By RACHEL COHEN, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Most NFL fans believe Commissioner Roger Goodell should keep his job after his handling of recent domestic violence cases, according to a new Associated Press-GfK Poll.
Only 32 percent say Goodell should lose his job over the issue, with 66 percent saying he shouldn’t.
Support for his handling of the cases is much lower, though, with 42 percent saying they disapprove. The same percentage neither approve nor disapprove, with just 15 percent approving.
Goodell initially suspended Ray Rice for two games after the Baltimore Ravens running back was charged with assaulting his then-fiancee. The commissioner defended the punishment at first, before admitting more than a month later that he “didn’t get it right.”
When a video of the assault later surfaced, Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely, saying the images constituted new evidence. Rice was released earlier that day by the Ravens.
The poll shows strong support for keeping Rice off the field for at least some period of time. Forty-three percent of fans say Rice should never be allowed to play again. Just 7 percent say he should be able to play now, with 49 percent saying he should be permitted to return after missing more time.
Opinions differed by gender and race. Slightly more than half of women say Rice should never be allowed to play again, compared with 37 percent of men. Just 19 percent of black fans say he should receive a permanent ban, while 46 percent of white fans support that.
Respondents were more receptive to the idea of Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson returning to the field. Peterson is currently on paid leave while he faces child abuse charges.
Fifty-four percent of fans say he should be allowed to play again if he is found not guilty, and another 29 percent say he should be able to return regardless of the case’s outcome. Only 15 percent say he should never play again.
Answers to this question also varied by gender and race. Thirty-four percent of men say Peterson should be allowed to return under any circumstances, compared with 22 percent of women. And 45 percent of black fans say he should be able to return no matter the verdict, while only 25 percent of white fans say that.
The poll suggests that the recent spate of highly publicized domestic violence cases has made a small dent in the NFL’s popularity. An AP-GfK Poll conducted in January found that 49 percent of respondents considered themselves fans of pro football. That number dropped to 43 percent in the current poll.
In January, 19 percent of respondents said their interest in the sport had increased in the previous five years, with 12 percent saying it had decreased. This time, 12 percent say it has increased while 15 percent say it has decreased.
Of the group with less interest, 42 percent say the recent domestic violence arrests have been an extremely or very important factor in that drop.
The AP-GfK Poll was conducted Sept. 25-29 using KnowledgePanel, GfK’s probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. It included online interviews with 1,845 adults, including 836 NFL fans. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents and plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for the NFL fans.
AP News Survey Specialist Emily Swanson contributed to this report.
By JILL COLVIN and JENNIFER AGIESTA, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans lack confidence in the government’s ability to protect their personal safety and economic security, a sign that their widespread unease about the state of the nation extends far beyond politics, according to the latest Associated Press-GfK poll.
With Election Day about a month away, more than half those in the survey said Washington can do little to effectively lessen threats such as climate change, mass shootings, racial tensions, economic uncertainty and an unstable job market.
“I think what we’ve got going on here in America is the perfect storm of not good things,” said Joe Teasdale, 59, who lives in southwest Wisconsin and works as an assistant engineer at a casino.
For many of those questioned in the poll, conducted before doctors in Texas diagnosed a Liberian man with the Ebola virus, the concern starts with the economy.
The poll found that 9 in 10 of those most likely to vote in the Nov. 4 election call the economy an extremely or very important issue. Teasdale is among those who say the slow recovery from the recession is a top concern.
Despite improvements nationally, business is far from booming in his state, Teasdale said. He’s been supplementing his stagnant salary by renovating and renting out duplexes and has little faith the situation will improve soon. He wants government to get out of the way of business.
“If you’re putting so much restriction on them where it isn’t practical for them to expand or grow, why should they?” Teasdale asked.
Those surveyed also pointed to events such as the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, that followed the fatal police shooting an unarmed black 18-year-old and the beheading of a woman in an Oklahoma food processing plant, apparently at the hand of a suspended co-worker.
“This is the first time I’ve felt insecure in my own country,” said Jan Thomas, 75, of Stevensville, Montana. “Especially after the beheading in Oklahoma. That’s scary.”
The poll found that Democrats tend to express more faith in the government’s ability to protect them than do Republicans. Yet even among Democrats, just 27 percent are confident the government can keep them safe from terrorist attacks. Fewer than 1 in 5 say so on each of the other issues, including climate change.
“There’s too many people who still don’t believe that it’s happening,” bemoaned Felicia Duncan, 53, who lives in Sharonville, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, and works as an office manager at a mechanical contracting company.
Urbanites tend to be more confident the government will keep them safe from terrorist threats than do people living in suburbs and rural areas. Younger Americans are more confident than older people that the government can minimize the threat of mass shootings. When it comes to quelling racial tensions, Hispanics are more confident than are blacks and whites.
Thirteen years after the Sept. 11 attacks, and as the Obama administration conducts airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, only 1 in 5 in the poll say they are extremely or very confident the government can keep them safe from another terrorist attack. Four in 10 express moderate confidence.
While there has not been a large-scale terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, roughly one-third of Americans say they are not too confident or not confident at all in the government’s ability to prevent another.
Bill Denison, 85, who lives in Bradenton, Florida, is among the minority who thinks the government is doing a good job keeping citizens safe, at least when it comes to preventing domestic attacks.
“Overall I think that the best job that we’ve done in this country is with anti-terrorism,” he said. “We’re doing a magnificent job and so far it’s been pretty successful.”
Still, he expressed disbelief at the recent security breaches involving Secret Service agents, including an incident in which a man scaled the White House fence and made his way deep into the executive mansion.
“The fact that a guy can run into the White House is pretty disturbing,” he said. “But we’re only human. And humans are going to make mistakes.”
The AP-GfK Poll was conducted September 25-29, 2014, using KnowledgePanel, GfK’s probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. It involved online interviews with 1,845 adults, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents.
Respondents were selected randomly using telephone or mail survey methods, and later interviewed. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were given free access.
Associated Press writer Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans contributed to this report.
AP-GfK Poll: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com
By DEB RIECHMANN and JENNIFER AGIESTA, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Half of Americans think there’s a high risk of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, yet only a third are closely following news of U.S. airstrikes against Islamic extremists in the Middle East.
Most people do think the airstrikes are a good idea. Two-thirds of those questioned for an Associated Press-GfK poll say they favor the offensive by the U.S. and allies. And, despite, more than a decade of costly war, about one-third favor going beyond that and putting American military boots on the ground in Iraq or Syria.
President Barack Obama says he has no plans to send ground troops to either country. A little more than a third say they are opposed to the idea, and about one in four say they neither favor nor oppose it.
That’s thousands of miles away. What about concern at home?
According to the poll, most think there’s a high risk of a terrorist attack inside the United States, 53 percent, though just 20 percent call it an “extremely high risk.” An additional 32 percent say the nation is at moderate risk of a terrorist attack and 12 percent say it faces a low risk of terror attacks.
The poll has not asked that specific question in the past. However, the finding tracks with Pew Research Center data from July indicating that concern had ebbed somewhat since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
This summer, the Pew survey said 59 percent of Americans were “very” or “somewhat worried” that there would soon be another terrorist attack in the United States. That’s lower than the 73 percent that Pew found were concerned, following 9/11, that another attack was imminent and about the same as the 58 percent who were worried about another attack after the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
There hasn’t been a massive terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.
Those in the AP-GfK survey are split on whether they approve of the way Obama is handling the threat from terrorism and specifically the threat posed by the Islamic State group. About half approve and about half disapprove of Obama’s actions to confront the threat. Still, those figures are better than Obama’s approval ratings for handling top domestic issues. Just 40 percent approve of his handling of the economy, 41 percent approve of his work on health care and 34 percent approve of the way he’s handling immigration.
Douglas Dowden, 49, a native of San Diego who now lives in central California, said he thinks the threat from the Islamic State group is overblown. He doesn’t support Obama’s decision to launch airstrikes.
“How many terror threat attacks happen in countries like say Spain, Italy, the U.S.? It’s not that often. I have more fear of what some whack job locally is going to do — that’s more of a concern to me than some potential threat from some extremist group,” Dowden said.
Dowden is among the 37 percent surveyed who said they were following news about the airstrikes “somewhat closely.” About 32 percent of those surveyed are paying close attention to the military action, and 30 percent say they’re barely monitoring the U.S. military action.
“I’m really not following it. There is so much terrible news and I’d rather follow the domestic news than the foreign news — but I still am interested in what’s going on,” said Betty Masket, a 91-year-old retired government health science administrator from Chevy Chase, Maryland. “I really feel sorry for Obama. I think he’s doing the best he can.”
Keith Fehser, 55, a commodities trader from suburban Chicago, says Americans need to see terrorism as an extremely important issue, yet they don’t.
“I just think it’s only going to get worse,” Fehser said. “Even though the government tries its best to keep on top of it, it’s just lunacy out there with what can be done by just small groups of people.”
He said most people he talks with don’t care much about the U.S. airstrikes on Iraq and Syria. “It’s a long way away. As long as we’re not letting our own people get killed, I don’t think they care that much,” he said, adding that he would be “very disgusted” if American combat troops were sent back to the region.
The AP-GfK Poll was conducted Sept. 25-29, 2014, using KnowledgePanel, GfK’s probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. It involved online interviews with 1,845 adults, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents. Respondents were selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods, and later interviewed. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were given free access.
AP-GfK Poll: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com
By JENNIFER AGIESTA, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s not Obamacare or climate change. It’s not yet terrorism or fear of the Islamic State group. Those issues are on the minds of voters as they begin casting ballots in this year’s midterm elections, but nothing matters to American voters as much the economy.
In a new Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday, 9 in 10 of those most likely to go to the polls or mail in a ballot in this year’s midterm elections call the economy an extremely or very important issue.
“We need jobs,” said Christine Kamischke, 45, of rural northern Michigan. She works in a large retail store and her husband was recently laid off from his job at an Air Force base near their home. Wednesday was his first day without work. The couple has five children.
Kamischke said the economy is her top concern, and she’s focused on national security only if it helps get her husband’s job back.
The poll found that concerns about the spate of foreign policy challenges facing the U.S. have grown since July, with 6 in 10 Americans now calling the U.S. role in world affairs an important issue, up from 51 percent in July.
And most people remain dissatisfied with those in power. Just 7 percent of likely voters approve of the way Congress is handling its job, 42 percent approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance.
Asked how they feel about his administration, 58 percent are dissatisfied or angry, while 74 percent were dissatisfied or angry with the Republican leadership in Congress.
Few see change coming once voting closes Nov. 4. A majority of likely voters, 52 percent, expect the Democratic Party to retain control of the Senate, with 68 percent saying the GOP will keep the House.
About 8 in 10 likely voters deemed several issues important, including the threat posed by the Islamic State group, terrorism, and the issue many thought would come to dominate this year’s electoral contests, health care.
But all told, 92 percent of likely voters called the economy an extremely or very important issue.
Persistent concerns about the economy are fueled by perceptions that things aren’t getting better. Just 38 percent of likely voters describe the economy as “good,” and half as many think there’s been any improvement in the last month. The outlook for the future is dim, with only 34 percent expecting any improvement in the coming year.
Wayne Savage, of Allegan, Michigan, who turns 55 on Friday and works in manufacturing, said his top priority in the voting booth will be the economy and national security, followed by immigration. He says that the economy is slowly improving in his part of southwestern Michigan.
“Manufacturing is starting to do a little better here,” he said. “We still have a long way to go, but things are moving in the right direction.”
A shift in focus toward the threat of terrorism could benefit the GOP, the poll suggests. About 4 in 10 likely voters trust the Republicans more to protect the country while just a quarter prefer the Democrats. On handling the economy, however, the GOP holds a much smaller edge, 36 percent to 31 percent for the Democrats.
Neither party holds a clear advantage in the coming election, which has already started as early voting begins in some states.
Asked which party they’d like to see win control of Congress, 45 percent of likely voters prefer Republicans and 42 percent the Democrats. In their own districts, those surveyed are evenly split: 33 percent back a Democratic candidate, 33 percent a Republican, 10 percent another candidate and 23 percent are undecided.
In those places where Senate campaigns are nearly impossible to avoid, voters aren’t bullish on the GOP’s chances of taking the Senate. Among likely voters in 10 states with competitive Senate races, 52 percent think the Democrats will hold the Senate while 49 percent think the Republicans will take control. These voters are also evenly split on which party ought to control Congress, 44 percent favor each party.
That neither side has grabbed a clear edge is unsurprising given the public’s take on those currently in power.
Among all likely voters, majorities have unfavorable opinions of each party — 96 percent say they are dissatisfied or angry with the leadership of one side or the other. Among those who prefer a GOP-controlled Congress, 52 percent say they’re dissatisfied or angry with the current Republican leadership.
The AP-GfK Poll was conducted September 25-29, 2014, using KnowledgePanel, GfK’s probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. It involved online interviews with 1,845 adults, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents. Among 958 likely voters, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 points.
Respondents were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods, and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided with the ability to access the Internet at no cost to them.
Associated Press writers Steve Peoples in Washington, Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans and M.L. Johnson in Milwaukee contributed to this report.
AP-GfK Poll: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com