LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Abortion – Supreme Court Politics – Dem Candidate Ratings

Your Daily Polling Update for Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Same as yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 41% (CBS, Monmouth) to 47% (Rasmussen). Without these two extremes, it would be 44%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 53% today (same as yesterday), which is 10 points higher than his approval rating.

Among voters nationwide

Among all voters nationwide 
% = Favorable/Unfavorable
Joe Biden: 47%/46% 
Bernie Sanders: 45%/48%
Elizabeth Warren: 43%/41%
Kamala Harris: 37%/41%
Cory Booker: 35%/38%
Beto O’Rourke: 35%/41%
Pete Buttigieg: 34%/33% 
Amy Klobuchar: 28%/31%
Candidates with generally less than 2% of the national vote not listed 

RON’S COMMENT: Though Biden tops the popularity list among all voters, over the past two months his favorable rating has declined 4 points and his negative rating has increased 4 points….. Biden, Warren and Buttigieg are the only Democrats listed with net positive ratings among all voters, albeit only slightly…. Warren has improved her national standing among all voters. Two months ago, she was at 40%/47% (-7 net negative). Now, she’s +2 net positive. Buttigieg’s favorable rating jumped 10 points over the past two months, from 24% to 34%.

Among only Democrats nationwide 
% = Favorable/Unfavorable
Joe Biden: 73%/18% 
Elizabeth Warren: 72%/9%
Bernie Sanders: 69%/23%
Kamala Harris: 60%/15%
Cory Booker: 57%/14%
Beto O’Rourke: 55%/19%
Pete Buttigieg: 51%/14%
Amy Klobuchar: 42%/17%
Candidates with generally less than 2% of the national vote not listed

RON’S COMMENT: Biden tops the favorability list among Democrats, Warren is a close second, Sanders is third and Harris is fourth. Of the second tier candidates, Booker tops the list with a 57% favorable rating…. Positive ratingsover the past two months: Biden +1, Sanders -2, Warren +2, Harris -4 and Buttigieg +9…. Negative ratings went up on all the major candidates except Warren: Biden +7, Sanders +3, Harris +4 and Buttigieg +6. Warren’s negative rating went down -4. Warren has clearly improved her position over the past two months.

Among voters nationwide

In general, do you think that the Supreme Court is mainly motivated by politics or mainly motivated by the law?
Mainly politics: 55%
Mainly law: 38%
RON’S COMMENT: A solid majority of voters believe the Supreme Court is motivated mostly by politics, and 45% of Republicans, 63% of Democrats and 55% of independents agree with that assessment…. The “mostly politics” percentage is up 5 points from last summer, when it was 50-42.
Do you think the Supreme Court is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
Too liberal: 16%
Too conservative: 35%
About right: 39%
RON’S COMMENT: 58% of Republicans, 17% of Democrats and 44% of independents say the Court is “about right.”

Among voters nationwide

Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?
Legal in all cases: 28%
Legal in most cases: 32%
Illegal in most cases: 27%
Illegal in all cases: 8%
RON’S COMMENT: 28% of Republicans, 85% of Democrats and 64% of independents say abortion should be legal in all or most cases…. Since December 2017, those saying legal in all cases has increased 7 points and those saying illegal in all cases has decreased 4 points.

By Ron Faucheux

Obsessed with politics even as a sixth grader, I was thrilled to see President John F. Kennedy when he spoke at City Hall in New Orleans five and a half decades ago.
It was the first time I had seen a president in person. Walking toward the podium facing Duncan Plaza, Kennedy’s hair was lighter and redder than it appeared in photos or on television. Maybe it was his Palm Beach tan or the Crescent City’s late morning sun, but there was a luminous quality to him, an aura, really. 
The sense of excitement in the audience was unmistakable, even though the sound system was on the blink much of the time. The memory remains vivid.
In addition to the president, a pageant of Louisiana politicians lined up on the long, narrow City Hall balcony, including Sens. Russell B. Long and Allen J. Ellender, as well as U.S. Reps. Hale Boggs and F. Edward Hebert––all big dogs on Capitol Hill. 
What a time it was.
On that day in 1962, Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harry Truman, Aldous Huxley, Eleanor Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Cole Porter and W. E. B. Du Bois were all still alive. Mickey Mantle, earning $75,000, was the highest-paid player in baseball. West Side Story had just won the Oscar.Hardly anybody knew much about Vietnam. The Watergate building was still on the drawing board and the Beatles had yet to record their first hit. Barack Obama was nine months old and Ronald Reagan was still a Democrat.
One now wonders whether Kennedy––considered timid and conservative by suspicious liberals in the 1960s––would have a place in today’s more left-leaning Democratic Party. After all, he was a reluctant warrior on civil rights and was, by today’s standards, a social conservative. While he wanted the federal government to take on aid to education and Medicare, he also pushed tax cuts to stimulate the economy, framed a tough “pay any price, bear any burden” anti-Communist foreign policy and brought the nation to the edge of nuclear war to keep Soviet missiles out of Cuba. 
There was no shortage of partisan discord in Kennedy’s era. But both parties were mindful that “the American people expect more from us than cries of indignation and attack,” as JFK said in his nomination acceptance speech. In those days, most politicians were reticent to allow what Kennedy called the “customary passions of political debate” to get out of control. It all seems so quaint now.
Since Kennedy’s time, the “customary passions” have intensified, the cries of indignation have sharpened and the attacks have become more savage.
How things have changed.
If Kennedy operated in today’s world––with its 24-hour news cycle and piercing media scrutiny––how could he have hidden his Addison’s disease and rampant indiscretions? How could he have survived the advent of smart phone cameras? It’s hard to say, but his mode of operation would surely have had to change to fit the times.
A better question, perhaps, is whether Kennedy would even want to be a politician today? His son, John, Jr., speculated in an interview that he thought not. 
The “what ifs” continue to swirl around JFK’s legacy, and they always will.
As British journalist Henry Fairlie explained, for all of Kennedy’s style and grace he was first and foremost a conventional politician––and one hell of a one, at that. Watch old videos of him and you’ll be shocked at how contemporary he still seems, more than half a century later.
When I saw President Kennedy in 1962, he was 44 years old. Today marks his 102nd birthday. But, to those of us who remember seeing him that day in New Orleans, he will always be 44.
(Originally published May 29, 2017, updated today)

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
SUPREME COURT, ABORTION: Quinnipiac, May 16-20

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