POLITICS

HUFFPOLLSTER: Most Americans Don't Live In A Partisan Media Bubble

But there are considerable divides in news consumption by ideology.

Americans’ news consumption habits are surprisingly unpolarized. Voters don’t seem particularly concerned with Hillary Clinton’s health. And white millennials have mixed feelings about the Black Lives Matter movement. This is HuffPollster for Thursday, September 8, 2016.

RELATIVELY FEW PEOPLE GET ALL OF THEIR NEWS FROM PARTISAN SOURCES - Brendan Nyhan: “New research shows that the great majority of people learn about political news from mainstream, relatively centrist media sources, not ideological websites or cable channels. However, relatively small numbers of partisans, especially Republicans, are heavy consumers of a highly polarized media diet….To learn more about where people get their political news, Andy Guess, a postdoctoral researcher in social media and politics at New York University, recruited a nationally representative YouGov online survey panel. The nearly 1,400 panelists agreed to take part in a survey and to anonymously share data on their website visits over a three-week period in early 2015…. the news diet of most respondents was remarkably centrist on average for both Democrats and Republicans alike. But… Democrats are more likely to visit left-leaning outlets like Daily Kos and The Huffington Post than Republicans are. Most strikingly, though, a sizable fraction of total political news consumption by Republicans was devoted to heavily conservative-aligned outlets like Fox News and Breitbart, which are very rarely visited by Democrats.” [NYTimes]

ATTACKS ON CLINTON’S HEALTH DON’T SEEM TO BE SWAYING OPINIONS - Aaron Blake: “Top Donald Trump supporters, surrogates and even the Republican presidential nominee himself have made a clear and concerted effort to raise questions about Hillary Clinton’s health ― often in extremely suggestive and baseless ways. Our own Chris Cillizza has written twice this week about how the innuendo-laden suggestions are out of bounds. And they are. What these attacks also are, it turns out, is ineffective. A new Battleground poll from George Washington University tried to get at this subject in an interesting way ― without raising the specific allegations made about Clinton’s health, or even mentioning that such allegations existed….According to this poll, slightly more people think Clinton is ‘healthy enough to be effective’ (43 percent) than Trump (41 percent). That’s exactly the same margin by which Clinton leads overall ― 42 percent to 40 percent ― and it suggests pretty strongly that the ‘healthier’ attacks aren’t landing with much force ― or at least not enough force to make a dent in the typical partisan divide.” [WashPost]

VOTERS WITHOUT A DEGREE SPLIT BETWEEN CLINTON AND TRUMP, A NEW SURVEY FINDS - John McCormick: “In a two-way contest, Trump is backed by 55 percent of whites with no more than a high-school degree, compared to 33 percent for Clinton. Yet among all likely voters who haven’t attended college—a group that accounted for 24 percent of the 2012 electorate—Clinton leads Trump 47 percent to 42 percent in a two-way contest. She’s buoyed by support from 83 percent of non-white, no-college voters to Trump’s 10 percent.….Whites with no more than a high-school degree give Trump the advantage on virtually all of 17 candidate qualities tested, with the exceptions being having the right temperament to be president, possessing the skills needed to conduct foreign policy, and being a good role model for children. On those three questions, Clinton tied or only narrowly beat him….For Trump, the most troubling vulnerability of eight tested among no-college voters was his verbal treatment of women, including calling them names like ‘pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘bimbo.’ More than half, 56 percent, say they’re bothered a lot by that.” [Bloomberg]

YOUNG WHITES ARE CONFLICTED ABOUT BLACK LIVES MATTER - Lilly Workneh: “A new survey released Monday revealed that more young, white adults support the Black Lives Matter movement than ever before. But that advance comes with a big caveat. The GenForward survey, which was conducted by the Associated Press and the Black Youth Project amongst 1,958 adults between Aug. 1- 14, showed that 51 percent of white adults between the ages of 18 and 30 say they support BLM, while 42 percent say they do not. In June, the number of white people who backed BLM stood at only 41 percent….66 percent of young, white adults think BLM’s rhetoric encourages violence against the police. The survey showed that the belief was shared across racial/ethnic groups, too: 43 percent of Asian-Americans, 42 percent of Hispanics, and 19 percent of African-Americans share the opinion.” [HuffPost]

THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT POLLING MARGINS OF ERROR - Andrew Mercer: “In presidential elections, even the smallest changes in horse-race poll results seem to become imbued with deep meaning. But they are often overstated. Pollsters disclose a margin of error so that consumers can have an understanding of how much precision they can reasonably expect…. Because surveys only talk to a sample of the population, we know that the result probably won’t exactly match the ‘true’ result that we would get if we interviewed everyone in the population. The margin of sampling error describes how close we can reasonably expect a survey result to fall relative to the true population value. A margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level means that if we fielded the same survey 100 times, we would expect the result to be within 3 percentage points of the true population value 95 of those times…. It is also important to bear in mind that the sampling variability described by the margin of error is only one of many possible sources of error that can affect survey estimates…. For election surveys in particular, estimates that look at “likely voters” rely on models and predictions about who will turn out to vote that may also introduce error. Unlike sampling error, which can be calculated, these other sorts of error are much more difficult to quantify and are rarely reported. But they are present nonetheless, and polling consumers should keep them in mind when interpreting survey results.” [Pew]

HuffPollster, with Mark Blumenthal, wrote more on the controversy surrounding margin of error in 2015. [HuffPost]

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THURSDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Gallup finds “deflated” favorability ratings for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. [Gallup]

-Mark Mellman (D) predicts Clinton will win, but not by a landslide. [The Hill]

-Shane Goldmacher profiles  Elan Kriegel, Clinton’s director of analytics. [Politico]

-Julia Azari expects political “recalibration,” but not a realignment, in the wake of Donald Trump. [538]

-Dustin Siggins looks at how HuffPost Pollster’s polling averages differ from RealClearPolitics. [The Stream]

-Mariah Stewart reviews HuffPost/YouGov data on black and Latino Americans’ attitudes toward gun control. [HuffPost]  

-Americans are divided by party on how likely terrorists are to attack within the U.S. [Pew]

-An independent polling agency in Russia has been labeled a “foreign agent.” [NYTimes]

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