South Korea’s Image at New High in U.S.

More than three in four Americans (77%) have a favorable view of South Korea, the host of the 2018 Winter Olympics. This is up 13 percentage points from Gallup’s last reading in 2014 and is the best image for the country among Americans across the eight times Gallup has measured it since 1991. CONT.

Justin McCarthy, Gallup

U.S. Satisfaction With World Standing Hits 13-Year High

Forty-five percent of Americans are satisfied with the position of the United States in the world, a 13-year high and a 13-percentage-point increase from one year ago, just after President Donald Trump took office. The public is also more likely than it was a year ago to think the U.S. rates favorably in the eyes of the rest of the world.

At the same time, however, Gallup sees no change in Americans’ opinions of how other world leaders view Trump. Only 29% say he is respected, the same as a year ago. CONT.

Jim Norman, Gallup

FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast: The Gun Debate

In the wake of a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast devotes an entire episode to the debate about guns in America — what the public wants, how the politics of guns have changed and what Washington will do. Jill Lepore, a Harvard professor and staff writer for The New Yorker, joins to discuss how the National Rifle Association has affected views on gun rights since the 1970s.

FiveThirtyEight

Do Trump’s ‘Approval’ Numbers Tell Us About Him, or About Us?

… What does it mean, exactly, to “approve” of a president? Does it mean you like Trump enough that, if there were an election tomorrow, you would vote for him? Does it mean that you like him personally? Or does it mean that you don’t like him personally but think that he’s handling affairs of state well enough anyway?

We have George Gallup, the originator of the Gallup poll, to thank for this ambiguity. An Iowa-born journalism professor and advertising consultant, Gallup spent years pondering what question might best assess presidential performance — separating it, in the minds of poll respondents, from considerations like voting preference and personal affinity — before arriving in 1945 at the wording Gallup and other pollsters have used ever since. CONT.

Charles Homans, New York Times Magazine

Most Republicans think arming teachers could have prevented Parkland; new gun laws couldn’t

There is a sharp partisan divide in the United States on, well, everything. It’s a fill-in-the-blank, really: There is a sharp partisan divide in the United States on ____________. Put whatever you want in that space and the odds are extremely good that the sentence will be accurate. It’s not surprising, then, that slotting in “how to prevent the massacre of high school students” is no exception. CONT.

Philip Bump, Washington Post

New Pennsylvania Map Is a Major Boost for Democrats

On Monday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted a new congressional map for 2018 that’s close to a best-case scenario for Democrats. The map, drawn by a court-appointed special master, doesn’t just undo the gerrymander that’s produced a 13-5 seat GOP edge since 2012. It goes further, actively compensating for Democrats’ natural geographic disadvantage in the state. Under the new lines, Democrats have an excellent chance to win at least half the state’s 18 seats. CONT.

David Wasserman, Cook Political Report

The places that will decide the 2018 midterm elections

Red pockets. Romneyland. Blue-collar blues.

Those labels describe the three groups of seats in the House of Representatives that will likely determine control of the chamber in November’s midterm election. …

This battlefield reflects the long-term trends that have seen Democrats demonstrate increasing strength up and down the ballot in diverse, heavily college-educated, major metropolitan areas — even in Republican-leaning states. In parallel, Republicans have established dominant control over preponderantly white non-metro and blue-collar areas, even in otherwise Democratic-leaning states.

All of these trends have accelerated under Trump. CONT.

Ronald Brownstein, CNN

U.S. Leadership Image Suffers Most Among Friendly Nations

After Donald Trump’s election, U.S. allies and adversaries scrambled to evaluate whether his unorthodox rhetoric foreshadowed substantive shifts in U.S. foreign policy. The “America First” agenda raised questions about his administration’s willingness to defend and promote the liberal world order that the U.S. had instrumentally shaped since 1945.

Reflecting this uncertainty, the median approval rating of U.S. leadership fell from 48% in 2016 to a record-low 30% in 2017. To understand where the sharpest declines occurred, we examined salient country-level attributes often associated with key U.S. strategic partners. CONT.

Zacc Ritter, Gallup

Most Americans say Trump, Congress not doing enough to stop mass shootings

More than 6 in 10 Americans fault Congress and President Trump for not doing enough to prevent mass shootings, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with most Americans continuing to say these incidents are more reflective of problems identifying and addressing mental health issues than inadequate gun laws. CONT.

Scott Clement & Emily Guskin, Washington Post

Most see inaction on mass shootings; mental health screening is a priority

Large majorities of Americans say neither President Donald Trump nor Congress are doing enough to try to prevent mass shootings like the one that took 17 lives in Parkland, Florida, last week, with improved mental health screening and treatment leading the public’s preferences for action. CONT.

Gary Langer, ABC News