Vladimir Putin’s leadership also continues to inspire little confidence worldwide, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The former Cold War power’s negative global image contradicts Russians’ expectations that Putin’s actions in Ukraine would improve their country’s international reputation….Negative ratings of Russia have increased significantly since 2013 in 20 of the 36 countries surveyed in both years, decreased in six and stayed relatively similar in the remaining 10….Majorities or pluralities in 25 of the 44 countries surveyed say they lack confidence in Putin to do the right thing in world affairs." [Pew Research]

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'MODERATE VOTERS ARE A MYTH' - Ezra Klein: "There is no creature more revered in American politics than the moderate voter. Unlike the ideologues and partisans destroying politics, the moderate is free of cant and independent of party...The only problem is moderates are largely a statistical myth — and efforts to empower them may, accidentally, lead to the rise of more extreme candidates. What happens, explains David Broockman, a political scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, is that surveys mistake people with diverse political opinions for people with moderate political opinions. The way it works is that a pollster will ask people for their position on a wide range of issues: marijuana legalization, the war in Iraq, universal health care, gay marriage, taxes, climate change, and so on. The answers will then be coded as to whether they're left or right. People who have a mix of answers on the left and the right average out to the middle — and so they're labeled as moderate....Digging into a 134-issue survey, Broockman and coauthor Doug Ahler find that 70.1 percent of all respondents, and 71.3 percent of self-identified moderates, took at least one position outside the political mainstream. Moderates, in other words, are just as likely as anyone else to hold extreme positions: it's just that those positions don't all line up on the left or the right." [Vox]

RETURNS SUPPORT THEORY BLACK VOTERS HELPED COCHRAN - Nate Cohn and Derek Wills: "The precinct level returns in Hinds County bolster the theory that a surge in black, Democratic turnout allowed Senator Thad Cochran to defeat Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party-backed state senator, in last month’s Republican primary runoff in Mississippi. Mr. Cochran won by 6,693 votes. More than half — a net 3,532 votes — came from the most Democratic precincts in Jackson’s Hinds County, where President Obama won a combined 97.8 percent of the vote in 2012, according to figures released Tuesday night by the Mississippi secretary of state. The surge in turnout was clearest in overwhelmingly black precincts; turnout sometimes increased by more than 3,000 percent over the initial Republican primary...The data strongly suggests that higher black and Democratic turnout covered the entirety of Mr. Cochran’s margin of victory. " [NYT]

VOTERS WISH SARAH PALIN WOULD BE QUIET - Mark Murray: "More than half of the country has a message for former Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin: enough.That's the result from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll in which 54 percent of voters say they've heard enough from Palin and would prefer that she be less outspoken in political debates. That includes nearly two-thirds of Democrats, a majority of independents, and even nearly four-in-10 Republicans." [NBC]

AMERICANS SPLIT ON FUTURE OF THE TEA PARTY - Rachel Lienesch: "his primary season has been a very mixed bag for the tea party. Just two weeks after one tea party-backed candidate unexpectedly took down Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), another lost to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) in a runoff election that most believed Cochran was likely to lose. Americans, too, are unsure about both the tea party's current strength and its future prospects, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. Almost 30 percent of respondents said the tea party's influence in American politics has increased over the past two years, while 27 percent said its influence has stayed the same and another 20 percent said its influence has decreased. There was even less agreement about how influential the tea party will be in the coming years. Twenty-six percent of Americans predicted the tea party's influence in politics will increase in the next two years, 24 percent said its influence will stay the same, and 23 percent said the tea party's influence will decline." [HuffPost]

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

-A quarter of veterans, including 60 percent of female veterans, know someone who suffered sexual trauma in the military. [Gallup]

-Rick Scott leads Charlie Crist by 2 points in the most recent Florida governor poll. [SurveyUSA]

-Harry Enten doubts the Republican's choice to hold their 2016 convention in Cleveland will help them in Ohio. [538 here and here]

-Mark Mellman (D) says the polarization identified by the Pew Research study is less about extreme issue positions than about "more ideological and partisan coherence or more harboring animus toward political opponents." [The Hill]

-Lee Miringoff notes incumbent Cuomo favored by New York voters who say their state needs major changes. [Marist]

-Steve Koczela reports on the a near doubling of in voters unaffiliated with either political party in Massachusetts. [Commonwealth]

-David R. Mayhew looks at what Obama can expect from his last Congress. [WashPost]

-Zeynep Tufekci says FiveThirtyEight's failure to predict Germany beating Brazil carries some lessons for statistical predictions. [Medium]

-Americans' interest in the World Cup fell after the U.S. team lost. [YouGov]

-95 percent of Nigerians see Boko Haram as a major threat. [Gallup]

-President Obama meets a man in a horse head mask, in five charts. [WashPost]