How Much Will It Cost? How Americans Use Prices in Health Care

As Americans shoulder more health care costs, this Public Agenda research suggests that many are hungry for more and better price information. However, some obstacles remain to increasing the number of Americans who compare prices before getting care.

While insurance companies and vendors are developing tools to make out-of-pocket health care prices more transparent, price information remains largely hidden. Nonetheless, 56 percent of Americans have actively looked for such information before getting care, including 21 percent who have compared prices across multiple providers. CONT.

Public Agenda

Bush and Rubio might swing Florida for the GOP. It probably wouldn’t matter, though.

… Consider this: four potential Republican nominees come from sizable swing states that could – who knows! – swing the presidential election. Florida is home to Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, Wisconsin to Scott Walker and Ohio to John Kasich. Only one potential Democratic candidate hails from a traditional swing state, Jim Webb in Virginia. (On the GOP side, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson also live in Florida, but don’t have longstanding ties to the state.)

So we wondered: Could coming from a swing state boost a candidate’s chances of winning? CONT.

Scott Clement, Washington Post

Keeping Currency Current

Once women are added to U.S. currency, these other improvements can bring it even further into the 21st century. CONT.

Brian McFadden, The Strip, New York Times

Brian McFadden (NYT)

Brian McFadden (NYT)

Is amnesty really that bad for GOP voting base?

The recent Homeland Security funding fight resurfaced Republicans’ continued aversion to regularization for illegal immigrants. Presumably, among their calculations is the notion that allowing some of the estimated eleven million individuals that are living in the US illegally to gain voting rights would result in electoral gains for Democrats. Worse still, the impact would be hardest felt in key battleground states.

Assuming that the president’s opponents are right, and that regularization is a pathway to citizenship, does this necessarily lead to losses for the GOP at the polls? CONT.

Tony Lucadamo & David Leblang (UVA), The Hill

Harry Reid: Withstanding the Wave

From The Polling Report archives:

Pundits and prognosticators, strategists and seers all said it couldn’t be done. Incumbents who garner positive ratings from fewer than four in ten voters and who post double-digit deficits in match-ups against opponents (in public polls) are not supposed to win—and they usually don’t. In fact, combing through the history of polling it is hard to find someone other than Senator Harry Reid who accomplished that feat.

Three prime factors account for this history-making result: CONT.

Mark Mellman (Mellman Group) & Jim Margolis (GMMB), The Polling Report

6-in-10 Millennials See Contraception Access as Critical to Financial Security of Women, Few Have Moral Qualms about Birth Control

A new survey released today finds broad support among the Millennial generation for contraception that is accessible and affordable. Six in ten millennials—including 64 percent of women, 55 percent of men, and majorities of major racial and ethnic groups—see access to contraception as critical for the financial security of women. The survey also finds nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of millennials reporting that sexual assault is at least somewhat common on college campuses, and a majority (53 percent) of millennials report that such incidents are at least somewhat common in high schools. CONT.

Public Religion Research Institute

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Stop Writing About Polls Comparing Obama to Frank Underwood

There’s a new viral political opinion poll claiming a fictional opportunistic sociopath is more popular than President Barack Obama. Don’t believe it. …

To be sure, this says a lot about the state of opinion polling and very little about the public’s current opinion of a U.S. president. Public opinion polling has a long and infamous love affair with fictional ideas. CONT.

Gregory Ferenstein, Pacific Standard

Clinton scandals may have defeated one presidential candidate. Could they do it again?

With Hillary Rodham Clinton’s questionable e-mail practices in the news, many people have asked whether it will matter for the 2016 election. And the most typical answer is that it won’t matter much, if at all. …

Larry Sabato writes that if you examine presidential elections since 1900 “you’ll find that scandal has seldom played any conclusive role.” That is mostly true, but it leaves out one of the few times that scandal arguably did play a role. Interestingly, the Clintons were involved, but it was Al Gore that suffered. CONT.

Jeremy Pope (Brigham Young U.), Monkey Cage

Republicans Have Little to Fear From a Divisive Primary

Will the fight for the G.O.P. presidential nomination be Hillary Clinton’s secret weapon in the 2016 election? Not according to the best political science research. CONT.

Brendan Nyhan (Dartmouth), New York Times

Clinton Favorability Among Dems Better Than Last Campaign

Hillary Clinton’s net favorability rating among Democrats — defined as the percentage who have a favorable opinion of her minus the percentage with an unfavorable opinion — is higher now than at a similar point leading up to the 2008 presidential election. Her net favorability is also similar to Al Gore’s rating early on in the 2000 presidential campaign. The current Democratic field does not appear to present as much competition for Clinton as she faced in 2008. CONT.

Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup