POLITICS
12/09/2014 09:04 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

HUFFPOLLSTER: Reactions To Eric Garner, Michael Brown Case Differ

Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

The lack of indictments in the death of Eric Garner unites Americans more than the case in Ferguson. Hillary Clinton and the Republican Party both get some good news about their popularity. And President Obama's immigration-related bounce among Latinos fades slightly. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, December 9, 2014.

REACTIONS DIFFER TO GRAND JURY DECISIONS ON ERIC GARNER, MICHAEL BROWN - Pew Research: "The public has very different reactions to the recent grand jury decisions in two police-related deaths that have sparked protests in cities across the country. By 50% to 37%, Americans say a grand jury made the right decision not to charge former Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. By contrast, a majority (57%) says a grand jury in New York City made the wrong decision in not charging a police officer in the death of Eric Garner. Just 22% viewed that as the right decision. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted Dec. 3-7 among 1,507 adults, finds that race is not widely viewed as being a major factor in either decision. About a quarter (27%) say race was a major factor in the Brown decision, and 16% say it was a minor factor; about half (48%) say it was not a factor at all in the ruling….Beyond the racial divisions in immediate reactions to the grand jury decisions, blacks and whites also diverge in opinions about future relations between local police forces and minorities in communities around the country." [Pew, USA Today]

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Bloomberg poll shows similar pattern - Aaron Blake: "Ferguson, Mo., has captured the nation's attention for the better part of the past four months. But in just a few short days in the national news, Eric Garner has become the political rallying point that Ferguson never has. A new [Bloomberg] poll shows considerably more unhappiness with the lack of an indictment in Garner's case than in the one in Ferguson. And, perhaps most important as far as its impact goes, that unhappiness is significantly less connected to a person's race….Americans as a whole favor no indictment in Ferguson. In Garner's case, they overwhelmingly think there should have been one. And in fact, just one-quarter of Americans agree with the grand jury's decision not to indict. The differences in the two cases are almost completely because of whites." [WashPost]

CLINTON SCORES HIGH ON PERSONAL TRAITS - Lisa Lerer: "Former first lady, senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would enter the presidential race with positive views of her past experience and personal traits, making her a formidable contender against lesser-known Republican rivals. Greater numbers of Americans view her as a strong leader, who has a better vision for the future, shares their values, and empathizes with their concerns, according to a new Bloomberg Politics Poll....With poll participants saying she is better than her potential Republican opponents on these four qualities, including the traditionally Republican strength of leadership, Clinton is positioned quite differently than President Barack Obama was during his re-election bid...One show of weakness for Clinton: 52 percent viewed her ties to Wall Street as a positive—a ranking that could provide an opening to a populist primary challenger or an avenue for attacks by Republicans." [Bloomberg]

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And GOP ratings hit 5-year high - Margaret Talev: "Republicans are enjoying a five-year peak in popularity after their wins in the midterm elections, according to a new Bloomberg Politics poll, while President Barack Obama struggles with his lowest job approval rating, at 39 percent. The White House also is facing a backlash from independents who oppose his unilateral moves on immigration, and just 24 percent say the country is on the right track, the lowest rating since September 2011." [Bloomberg]

WHITE AGE GAP ON OBAMA NARROWS SINCE 2009 - Frank Newport: "President Barack Obama's job approval rating in 2014 among white 18- to 29-year-olds is 34%, three points higher than among whites aged 30 and older. This is the narrowest approval gap between the president's previously strong support base of white millennials and older white Americans since Obama took office. By contrast, the president's approval rating was nine percentage points higher among younger whites in 2009, and 10 points higher in 2010. Additionally, while the president's approval among younger whites matched his overall national rating in his first two years in office, it is now eight points below the national average. These data underscore the gradual erosion of the disproportionately strong support Obama received from young white voters as he took office in 2009 and ran for re-election in 2012." [Gallup]

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Bump among Latinos narrows - Jonathan Bernstein notes that Gallup's latest weekly average of Obama's approval rating among Hispanic Americans receded from 68 to 60 percent since last week: "last week's spike up (to 68) probably just noise...But seems likely that immigration did push Latino BHO approval up some, maybe ~5 points, for now." [Gallup Approval Center, @jbview here and here]

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

-Eric McGhee explores whether polls are biased against winners. [WashPost]

-Exit polls show Scott Walker was the most polarizing incumbent governor in 2014, reports Craig Gilbert. [Journal Sentinel]

-Seth Masket remembers that the civil rights protesters of the 1950s and 1960s faced as much public derision as the Ferguson and New York protesters do today. [Pacific Standard]

-Israeli polls show how Benjamin Netanyahu could lose, J.J. Goldberg reports. [Forward]

-Most Americans feel better informed thanks to the internet. [Pew Research]

-Rick Ridder (D) ponders the pitfalls of micro-targeting. [RCP]

-Clarity Labs (D) will be crowdsourcing the drafting of a one-day national automated telephone survey at the RootsCamp conference. [@jhagner]

-Vi Hart and Nicky Case explain segregation with a simulation. [Polygons via FlowingData]

-The American Association for Public Opinion Research has a newly designed website. [AAPOR]

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