07/03/2013 02:41 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

POLLSTER UPDATE: Independence Day Edition


Americans react favorably to the Supreme Court on one decision, but not another. A key survey reminds us that the Obamacare employer mandate applies to few. And to honor America, we're taking off a little early today. This is the HuffPost Pollster update for Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

AMERICANS SUPPORT SCOTUS ON GAY MARRIAGE, NOT VOTING RIGHTS ACT - HuffPost: “Americans have mixed feelings about the Supreme Court's latest rulings, with a majority disapproving of its opinion on the Voting Rights Act, but in favor of two pro-gay marriage opinions, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll released Wednesday. Just a third said they agree with the court's decision to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act, while 51 percent disagreed. Knowledge about, and disapproval of, the VRA decision was especially high among African Americans, 71 percent of whom expressed disagreement with the ruling. Just 3 percent were undecided, while 16 percent of all adults had no opinion....The Supreme Court decisions to expand gay marriage were far more popular, with a majority approving of both. Fifty-one percent supported the ruling that allowed gay marriage in California, while 45 percent opposed it. Approval for the overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act, allowing same-sex couples to receive federal benefits, was even wider, with 56 percent approving and 41 percent disapproving." [HuffPost, see also ABC news article]

Opinions of Justices divide on party lines - Ben Henderson: “[N]ew YouGov research illustrates how partisan the perception of each of the Supreme Court Justices is. Across the general population, favorability of each individual Justice is more or less split, with most having the number of supporters and detractors differ only by a few percentage points.....While Republicans and Democrats do not agree in their assessment of any specific Justice, there were some Justices for which opinion diverged less than others. The two Justices for which there is the least divergence are John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy. Roberts is viewed better by Republicans and Kennedy is viewed better by Democrats, however the margin between Republican and Democratic support for both is much smaller than for the other Justices." [YouGov]

EMPLOYER MANDATE APPLIES TO FEW - On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced a one year delay before employers who do not provide health insurance will have to pay penalties, as mandated by the health reform law passed in 2009. The Kaiser Family Foundation took to remind us that their surveys show the penalty would apply to very few employers: "In 2012, 95% of employers with 50+ workers offered health benefits...At firms of this size, 98% of employees worked for a company that offered coverage." [@KaiserFamFound, 2012 KFF Employer Health Benefits Survey]

Obamacare attitudes revisited - The employer mandate news offers an opportunity to revisit public attitudes toward the health reform law, which Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) surveys have tracked on a monthly basis since its passage in April 2010. KFF provided this summary with their latest results: "As state and federal policymakers gear up for this summer's public awareness campaigns on the [Affordable Care Act], unfavorable views of the law still outnumber favorable ones, 43 percent to 35 percent, with about a quarter (23 percent) remaining undecided on the law. Views continue to diverge by partisan affiliation, with a majority of Democrats in favor of the law, a majority of Republicans opposed, and independents mirroring the public overall and titling negative. However, a notable share of the law's critics say that their unfavorable view is mainly because the law doesn't go far enough to change the health insurance and health care system. Overall, 33 percent of the public say they have an unfavorable view of the law because it goes too far, while 8 percent say they feel unfavorable because it doesn't go far enough. [KFF]


July 4 break -- Pollster Update will take a break for the holiday weekend. We'll be back on Monday. Meanwhile, here are a few, special, July 4-themed 'outliers':

-Nicole McCleskey shares a guide to Fourth of July ice cream preferences (by party). [POS]

-Fox News poll says the founders would be frowning. [Fox]

-The Census reminds us of its patriotic history. [Census.gov]

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

-Andrew Kohut looks at what current public opinion tells us about 2014 and 2016 (and joins Twitter!). [Pew Research, @AndrewKohut1]

-Micah Cohen reviews public opinion on abortion. [NYTimes]

-Web searches for "Zimmerman trial" getting "about 20x more Google traffic" than searches for "morsi egypt." [@fivethirtyeight]

-Mark Mellman says the politics of immigration makes approval of reform unlikely in the House. [The Hill]

-Rob Autry notes that approval of U.S. leadership is higher than average in Sub-Saharan Africa.[POS]

-Sean Trende responds to critiques of his three-part series on demographics and the GOP. [RCP]

-Texas voters like Ted Cruz, the Voting Rights Act and Paula Deen. [PPP]

-White people aren't racist, white people say. [Rasmussen, h/t @David_Smith348]

-Jon Silvan, CEO of Global Strategy Group, goes behind the headlines. [Gorkana]

-Lisa Grove, partner in Anzalone Liszt Grove, profiled for her work on gay rights and same sex marriage. [Victory]

-Six percent of Americans, including 15 percent of young men, use reddit. [Pew]

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