HUFFPOLLSTER: Do Polls Find Support For Obama Executive Orders? It Depends On How Pollsters Ask

US President Barack Obama signs an executive order raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 on new federal contracts in the
US President Barack Obama signs an executive order raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 on new federal contracts in the East Room of the White House on February 12, 2014 in Washington, DC. President Obama first announced the measure during his State of the Union address. Because the measure applies only to new contracts, officials have said it will affect just a few hundred thousand workers. That's a small percentage of the more than 2 million federal contractors. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

What Americans think about a president using executive orders depends a lot on how they are asked. Pessimism about the political leadership in Washington continues to run high. And a new poll finds that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would likely (wait for it)..."Thump Trump." This is HuffPollster for Thursday, February 13, 2014.

FOX POLL FINDS OPPOSITION TO OBAMA EXECUTIVE ORDERS Dana Blanton: "According to a just-released Fox News national poll, most voters don’t think the country’s system of government was designed for the president to act unilaterally, and a majority disapproves of Obama bypassing Congress. The new poll finds that 74 percent think the president using executive orders to get around Congress is not how things are supposed to work in our country. That includes 54 percent of Democrats...Even when asked to set aside their views on how the government is supposed to work, by a wide 60-37 percent margin voters still disapprove of Obama going around Congress." [Fox News]

How did they get that result? - Consider the text of the questions and the order in which they were asked:

-"Barack Obama said he will take action to advance his policy goals with or without Congress, and that he’ll use executive orders to get around Congress. Do you think this is the way our government is supposed to work, or not?" Seventy-three (73) percent said "no," 23 percent said "yes" and just 3 percent had no reaction either way.

-"Regardless of what you think about how things are supposed to work, do you approve or disapprove of Barack Obama going around Congress and using executive orders?" Thirty-seven (37) percent approve, 60 percent disapprove, 3 percent don't know. [Fox News]

Is there a less leading way to asks about executive orders? - We report, you decide. Here's a question asked on the ABC/Washington Post survey in January: "Presidents have the power in some cases to bypass Congress and take action by executive order to accomplish their administration's goals. Do you support or oppose this?" Just over half (51 percent) support, 46 percent oppose, 2 percent have no opinion. [WaPost]

LITTLE CONFIDENCE IN EITHER OBAMA OR REPUBLICAN CONGRESS - A new Marist-McClatchy national survey finds another way to confirm negative attitudes toward the political leadership in Washington: "Americans’ faith in their elected officials in Washington is in short supply. Nearly two-thirds of adults nationally report they do not have confidence in President Barack Obama to make headway on important issues facing the country this year, and more than seven in ten have this view of the Republicans in Congress...While 62% of Democrats express confidence in the president’s ability to move the national conversation forward, 37% are not that certain. Not surprisingly, most Republicans — 91% — do not believe President Obama will be able to advance the important issues facing the country. Nearly three in four independents — 74% — agree...By party, more than three in four Democrats — 77% — and close to eight in ten independents — 79% — lack confidence in Congressional Republicans to advance the important issues facing the nation. Even six in ten Republicans — 60% — have this opinion." [Marist-McClatchy]

POPULAR CUOMO 'THUMPS TRUMP' IN NY - Quinnipiac University: "New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a 63 - 28 percent job approval rating, higher than the current scores for any governor in the nine states surveyed by Quinnipiac University, and tops either of two possible Republican challengers to his reelection by margins of more than 2-1, according to a poll released today. Gov. Cuomo buries Donald Trump 63 - 26 percent and tops Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino 58 - 24 percent, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds. Cuomo deserves to be reelected, New York State voters say 59 - 31 percent. The governor gets 59 - 28 percent favorability rating, compared to negative 27 - 60 percent favorability for Trump." [Quinnipiac]

AMERICANS READY FOR OPENLY GAY ATHLETES - Emily Swanson: "A majority of Americans -- including the vast majority of football fans -- say they would approve of their favorite sports team signing an openly gay player, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds. According to the poll, 65 percent of Americans say they would approve of their team signing an openly gay player, including 46 percent who said they would strongly approve of such a move. Only 18 percent said that they would disapprove, and another 18 percent said they weren't sure. And the new poll -- conducted after NFL draft prospect Michael Sam announced publicly that he is gay -- also found that 68 percent of NFL fans say they would approve of their team signing an openly gay player. More than two-thirds of fans of all the major American sports leagues agreed." [HuffPost]

NET SUPPORT FOR WARREN'S POST OFFICE BANKING PROPOSAL - Emily Swanson: "Many Americans say they would support the U.S. Postal Service expanding into basic banking and financial services and would sometimes use those services if they were available, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. Expanding post office services to include banking was recently explored in a report by the Postal Service inspector general, and is backed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.) as a way to bring affordable basic banking services to low-income neighborhoods. According to the new poll, 44 percent of Americans said they would favor the Postal Service offering basic financial services like bill-paying, check-cashing and small loans. Thirty-seven percent said they were opposed, and 19 percent said they weren't sure." [HuffPost]

SUBMITTED WITHOUT FURTHER COMMENT - A Twitter conversation about the performance of the meteorological models that accurately predicted snowfall for winter storm Pax, between FiveThirtyEight's Harry Enten (@ForecasterEnten) and Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson):

-Enten: "This snow was extremely well modeled. My goodness."

-Soltis: "@ForecasterEnten Did [the] NAM [model] wind up being

-Enten: "@ksoltisanderson NAM ain't looking too bad! GFS on the other hand... Let's just say it pulled a Gallup." [Storify]

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

-15 percent of Americans say they "know for sure" that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. [YouGov]

-Democrat Alex Sink holds narrow leads in two polls in the special election to fill Florida's 13th Congressional District. [Tampa Bay Times and St. Leo University]

-PPP (D) finds Kay Hagan (D-NC) "trailing most of her potential [general election] opponents by small margins." [PPP]

-Harper Polling (R) shows Mark Warner leading Ed Gillespie in Virginia [Harper]

-PPP (D) and Americans United for Change find strong support for a minimum wage increase in Ohio and Illinois. [PPP]

-Emily Ekins shares results from an alternative question posing the conservative argument against raising the minimum wage. [WaTimes)]

-Alan Abramowitz updates his 2014 U.S. House model, which currently predicts a "very small gain" for Republicans, not a wave. [Sabato]

-Americans are feeling more negative toward Russia and Vladimir Putin than they have in decades. [Gallup]

-Political ads spending on Obamacare is dwarfed by consumer insurer ad spending. [Cook Political]

-Christopher Hare, Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal ponder where congressional polarization is headed next. [WaPost's Monkey Cage]

-Dartmouth University scholars Michael Herron and Daniel Smith find that North Carolina's requirement of voter ID and restriction of early voting will disproportionately affect black voters. [Dartmouth via MSNBC]

-A new iPhone app prompts you with quizzes throughout the day to help collect data about yourself. [Flowing Data]

Ariel Edwards-Levy is off today. She'll be back next week.



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