POLITICS
03/10/2017 08:30 am ET

HUFFPOLLSTER: Most Americans Oppose Transgender Bathroom Laws

A new poll finds widespread support for anti-discrimination laws.
chameleonseye via Getty Images

Most Americans are against legislating which bathrooms transgender people can use. Views of the Trump administration’s latest controversy are ― as usual ― polarized. And the nation’s purple counties are becoming an endangered species. This is HuffPollster for Friday, March 10, 2017.

MAJORITY OPPOSE TRANSGENDER BATHROOM RESTRICTIONS - PRRI, on a survey released Friday: “After plateauing in 2015, support for same-sex marriage has accelerated through 2016 and into early 2017. Today, more than six in ten (63%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally….There is broad public support for laws protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing. Seven in ten (70%) Americans favor laws that would provide these protections to LGBT people, compared to roughly one-quarter (26%) who oppose such laws….A majority (53%) of Americans oppose laws that would require transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth rather than their current gender identity. Nearly four in ten (39%) favor such laws. Notably, nearly one in ten (8%) Americans report no opinion on this issue.” [PRRI]

PRRI

How question wording may make a difference - Public opinion seems set against the idea of legislation meant to require people to use certain bathrooms. But questions that frame the issue in a different context sometimes show different results. A May 2016 Quinnipiac poll found that just 36 percent of voters thought “public schools should be required to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that are consistent with the gender they identify with,” while 56 percent thought they should not. A CBS/New York Times poll taken the same month found that 41 percent of Americans thought transgender people “should be allowed to use the public bathrooms of the gender they identify with,” with 46 percent saying they should “have to use the public bathrooms of the gender they were born as.” [Quinnipiac, CBS]

RESPONSES TO JEFF SESSIONS’ RUSSIA CONTROVERSY SPLIT ALONG POLITICAL LINES - HuffPollster: “Reactions to the controversy over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ communications with Russia fall largely along political lines, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds. Nearly 90 percent of voters who supported Hillary Clinton, but just 16 percent of those who voted for President Donald Trump, say it’s somewhat serious or very serious that Sessions failed to disclose during his confirmation hearing that he spoke last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Three-quarters of Clinton voters think Sessions should resign, while roughly the same percentage of Trump voters say he shouldn’t….Americans’ adherence to partisan cues is perhaps especially unsurprising in the Sessions controversy, given that less than one-third of the public says they’ve followed the story closely, and 41 percent that they’ve followed it not very closely or not closely at all….A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, like the HuffPost/YouGov poll, found respondents favoring Sessions’ resignation by a 9-point margin, with 51 percent of registered voters saying that Sessions should resign, and 42 percent that he should not resign.” [HuffPost]

AMERICA’S PURPLE COUNTIES ARE DISAPPEARING - David Wasserman: “More than 61 percent of voters cast ballots in counties that gave either Clinton or Trump at least 60 percent of the major-party vote last November. That’s up from 50 percent of voters who lived in such counties in 2012 and 39 percent in 1992 — an accelerating trend that confirms that America’s political fabric, geographically, is tearing apart….Of the nation’s 3,113 counties (or county equivalents), just 303 were decided by single-digit margins — less than 10 percent....The electorate’s move toward single-party geographic enclaves has been particularly pronounced at the extremes. Between 1992 and 2016, the share of voters living in extreme landslide counties quintupled from 4 percent to 21 percent.” [538, additional thoughts from political scientist Julia Azari]

MOST AMERICANS THINK HATRED AND PREJUDICE HAVE RISEN SINCE THE ELECTION - HuffPollster: “Most Americans believe that hatred and prejudice has risen in the country since President Donald Trump’s election, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday. Sixty-three percent of voters said the level of hatred and prejudice has increased, compared to 32 percent who said it hasn’t changed and 2 percent who said it has decreased. Democrats were the most likely to see a negative impact, with 84 percent saying hostility has increased. Republicans were more divided, with a surprisingly high 42 percent agreeing that hatred has risen and 49 percent saying it hasn’t changed. The views of independents were almost identical to those of all registered voters.” [HuffPost, more from Quinnipiac]

HOW IS PRESIDENT TRUMP DOING?

-Susan Page, on a new USA TODAY/Suffolk poll: “President Trump gets high marks for leadership amid growing economic optimism, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds, but questions about his temperament and his tweets have cost him the political boost that a president traditionally gets from that good news. The survey, taken Wednesday through Sunday, shows Trump getting little bounce from his well-received address to Congress last week or from a brightening view of the country’s direction….By 2-1, those surveyed disapprove of Trump’s temperament, a much more negative rating than he gets for his policy positions.” [USA Today, Suffolk]

-Mark Blumenthal, on SurveyMonkey’s latest polling: “President Donald Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress in late February won him praise from pundits and an uptick in his approval rating. As the news cycles move on, however, perhaps more fundamental challenges remain, including a negative public reaction to high profile items on the Trump administration’s agenda. Specifically, Trump’s early emphasis on immigration contrasts with a public more eager for a focus on economic progress, and Republican health care proposals are perceived to ‘do less’ by a public hoping for expanded efforts to reduce the cost of health care coverage.” [HuffPost]

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FRIDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz chart the winners and losers under Republicans’ new health care bill. [NYT]

-Historical polls show just how much attitudes toward women have changed in the past 80 years. [HuffPost]

-Abigail Geiger and Lauren Kent map the nations where women have served as leaders. [Pew]

-Claire Cain Miller looks at the traditionally “women’s” jobs now being done by more men. [NYT]

-Alexander Agadjanian uses new election data to break down the 2016 vote by race, gender and age. [Decision Desk HQ]

-Patrick Ruffini (R) charts Americans’ pre-election intentions against their actual votes. [@PatrickRuffini]

-Jeff Stein discusses a new study finding that Hillary Clinton’s ads were unusually focused on personality over policy. [Vox]

-Quinnipiac’s Doug Schwartz and Samantha Stella argue that President Trump’s approval rating is less stagnant than it appears. [Facebook]

-Roll Call lays out their guide to the 2018 midterm election. [Roll Call]

-Eli Yokley reports most voters don’t want to see budget cuts for government agencies. [Morning Consult]

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