Articles Posted in Public Opinion


Trump is a symptom of the decline of American institutions

Donald Trump (and to a lesser degree Bernie Sanders) are contemporary political phenomenon. The two outsider candidates — one having essentially won a major party nomination, the other still mounting a significant challenge– have enjoyed more success than any other “outsider” candidate in a generation. The question we hear more often than any is: how…

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Poll Modeling Says: No, Bernie Sanders Is Not More Electable

Bernie Sanders, facing a virtually insurmountable climb to win the Democratic nomination through pledged delegates, has turned to trying to convince superdelegates that he is more electable. Sanders is doing this by pointing at current polling which does indeed show him performing stronger against Donald Trump or the other Republicans than Hillary Clinton. As a pollster, I’d like to make sure folks understand that this “theory” is got more than a touch of wishful thinking in it.

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Mental Health on the Minds of Canadians

Mental health is becoming an increasing challenge as the proportion of Canadians who are classified as “High Risk” on Ipsos’ Mental Health Risk Index inches up over the last year — from 33% to 35%. Three-in-ten (29%) Canadians also report that their mental health has disrupted their lives in some way in the past year.…

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“Taking America Back”: Reasons and Meaning

Trump has forcefully pushed a strong “American Exceptionalism” rejuvenation narrative typified by his campaign slogan— “MAKE America Great Again!” Often Trump operationalizes this slogan in speeches as “we need to take America back” or some derivation thereof. To what degree do people agree with the message? And why? Republicans are much more likely than Democrats…

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Trump’s “America First” in Historical Context: Historical Resonance of Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

Trump has been winning on his “Make America Great Again” appeal. His message has a strong “American-First” and “Nativist” undertone which resonates. How has this rhetoric played out over time? Is it on the rise in the US? Simple answer is no; it is not on the rise. Indeed, it is quite stable over the…

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Social Media May Not Be the Democratic Force We Thought It Was

On Federal Election Day, 2015, over 770,000 Tweets were sent out into the Twittersphere in Canada, but new data shows that the high volume of social media posts may not be reaching a new audience. Despite the early promise and the increased use of social media to discuss politics and policy issues, fewer Canadians have…

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Trump’s “America First” in Global Context: Global Resonance of Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

Trump has been winning on his “Make America Great” appeal His message has a strong “American-First” and “Anti-Immigrant” undertone which resonates with the Republican base. How does this rhetoric play out in global context? A strong plurality of global citizens (41%) believes that immigrants take jobs away from their countrymen. Additionally, a near majority of…

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Republicans seen as stronger on Terrorism: Impact of Brussels-like events on US politics

Electorally speaking, terrorist attacks like the one in Brussels are more likely to benefit Republicans than Democrats. Republicans historically have been seen as more credible on “terrorism” and “foreign policy”. The March 2016 Ipsos/Reuters poll puts Republicans at a 7-point advantage on “the war on terror”. Typically, after an attack, public concern about terrorism spikes…

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Turnout and the D-R “Enthusiasm Gap”

My working hypothesis is that “swing voters” are mostly a myth created by pollsters (SORRY) and the media. The idea that there is some large swath of the population who, despite our nation’s immensely partisan tendencies, are compelled to fairly regularly change the party the vote for between D and R from election to election seems too fantastical. Party identity in the US is deeply rooted in values and identity, and not fleeting fancy. Of course we know there are some genuine swing voters out there, but not – in my view – in the numbers popularly conceived.

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Why Politicians Should Be Paying Attention to What Canadians say Online

Consulting with citizens on government plans, priorities and programs is no doubt necessary and a great way to ensure that Canadians are involved in government decision making. It has risen to prominence over the last few decades while at the same time Canadians have become more demanding of transparency and accountability for public sector actions…

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