Labor Day 2015: America is actually pro-union, finds Gallup

58% of Americans approve of Labor unions. 61% would like to see them have at least as much, if not more, influence in the future. The U.S. media consistently denigrates organized labor and suggests everyone hates them and all problems are their fault. That should stop.

(Source: Gallup, August 2015 via Polling Report)

Recently on this topic from AFD:

The origin story of minimum wage laws, part 1
The origin story of minimum wage laws, part 2
Fair wages are just another operational cost to meet
Key win for workers in the subcontract/franchise economy

NYC: Overwhelming opposition to the NYPD mutiny

Back in November 2013, 72% of New Yorkers, of those who voted, voted for Bill de Blasio and his police reform platform. The media said “oh well it was just low turnout. Can’t be representative.”

Weird. Because:

About 69 percent of New York City voters disapprove of police officers turning their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio during the funerals for two police officers who were shot and killed in December, a Quinnipiac University poll of nearly 1,200 New Yorkers found.

So, 69% disapprove of the NYPD physically turning their backs on de Blasio for promoting police reform? Wow, it’s almost like it’s (statistically speaking) the same share as those who voted for the candidate with a police reform agenda. 

Further disapproval was registered against the mutinous, unilateral dereliction of duty known as the “slowdown.”

About 57 percent of New Yorker voters told Quinnipiac that police officers should be disciplined if they deliberately make fewer arrests or write fewer tickets.


Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City (Credit: Kevin Case via Wikimedia)

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City (Credit: Kevin Case via Wikimedia)

Selected highlights (lowlights?) from the new Pew religion poll

The new huge Pew Form report on politics and religion in America is out now. It’s one of the most discouraging I can remember in the past 5 years. The proportion of people who think there should be more religion in politics is up, the proportion who support same-sex marriage has leveled or dropped, the proportion who think being gay is a sin is up, and the Christian right is still agitating for being allowed more direct political involvement by their churches. The more things don’t go their way, the more they dig in.

That’s the tip of the iceberg, but there’s a lot more in the report. The only good sign I’ve picked out of the report so far is that most Democratic voters polled said the party was representing their social views well. While it wasn’t necessarily overwhelmingly true on specific issues, it seems to be more true than before.

I suspect that’s a result of a combination of some non-aligned (i.e. socially conservative) Democratic voters dropping out of the party finally and the expulsion or reduced visibility of a number of anti-gay and anti-abortion Democratic candidates and elected officials in recent years — an important trend that I looked at in a recent post. Meanwhile, the more socially liberal or socially centrist Democrats in office have begun speaking more loudly and confidently in favor of gay rights and reproductive freedom. This whole process is ongoing, but it’s helping socially liberal base Democrats not feel alienated by loud and offensive conservative Democratic officeholders and underrepresented by those who agree with them.

Many White Americans still clueless on Ferguson, finds Pew poll

Not surprising, but still very disturbing results from a Pew poll on the Ferguson situation.

47% of White Americans think “race is getting too much attention” in a story of nearly exclusively White police forces openly oppressing and attacking a two-thirds Black community after shooting down an unarmed Black kid without any known probable cause at the time.

Meanwhile, only one third of White Americans believe the “police response has gone too far.” You know, the response where police are firing dangerous nerve gas and bullet-alternatives (which have killed people in other cases) into crowds with children in them.

But in defense of the clueless masses, the mainstream news media reports keep uncritically repeating the fanciful law enforcement claims that they were under siege by “Molotov cocktails” no one has seen and “coordinated” attacks on their command center, which doesn’t seem grounded in reality. So, even if some people still wouldn’t have a problem with the police response when given the real facts of the situation, a larger proportion don’t have access to those facts in the first place to make an accurate assessment.

New poll again shows no majority Russia support in Eastern Ukraine

According to the latest polling, fewer than 4 in 10 residents of the oblasts that supposedly just voted 90% in favor of independence actually want to join Russia.

ukraine-flag-sqA new poll out from Ukraine (by London-based ComRes for CNN, with 1,000 respondents, conducted in Russian and Ukrainian) generally matches the Avaaz-commissioned poll earlier this year, even after all the chaos since then. Most notably, the new poll finds support for annexation by Russia is still well below a majority in the three Ukrainian oblasts (see map at bottom of post) recently seized by Russian-speaking separatists:

The CNN poll found that even in eastern Ukraine, a minority of people back an alliance with Russia.

Just over a third (37%) of Ukrainians in three eastern regions favor an alliance with Russia, while 14% of the region backs an alliance with the European Union and about half (49%) say Ukraine would be better off if it did not ally with either, the poll found.

“Eastern Ukraine” includes the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv, which are generally seen as among the most pro-Russian areas in the country.

Donetsk and Luhansk held referendums on independence on Sunday, with an election official in Donetsk saying Monday the region had voted 90% in favor.

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What Russia missed: The rise of a united Ukraine

ukraine-flag-sqA new poll of Ukrainians conducted by Avaaz on the recent developments in Kiev and Crimea found a lot of results that don’t really support the Russian version of events.

Russia seems to have missed a crucial development since 1991: a true formation of a Ukrainian identity beyond the East/West, Europe/Russia, Ukrainian language/Russian language split. As a result, there is no groundswell of support for their interference.

While there’s certainly a noticeable difference in views still between Eastern and Western Ukraine, there’s still more consensus than not, particularly on recent events.

Key findings:

  • A majority of the country wants to be aligned equally with both Europe and Russia.
  • A near majority in W. Ukraine agreed with that idea, while a narrow majority in E. Ukraine agreed with it.
  • 3 in 4 Easterners agreed that there should be negotiations to protect minority rights in Crimea and return Russian troops to their own bases. 9 in 10 Westerners said the same.
  • Just 1 in 4 Easterners approved of the Russian intervention in Crimea.
  • Contrary to popular belief, 2 in 3 Easterners approved of the the removal of President Yanukovych, a Russian-speaking Easterner, while more than 9 in 10 Westerners agreed.

This is pretty consistent with other polling data from the past seven or so years and is very encouraging. While it’s important not to exaggerate the significance of any one poll, this new poll taken in Ukraine fits into a broader narrative of polls from the past decade showing an emerging national unity. The fact that it’s coming after all the recent chaos is even more important, in that it continues the trend.

This new poll demonstrates that there was a much deeper and wider well of support for the president’s removal than opponents of the revolution have suggested (probably partially a result of the violence of his final crackdown). It also demonstrates a definite lack of support for a Russian military intervention in either Crimea or Eastern Ukraine in general.

There’s no broad base of support, across Ukraine as a whole, in either half of the country, for truly going back to Russia, politically, militarily, or economically. Apart from nostalgia for the motherland among some aging Soviet pensioners, most Easterners, even the Russian-speaking ones, only want close ties with Russia out of existing economic dependence and a legitimate fear that Russia will punish them for pulling back.