Brown, Gray, and Urban

… In our era, the United States is experiencing two demographic transitions: It is growing more diverse, especially in its youth population, and it is also aging, as the predominantly white baby boomers move toward retirement. …

These two giant blocks—what I’ve called “the brown and the gray”—have become the competing poles of American politics, with Democratic-leaning younger minorities supporting increased public spending, particularly in areas such as education and health care, and older whites, who are increasingly Republican, mostly resisting it.

That contrast is especially visible in and around cities. CONT.

Ronald Brownstein, National Journal

Hate the Polls? Blame the Media.

OK, let’s talk early polls in presidential elections. What exactly do they tell us?

They tell us what people are hearing, and sometimes that will matter. While nomination surveys can’t successfully predict what will happen in next year’s primaries and caucuses, let alone the general election next November, they can — interpreted carefully — say something about what’s happened so far. CONT.

Jonathan Bernstein, Bloomberg View

Mixed Views of Impact of Long-Term Decline in Union Membership

Over the past three decades, the share of wage and salary workers in the United States who belong to labor unions has fallen by about half. The public expresses mixed views of the impact of the long-term decline in union membership on the country: 45% say this has been mostly a bad thing, while 43% see it as mostly a good thing. CONT.



Tale of Two Presidents: Obama and Putin

… Today, a median of 45% of the world approves of the job performance of the leadership of the U.S., giving it the highest approval ratings out of the five world powers measured for the second consecutive year.

Although the U.S. has the highest global leadership approval ratings in the world, this same sentiment isn’t shared at home. In fact, for the first time in Gallup’s tracking, Obama’s approval ratings at home are now lower than his global approval ratings. …

Turning to Russia, we see the opposite story. CONT.

Stuart Holliday & Jon Clifton, Gallup

How to Read the Ups and Downs of Polling in the G.O.P. Race

… The wave of candidate announcements that began late last month has set off a new phase of volatile polling, when voters will rally behind news-making candidates and move on as soon as the next arrives.

Republican voters are just starting to tune in, and they start with few allegiances to this year’s deep field of candidates. As Republican hopefuls announce their bids and attract media attention, they’ll probably get a bounce in the polls. These bumps could easily be enough to give long-shot candidates the lead. But for now — and for a while — it might be wise to tune out the polls altogether. CONT.

Nate Cohn, New York Times

Recent polls: Republican presidential preference

G.O.P. Struggling With Shifts on Gay Marriage

… Once a winning primary issue as well as a powerful wedge issue wielded against Democrats, opposing same-sex marriage has grown far more complicated for Republicans. While it could offer conservative candidates a way to break through a crowded primary field, it looms as a liability with general election voters, particularly independent ones, who are more supportive of same-sex marriage than more conservative Republicans. CONT.

Adam Nagourney, New York Times

Recent polls: Same-sex marriage

This Is How Fast America Changes Its Mind

… Social change in the U.S. appears to follow a pattern: A few pioneer states get out front before the others, and then a key event—often a court decision or a grassroots campaign reaching maturity—triggers a rush of state activity that ultimately leads to a change in federal law.

We looked at six big issues—interracial marriage, prohibition, women’s suffrage, abortion, same-sex marriage, and recreational marijuana — to show how this has happened in the past, and may again in the very near future. CONT.

Alex Tribou & Keith Collins, Bloomberg

A New Formula for a Real Democratic Majority

What is the biggest obstacle to Democrats truly winning a national election and pursuing a progressive agenda? What is the biggest obstacle to Democrats winning big enough, geographically broad enough, and deep enough to overcome the constitutional barriers to a governing majority in America?

I posed that first question in The American Prospect in a piece titled “From Crisis to Working Majority,” which I wrote at the time Bill Clinton was preparing to run for president. Focusing on the Reagan Democrats who lived in middle- and working-class suburban communities like Macomb County, Michigan, I came to the conclusion that Democrats needed to address disaffected white industrial workers. …

Democrats today have won the most votes in five of the last six presidential elections and are formidable favorites to win the presidency in 2016, yet Republicans hold large majorities in the U.S. House and Senate and have total partisan control in 24 of the states. At the heart of that deeply frustrating contradiction is the 36 percent of the vote Obama won with white non-college-educated voters nationally. He did get 40 percent of the votes of white workers outside the South and in most rural states, yet that number still limits the scope of Democratic gains.

The same contradiction could bedevil a Hillary Clinton election in 2016. CONT.

Stan Greenberg (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner), The American Prospect

The very slow – but steady – growth in acceptance for Obamacare

Americans have not been kind when it comes to evaluating the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare. During the awful rollout of the Health Care Exchange in fall 2013, those calling the program a failure were more than triple the percentage saying it was a success.

But no more. CONT.

Kathy Frankovic, YouGov

Recent polls: Affordable Care Act

Trans-Pacific Speculation

A look inside the Trans-Pacific Partnership. CONT.

Brian McFadden, The Strip, New York Times

Brian McFadden (NYT)

Brian McFadden (NYT)