07/31/2014 06:51 pm ET

HUFFPOLLSTER: Most Conservatives No Longer See Supreme Court As Liberal

Hisham Ibrahim via Getty Images

Liberals increasingly think the Supreme Court is conservative. Tea party supporters have largely positive views of possible 2016 GOP nominees for president. And many people think the NFL let Ray Rice off too easy. This is HuffPollster for Thursday, July 31, 2014.

PARTISANS' VIEWS OF SUPREME COURT'S IDEOLOGY SHIFT - Pew Research: "Overall views of the U.S. Supreme Court – and its ideology – have changed only modestly since last measured in April before the court’s end-of-term decisions, including the Hobby Lobby ruling that limits the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive requirement. But among liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans there have been sizable changes in opinions of the court; more liberals now view the Supreme Court as conservative – and fewer conservatives view it as liberal – than did so just a few months ago….Liberal Democrats are much more likely to see the court as conservative after this term’s rulings; fully 60% now say this, compared to less than half in April (47%). Today, liberal Democrats are nearly twice as likely as the public overall to say the court is conservative. By contrast, there has been an 11 percentage point decline in the share of conservative Republicans who view the Supreme Court as liberal (from 53% in April to 42% currently)....The court’s favorability decline since April has been driven by a shift in views among Democrats. Roughly half of Democrats (52%) view the Supreme Court favorably, down from 63% in April. There has been little movement in favorability ratings among Republicans or independents." [Pew]

Other surveys also showed a divide in partisan reactions - A Gallup poll on the Supreme Court, released in mid-July, also found a significant decline in Democrats' favorable rating of the Court, which dropped 14 points since September 2013 -- but saw that offset by the GOP's opinion improving by 21 points. A YouGov survey in the immediate wake of the Hobby Lobby decision found Democrats souring on the Court, while Republicans' and independents' views improved. [Gallup, YouGov]

TEA PARTIERS HAVE NO CLEAR FAVORITES FOR 2016 - Kathy Frankovic: "Tea Party supporters [generally] like all the potential 2016 GOP Presidential nominees, though they like some more than others. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is top-rated, but Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz also score highly. Several others are close behind the leaders. However, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is comparatively disadvantaged. A majority of Tea Party have a favorable opinion of the Governor, but 41% are unfavorable, the highest percentage of Tea Party supporters saying this about any Republican hopeful. A third are unfavorable towards Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. The relatively low scores for Christie and Bush indicate Tea Party supporters’ disdain for more traditional Republicans. Another indication of that disdain is the negative rating they give to the GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain. Less than half (44%) have a favorable view of McCain; 51% are unfavorable. [YouGov]

AMERICANS WANT HEAVIER PENALTIES FOR NFL PLAYERS WHO COMMIT DOMESTIC ABUSE - HuffPollster: "The NFL has been slammed for its decision to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for only two games after he allegedly punched his then-fiancèe, Janay Palmer, during a fight in February. A new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds that a large majority of Americans believe Rice and other football players caught assaulting a wife or girlfriend should be subject to much harsher punishments than the one he received. Asked to choose among several possible punishments for NFL players caught assaulting their partner, 23 percent of respondents said these players should receive a lifetime ban from the NFL and 31 percent said they should be suspended for a full season. Another 17 percent chose suspension lasting half a season. Only 12 percent supported suspension for a few games, and 5 percent said no punishment or a fine." [HuffPost]

THE NEW YORK TIMES' DAVID LEONHARDT DISCUSSES THE DECISION TO USE ONLINE POLLING - Leonhardt, in an email interview with Chris Cillizza: "The Times has long included Internet polling in our election models, as do other well-known models. Our Upshot Senate model has included online polls since we launched it in April, and the FiveThirtyModel model included online polls when it was at The Times (as it presumably will in the future)....the best phone polls and the best online surveys have different challenges. Phone polls tend to have low response rates among younger people. (How often do you think 25-year-olds answer calls on their mobile phone from numbers starting with 888?) Older people are less likely to be online. As is often the case, you get a more accurate picture of reality when you are able to look at it from different perspectives. That’s why looking at both the most rigorous online polls and most rigorous phone polls gives you a better sense of a campaign than looking at only one….I don’t think anyone knows what the future of public-opinion research will look like, but it seems very likely to continue changing." [WashPost]

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

-A new poll gives Obama an all-time low approval rating in Ohio. [Quinnipiac]

-Democracy Corps (D) finds negative views of super PACs. [DemCorps]

-Sabato's Crystal Ball shifts the Kansas and Hawaii gubernatorial races to tossups. [UVA Center for Politics]

-Philip Bumps tracks Georgia's partisanship in the context of other states' partisan shifts. [WashPost]

-Jonathan Bernstein argues that Republicans don't have a lock on the House. [Bloomberg]

-Kansas Democrats are hoping to win the governorship through data targeting. [NYT]

-The fist bump has yet to take off in either the U.S. or Britain. [YouGov]

Mark Blumenthal is off until the end of next week.