Trump said the L.A.Times poll ‘did a great job. Shocking…’ Here’s what you need to know

Throughout the fall campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump and his allies loved the USC/L.A. Times “Daybreak” poll — the only major survey that consistently showed him winning.

“A couple polls got it right. I must say Los Angeles Times did a great job, shocking because, you know, they did a great job,” Trump declared in his speech Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of conservative activists.

But did the poll get it right?

In the simplest terms, no, and after considerable analysis, the pollsters at USC have a good sense of why. CONT.

David Lauter, Los Angeles Times

Theodore Lowi, Zealous Scholar of Presidents and Liberalism, Dies at 85

Theodore J. Lowi, a venerated political scientist who challenged conventional scholarship on presidential power and identified the emergence of what he called “interest-group liberalism,” died on Feb. 17 in Ithaca, N.Y. …

Professor Lowi acerbically coined what he called the “Law of Succession,” which holds that each new president enhances the reputation of his predecessors. CONT.

Sam Roberts, New York Times

Americans Agree Obamacare Needs a Fix. The Question Is: How Much of One?

As lawmakers grapple with the future of Barack Obama’s signature health care law, Americans agree that the legislation needs a fix but remain divided about the scope of changes that are needed, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The Affordable Care Act is now more popular than it was throughout Obama’s presidency, and support for a complete elimination of the law remains at its lowest. CONT.

Carrie Dann, NBC News

Most Americans don’t want Obamacare repealed

There’s little support for repealing Obamacare, a new McClatchy-Marist Poll finds.

Fifty-eight percent of Americans either want the Affordable Care Act to remain a law or to change it so that it does more. CONT.

Tony Pugh, McClatchy

Partisanship dominates consumer optimism in February

Although consumer confidence edged downward in February, the overall average in the past three months was the highest in more than a decade, according to the University of Michigan (U-M) Surveys of Consumers.

Normally, the implication would be that consumers expected Trump’s election to have a positive economic impact, according to U-M economist Richard Curtin, who directs the Surveys.

That is not the case, however, as Democrats expressed expectations that are consistent with an impending recession, and Republicans expected renewed robust economic growth. CONT.

University of Michigan

Most Americans continue to oppose U.S. border wall, doubt Mexico would pay for it

As was the case throughout the presidential campaign, more Americans continue to oppose (62%) than favor (35%) building a wall along the entire U.S. border with Mexico. And while President Donald Trump has said the U.S. would make Mexico pay for the wall, the public is broadly skeptical: 70% think the U.S. would ultimately pay for the wall, compared with just 16% who think Mexico would pay for it. CONT.

Rob Suls, Pew

Majority of Americans Say Congress Should Probe Contact Between Trump, Russia

About half of Americans believe that Congress should investigate whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign had contact with the Russian government in 2016, while only a quarter say that lawmakers should not probe the issue, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. CONT.

Carrie Dann, NBC News

37% Say UN Doing ‘Good Job’ Solving Problems

Thirty-seven percent of Americans say the United Nations is doing a “good job” of solving the problems it faces, similar to what Gallup has measured since 2013 but above the 2009 low of 26%. CONT.

Justin McCarthy, Gallup

Divided States of America

There are a few different ways to look at President Donald Trump’s job approval ratings. They are the lowest of any first term president at this point in his administration. They are 10-15 points lower than those of President Obama when he left office. They about the same as where President Obama’s were in the fall of 2010 when his party was crushed in the midterm election.

I decided to dig underneath the top-lines to see how different groups of Americans viewed the job the president was doing thus far. CONT.

Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

47% of the Country Say Trump Has Violated the Constitution, but Few Support Impeachment

Americans continue to hold more negative than positive views of President Donald Trump. Half (50%) of the public have an unfavorable view of Trump, while roughly four in ten (43%) report having a favorable impression of him. …

Nearly half (47%) of the public believe Trump has acted in ways that violate the U.S. Constitution. Roughly as many (46%) say that he has not. …

Despite concerns about unconstitutional actions, relatively few Americans believe Trump should be subject to impeachment proceedings. Three in ten (30%) Americans say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while nearly two-thirds (65%) disagree. CONT.

Daniel Cox & Robert P. Jones, PRRI