Zika Virus Not a Worry to Americans

Fewer than one in 10 Americans believe it is likely that they will get the Zika virus. This is in contrast to previous polls in which more Americans believed they were likely to get Ebola or the swine flu, two other high-profile viruses. CONT.

Art Swift & Steve Ander, Gallup

Why President Trump has been very good for liberals

For the first time ever, half of Americans say they believe in climate change and that they are very concerned about it, according to Gallup.

Thanks, Trump.

Climate change is merely the latest issue on which the American people have moved appreciably and significantly to the left in the Trump era. While it’s difficult to ascribe any one of these shifts to Trump specifically, the pattern is becoming clearer. And there’s growing evidence that Trump is unifying half (or more) of the country against things he has vocally supported — in ways they simply weren’t unified before. CONT.

Aaron Blake, Washington Post

Trump Doesn’t Have A Mandate For Paul Ryan’s Agenda

There were so many reasons for the failure of the Republicans’ health care bill — and its failure was so spectacular — that it’s hard to tell which ones mattered most. …

But the variety of unforced errors by Ryan, Trump and other Republicans obscures other, more fundamental problems with their health care bill. Namely, the American Health Care Act was a fairly radical piece of legislation and — perhaps relatedly — an exceptionally unpopular one. The public may have wanted change when they elected Trump, but this was not the sort of change they were looking for. CONT.

Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight

Trump’s Approval Rating Drops to New Low of 36%

President Donald Trump’s job approval rating fell to 36% for the three-day period of March 24-26, following Republican House leaders’ failed effort to pass a new healthcare bill that would have replaced the Affordable Care Act. CONT.

Frank Newport, Gallup

Half in US Are Now Concerned Global Warming Believers

With a record number of Americans sounding the alarm on global warming, the share of the U.S. population that Gallup categorizes as “Concerned Believers” on climate change has consequently reached a new high of 50%. This is up slightly from 47% in 2016 but is well above the 37% recorded only two years ago. CONT.

Lydia Saad, Gallup

Amid Leaks, Recalling an Epic Battle Over Press Freedom in Nixon Era

As details trickled into print and pixels about Russian tampering with the election that put him in the White House, a snappish President Trump lashed out in his favored medium. On Feb. 15, he wrote on Twitter: “The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!” …

Leaked information — its uses and abuses — lies at the heart of the current episode of Retro Report, a series of essays and video documentaries that study major news stories of the past and how they influence events today. CONT.

Clyde Haberman, New York Times

How fake news finds your social media feeds

In this last election, the nation was assaulted by imposters masquerading as reporters. They poisoned the conversation with lies on the left and on the right. Many did it to influence the outcome, others, just to make a buck. The president uses the term “fake news” to discredit responsible reporting that he doesn’t like, but we’re going to show you how con-artists insert truly fake news into the national conversation with fraudulent software that scams your social media account. The stories are fake, but the consequences are real. CONT.

Scott Pelley, 60 Minutes

G.O.P., Once Unified Against Obama, Struggles for Consensus Under Trump

Whenever a major conservative plan in Washington has collapsed, blame has usually been fairly easy to pin on the Republican hard-liners who insist on purity over practicality.

But as Republicans sifted through the detritus of their failed effort to replace the Affordable Care Act, they were finding fault almost everywhere they looked. …

For eight years, those divisions were often masked by Republicans’ shared antipathy toward President Barack Obama. Now, as the party struggles to adjust to the post-Obama political order, it is facing a nagging question: How do you hold together when the man who unified you in opposition is no longer around? CONT.

Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times

Republicans’ dangerous health-care delusions

… For more than seven years Republicans have told themselves the public hates Obamacare because it “limits freedom” or because it contains too many taxes (the lion’s share applicable only to the very rich). In fact, what upsets people is Obamacare’s failure to make good on its promise to lower premiums and deductibles. Polls consistently showed that the percentage of those who liked Obamacare or wanted it to be more generous dwarfed the percentage of those who wanted to scrap it. There is not a large constituency for minimalist federal government, no matter how fervently the speaker of the House pines for defederalized Medicaid. The public wants Obamacare to work better and deliver more coverage with lower out-of-pocket costs. That may be entirely unrealistic, but that’s where the voters were coming from. Republicans have badly misread the public’s attitude toward government and toward health care specifically. CONT.

Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

Recent polls: Health care

Trump vs. Congress: Now What?

… Trump sounded more clipped and less jaunty on the call than he did during the discursive chats I had with him last year on the campaign trail. The business of governing had little to do with any trade he had previously practiced. In Congress, he was grappling with an arcane and famously inefficient ecosystem over which he had little if any control — and people he incessantly derided on the campaign trail as being “all talk and no action.” I asked him if he still felt that way. “It’s like any other industry,” he replied, somewhat morosely. “I’ve met some great politicians and some, to be honest, who aren’t so hot.” …

The only major legislation that congressional committees have even seen thus far is a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, which met with a stunning rebuke from Trump’s own party, forcing Ryan to withdraw the measure on the afternoon of March 24. At this stage of his presidency, Barack Obama had already signed into law his $787 billion economic-stimulus package and had moved on to holding White House meetings on health care. It’s conceivable that Trump could hit Day 100 with only minor symbolic legislative achievements to his name. For him to avoid this ignominy, the 45th president will have to develop a rapport with Washington’s 535 federal deal makers, including the ones who “aren’t so hot.” CONT.

Robert Draper, New York Times Magazine