PRRI Releases New Data on Trump Favorability
A new report, out today, finds that in 2020, Republican support for Donald Trump is only strengthening, with increased favorability from 79% throughout 2019 to 84% in a February 2020 follow-up survey. Throughout 2019, white evangelical Protestants (64% favorable, including 34% very favorable), white men (55%), and white Americans who do not have a college degree (52%) also show consistent majority support for the president. Like Republicans, Democrats are firming up their views in 2020 — in the follow-up survey, 90% of Democrats report unfavorable views of the president, compared to 85% throughout 2019. “Among most groups in Trump’s base and opposition, there were generally only brief fluctuations in Trump’s favorability across 2019, which bounced back to their previous levels within a few weeks,” notes PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones. “However, among white women with college degrees, there were double-digit dips in favorability in response to events such as the Mueller report and impeachment, indicating vulnerability for Trump among this crucial group who supported him in 2016.” Read the full report here.
The Rise of Paula White
For the better part of the last two decades, televangelist Paula White has been advising President Trump on religious matters. That relationship allowed White to follow Trump to the White House, as she received an official appointment last year. In an in-depth piece for Mother Jones, Stephanie Mencimer writes about how White got there, and how she uses her position to solicit money from supporters. “Since Trump’s election, White has helped ensure a steady stream of fringe evangelicals and prosperity preachers into the White House. But it’s not clear what exactly she’s been doing to fulfill her governmental duties since her October appointment to the faith initiative,” Mencimer writes. PRRI’s most recent data illustrates the relationship that Trump has with white evangelicals, and how this impacts his overall favorability ratings. White evangelical Protestants make up 15% of the total population, but are among Trump’s strongest supporters, with the highest favorability ratings from any major non-political demographic group. On average, nearly two-thirds (64%) of white evangelical Protestants have a favorable view of Trump, including one-third (34%) who say they are very favorable toward him.
Making Sure the Next Group of ‘Hidden Figures’ Isn’t Lost
In a new piece for The Atlantic, Marina Koren looks at the legacy of Katherine Johnson, one of several black, female mathematicians once hidden from the history of NASA. Johnson’s contributions to the space program went overlooked most of her life, until 2016, when a book and major motion picture told her story, and the stories of other black female mathematicians. “The sciences are well known for their infuriating tendency to overlook important figures who aren’t white and male. But the stories of these women in particular had been buried so deep in the archives of history that when [Margot Lee] Shetterly brought them to light, it felt like a revelation. In her late 90s, Johnson was finally celebrated—widely and loudly—for her contributions to one of the most iconic accomplishments of the 20th century,” Koren writes. According to the author, Johnson and her cohorts’ legacy reaches far beyond NASA. Koren believes that their story is a reminder of how history is written, who gets included, who gets left out, and why there should no longer be any “hidden figures.” PRRI data shows that 65% of Americans believe that women face a lot of discrimination in the United States, up from 44% in 2013.
ACLU Sues Texas Towns Over Abortion
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, seven Texas towns that have passed laws banning abortion are misleading their residents and violating the Constitution. “The towns’ ordinances claim to ban abortion, some kinds of reproductive health offerings, like birth control and emergency contraception including Plan B. Though none of the towns have clinics that provide abortions, the regulations say they prohibit those facilities from opening,” CBS News reports. The ACLU believes that the language in the laws is unclear on what is currently legal, and what is conditionally legal, were the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. PRRI data shows that less than half (48%) of Texans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared to 45% who say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.