Latino voters in California highly engaged, but candidates for governor need to increase outreach

A statewide poll of Latino registered voters by Latino Decisions finds that 68% intend to vote in the June 2018 primary elections for Governor and other statewide office, and that 2016 election of Donald Trump has further engaged and politicized Latinos. The poll of 900 Latino voters, was commissioned by the Latino Community Foundation, asked Latino registered voters their preference in the June 2018 primary election, as well as most important issues facing the state, and how closely they are following political affairs. CONT.

Latino Decisions

The first congressional election of 2018: A test of Trump in western Pennsylvania

It snowed the night before Conor Lamb’s campaign rally, coating most of the 18th Congressional District and keeping some voters at home. But 70 loyal Democrats shoveled out and drove to the American Legion hall to meet their candidate for Congress in a district that gave Donald Trump a 19-point victory in 2016. …

Democrats and Republicans agree that Lamb, 33, a Marine veteran and former assistant U.S. attorney, has turned the first congressional election of 2018 into a single-digit race. The district, a swath of southwest Pennsylvania drawn to reelect a Republican congressman — Tim Murphy, who resigned in disgrace last year — is already humming with super-PAC TV ads.

In 2014 and 2016, Democrats could not find a challenger to Murphy. But on Thursday, President Trump will visit the district for a speech about tax policy. Local Republicans consider the Trump speech a boon for state Rep. Rick Saccone, the GOP’s nominee for the March 13 contest — a sign of just how much is at stake here, for Republicans and Democrats. CONT.

David Weigel, Washington Post

It’s a Blue House Wave, but Not Yet a Senate One

“The odds are greater than half we will take back the Senate.” — Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Monday night

Democrats ought to temper their optimism about the fight for the Senate this year.

Yes, Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama’s special election gives their party a path to a Senate majority in November. But at this point, it remains an unlikely path, despite the official party line. CONT.

Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call

Most Americans want Robert Mueller to complete his Russia probe

One year into the Trump administration, just 19 percent of Americans say they have “a great amount” of confidence in the presidency and 8 percent have high confidence in Congress, according to the latest poll by the PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist. The percentage of Americans with great confidence in the military was much higher — at 53 percent. …

The issue of how much the public trusts the president will likely spill into 2018, as special counsel Robert Mueller continues his investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties to Trump’s campaign. CONT.

Laura Santhanam, PBS NewsHour

Americans See More News Bias; Most Can’t Name Neutral Source

Americans’ perceptions of news media bias have increased significantly over the past generation. Thirty-two percent believe the news media are careful to separate fact from opinion, well below the 58% who held this view in 1984. Meanwhile, 66% currently agree that most news media do not do a good job of letting people know what is fact and what is opinion, up from 42%. CONT.

Jeffrey M. Jones & Zacc Ritter, Gallup

Here’s Just How Little Confidence Americans Have In Political Institutions

Trust in the institutions that have been the pillars of U.S. politics and capitalism is crumbling.

That is one finding from the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, which shows that Americans have limited confidence in its public schools, courts, organized labor and banks — and even less confidence in big business, the presidency, the political parties and the media. CONT.

Domenico Montanaro, NPR

Looming Shutdown Would Further Damage Government’s Image

The looming shutdown of the federal government — because elected officials cannot agree on immigration policy — would almost certainly do further damage to Americans’ already negative view of the government.

Only one in five Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, and President Donald Trump’s job approval is historically low for presidents at this point in their administrations. The government is so troubling to some that 25% of Americans mention it when asked to name the most important problem facing the country, more than any other issue or concern. The inability to reach agreement on how to fund the government would confirm these low opinions — and most likely make them even worse. CONT.

Frank Newport, Gallup

On Political Authenticity (Part 2)

… It’s now easier to see why Clinton had (unfair) difficultly with authenticity.

While her opponents maintained singular foci, she was more like the Chinese-Indian-burger joint, equally attentive to a grab bag of (critically important) issues. How many times was it said that she had a plan for every problem and sometimes for problems that didn’t yet exist?

More important, merely by achieving front-runner status, twice, she caused others to wonder whether she had ulterior rather than intrinsic motivations — part of a broader phenomenon labeled the “denigration of heroes” by Professors Oliver Hall and Ezra Zuckerman. CONT.

Mark Mellman (Mellman Group), The Hill

Trump’s First Year: The Exurbs

At the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration, the American Communities Project is using 2017 data from Gallup to analyze how different kinds of communities have viewed the president’s job performance. Where are his strengths and weaknesses as year two begins? CONT.

Dante Chinni, American Communities Project

Trump Approval Lower Than U.S. Mood Might Predict

President Donald Trump’s 38% job approval rating in Gallup’s latest weekly average is well below what would be expected based on the relationship between job approval and Americans’ views of the economy and their level of satisfaction with the direction of the country for recent presidents. A Gallup analysis of these relationships finds Trump’s approval rating is nine to 14 percentage points lower than the predicted values. CONT.

Lydia Saad, Gallup