Hillary’s Rising Unfavorable Ratings Don’t Tell the Whole Story

Watching coverage of the Clinton campaign, one longtime Democratic strategist told me, is like watching someone getting pecked by ducks. One day it’s another revelation about the murky Clinton Global Foundation finances (peck). The next day, it’s news that the former Secretary of State’s previously private emails will be publicly released chunk by chunk over the next few months (nip, nip). Financial records reveal a previously unknown corporate pass-through started by former President Bill Clinton (jab). None of these attacks are fatal. After all, no one can die from repeated duck pecks (at least I think that’s true), but has the incessant jabbing done damage? CONT.

Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

Recent polls: Hillary Clinton

Top 10 Reasons Why Polls Should Not be Used to Determine Eligibility for Debates

Herding is for horses. Not for pollsters doing horserace polls. Neither should the media herd the field in a political horserace via debates. Why? CONT.

Lee Miringoff, Marist Poll

Public Continues to Back U.S. Drone Attacks

The public continues to support U.S. drone strikes targeting extremists in Pakistan and elsewhere, despite ongoing concerns that drone attacks endanger lives of innocent civilians. CONT.

Pew

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Approval of Out-of-Wedlock Births Growing

Sixty-one percent of Americans say having a baby outside of marriage is morally acceptable, a new high by one percentage point and the third straight year that roughly six in 10 Americans have sanctioned this once frowned-upon behavior. In 2002, when Gallup first asked the question, more Americans said having a baby outside of wedlock was morally wrong than said it was morally acceptable. CONT.

Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup

Polling’s Secrecy Problem

The debunking of a recent academic paper on changing views about same-sex marriage has raised concerns about whether other political science research is being properly vetted and verified. But the scandal may actually point to vulnerabilities in a different field: public polls. CONT.

Nate Cohn, New York Times

Support Up for Doctor-Assisted Suicide

Nearly seven in 10 Americans (68%) say doctors should be legally allowed to assist terminally ill patients in committing suicide, up 10 percentage points from last year. More broadly, support for euthanasia has risen nearly 20 points in the last two years, and stands at the highest level in more than a decade. CONT.

Andrew Dugan, Gallup

No, the Democrats Have Not Moved Further Left Than Republicans Have Moved Right

When Barack Obama first appeared on the scene as an underdog challenger to Hillary Clinton, conservatives welcomed him as a refreshing, relatively moderate alternative. Then they decided Obama was actually a left-wing extremist, in comparison to the moderation of the Clintons. As Hillary Clinton prepares to take the helm of the Democratic Party, the Republican task is now to formulate a new line, according to which Obama moved his party to the left, and Hillary Clinton threatens to move it even further left. Peter Wehner, a former Bush administration strategist, makes the case in the New York Times today. His case is not strong. CONT.

Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

Trade Is a Striking Example of the Political Power of the Affluent

The Pacific Rim trade deal making its way through Congress is the latest step in a decades-long trend toward liberalizing trade — a somewhat mysterious development given that many Americans are skeptical of freer trade.

But Americans with higher incomes are not so skeptical. They — along with businesses and interest groups that tend to be affiliated with them — are much more likely to support trade liberalization. Trade is thus one of the best examples of how public policy in the United States is often much more responsive to the preferences of the wealthy than to those of the general public. CONT.

Brendan Nyhan (Dartmouth), New York Times

Free Trade Agreements Seen as Good for U.S., But Concerns Persist

As Congress considers a major new trade pact with Asia, there is broad public agreement that international free trade agreements are good for the United States. But fewer Americans express positive views of the impact of trade deals on their personal finances. CONT.

Pew

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Have Democrats Pulled Too Far Left?

Among liberals, it’s almost universally assumed that of the two major parties, it’s the Republicans who have become more extreme over the years. That’s a self-flattering but false narrative.

This is not to say the Republican Party hasn’t become a more conservative party. It has. But in the last two decades the Democratic Party has moved substantially further to the left than the Republican Party has shifted to the right. CONT.

Peter Wehner, New York Times