BY KARLYN BOWMAN
In this issue of AEI’s Political Report, we examine interest in the presidential campaign, how Democrats are thinking about the Democratic contest, whether their minds are made up, and how the general election looks 13 months out. We also look at views about the NRA over the past several decades. And we have a special feature on the new AEI American Perspectives Survey.
Early returns on the 2020 presidential contest
- Enthusiasm about the 2020 contest is high for this early point in the campaign cycle. Democratic and Republican registered voters are equally enthusiastic as are those who approve and disapprove of Donald Trump (CNN).
- Democrats are highly satisfied with the Democratic field (Economist/YouGov) and find the candidates impressive (Harvard/Harris). Most registered Democrats want their candidate to have a bold policy vision to try to bring major change (NBC News/Wall Street Journal). They are slightly more worried about a nominee who is too liberal (49 percent) than one who is not liberal enough (41 percent) (CNN).
- Although questions are worded differently, most recent polls show that Democrats are more interested in a nominee who can beat Trump than one who inspires them or shares their positions (NPR/PBS NewsHouse/Marist, CNN, 538 Debate/Ipsos).
- Fifty-five percent of Democrats who have a first choice for the nomination say they could change their minds, while 43 percent now say they will support their candidate as long as he or she stays in the race (ABC News/Washington Post). Around three-quarters of Republicans say Trump should be renominated (CNN), and he is even stronger among registered Republicans when pitted against other GOP candidates (Fox News).
- As for the general election, a slight majority of registered voters in the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist trend say they will definitely vote against Trump. In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 41 percent of registered voters say they will vote against him, while 11 percent say they probably will. Twenty-nine percent say they will definitely vote for him, and another 11 percent say they will probably do so.
Is opinion about the NRA becoming more negative?
- Two polls, Gallup and NBC News/Wall Street Journal, have asked people their opinions about the NRA for more than two decades.
- In Gallup’s latest survey from August, 48 percent have a favorable opinion and 49 percent an unfavorable one. In the August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll opinions are also split: 40 percent have a positive view and 41 percent a negative view. Republicans have a more positive view of the organization than Democrats do, as do gun owners relative to nonowners.
The new AEI American Perspectives Survey
- In early October, AEI introduced its own survey, the American Perspectives Survey. The new survey series is designed to explore aspects of American life and experience that are not often featured in national public opinion surveys. The first AEI American Perspectives Survey explores a number of topics including how Democrats and Republicans see each other in terms of basic characteristics of race, religion, and ideology.
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