News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016

A majority of U.S. adults – 62% – get news on social media, and 18% do so often, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center, conducted in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. In 2012, based on a slightly different question, 49% of U.S. adults reported seeing news on social media. CONT.

Pew

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Those polls showing Donald Trump catching up with Hillary Clinton: Really?

A raft of polls in recent days has shown a sharply tighter presidential race, with Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump shrinking to just a couple of points. Those polls have generated a lot of questions: Just how reliable is polling this far in advance of an election? What’s causing the polls to shift? Can Trump actually win?

Here are some key questions and answers. CONT.

David Lauter, Los Angeles Times

Retirement Planning In America: Anxiety, Inequality, and the Role of Social Security

While many older Americans look forward to their retirement years with great anticipation, a substantial subset of the aging population is struggling to prepare for retirement and is deeply concerned about the financial realities of this later stage of life, according to a new study conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. CONT.

Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research

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Focus on the Fundamentals

Trump’s unexpected primary victory has led many to reassess his prospects for the general election. After all, Trump won a major party nomination without doing all the things that campaigns are SUPPOSED to do – polling, data analytics, fundraising and traditional campaign operations. Why can’t we assume he upends the fundamentals in November as well? Before we talk of disrupting the fundamentals or the assumptions of 2016, it’s best to take a serious look at what they are and what they mean. CONT.

Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

Donald Trump Viewed as Change Agent, Economic Steward

With the spotlight narrowing to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, some advantages that Mr. Trump carries into the general election race are coming into sharper focus.

Here are two big ones: Voters view Mr. Trump, overwhelmingly, as the candidate of change. And Mr. Trump, more than Mrs. Clinton, is seen as better able to improve the economy. CONT.

Aaron Zitner, Wall Street Journal

When Will Sanders Start to Help His Party Heal?

Democrats are facing the springtime of their discontent, and maybe the summer too.

The recent flurry of national polls showing an unexpectedly close general election race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has punctured the Democratic hope that the Republican’s historically high unfavorable ratings would render him uncompetitive. Instead, the polls underscored that Clinton’s own public image is comparably battered after her surprisingly difficult primary race against Bernie Sanders. While the polls show Trump rapidly gaining among Republican voters (if not GOP leaders), Clinton’s general-election position looks to be deteriorating within the key Democratic constituencies that are still drawn to Sanders, particularly among liberals and young people. CONT.

Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic

U.S. Religious Groups Disagree on Five Key Moral Issues

Americans’ religious faith greatly shapes their views of whether moral issues or practices are acceptable or not. In general, Jews and those with no religious preference are more liberal than Protestants, Catholics and Mormons in their views on various moral issues. These differences are most apparent on abortion and, to a lesser extent, doctor-assisted suicide and animal cloning. Catholics join with Jews and nonreligious Americans in saying gay-lesbian relations and out-of-wedlock births are morally OK. CONT.

Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup

Trump is a symptom of the decline of American institutions

… How are Trump and Sanders doing so well? Part of the answer is that there has been a long-term crisis of confidence in America’s leaders. Trump and Sanders’s success is a symptom of that crisis. …

The General Social Survey (GSS) has asked Americans about their confidence in Congress, the President, the Supreme Court and the Press every two years since 1973. Over that period, the number of Americans with “a great deal” or “only some” confidence in these American institutions has collapsed. CONT.

Chris Jackson, Ipsos Public Affairs

The System Isn’t ‘Rigged’ Against Sanders

… As Sanders fans claim that the Democratic primary system is rigged against their candidate and that Sanders wins when turnout is higher, they fail to point out that Sanders has benefited tremendously from low-turnout caucuses. Indeed, if all the caucuses were primaries, Clinton would be winning the Democratic nomination by an even wider margin than she is now. CONT.

Harry Enten & Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight

How the Media Fails the Public in Reporting Election Polling

… Many years ago, before network news and the big newspapers poured most of their resources into garnering clicks, reporters and writers tended to focus on what was happening in the presidential race, and not what they hoped would happen. All that has changed in the past 10 years or so, as the presidential race has morphed into near-constant news programming.

In order to keep the election cycle producing its maximum click potential, making the race seem closer than it really is — by emphasizing national polls over the more important state polling numbers — is a business decision first and foremost. The national polling also keeps the interest higher in states that are not in play — populous states like New York, California, Texas, and Illinois. CONT.

Daniel J. McGraw, Pacific Standard