Polls Hub




Poll: 80% Of Adults In U.S. Struggle With Poverty

Poverty-Rate
The data comes via a poll released by the Associated Press over the weekend, which points to "the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend."

The economic indicator, officially dubbed "economic insecurity", defines the criteria as those adults who have experienced unemployment at any point during their careers, spent a year or more relying on government assistance such as food stamps, or having an income at least 150% below the poverty line. According to Huffington Post, "measured across all races, the risk of economic insecurity rises to 79 percent." The study also marked a closing of gaps between whites and nonwhites with regard to poverty rates when compared to census data from the 1970s. It also showed:

"Marriage rates are in decline across all races, and the number of white mother-headed households living in poverty has risen to the level of black ones."

The study also remarks on the creation of "the invisible poor", which is a term used to describe those living in suburbs or rural towns who fall into the category of experiencing "economic insecurity".

"Concentrated in Appalachia in the East, they are numerous in the industrial Midwest and spread across America's heartland, from Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma up through the Great Plains."

Help_graffitiThese invisible poor, who, more often than not, tend to be white, are less likely to be targeted by programs seeking to aid other impoverished groups in other, more urban areas. This could be one of the contributing factors to why racial gaps are closing. Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, told the Huffington Post:

"Poverty is no longer an issue of `them', it's an issue of `us'...Only when poverty is thought of as a mainstream event, rather than a fringe experience that just affects blacks and Hispanics, can we really begin to build broader support for programs that lift people in need."

Other noteworthy findings include:

  • "For the first time since 1975, the number of white single-mother households living in poverty with children surpassed or equaled black ones in the past decade, spurred by job losses and faster rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites. White single-mother families in poverty stood at nearly 1.5 million in 2011, comparable to the number for blacks. Hispanic single-mother families in poverty trailed at 1.2 million."
  • "Since 2000, the poverty rate among working-class whites has grown faster than among working-class nonwhites, rising 3 percentage points to 11 percent as the recession took a bigger toll among lower-wage workers. Still, poverty among working-class nonwhites remains higher, at 23 percent."
  • "The share of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods – those with poverty rates of 30 percent or more – has increased to 1 in 10, putting them at higher risk of teenage pregnancy or dropping out of school. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 17 percent of the child population in such neighborhoods, compared with 13 percent in 2000, even though the overall proportion of white children in the U.S. has been declining."
  • "The share of black children in high-poverty neighborhoods dropped from 43 percent to 37 percent, while the share of Latino children went from 38 percent to 39 percent."
  • "Race disparities in health and education have narrowed generally since the 1960s. While residential segregation remains high, a typical black person now lives in a nonmajority black neighborhood for the first time. Previous studies have shown that wealth is a greater predictor of standardized test scores than race; the test-score gap between rich and low-income students is now nearly double the gap between blacks and whites."

Thus, while the economy has reportedly finished its recession from late last decade, it does not appear to be growing fast enough to sustain the record 46.2 million people reportedly living in poverty. 


Poll: 50 Percent of Virginia Voters Support Same-Sex Marriage

A new Quinnipiac poll is out and reveals that 50 percent of Virginians support same-sex marriage and 43 percent oppose it.

Ken_cuccinelliAs far as the governor's race goes, Quinnipiac reports:

A yawning gender gap in the Virginia governor's race leaves Democrat Terry McAuliffe with a slight 43 - 39 percent lead over Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

"Democrat Terry McAuliffe is ahead by a nose in this tight race, but half the electorate doesn't know enough about him to decide whether they view him favorably or unfavorably. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is somewhat better known with only a third of voters having no opinion about him," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Some breakdown of the numbers on marriage, via the AP:

Women who responded to the survey backed gay marriage 55 percent to 39 percent, but men opposed it 49 percent to 43 percent. Sixty-eight percent of self-identified Democrats supported gay marriage and 26 percent opposed it. Republican respondents opposed it by the same ratio.

Sixty percent of those with college degrees supported same-sex marriage and 34 percent of college grads opposed it. Among those with no college degree, 49 percent opposed it and 45 percent supported it. Catholics favored gay marriage 56 percent to 40 percent, while Protestants opposed it 57 percent to 36 percent. Among those who identified themselves as born-again evangelicals, 74 percent opposed it.

A majority of whites surveyed, 51 percent, supported gay marriage while black respondents opposed it 48 percent to 42 percent. Among voters age 18 to 29, 74 percent backed same-sex marriage, and 52 percent of those age 30 to 44 favor it. But among those 45 and older, majorities opposed it.

In the 2006 election, an amendment to Virginia's Constitution banning gay marriage passed 57 percent to 43 percent.


Majority of Arkansans Support Employment Non-Discrimination, Anti-Bullying Laws

At a news conference this week, Grant Tennille the head of Arkansas’ economic development agency and Chad Griffin director of the Human Rights Campaign implored Arkansas to lead on LGBT issues in the south:

Arkansas(Tennille) said Arkansas, to both attract jobs and keep the state's intellectual capital from leaving, must create an atmosphere of equality. "It's an incredibly simple concept," Tennille said. Arkansas needs to be a place where all are welcome."

Tennille added that he didn't think he'd change Gov. Mike Beebe's mind on his opposition to marriage equality. Beebe at least allows Tennille to speak freely. Indeed, Beebe said later that Tennille was entitled to his opinion but his belief that marriage should only apply to a man and woman hadn't changed.

Rep. Deborah Ferguson, D-West Memphis, who introduced the speakers, said it was time to let those in the LGBT community know "that we stand with them as allies," and Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, said he would urge "all Arkansans to go out and change hearts and minds." UALR student Ty Stacey talked about coming out to her family at age 18 and how difficult it was but that she was helped by role models like former state Rep. Kathy Webb of Little Rock, the only open gay lawmaker to serve in the legislature. Other speakers were James Rector, head of the Northwest Arkansas Center for Equality, which has worked with students to fight bullying, and Ruth Shepherd, director of Just Communities of Arkansas, who pledged JCA's support in efforts to bring about change.

A poll of 600 Arkansas adults conducted late last month offers a few encouraging statistics from the state:

· 61 percent of Arkansans under age 30 support marriage equality, and 63 support legislation that would ensure no one could be fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity...

· 90 percent of people of faith in Arkansas agree that the Golden Rule — treating others as we ourselves would wish to be treated — extends to LGBT people.

· Nearly 70 percent of Arkansans support anti-bullying laws against LGBT youth.

· 64 percent of Arkansans believe it does more harm than good when a religious leader condemns LGBT people.

Late last month, Arkansans for Equality submitted a constitutional amendment to the state attorney general seeking to repeal the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. If approved, the group will need to collect 78,133 registered voters' signatures to get the amendment on the 2014 ballot.


Pew Research Looks At The Conflicting Relationship Between LGBT Adults And Religion

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The comprehensive Pew Survey of LGBT Americans we reported on earlier detailing the coming out process and social acceptance has a fascinating section that examines the conflicting relationship between LGBT adults and religion. Unsurprisingly, there is a stark difference between the religious views of LGBT adults and that of the general public.

From Pew:

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 4.40.12 PMLesbian, gay men, bisexuals and transgender adults are, on the whole, less religious than the general public. About half (48%) say they have no religious affiliation, compared with 20% in the general public; this pattern holds among all age groups. LGBT adults who do have a religious affiliation generally attend worship services less frequently and attach less importance to religion in their lives than do religiously affiliated adults in the general public.

Also, a third (33%) of religiously affiliated LGBT adults say there is a conflict between their religious beliefs and their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Later on, the survey asks LGBT respondents to rate six religions or religious institutions as friendly, neutral or unfriendly toward the LGBT population. By overwhelming margins, most rate all six as more unfriendly than friendly. And about three-in-ten LGBT adults (29%) say they personally have "been made to feel unwelcome at a place of worship or religious organization."

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Check out the full survey HERE


Strong Support For Gay Marriage, Adoption In Developed Nations: Poll

A new poll released today from Ipsos on behalf of Reuters shows a majority support for marriage equality in developed nations:

Earth"73% of those in 16 countries support some form of legal recognition of same-sex couples – 52% support full marriage equality and 21% support some form of legal recognition but not marriage. The survey...finds that 14% are opposed to same-sex couples having any kind of legal recognition while 13% are unsure.

The survey was conducted with a sample of 12,484 adults aged 18-64 in the following 16 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and United States."

Reuters notes the poll's findings as pertaining to adoption:

"Nearly 60 percent of people polled thought gay couples should have the same rights as heterosexuals to adopt children and 64 percent thought same-sex couples were just as likely to raise children successfully."

Views on same-sex marriage appear to be closely linked to knowing someone who identifies as LGBT:

"Opposition to legal recognition or marriage of gays was highest in Hungary, South Korea, Poland and Japan, where 37 percent of people said they were unsure about how they felt.

"'What is common to Hungary, South Korea and Poland is that by and large they are the countries that have the lowest percentage of people who report having a relative, a colleague, or a friend who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender,' said [Nicolas] Boyon [an Ipsos senior vice president].

Three out of 10 people questioned said their attitude towards gay marriage had changed in the past five years, although they did not say how. Support for same-sex unions was highest among adults who had a relative, friend or colleague who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBT)."

The poll also found a correlation between support for same-sex marriage and involvement in social media and religion.  Those with a penchant for social media were more likely to be in favor of marriage equality when compared with those who were not as active online.  Conversely, those who identified with a religion were far less likely to support legal equality for gay couples.

Interestingly, in Argentina, where gay marriage is legal, only 48 percent supported same-sex marriage.

In the United States, the poll found 42 percent in support of same-sex marriage and an additional 23 percent favoring another form of legal recognition for same-sex couples.  These numbers are somewhat lower than the most recent Gallup poll which put support for marriage equality at 53 percent nationwide.

Pew Poll Finds LGBT Americans Feel More Accepted, Still Face Adversity

As reported earlier, the Pew Research Center recently published the results of its' first survey focusing solely on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender respondents. In addition to the information gleaned about the process of coming out, the survey asked a number of other questions of particular relevance to LGBT individuals. Interestingly, while a vast majority of respondents feel more accepted, they still face significant adversity, Time Magazine reports:

Arc-of-Social-Acceptance"Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center, tells TIME, '9 in 10 of LGBT surveyed feel they have become more accepted in the past decade and just as many say they expect the acceptance to increase in the coming decade. In our business, when you see those numbers, that’s pretty dramatic. But that needs to be kept in perspective, because while these are the best of times, that doesn’t mean it’s the easiest time. Even in a time of feeling more socially accepted, fewer than 6 in 10 have told their mothers about their sexual orientation or gender identity and fewer than 4 in 10 have told their fathers–that suggests the complicated realms of their lives.'

While the survey indicated that the group as a whole is more more satisfied with the direction of the country than the general public, its members have frequently faced rejection and discrimination in the past. About 60% say they have been the target of slurs or jokes. 40% said they were rejected by a close friend or family member due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. 30% say they had been physically attacked or threatened, and 21% claim they have been unfairly treated by an employer.

Respondents felt bisexual women were the most accepted by society while transgender adults were the least. They also felt that lesbians were more readily accepted than gay men.

Among other results noted by researchers, the group surveyed showed a proclivity for political involvement:

"5 in 10 say they have both bought products made by a company that’s LGBT friendly and have refused to buy products from companies that were not. 3 in 10 have donated to politicians who support LGBT rights. Besides the hot political button of same-sex marriage, employment rights, HIV and AIDS prevention are also top issues they feel most strongly about."

In case you missed it, be sure to check out Time's stunning covers from this past March declaring, "Gay Marriage Already Won."


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