May 21, 2018

In a survey of 87 cybersecurity experts published Monday, The Washington Post found they overwhelmingly believe state election systems are vulnerable to hacking in the 2018 midterms.

(The Washington Post)

"We are going to need more money and more guidance on how to effectively defend against the sophisticated adversaries we are facing to get our risk down to acceptable levels," Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and one of the experts polled, told the Post. "I hope Congress continues to work to address this vital national security issue," Langevin added. He argues the $380 million allotted for election cybersecurity in March is not enough.

On a more positive note, the experts who spoke with the Post generally agreed systems are more secure than they were in the last election, and there is "no evidence that Russian hackers actually changed any votes in 2016," though they did access some voter data. Bonnie Kristian

April 30, 2018
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Democrats are losing support among millennial voters, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Monday, with the 2018 midterm elections half a year away. Only 46 percent of voters aged 18 to 34 now say they prefer a Democrat over a Republican for Congress, down from 55 percent this time in 2016. Among white millennials specifically, just 39 percent prefer a Democratic candidate.

The Republican Party has not seen a wide influx of youth support — a mere 28 percent of respondents said they intend to vote GOP, an increase of a single point since 2016 — but millennials tend to lack strong party identification and are increasingly favorable to Republican economic policies, Reuters reports. They are now almost evenly divided as to which party "has a better plan for the economy." In 2016, Democrats' economic agenda was favored by a 12-point margin.

"It sounds strange to me to say this about the Republicans, but they're helping with even the small things," said Terry Hood, 34, a Louisiana voter who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016. "They're taking less taxes out of my paycheck. I notice that." Bonnie Kristian

April 16, 2018
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Presented with generic Democratic and Republican candidates for a House of Representatives seat, 50 percent of Americans say they'd vote blue and just 40 percent would vote red, a new ABC/Washington Post poll published Monday reveals.

Among registered voters, the margin narrows from 10 to four points, though the generic Democrat still wins with 47 percent support to the Republican's 43 percent. The survey's margin of error is 3.5 percent, making that race a statistical tie. For registered voters who are certain to vote, Democrats lead by five points.

And though that 10-point lead sounds impressive, Democrats' margin of victory has shrunk dramatically since January. Asked the same questions then, generic House Democrats had 13-, 12-, and 15-point leads over their generic GOP counterparts among voters, registered voters, and registered voters who are certain to vote, respectively.

Pollsters posited lessening identification with the Democratic Party and a new attention to voting for candidates who share one's perspective on gun regulation as probable factors in this shift. Bonnie Kristian

March 26, 2018

Americans increasingly dislike and distrust Facebook, two new polls from Axios/Survey Monkey and Reuters/Ipsos reveal.

The Axios survey found Facebook's net favorability has dropped by 28 percent since October. As of this month, the social network's net favorability, the gap between approval and disapproval, is still barely positive at just 5 percent. Other tech giants, including Amazon, Google, Apple, Twitter, and Microsoft, also saw their favorability drop by smaller amounts over the five-month span — though with the exception of Twitter, they both started and ended in a more positive place than Facebook.

Meanwhile, only 41 percent of Americans told Reuters they trust Facebook to obey privacy laws when handling their personal information. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft all scored at least 60 percent trust on this point.

Facebook chiefs Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg have said they know they are facing "an issue of trust" and are at a "critical moment for our company." About 2 in 3 Americans have a Facebook account. Bonnie Kristian

March 20, 2018

Tuesday, March 20, marks 15 years since the United States invaded Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein and find those elusive weapons of mass destruction.

At the time of the invasion, nearly 3 in 4 Americans said using military force was the right choice, but since 2006, public opinion has almost always shifted toward opposition. As of this year, Pew Research reports, 48 percent say the war was the wrong choice, and 43 percent still believe it was a good idea.

(Pew Research Center)

Among those who support the invasion, 61 percent are Republicans or independents who lean Republican. Republicans are also more likely to say the United States "succeeded in achieving its goals in Iraq." Overall, 53 percent of Americans say the U.S. failed to achieve those goals, a proportion that has held steady since 2014.

The Defense and State Departments said in February that the president has the authority to keep U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely. Bonnie Kristian

March 19, 2018
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A majority of Americans believe the U.S. government is engaged in mass surveillance of the general public and is influenced by the "deep state," a "group of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy," a new Monmouth University poll published Monday reports.

Asked whether the "U.S. government currently monitors or spies on the activities of American citizens," 82 percent of respondents said yes, with 53 percent affirming that such surveillance is "widespread" and 29 percent believing it happens less often. When such surveillance does occur, just 18 percent believe it is "usually justified," while 8 in 10 said it is only sometimes or rarely legitimate.

On the subject of the deep state, three-quarters of survey participants said it "definitely" or "probably" exists. Fully 63 percent were not familiar with the term before it was explained by pollsters, but "there's an ominous feeling by Democrats and Republicans alike that a 'Deep State' of unelected operatives are pulling the levers of power," said Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray.

The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percent. Read The Week's Marc Ambinder on the deep state here. Bonnie Kristian

March 5, 2018

Americans rank cyberterrorism and North Korea's nuclear weapons development program as the two most critical threats to the United States, a new Gallup poll released Monday reveals. The two are in a statistical tie, and just 3 percent of Americans consider each unimportant.


Intriguingly, though international terrorism of the offline variety takes a close third place, other security issues Gallup listed ranked much lower in respondents' concern. Only 39 percent of Americans — fewer than half of those most worried about cyberterrorism and North Korea — said "large numbers of immigrants entering the United States" is a critical threat. Moreover, 29 percent said it's not a threat at all.

With the exception of cyberterrorism, Gallup found Republicans are across the board more likely than Democrats to deem a threat "critical." Bonnie Kristian

January 29, 2018

Half of millennials expect to vote for Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections, and only a quarter anticipate they'll support Republicans, a new NBC News/GenForward poll released Monday found. But the generation's distaste for the GOP — only 24 percent view it favorably — does not equate to uncomplicated enthusiasm for the Democratic Party.

Millennials' overall favorable and unfavorable views of Democrats are in a statistical tie (the margin of error is 3.95 points), though a marked disparity is seen between the views of white millennials and their peers of color.

(NBC News)

The same survey found about two-thirds of millennials disapprove of Congress, President Trump, and the direction of the country as a whole, though nearly the same proportion (59 percent) are optimistic about their personal futures.

More than 8 in 10 agreed that "the government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves and their friends," a view held without racial division. Millennials are skeptical of the ability of elections to effect real change, but they are far more confident in the power of community groups to improve America. See more from the poll results here. Bonnie Kristian

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