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New Zogby Poll®: Suburban women least likely to want to 'pack the court'; Most voters want to censor media

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Overall, a majority (58% at least somewhat supported-strongly and somewhat combined) of likely voters supported increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court, while 28% at least somewhat opposed (strongly and somewhat combined) the idea and 15% were not sure. The major political parties were nearly even in their support of "packing the courts." Independents (47% at least somewhat supported/32% at least somewhat opposed) were least likely to support increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court compared to Republicans (60% at least somewhat supported/31% at least somewhat opposed) and Democrats (64% at least somewhat supported/20% at least somewhat opposed), although Republicans opposed increasing the number of justices eleven points more than Democrats.

The gender of respondents did not make much of a difference regarding support or opposition: men (62% at least somewhat supported/29% at least somewhat opposed) were slightly more likely to support increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court than women (54% at least somewhat supported/27% at least somewhat opposed).

Race factored more in how voters viewed one of the bigger topics of the 2020 presidential election. White voters (54% at least somewhat supported/30% at least somewhat opposed) were less likely to support "packing the courts" compared to African Americans (73% at least somewhat supported/16% at least somewhat opposed) and Hispanics (63% at least somewhat supported/22% at least somewhat opposed).

There was also an increase of support among consumer voters: two-thirds of weekly Walmart shoppers (66% at least somewhat supported/20% at least somewhat opposed) supported "packing the court" compared with voters who never shop at Walmart (50% at least somewhat supported/37% at least somewhat opposed). The same was the case with weekly Amazon shoppers (71% at least somewhat supported/19% at least somewhat opposed) when compared to voters who never shop at Amazon (51% at least somewhat supported/34% at least somewhat opposed).

While there weren't big differences in the overall responses of men and women on the issue, geography played a factor among men and women in suburbia: suburban men (53% at least somewhat supported/37% at least somewhat opposed) were more likely to want to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court than suburban women (44% at least somewhat supported/33% at least somewhat opposed).

Since the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg the issue of replacing her vacant seat has become a central issue in the 2020 presidential election. Republicans would like to approve nominee Amy Coney Barrett, giving the court a conservative advantage, but Democrats want the voters to decide and wait until after the election. Either way, most voters want more judges, which might have more to do with stacking the court in line with their own ideology. Regardless of whether Barrett is nominated, or we wait until after the election, stacking the court with more justices would not be any easy feat, as it would require amending the Constitution, which an election cannot decide alone.

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Nearly three-quarters (73%) of likely voters at least somewhat supported censoring media from spreading false information and half-truths, but nearly one-fifth (19%) at least somewhat opposed censoring media and 8% were not sure. The age of surveyed likely voters played a prominent role in who supported and opposed censoring media. A small majority of younger voters aged 18-24 (55% at least somewhat supported/27% at least somewhat opposed) and aged 18-29 supported (57% at least somewhat supported/27% at least somewhat opposed) compared with more than three quarters of older voters, aged 65+, who felt much more strongly about censoring media (79% at least somewhat supported/16% at least somewhat opposed).

The political party of surveyed respondents also factored in their support/opposition of censoring media for false information and half-truths. Republicans (84% at least somewhat supported/12% at least somewhat opposed) were much more likely to support censoring media than Democrats (68% at least somewhat supported/23% at least somewhat opposed) and Independents (68% at least somewhat supported/22% at least somewhat opposed).

A majority of most surveyed demographics at least somewhat supported censoring media for false information, but the biggest differences were between generational cohorts-the older and younger generations. Generation Z (55% at least somewhat supported/27% at least somewhat opposed) respondents were the least likely to support censoring media compared to Millennials (74% at least somewhat supported/20% at least somewhat opposed), Generation X (78% at least somewhat supported/15% at least somewhat opposed) and Baby Boomers (77% at least somewhat supported/17% at least somewhat opposed).

Other variations among demographics were between large city voters (81% at least somewhat supported/14% at least somewhat opposed) vs. small city voters (60% at least somewhat supported/31% at least somewhat opposed) and non-college degree voters (68% at least somewhat supported/21% at least somewhat opposed) vs. college degree voters (79% at least somewhat supported/16% at least somewhat opposed). Support for censoring the media increased significantly among "swing voters" (87% at least somewhat supported/11% at least somewhat opposed), who voted for each Obama and Trump in the last two presidential elections.

Why are younger voters and Republicans more intense about censoring media? We can't say for certain younger voters are more rational on censorship, but recent studies do point to a difference in media consumption and where younger voters view their news, which is dominated by online, social media and streaming platforms. Different media consumption is now more fluid and round-the-clock for Generation Z and some Millennials. Republicans have complained for decades that there is a liberal bias among the major news networks and big metropolitan newspapers across the country, which could somewhat explain their reasoning for censoring certain media.

While it's hard to determine what voters deem news and what not, strong majorities of all voters-including-older voters, Republicans, Democrats, large city voters and college graduates support censoring media. There are many people who believe some media online and on social media legitimize hate speech or racist ideas. Though this is true, there are rights guaranteed under the Constitution-specifically freedom of speech, and if we start tinkering with those tenants of our existence, we might set a precedent that could limit our guaranteed freedoms. We can always call out hate and racism, and take the horrible people who spread these ideas to task, but we cannot blindly disregard our protection of free speech, which is the right of good and bad people alike.

 

 

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Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
US Likely Voters
9/25/20 - 9/27/20

Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 883 likely voters in the US.

Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.

Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 36% Democrat, 34% Republican and 30% Independent/unaffiliated.

Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 883 is +/- 3.3 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.

Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.

Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.

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About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.

The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.

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