Foreign interests have spent over $530 million influencing US policy and public opinion since 2017

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Foreign interests have spent over $530 million influencing US policy, public opinion since 2017

Wolfpack Pride Thriving

Public Opinion

My research and analysis for Pack Poll:

How much pride do you have in being a student at NC State?  When State students were asked how much they agreed with the statement “I am proud to be a student at N.C. State,” 94% agreed, up slightly from 90% who said this in the Fall 2011 Pack Poll.  The share of N.C. State Students who said they feel this way “strongly” also increased slightly, from 65% in 2011 to 68% in 2012.

Maybe students feel more pride because of the men’s basketball team’s highly praised performance in the NCAA tournament?  Overall, 87% of N.C. State students said they were proud of men’s basketball team’s performance, and 65% reported feeling that way “strongly.”  The linkage to feeling proud to be a student at State is clear: 99% of those who expressed strong pride in the basketball team were also proud to be a student at State.  That figure declined to 90% if pride in the team was not strongly felt, and just 78% among students who said they were neutral regarding the team.

The Right Direction

While students are not satisfied with the direction of the country, fully 67% of them say things at N.C. State are “generally headed in the right direction.”  Just 7% thought that N.C. State is on “the wrong track,” while about a quarter (26%) was unsure.  Students who said things at N.C. State are headed in the right direction were slightly more likely to say they had or were going to vote in the 2012 Spring NCSU student body elections.  Over half (51%) planned on voting if they said State was headed in the right direction, while 43% were going to vote among those who thought the opposite.  The belief that things at N.C. State are generally in the right direction was also significantly positively associated with the feeling of pride in being a student at N.C. State.

Class Pride

Freshmen are much more optimistic about the direction of N.C. State than students in any other class. A significantly higher proportion of freshmen at N.C. State say that N.C. State University is generally headed in the right direction. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of N.C. State freshman say that N.C. State is headed in the right direction. Although a sizable majority (69%) of sophomores still agree that N.C. State is on the right track, just 62% of juniors and 64% of seniors feel this way. Underclassmen are also shown to be less likely to see N.C. State to be heading in the wrong direction, with freshman saying that N.C. State is on the wrong track just 4% of the time, while just 6% of sophomores report feeling similarly. More than twice as many juniors (10%) and seniors (9%) feel that N.C. State heading in the wrong direction than their freshman counterparts.

 I am proud to be a student at N.C. State…

Strongly Agree Agree Total
Freshman 73 21 94
Sophomore 65 29 93
Junior 67 27 95
Senior 68 26 94
Disagree Strongly Disagree Total No Opinion
Freshman 1 1 1 5
Sophomore 2 1 2 5
Junior 1 1 2 4
Senior 3 0 3 3

Nearly all students (94%) in each class at N.C. State agreed that they feel proud to be N.C. State students, while nearly no one disagreed. Just 1% of freshman, 2% of sophomores and juniors, and 3% of seniors reported that they do not feel proud to be a student at N.C. State. The vast majority (73%) of freshman express strong pride in being a student at N.C. State.  More than two-thirds of juniors (67%) and seniors (68%) also strongly agree with the statement “I am proud to be a student at N.C. State,” while slightly less (65%) sophomores strongly feel this way. Males and females did not differ significantly in their opinions on the direction of N.C. State or in pride in being an N.C. State student.

Source: http://packpoll.com/wolfpack-pride-thriving/

Obama Favored Against Likely GOP Candidates

Policy, Public Opinion

My research and analysis for Pack Poll:

Nearly 900 state students were asked about their voting intentions come November.  Half of the students were asked, at random, about their voting intention if Romney was the Republican candidate while the other half were asked this same question if Santorum were the nominee.

We find that Barack Obama holds a slight 39% to 33% lead over Mitt Romney among N.C. State students, although his 6% lead is not outside of the margin of sampling error (4.7%) for this question.  Also, more than a fifth (21%) of students say that they are undecided, and an additional 7% of students say they would vote for a different candidate if these were their choices.  Clearly, a lot can change between now and November.

Obama does much better if Rick Santorum becomes the Republican nominee for President.  In this match-up, a substantial minority (42%) of students report that they would be more likely to vote for Barack Obama while just 24% of students report preferring Rick Santorum.  Another quarter (25%) of students do not know who they would vote for if presented with this ballot decision, while the remaining 9% of students would vote for someone else.

Sex

Obama leads Mitt Romney by just two points (38% to 36%) among male students. However, male students favored Obama over Santorum by a 42% to 27% margin. Barack Obama holds a substantial lead among female students regardless of the match-up, leading Romney 41% to 31% and Santorum 43% to 23%.

Party ID

The candidates hold their base.  Students who call themselves Republicans or Democrats express substantially more support for candidates of their own party. More than eight-in-ten students who consider themselves to be Democrats (85%, 83% respectively) say that they would vote for Barack Obama if either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum becomes the Republican nominee for President. A sizable majority (69%) of Republican students favor Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in the General Election. In a worrisome sign for Santorum, only slightly more than half of Republican students (54%) would support him as the Republican Party’s candidate. Almost three times as many Republicans as Democrats (28% to 10%) say that they do not know who they would vote for if Rick Santorum becomes the Republican nominee for President while more than one in five Republican students would remain irresolute if Mick Romney becomes the Republican nominee for President. Among students who call themselves Independents or choose not to affiliate with the Republican or Democratic Party, Barack Obama holds a moderate lead against potential Republican presidential nominees, with an eleven point lead against Mitt Romney (38% to 27%) and a substantial thirty point lead against Rick Santorum (45% to 15%).

Republicans Democrats Independents
Obama 4% 83% 37%
Romney 69% 3% 27%
I Don’t Know 22% 13% 28%
Other 5% 1% 8%
Obama 9% 85% 44%
Santorum 54% 2% 15%
Other 9% 3% 7%
I Don’t Know 28% 10% 34%

Likely Voters

If students reported being registered to vote, Barack Obama’s lead increases slightly.  Among this group, Obama holds a nine-point lead against Mitt Romney (42% to 33%) and a substantial seventeen-point lead against Rick Santorum (44% to 27%). Almost third (31%) of students who say that they are registered to vote are affiliated with the Republican Party while 27% of students who report being registered to vote are affiliated with the Democratic Party.

Source: http://packpoll.com/obama-favored-against-likely-gop-candidates/

Students Divided on Occupy Wall Street

Policy, Public Opinion

My research and analysis for Pack Poll:

Few Following the OWS Movement

Only about one-in-five N.C. State students say they approve of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.  Yet, roughly the same percentage (21%) says they oppose the movement.  For comparison, slightly more students say that they disapprove (26%) of the Tea Party movement than approve of it (18%). Similarly, however, a majority of students claim that they did not know enough about the OWS Movement (60%) or the Tea Party Movement (57%) to form an opinion. Female students reported knowing less about the two movements than male students, with almost seven-in-ten female students (69%) compared to half of male students (50%) reporting that they didn’t know enough to form an opinion on the OWS movement. Regarding the Tea Party movement, half of male students (49%) said that they didn’t know enough to form an opinion about it, while nearly two thirds of female respondents (64%) said they didn’t know enough.

Occupy Wall Street Movement (n=486) Total Men Women
Approve 19% 22% 15%
Disapprove 21% 27% 16%
Don’t know enough 60% 50% 69%
Tea Party Movement (n=479) Total Men Women
Approve 18% 22% 14%
Disapprove 26% 29% 22%
Don’t know enough 57% 50% 64%

While national news might is covering both movements, particularly OWS of late, fully 72% of students say that they have not been following the OWS movement (“not too closely” or “at all”). Hardly any students (4%) reported following the OWS movement “very closely”.  This contrasts with a recent PEW Research Center report that found 13% Americans naming the anti-Wall Street protestors as the story they were following most closely. Students who were more closely following OWS were also more likely to express approval of it. Nearly six-in-ten students (58%) who said they were “very closely” following the OWS movement approved of it, while just 22% of these students disapproved of the movement. Also, the more closely students paid attention to OWS, the more likely they were to offer assessments about it. Only one-in-five students (22%) following the OWS movement very closely, for example, said they didn’t know enough about it to form an opinion. Conversely, 90% of respondents said they had “no opinion” about OWS if they also reported not following it “at all”.

Tea Party Less Satisfied with Obama

Fully 60% of students who approve of OWS also approve of the way President Obama is doing his job; just 22% of these students disapprove. Overall, just 30% of N.C. State students approve of the way President Obama is doing his job, and he fares worse among tea Party supporters.  Just one-in-ten students (10%) who approve of the Tea Party movement approve of the way President Obama is doing his job. An overwhelming majority of these students (81%) disapprove.

Obama Job Approval… Occupy Wall Street Tea Party
Approve 60% 10%
Disapprove 22% 81%
No Opinion 18% 10%
Direction of the Country… Occupy Wall Street Tea Party
Right Track 25% 11%
Wrong Track 44% 79%
Unsure 32% 11%

Occupy Wall Street Supporters More Optimistic; Yet, Both Groups Pessimistic Overall

Among students who approve of the OWS movement, optimism about the general direction of the country is somewhat higher than among those who approve of the Tea Party movement. Yet, both group’s supporters are overall quite pessimistic. A quarter (25%) of students who approve of the Occupy Wall Street movement say that the county is generally headed in the right direction, while just one-in-ten students (11%) who approve of the Tea Party movement say the same thing. Yet, 44% of students who approve of OWS still say the country is headed in the wrong direction, and eight-in-ten (78%) students who approve of the Tea Party movement say the same thing.

Fall 2011 Top Line Results 

Source: http://packpoll.com/students-divided-on-occupy-wall-street/

Fewer Students Oppose Gays and Lesbians to Legally Marry

Policy, Public Opinion

My research and analysis for Pack Poll:

A plurality of students (49%) currently favors allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while just three-in-ten students (30%) oppose the idea. The proportion of students who support the legalization of same-sex marriage has changed very little since the fall of 2010, when the first Pack Poll took place.  Yet, support has declined slightly compared to a high of 54% in the spring of this year. While support has remained relatively stable, more students say they have “no opinion (13% in 2010, 21% today), and opposition is declining. Since the fall 2010 poll, opposition to same-sex marriage declined by 7% (from 37% to 30%).

Civil Unions

Opinions about allowing gays and lesbians to form civil unions are similar to gay marriage, but apparently experiencing more variation over time. For example, a slim majority of students (53%) presently favor civil unions. Yet, support for civil unions has experienced a moderate decline since the spring of this year when 62% of students supported the legalization of same-sex civil unions. Likewise, opposition to civil unions is just 27%, but this figure has risen from 19% of students polled in the spring of this year.

Gender

Women respondents are more likely favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally (62%) than men (44%). Women also express significantly stronger feelings about the issues of same-sex marriage and civil unions. An analysis of student responses finds that approximately one-third of women say they strongly favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally (35%) and form civil unions (33%).

Gays and Lesbians Legally Forming Civil Unions Gays and Lesbians Marrying Legally
Favor Oppose Favor Oppose
Total 49% 30% 53% 27%
Male 44% 33% 42% 34%
Female 62% 24% 56% 27%
Straight 50% 29% 47% 31%
Gay/Lesbian 100% 0% 100% 0%
Bisexual 100% 0% 100% 0%

Republicans in the state legislature have pushed through a referendum to amend the state constitution to effectively ban gay marriage.  The amendment would limit domestic legal unions to marriages between one man and one woman. Voters will get to decide during the primary elections to be held next spring. State students oppose the amendment nearly 2-1. While 52% expressed opposition to the ban, just 27% said they favored it.

Majority Opposes a Constitutional Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage

Surprisingly, roughly one-thirds (35%) of students who strongly opposed allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry did not support the constitutional amendment, but just 15% of those who strongly opposed allowing gays and lesbians to legally form civil unions opposed the amendment. Conversely, opposition was much stronger among students who expressed support for gay marriage. Over nine-in-ten students (91%) who strongly favored allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry opposed the constitutional amendment.

Compared to the Nation

According to the Pew Foundation, 45% of the American public currently say that they approve of allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, slightly lower than the 49% of N.C. State students who say this.  Among the N.C. State student population, however, only 30% currently disapprove of the legalization of same-sex marriage, which is significantly lower than the national average of 46%. The fact that fewer State students are willing to express an opinion, however, could be masking some hidden opposition due to social desirability pressures.

“Same-Sex Marriage” N.C. State United States
Agree 49% 45%
Oppose 30% 46%

Note on Methodology: The Pack Poll at NC State University was fielded between Nov. 1 –  Nov. 8, 2011. Responses came from 1108 partial and 970 completed interviews with NCSU undergraduates.  A random sample of 5,000 students’ email was used to contact potential respondents, who were invited to take the on-line survey using a software program called Qualtrics. The survey has a margin of sampling error of approximately plus or minus 3 percentage points.  For smaller subsamples within the survey, the margin of sampling error is larger. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

Source: http://packpoll.com/fewer-students-oppose-gays-and-lesbians-to-legally-marry/

Fewer Students Oppose Gays and Lesbians to Legally Marry

Policy, Public Opinion

My research with the Pack Poll:

A plurality of students (49%) currently favors allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while just three-in-ten students (30%) oppose the idea. The proportion of students who support the legalization of same-sex marriage has changed very little since the fall of 2010, when the first Pack Poll took place.  Yet, support has declined slightly compared to a high of 54% in the spring of this year. While support has remained relatively stable, more students say they have “no opinion (13% in 2010, 21% today), and opposition is declining. Since the fall 2010 poll, opposition to same-sex marriage declined by 7% (from 37% to 30%).

Civil Unions

Opinions about allowing gays and lesbians to form civil unions are similar to gay marriage, but apparently experiencing more variation over time. For example, a slim majority of students (53%) presently favor civil unions. Yet, support for civil unions has experienced a moderate decline since the spring of this year when 62% of students supported the legalization of same-sex civil unions. Likewise, opposition to civil unions is just 27%, but this figure has risen from 19% of students polled in the spring of this year.

Gender

Women respondents are more likely favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally (62%) than men (44%). Women also express significantly stronger feelings about the issues of same-sex marriage and civil unions. An analysis of student responses finds that approximately one-third of women say they strongly favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally (35%) and form civil unions (33%).

Gays and Lesbians Legally Forming Civil Unions Gays and Lesbians Marrying Legally
Favor Oppose Favor Oppose
Total 49% 30% 53% 27%
Male 44% 33% 42% 34%
Female 62% 24% 56% 27%
Straight 50% 29% 47% 31%
Gay/Lesbian 100% 0% 100% 0%
Bisexual 100% 0% 100% 0%

Republicans in the state legislature have pushed through a referendum to amend the state constitution to effectively ban gay marriage.  The amendment would limit domestic legal unions to marriages between one man and one woman. Voters will get to decide during the primary elections to be held next spring. State students oppose the amendment nearly 2-1. While 52% expressed opposition to the ban, just 27% said they favored it.

Majority Opposes a Constitutional Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage

Surprisingly, roughly one-thirds (35%) of students who strongly opposed allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry did not support the constitutional amendment, but just 15% of those who strongly opposed allowing gays and lesbians to legally form civil unions opposed the amendment. Conversely, opposition was much stronger among students who expressed support for gay marriage. Over nine-in-ten students (91%) who strongly favored allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry opposed the constitutional amendment.

Compared to the Nation

According to the Pew Foundation, 45% of the American public currently say that they approve of allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, slightly lower than the 49% of N.C. State students who say this.  Among the N.C. State student population, however, only 30% currently disapprove of the legalization of same-sex marriage, which is significantly lower than the national average of 46%. The fact that fewer State students are willing to express an opinion, however, could be masking some hidden opposition due to social desirability pressures.

“Same-Sex Marriage” N.C. State United States
Agree 49% 45%
Oppose 30% 46%

Note on Methodology: The Pack Poll at NC State University was fielded between Nov. 1 –  Nov. 8, 2011. Responses came from 1108 partial and 970 completed interviews with NCSU undergraduates.  A random sample of 5,000 students’ email was used to contact potential respondents, who were invited to take the on-line survey using a software program called Qualtrics. The survey has a margin of sampling error of approximately plus or minus 3 percentage points.  For smaller subsamples within the survey, the margin of sampling error is larger. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

Source: http://packpoll.com/fewer-students-oppose-gays-and-lesbians-to-legally-marry/

Nearly all Students Proud to be at N.C. State

Public Opinion

My research and analysis for Pack Poll:

“Major” Differences in Pride Exist

Fully 90% of N.C. State students agreed when asked, do you feel “proud to be a student at N.C. State,” and approximately two-thirds of those students (65%) said they “strongly” agreed. Furthermore, about nine-in-ten students also reported feeling “proud to be a part of my college at N.C. State,” (88%) and “proud to be a student in my major or degree program,” (87%). While few students (3%) did not agree, it is possible that expressing pride in being a student at N.C. State might be overstated due to social desirability effects.

The amount of pride students had varied a little bit according to their home college. Almost everyone studying in textiles, for example, agreed they felt proud about State, their college, and their major. By way of contrast, 12% of students in CHASS/Design did not agree they felt proud of being a student at State, and almost 20% did not feel proud of being in their major.

% who feel“proud to be a student in…” N.C. State My College My Major
CALS/CNR

89%

89%

89%
CHASS/Design

88%

82%

83%
PAMS/Engineering

89%

91%

92%
COM

89%

84%

89%
Textiles

100%

97%

95%
Education

100%

97%

91%
First Year College

100%

64%

41%

The “Right Direction” at State

Roughly six-in-ten students consider things at N.C. State to be “headed in the right direction”, while only 14% of students thought N.C. State was “headed in the wrong direction”. The belief that things at N.C. State are generally in the right direction was significantly related feeling pride in being a student at N.C. State. Approximately two-thirds of students who see N.C. State as on the right track also reported feeling pride in being a student at N.C. State, a student in their respective college, and a student in their major or degree program.
In a comparison of all colleges at N.C. State, First Year College students were the most likely to consider N.C. State to be on the right track, but their numbers were the fewest (n= 16). Similar to the pride question, the highest percentage of students believing NCSU is on the right track come from textiles (72%), while the largest percentage of students saying things are n the wrong track come from CHASS/Design.

Fresh Most Likely to Say, “Right Direction”

A significantly higher proportion of “frosh” or freshmen at N.C. State say that N.C. State University is generally headed in the right direction. Of the incoming freshman, 44% agreed that N.C. State was on the right track. Freshmen are much more optimistic about the direction of N.C. State than students in any other class. Overall, there are more modest differences in views of sophomores and upperclassmen: 56% of sophomores consider N.C. State to be on the right track, 55% of juniors express this view, as do 57% of seniors.
Frosh are also shown to be less likely to see N.C. State to be heading in the wrong direction (6%). More than twice as many sophomores and juniors (14%) see N.C. State heading in the wrong direction than their freshman counterparts while nearly one-in-five seniors (19%) say that N.C. State is on the wrong track, representing a 13-point difference from the 6% of freshman who consider N.C. State to be on the wrong track.
Students demonstrate moderately less substantial differences in expression of N.C. State pride than in views on the direction of the university. Overall, the senior class is the least expressive of pride in being an N.C. State student, with just under 89% expressing pride in being a student at N.C. State. Juniors express similar views with 89% agreeing with the statement “I am proud to be a student at N.C. State.” Just over nine-in-ten sophomores (91%) agreed with the same statement, while Frosh were most likely to express pride in being a student at N.C. State University (92%).

Wrong Direction for the Country

Six-in-ten students at N.C. State (60%) say that the university is heading in the right direction. However, just 17% of students feel that the country is on the right track. Compared to the 13% of students who say N.C. State University is heading in the wrong direction, significantly more students (48%) say that the country is headed in the wrong direction. 7-in-ten N.C. While students report substantially more favorable views on the direction of N.C. State than on direction of the county, students who say that the university is heading in the wrong direction also feel that the county is heading in the wrong direction.

Direction of N.C. State Direction of the Nation

Right Track

60%

17%

Wrong Track

13%

48%

Note on Methodology: The Pack Poll at NC State University was fielded between Nov. 1 –  Nov. 8, 2011. Responses came from 1108 partial and 970 completed interviews with NCSU undergraduates.  A random sample of 5,000 students’ email was used to contact potential respondents, who were invited to take the on-line survey using a software program called Qualtrics. The survey has a margin of sampling error of approximately plus or minus 3 percentage points.  For smaller subsamples within the survey, the margin of sampling error is larger. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

Source: http://packpoll.com/138/

Students Pessimistic About Direction of the Country

Public Opinion

My research and analysis for Pack Poll:

While students hold generally positive views about the direction of N.C. State, they report a more negative view about the direction of the county. Less than a quarter (23%) of students feel that the country is “generally headed in the right direction,” while nearly half (48%) of students think that the country is on the wrong track.

This is bad news for Obama, as the election draws nearer.  Just 18% of students who think that things in our country are generally headed in the wrong direction approve of the way President Obama is doing his job.  Among the minority of students who say things are headed in the right direction, nearly two-thirds (63%) also approve of the way President Obama is doing his job.

Overall, just one-third (33%) of N.C. State students approve of the way that President Obama is doing his job, and 40% disapprove.  Many (27%) were undecided.

Perhaps the good news for Obama’s reelection chances, students’ evaluations of Obama’s job performance are slightly more positive than those expressed in the Fall 2012 Pack Poll, when just 30% them expressed approval (43% expressed disapproval).  However, despite the perception that Obama does well with young voters, State students’ approval ratings of Obama’s job performance are lower than the national average of 50% approval reported by the PEW Research center on March 15, 2012.

To be expected, students who call themselves Democrats are significantly more likely to approve of the way that Obama is doing his job than students who classify themselves as Republicans. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Democrats express approval of President Obama’s job performance. A comparable number of Republicans disapprove of the way President Obama is doing his job. Also expectedly, a substantial majority of students who approve of Obama’s job performance say that they would vote for him in the general election if either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum becomes the Republican nominee.  The surprising finding is that Obama best both of the most likely Republican opponents, despite his low job performance.

Gas Prices

A large majority (72%) of N.C. State students feel that gas prices are becoming a burden for them, while just 6% of students disagree. The proportion of N.C. State students who consider gas prices to be a burden is consistent with national average of 63% of Americans consider gas prices to be a financial hardship according to a Washington Post-ABC News Poll conducted last month.

Nearly four-in-ten (38%) students strongly agree with the statement “Gas prices are becoming a burden for me.” Students who consider gas prices to be a burden tend to hold more negative views about the direction of the country. More than half (52%) of students who feel burdened by gas prices think that the country is generally headed in the wrong direction. An even greater majority (58%) of students who feel strongly that gas prices are becoming a burden say that the country is generally on the wrong track, while substantially less students (20%) who feel burdened by gas prices feel that the country is headed in the right direction. More than three-in-ten (31%) students who say that they do not feel burdened by gas prices still feel that the country is on the wrong track, while slightly more (39%) feel that the country is headed in the right direction.

Students who feel burdened by gas prices are also less likely to approve of the way that President Obama is doing his job. A sizeable plurality (43%) of students who agree that gas prices are a burden disapprove of Obama’s job performance.  Conversely, students who do not feel burdened by gas prices are more likely to approve of Obama’s job performance (43% approving, just 26% disapprove). Although President Obama has very little influence over gas prices, a recent national poll found, a recent Washington Post-ABC News Poll found that 50% of national poll respondents think that gas prices are reasonably within the Obama administration’s control, while just 45% think that gas prices have risen because of factors beyond the administration’s control.

Source: http://packpoll.com/students-divided-on-occupy-wall-street/