martes, 20 de marzo de 2018

Wide Gender Gap, Growing Educational Divide in Voters’ Party Identification

College graduates increasingly align with Democratic Party

As the 2018 midterm elections approach, women and especially college graduates have moved toward the Democratic Party. By contrast, the Republican Party’s advantage in leaned party identification among white voters without a college degree has never been greater, dating back more than two decades.

While partisanship among voters usually does not change much on a yearly basis, some differences have widened over time, especially by educational attainment, gender and age. And these gaps are even larger when categories are combined, such as education, race and gender.

A new analysis of party identification, based on more than 10,000 interviews of registered voters conducted by Pew Research Center in 2017, finds that 37% of registered voters identify as independents, 33% are Democrats and 26% are Republicans.

Most independents lean toward one of the major parties; when their partisan leanings are taken into account, 50% of registered voters identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, while 42% identify as Republicans or lean toward the GOP. While the overall balance of leaned party affiliation has not changed much in recent years, this is the first time since 2009 that as many as half of registered voters have affiliated with or leaned toward the Democratic Party.

Since 2014, the last midterm election year, there have been notable changes in party identification among several groups of voters. And as we noted in our 2016 report on party affiliation, the composition of the Republican and Democratic electorates are less alike than at any point in the past quarter-century.

Persistent gender gap. For decades, women have been more likely than men to identify as Democrats or lean Democratic. But today, a 56% majority of women identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, while 37% affiliate with or lean toward the GOP. The share of women identifying as Democrats or leaning Democratic is up 4 percentage points since 2015 and is at one of its highest points since 1992. Among men, there has been less recent change: 48% identify with the Republican Party or lean Republican, while 44% are Democrats or lean Democratic. That is comparable to the balance of leaned party identification since 2014.

Record share of college graduates align with Democrats. Voters who have completed college make up a third of all registered voters. And a majority of all voters with at least a four-year college degree (58%) now identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, the highest share dating back to 1992. Just 36% affiliate with the Republican Party or lean toward the GOP. The much larger group of voters who do not have a four-year degree is more evenly divided in partisan affiliation. And voters with no college experience have been moving toward the GOP: 47% identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, up from 42% in 2014.

Continued racial divisions in partisan identification. About half of white voters (51%) identify with the GOP or lean Republican, while 43% identify as Democrats or lean Democratic. These figures are little changed from recent years. By contrast, African American voters continue to affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic by an overwhelming margin (84% Democrat to 8% Republican). Hispanic voters align with the Democrats by greater than two-to-one (63% to 28%), while Asian American voters also largely identify as Democrats or lean Democratic (65% Democrat, 27% Republican).

Larger differences among whites by education. Most white voters with at least a four-year college degree (53%) affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic; 42% identify as Republicans or lean Republican. As recently as two years ago, leaned partisan identification among white college graduates was split (47% Democrat, 47% Republican). Majorities of white voters with some college experience but who do not have a degree (55%) and those with no college experience (58%) continue to identify as Republicans or lean Republican.

Millennials, especially Millennial women, tilt more Democratic. As noted in our recent report on generations and politics, Millennial voters are more likely than older generations to affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic. Nearly six-in-ten Millennials (59%) affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic, compared with about half of Gen Xers and Boomers (48% each) and 43% of voters in the Silent Generation. A growing majority of Millennial women (70%) affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic; four years ago, 56% of Millennial women did so. About half of Millennial men (49%) align with the Democratic Party, little changed in recent years. The gender gap in leaned party identification among Millennials is wider than among older generations.
Long-term changes in partisan composition

The nation’s changing demographics – and shifting patterns of partisan identification – have had a profound impact on the makeup of the Democratic and Republican electorates.

Across several dimensions – race and ethnicity, education and religious affiliation – the profile of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters has changed a great deal over the past two decades. The composition of Republican and Republican-leaning voters has shown less change.

While a majority of voters (69%) are white non-Hispanics, nonwhite voters now make up an increasing share of all voters: 29% of registered voters are African American, Hispanic or Asian American or belong to another race, up from 16% in 1997. Nonwhites constitute nearly four-in-ten Democratic voters (39%), compared with 24% two decades ago. The GOP coalition also has become more racially and ethnically diverse, but nonwhites make up only 14% of Republican voters, up from 8% in 1997.

The educational makeup of the two parties’ electorates also has changed substantially over the past two decades. When race and education are taken into account, white voters who do to not have a college degree make up a diminished share of Democratic registered voters. White voters who do not have a four-year degree now constitute just a third of Democratic voters, down from 56% two decades ago. By contrast, non-college white voters continue to make up a majority of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters (59% now, 66% in 1997).
Growing share of Democrats describe their views as ‘liberal’

The share of Democratic voters describing their political views as liberal has increased steadily since 2000. Republicans’ ideological views have changed little over past decade, but the share of Republicans identifying as conservatives rose between 2000 and 2008.

Currently, nearly half of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters (46%) say they are liberal, while 37% identify as moderates and 15% say they are conservatives. A decade ago, more Democrats described their views as moderate (44%) than liberal (28%), while 23% said they were conservative.

Conservatives have long constituted the majority among Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters. Roughly two-thirds of Republicans (68%) characterize their views as conservative, while 27% are moderates and 4% are liberals. While there has been little change in Republicans’ self-described ideology in recent years, the share calling themselves conservatives rose from 58% in 2000 to 65% eight years later.

Trends in party affiliation among demographic groups

The balance of partisan affiliation – and the combined measure of partisan identification and leaning – has not changed substantially over the past two decades. However, Democrats hold a slightly larger edge in leaned party identification over Republicans now than in 2016 or 2015.

In Pew Research Center surveys conducted in 2017, 37% of registered voters identified as independents, 33% as Democrats and 26% as Republicans. When the partisan leanings of independents are taken into account, 50% either identify as Democrats or lean Democratic; 42% identify as Republicans or lean Republican.

The 8-percentage-point Democratic advantage in leaned partisan identification is wider than at any point since 2009, and a statistically significant shift since 2016, when Democrats had a 4-point edge (48% to 44%). The analysis in this report draws on more than 10,000 interviews with registered voters in 2017 and tens of thousands of interviews conducted in previous years (see Methodology for additional detail).

There continue to be fundamental differences in the partisan orientation of different demographic groups, and in many cases these gaps have grown wider in recent years. For instance, gender, generational, geographic and educational divides are now as wide, or wider, than in Pew Research Center surveys going back more than two decades.
Wide gender gap in partisanship

As has been the case for more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys, women are significantly more likely than men to associate with the Democratic Party. While the gender gap has changed little in recent years, it is as wide as it has been at any point during this period: Among registered voters, 56% of women affiliate with or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared with 44% of men.

From 2010 through 2015, about half of women (51%-52%) identified with or leaned toward the Democratic Party. But the share of women who identify with or lean to the Democratic Party has risen in recent years, to 54% in 2016 and 56% in 2017. The partisan breakdown of men is relatively unchanged over this period.

The Democratic gains among women have not come from increased affiliation with the party. Overall, the proportion of women voters who identify with (rather than lean toward) the Democratic Party has remained relatively constant for the past 25 years (in 1994, 37% of women said they identified with the Democratic Party, compared with 39% in 2017).
Black, Hispanic and Asian voters remain overwhelmingly Democratic

There are sizable and long-standing racial and ethnic differences in partisan affiliation, and they have shifted only modestly in recent years.

White voters continue to be somewhat more likely to affiliate with or lean toward the Republican Party than the Democratic Party (51% to 43%).

Since 2010, white voters have been more likely to align with the GOP than with the Democrats. However, the share of whites identifying as Democrats or leaning Democratic has edged upward (43% now, up from no more than 40% from 2009 to 2016). This growth is attributable to a slight increase in Democratic-leaning independents, rather than a rise in Democratic affiliation.

By contrast, African American voters remain overwhelmingly Democratic: 84% identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party. Just 8% of black voters identify in some way with the Republican Party.

While black voters remain solidly Democratic, identification with the Democratic Party has declined modestly in recent years: About two-thirds of African Americans have identified as Democrats in the last several years, down slightly from the first half of Barack Obama’s presidency, when about three-quarters affiliated with the Democratic Party.

By more than two-to-one (63% to 28%), Hispanic voters are more likely to affiliate with or lean toward the Democratic Party than the GOP. The overall balance of partisan orientation among Hispanics is little changed over the last decade.

There is a similar balance of partisanship among Asian American registered voters: 65% identify with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic, compared with 27% who identify as or lean Republican.

In 1998 (the first year for which sample sizes of Asian American voters were sufficiently large enough in Pew Research Center surveys), 53% of Asians identified with or leaned toward the Democratic Party and 33% identified with or leaned toward the Republican Party. (Note: Only English-speaking Asian American voters are included in the data).

The share of Asian American voters who identify as Republican is now only 12%. While this is little changed in the last few years, it represents the continuation of a longer trend in declining Republican affiliation among Asian voters. Among Asians, identification with the Democratic Party has remained relatively stable over this period. The share of Asian voters who say they are political independents has risen steadily since 1998, reflecting a more general trend among all voters.

A gender gap in partisan affiliation and leaning is seen across racial and ethnic groups.

For instance, there is a 9-percentage-point gender gap among white voters: While 48% of white women affiliate with or lean toward the Democratic Party, 37% of white men do so. Similarly, there is an 8-point gender gap among black voters (87% of black women vs. 79% of black men), as well as among Hispanic voters (66% of women vs. 58% of men).
Educational gap in partisan orientation continues to grow

Higher educational attainment is increasingly associated with Democratic Party affiliation and leaning. At the same time, those without college experience – once a group that tilted more Democratic than Republican – are roughly divided in their partisan orientation.

These twin shifts have resulted in the widest educational gap in partisan identification and leaning seen at any point in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys.

In 1994, 39% of those with a four-year college degree (no postgraduate experience) identified with or leaned toward the Democratic Party and 54% associated with the Republican Party. In 2017, those figures were exactly reversed.

Democratic gains have been even more pronounced among those who pursue postgraduate education. In 1994, those with at least some postgraduate experience were evenly split between the Democratic and Republican parties. Today, the Democratic Party enjoys a roughly two-to-one advantage in leaned partisan identification. While some of this shift took place a decade ago, postgraduate voters’ affiliation with and leaning to the Democratic Party have grown substantially just over the past few years, from 55% in 2015 to 63% in 2017.

By contrast, Republicans have been gaining ground over the past several years with those who do not have bachelor’s degrees. Among those with no more than a high school education, 47% affiliate with the GOP or lean Republican, while 45% identify as Democrats or lean Democratic. Democrats held a significant advantage among voters with a high school degree or less education for much of the late 1990s through early 2000s, and as recently as 2014 (47% Democratic, 42% Republican).

These overall patterns in education and partisanship are particularly pronounced among white voters. While the GOP has held significant advantages over the Democratic Party among white college graduates without postgraduate experience over much of the past two decades, these voters are divided in their partisanship today.

In 2017, 49% of white voters with a college degree (and no additional education) aligned with the Democratic Party, compared with 46% for the GOP. As recently as 2015, 51% of white voters with a college degree aligned with the Republican Party, compared with 43% for the Democratic Party.

And among voters with postgraduate experience, the Democratic advantage has grown. In 2017, 59% of white voters with at least some additional education beyond a four-year degree identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic, while 37% identified with or leaned toward the Republican Party; as recently as 2015 that balance was slightly narrower (52% to 41%).

By contrast, white voters with no more than a high school education have moved more to the GOP over the last 10 years, though there has been little change since 2015. As recently as 2009, these voters were divided in leaned partisanship. Since then, Republicans have held significant advantages, including a 23-percentage-point lead in 2017 (58% Republican, 35% Democratic).
A wide – and growing – generational divide in partisanship

The generational gap in partisanship is now more pronounced than in the past, and this echoes the widening generational gaps seen in many political values and preferences.

Millennial voters (born 1981 to 1996) have had a Democratic tilt since they first entered adulthood; this advantage has only grown as they have aged.

Democrats enjoy a 27-percentage-point advantage among Millennial voters (59% are Democrats or lean Democratic, 32% are Republican or lean Republican). In 2014, 53% of Millennial voters were Democrats or leaned Democratic, 37% tilted toward the GOP.

Millennials remain more likely than those in older generations to call themselves independents (44% vs. 39% of Gen Xers, 32% of Boomers and 27% of Silents); still, the roughly two-to-one Democratic advantage among Millennials is apparent both in “straight” and “leaned” partisan affiliation.

Generation X voters (born 1965 to 1980) are more divided in their partisan attachments, but also tilt toward the Democratic Party (48% identify as or lean Democratic, 43% identify as or lean Republican). The balance of leaned partisan identification among Gen X voters has been relatively consistent over the past several years. Baby Boomer voters (born 1946 to 1964) are nearly evenly divided (48% identify as or lean Democratic, 46% Republican).

The Silent Generation (born 1928 to 1945) is the only generational group that has more GOP leaners and identifying voters than Democratic-oriented voters. About half (52%) of Silent Generation voters identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, a larger share than a decade ago; 43% identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party.

While there is a gender gap in partisan affiliation within every generational cohort, it is particularly pronounced among Millennial voters. A large majority of Millennial women (70%) identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared with 49% of Millennial men.

This wide gender gap among Millennial voters is largely attributable to a marked shift among Millennial women. As recently as 2014, the Democratic advantage among Millennial women was a narrower – but still substantial – 21 percentage points, compared with 47 points today. The balance of partisanship among Millennial men was similar in 2014 as it is today (50% Democratic vs. 40% Republican).

Gender gaps in other generations are more modest. For instance, 57% of Silent Generation men identify with or lean toward the GOP, compared with 48% of Silent women.

Across all generations, nonwhite voters are overwhelmingly Democratic in their leanings, while whites are more divided. Among white voters, Millennials are the only generation in which the share of Democrats and Democratic leaners (52%) is greater than the share of Republicans and Republican leaners (41%).

Among older generations of whites – but particularly among white Silents – more voters align with the GOP than the Democratic Party.

White Silent Generation voters have moved toward the GOP in recent years. Today, 59% identify with or lean to the GOP, up from 43% a decade ago.

White Gen Xer and Boomer voters have remained relatively stable in their partisan makeup in recent years. In both generations, the GOP enjoys a similar modest advantage (11 percentage points among white Gen Xers, 12 points among white Boomers); these are similar to the balances in 2014.
Religious affiliation and party identification

White evangelical Protestants remain one of the most reliably Republican groups of voters, and the GOP’s advantage among this segment of the population has continued to grow in recent years: 77% of white evangelical voters lean toward or identify with the Republican Party, while just 18% have a Democratic orientation.

White mainline Protestant voters are more divided in their political identities. As has been the case for the last several years, a narrow majority (53%) affiliates with or leans to the GOP, while 41% lean toward or identify with the Democratic Party.

Black Protestant voters remain solidly Democratic in their partisan loyalties. Almost nine-in-ten (87%) lean toward or identify with the Democratic Party.

Overall, Catholic voters are roughly evenly split between the share who identify with or lean to the Republican (46%) and Democratic (47%) parties. But white Catholics and Hispanic Catholics diverge politically.

White Catholic voters now are more Republican (54%) than Democratic (40%). While the partisan balance among white Catholic voters is little changed in recent years, this group was more evenly divided in their partisan loyalties about a decade ago.

Hispanic Catholics, who represent a growing share of the Catholic population in the U.S., are substantially more Democratic in their orientation (64% of Hispanic Catholic voters affiliate with or lean to the Democratic Party, 27% to the GOP).

While Mormon voters remain a solidly Republican group (72% overall are Republican or Republican leaning), in recent years Mormons have been less likely to identify as Republican than in the past.

Mormon voters are now about as likely to identify as independent (41%) as they are to identify as Republican (45%). For most of the past two decades, majorities of Mormons called themselves Republicans.

By about two-to-one, Jewish voters continue to identify with or lean toward Democratic Party (67% vs. 31% who identify with or lean Republican). This balance is little changed over the last decade.

The religiously unaffiliated, a growing share of the population, have shown steady movement in orientation toward the Democratic Party. In 1994, about half (52%) of religiously unaffiliated voters leaned toward or identified with the Democratic Party. Today nearly seven-in-ten (68%) do so.
Urban voters grow more Democratic, rural voters more Republican

Voters in urban counties have long aligned more with the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, and this Democratic advantage has grown over time. Today, twice as many urban voters identify as Democrats or lean Democratic (62%) as affiliate with the GOP or lean Republican.

Overall, those who live in suburban counties are about evenly divided in their partisan loyalties (47% Democratic, 45% Republican), little changed over the last two decades.

Voters in rural areas have moved in a more Republican direction over the last several years. From 1999 to 2009, rural voters were about equally divided in their partisan leanings. Today, there is a 16-percentage-point advantage for the GOP among rural voters.

While there are racial and ethnic differences in the makeup of rural, suburban and urban areas, this overall pattern of geographic divergence is also seen among whites. Among rural whites, the GOP enjoyed a roughly 10-percentage-point advantage throughout much of the 2000s; the GOP advantage among rural white voters is now 24 percentage points (58% to 34%). At the same time, while urban white voters were roughly evenly divided in their political preferences for much of the last two decades, in recent years the Democratic Party has enjoyed a double-digit partisan advantage: Today, 54% of white urban voters are Democrats or lean Democratic, while 41% identify with the GOP or lean Republican.

Changing composition of the electorate and partisan coalitions

The demographic profile of voters has changed markedly in recent years, reflecting broader changes in the nation. The electorate is more racially and ethnically diverse than in the past. Voters also are older and better educated than they were two decades ago.

Overall, while non-Hispanic whites remain the largest share of registered voters (69%), their share is down from 83% in 1997. African Americans make up 11% of voters, a share that has changed little since then.

Hispanics constitute a much larger share of registered voters today (10%) than in the late 1990s (4% in 1997), though there has been relatively little change over the past decade. Asian Americans, who made up a tiny share of voters 20 years ago, now constitute 2% of voters. And voters who describe their race as “other” also make up a larger share of the electorate than in the past (5% today).

The overall growth in the racial and ethnic diversity of voters has changed the composition of both the Republican and Democratic parties. Yet the pace of change has been more pronounced among Democrats and Democratic leaners.

White registered voters make up a declining share of the Democratic Party. In 1997, 75% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters were white; that has dropped to a smaller majority today (59%). Nonwhite voters now make up about four-in-ten Democratic voters (39%), up from 24% in 1997.

Republican and Republican-leaning voters continue to be overwhelmingly white: 83% of Republican registered voters are white non-Hispanics, compared with 92% in 1997. The share of Republicans who are nonwhite increased from 8% to 14% over this period.

The electorate continues to grow older, impacting the age composition of Democratic and Republican voters. In 1997, the median age of all registered voters was 45; today the median age has risen to 50.

Nearly six-in-ten Republican and Republican-leaning voters (57%) are ages 50 and older, compared with 42% who are under 50. Among Democratic voters, a larger share are younger than 50 (53%) than 50 and older (46%).

Twenty years ago, the age profiles of the two parties were much more similar. At that time, comparable majorities of both parties’ voters were younger than 50 (61% of Republicans, 57% of Democrats).

In 1997, the median age of Republican voters was 43, while the median age of Democratic voters was 46. Today, the median age of Republican voters has increased nine years, to age 52, while the median age of Democratic voters has edged up to 48.
Parties’ educational profiles diverge

Over the past 20 years, the American electorate has become better educated, with the share of college graduates rising. In 1997, 45% of all registered voters had no college experience; today that share has fallen to 33%.

And while those with no college experience was the largest category of voters two decades ago, today the electorate is evenly divided – a third each are college graduates, have some college experience but no degree and have no more than a high school diploma.

Despite these shifts, Republican and Republican-leaning voters are no more likely to be college graduates than was the case two decades ago. And college graduates make up a smaller share of GOP voters than they did a decade ago.

Today, 28% of Republican voters have at least a four-year college degree; 35% have some college experience but no degree; and 37% have no college experience.

The educational composition of GOP voters is similar to what it was in 1997. At that time, 28% were at least college graduates; 32% had some college experience; and 40% had no more than a high school education. And in 2007, college graduates made up a greater share of Republican voters than is currently the case (35% of all GOP voters then, 28% now).

The educational makeup of Democratic voters has changed substantially over the past 20 years. Today, about four-in-ten Democrats (39%) have at least a college degree, up from 24% in 1997. And while voters with no more than a high school education constituted the largest share of Democratic voters 20 years ago, today college graduates make up the largest share.

Whites without a college degree remain the largest share of all registered voters, but their numbers have been on the decline due to growing diversity and rising levels of education in the population. In 1997, a majority of all registered voters (61%) were whites without a college degree. Over the past 20 years, that share has fallen to 44%.

The share of whites with at least a college degree has edged up from 22% of registered voters in 1997 to 25% today. Among nonwhites, the share with a college degree or more education has more than doubled, from just 3% in 1997 to 8% in 2017. And nonwhites without a college degree make up a much larger proportion of the electorate today (21%) than 20 years ago (13%).

Combining race and education, Democratic voters are very different today than they were 20 years ago. Today, non-college whites make up a third of all Democratic voters; they constituted a majority of Democrats (56%) in 1997. Since then, the share of white Democrats with at least a four-year degree has increased from 19% to 26%, and the share of nonwhite Democratic college graduates has more than doubled (from 5% to 12%).

Whites who do not have a four-year college degree continue to make up a majority of Republican voters, though a smaller majority than 20 years ago (59% now, 66% then). Whites with at least a four-year degree constitute about a quarter of Republican voters (24%), little changed from 1997 (26%).
Religiously unaffiliated voters make up increasing share of Democrats

The nation’s religious landscape has undergone major changes in recent years, with the share of the population who identify as Christian declining as the number of adults who do not identify with a religion has grown.

Religiously unaffiliated voters, who made up just 8% of the electorate two decades ago, now constitute about a quarter (24%) of all registered voters. Over this period, there have been declines in the shares of white mainline Protestants, white evangelical Protestants and white Catholics.

Religiously unaffiliated voters now account for a third of Democratic voters, up from just 9% in 1997. In fact, they make up a larger proportion of Democrats than do white Protestants (33% vs. 18%). In 1997, 40% of Democratic voters identified as white Protestants (evangelical or mainline), while just 9% were religiously unaffiliated. And white Catholics, who made up about one-in-five Democrats then (22%), account for only 10% of Democrats now.

Republicans continue to be mostly made up of white Christians: A third of Republican voters are white evangelical Protestants, which is little changed from 1997 (34%); 17% are white mainline Protestants (28% in 1997); and 17% are white Catholics (20% then).

While religiously unaffiliated voters constitute a much smaller segment of Republican than Democratic voters, the share of Republicans who do not identify with a religious denomination has risen. Currently, 13% of Republicans do not identify with a religion, up from 5% two decades ago.

Rubén Weinsteiner

lunes, 19 de marzo de 2018

Democrats fume over Parscale's limited answers on Russian digital meddling

Donald Trump’s digital guru has stonewalled questions about Kremlin election interference, Democrats say, even as he launches Trump’s reelection campaign.

Brad Parscale was a virtual unknown before he joined Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, as digital director.

Even as digital media guru Brad Parscale takes over President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, federal investigators have mounting questions about the high-tech “secret weapon” Parscale says was instrumental to Trump’s 2016 victory — including whether it might have played a role in Russian election meddling.

But Parscale isn’t talking.

That’s despite the fact that Democrats on at least three different congressional committees say they want to hear more from Parscale about potential data sharing between the campaign and Russian entities. Democrats say evidence of such collaboration — or even Russian manipulation of Trump campaign software that may have been unknown to Trump aides — would be highly explosive given its potentially direct impact on the election’s outcome and legitimacy.

While Republicans seem content with Parscale’s insistence he knows nothing about the Russian scheme, more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers and staffers interviewed by POLITICO say that no investigation into Moscow’s election interference can be complete without a full accounting from Trump’s 2016 digital campaign director — especially given that special counsel Robert Mueller has recently focused on Kremlin-linked efforts to manipulate election-related social media.

Over the weekend, several Democrats said they were extremely concerned about recent media reports that Cambridge Analytica, the conservative data analytics firm Parscale hired for the campaign, had improperly collected information on more than 50 million Facebook users and likely used it in the voter-targeting operation. The new reporting, in The New York Times and the Observer of London, also suggested that Cambridge Analytica has previously undisclosed connections to Russia.

A full accounting from Parscale is especially important now, the Democrats say, given his central role in both Trump’s 2020 campaign and, through that organization, in supporting Republican candidates in the 2018 congressional midterm elections.

Yet Parscale stonewalled lawmakers during his July testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Democratic sources familiar with it tell POLITICO, in an account of his appearance that has not been reported before.

During his testimony, Parscale was unresponsive to some questions and referred most others to Alexander Nix, the chief executive officer of Cambridge Analytica, and to campaign senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who hired Parscale and worked closely with him on the targeting operation, according to several officials present.

“We got nothing,” Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) recalls. “Tapioca.”

More recently, Parscale has declined to cooperate with a January request for information and documents from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who also asked him to voluntarily testify.

Parscale has denied any wrongdoing and insists that he has been cooperative. Before his House appearance, he tweeted that he was “unaware of any Russian involvement in the digital and data operations” of the campaign, and that he looked forward to “sharing with them everything I know.”

That hasn’t satisfied Democrats who say that, even if Parscale and his colleagues did nothing wrong, it is vital to understand whether and how the Russians might have exploited the Trump campaign’s online political machine — especially given U.S. concerns that Russia is already gearing up to meddle with the midterms.

“They still need to fully answer the question of where they got their information, and what they did with it,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), a House Intelligence Committee member. "There is still a big cloud hanging over the digital operation.”

Added Rep. Adam Schiff, the intelligence committee’s ranking Democrat, “There are still a number of important questions about the Trump campaign’s digital operation that remain under investigation, the most significant of which is whether the Russian covert social-media effort was completely independent.”

Last Monday, Republicans on the intelligence committee announced they were ending their investigation of Russian election interference and declared they had found no evidence that members of Trump’s campaign team cooperated with the Russian scheme.

In response, Schiff released an “investigative status update” from committee Democrats that said the Trump campaign’s digital operation requires further investigation, including witness testimony and documents, “to determine whether the campaign coordinated in any way with Russia in its digital program.”

The document cites Nix and Cambridge Analytica, as well as two of Parscale’s campaign aides. One of them is Avi Berkowitz, a Harvard Law School graduate and Kushner protégé who served as assistant director of data analytics on the 2016 campaign and is now a special assistant to Trump at the White House. The committee Democrats said they had reason to believe Kushner “may have dispatched Mr. Berkowitz to meet with Russian Ambassador [Sergey] Kislyak in December 2016.”

The Democrats did not indicate what the purpose of the meeting might have been. Kushner himself is known to have met with Kislyak in December 2016 and reportedly discussed with the Russian the possibility of opening a secret communications back channel to Moscow.

Trump named Parscale to run his 2020 campaign in late February. "Brad was essential in bringing a disciplined technology and data-driven approach to how the 2016 campaign was run," Kushner said in a statement.

Report: Trump-linked firm exploited data on 50 million Facebook users


Parscale was a virtual unknown before he joined Trump’s 2016 campaign. He had been a struggling digital entrepreneur when he bid on building the Trump Organization’s website in 2010, and did similar work for the family until joining Trump’s 2016 campaign, where Parscale became a digital jack-of-all-trades — overseeing data collection, online advertising and messaging from a San Antonio bunker known as Project Alamo.

His most powerful tool, by far, was the sophisticated data-crunching effort known as microtargeting, which churned out tens of thousands of constantly changing Facebook ads every hour, all of them computerized and individually tailored to distinct demographic clusters of potential Trump voters throughout the country.

“I understood early that Facebook was how Donald Trump was going to win,” Parscale said in a CBS “60 Minutes” profile of him last October. “Facebook was the method — it was the highway in which his car drove on.”

The data operation underpinning Parscale’s targeting effort, he has said, also provided the campaign with the kind of surgically precise, real-time information it needed down the stretch to focus precious resources on swing states like Michigan and Wisconsin, while Hillary Clinton focused elsewhere.

“I took every nickel and dime I could out of anywhere else. And I moved it to Michigan and Wisconsin. And I started buying advertising, digital, TV,” Parscale told “60 Minutes,“ which described him, and his targeting operation, as the campaign's “secret weapon.”

His “secret weapon” wasn’t any proprietary software or algorithm, but the way in which Parscale marshaled various resources, including data provided by Cambridge Analytica and Facebook itself, to determine which versions of ads worked best when microtargeting voters. Parscale told “60 Minutes” he embraced an offer by Facebook — declined by the Clinton campaign — to send ideologically like-minded staffers to work in-house at the Trump campaign and teach him “every, single secret button, click, technology” available for microtargeting.

Some have criticized Parscale for using Cambridge Analytica and its controversial technology known as psychographics, in which huge troves of data are collected to microtarget potential voters based on personality traits, as divined from their social media profiles, rather than typical categories like race or age. Mueller has reportedly been examining Cambridge Analytica’s campaign role.

On Friday night, Facebook announced that it was suspending Cambridge Analytica and parent company Strategic Communication Laboratories Group after learning that Cambridge misled the social media giant and improperly kept user data for years in violation of policy. Hours later, reports in the New York Times and Observer suggested the violations were far more serious than what Facebook announced, and that they were tied directly to Cambridge's work for the Trump campaign and its alleged entanglements with Russia.

The Times said Cambridge Analytica — whose board members included former Trump political strategist Steve Bannon and which was funded by the Trump-friendly GOP megadonor Robert Mercer — used the harvested information to turbocharge its microtargeting operation and sway voters on Facebook and other popular digital platforms.

Another Times report said Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL Group, had contact in 2014 and 2015 with executives from Lukoil, the Russian oil giant. Lukoil was interested in how data was used to target American voters, the Times said, adding that SCL and Lukoil denied that the talks were political in nature.

The Times also reported that Cambridge Analytica included extensive questions about Russian President Vladimir Putin in surveys that it was conducting using American focus groups in 2014, though it said it was not clear why, or for which client.

The Trump campaign and Trump himself have denied colluding with the Kremlin, which denies meddling in the election altogether.

But Democratic lawmakers have focused on potential collusion in the microtargeting effort as one of their top priorities since launching their investigations, especially given what several called striking similarities between Trump campaign messaging and that of Russian operatives.

Appearing Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Schiff called for congressional testimony from “numerous Cambridge Analytica personnel who may have knowledge of this and other issues” but who have so far refused to cooperate. Schiff also said that Cambridge Analytica’s ties to Russian entities and to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange need to be investigated, and that committee Republicans who have blocked such efforts, including subpoenas, need to approve them.

“People have been circling this since the beginning, because it doesn’t pass the smell test. Something is missing,” adds a former U.S. intelligence official who has spoken extensively to congressional investigators.

“How did it all happen? It’s what directly links Kushner to Parscale to Cambridge Analytica — and potentially to the Russians,” the former intelligence official said, adding that Parscale and Kushner brought in Cambridge Analytica over the objections of “everybody else” in the campaign.

Compounding lawmakers’ concerns is the fact that Russian hackers were able to penetrate at least 20 state election systems, perhaps double that amount. Initially, investigators were comforted by the fact that the Russians did not manipulate any voting results. But now they fear the real Russian objective could have been to steal voter information for microtargeting.

Democrats in Congress got nowhere when they tried to get answers about that from Parscale, as well as from Kushner and Nix, when they agreed, reluctantly, to testify before the House intelligence committee, several Democratic congressional officials told POLITICO.

“They were basically playing dumb,” said one congressional official who, like several others, was present but spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified committee matters. That official described the interviews of Parscale, Kushner and Nix as one giant exercise in circular finger pointing, in which they each referred questions to the others. “I can’t say we got details.”

In the past, Parscale has dismissed such accusations of collusion. “I think it's a joke. Like, at least for my part in it,” he told “60 Minutes.“ But he also acknowledged that even his wife jokes that it was as though he “was thrown into the Super Bowl, never played a game — and won.”

That lack of experience has also drawn the attention of some investigators, who say they are also mystified by Parscale’s rapid trajectory from low-profile web developer to leader of a U.S. presidential campaign in just a few short years.

At a March 2017 hearing, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said that in some key precincts in swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, “there was so much misinformation coming talking about Hillary Clinton's illnesses or Hillary Clinton stealing money from the State Department or other [that it] completely blanked out any of the back and forth that was actually going on in the campaign.”

“Would the Russians on their own have that level of sophisticated knowledge about the American political system if they didn't at least get some advice from someone in America?" Warner added.

Feinstein’s letter to Parscale suggested a similar interest. The California senator asked Parscale to provide any information involving Russian efforts “to identify voters or potential voters for targeted advertising, marketing or social media contact in support of the Trump campaign or other efforts to elect Donald J. Trump as president of the United States.”

She also asked for any campaign documents and communications concerning Russia, WikiLeaks, various shadowy intermediaries in the meddling effort, and hacked Democratic Party emails and data.

Two months later, however, Feinstein is still waiting for Parscale to appear, a congressional source said, and he has refused to turn over any of the wide array of documents Feinstein requested about the campaign and any connections to Russia, WikiLeaks or other entities suspected of being involved in the interference effort.

domingo, 18 de marzo de 2018

Cambridge Analytica Explained: Big Data and Elections

Frederike Kaltheuner.

Recently, the data mining firm Cambridge Analytica has been the centre of tons of debate around the use of profiling and micro-targeting in political elections. We’ve written this analysis to explain what it all means, and the consequences of becoming predictable to companies and political campaigns.
What does Cambridge Analytica actually do?

Political campaigns rely on data operations for a number of decisions: where to hold rallies, which states to focus on, and how to communicate with supporters, undecided voters and non-supporters. Essentially, companies like Cambridge Analytica do two things: profile individuals, and use these profiles to personalise political messaging.

What some reporting on Cambridge Analytica fails to mention is that profiling itself is a widespread practice. Data brokers and online marketers all collect or obtain data about individuals (your browsing history, your location data, who your friends are, or how frequently you charge your battery etc.), and then use these data to infer additional, unknown information about you (what you’re going to buy next, your likelihood to be female, the chances of you being conservative, your current emotional state, how reliable you are, or whether you are heterosexual etc.).

Cambridge Analytica markets (!) itself as unique and innovative because they don’t simply predict users’ interests or future behaviour, but also psychometric profiles (even though the company later denied having used psychographics in the Trump campaign and people who have requested a copy of their data from the company have not seen psychographic scores.). Psychometrics is a field of psychology that is devoted to measuring personality traits, aptitudes, and abilities. Inferring psychometric profiles means learning information about an individual that previously could only be learned through the results of specifically designed tests and questionnaires: how neurotic you are, how open you are to new experiences or whether you are contentious.

That sounds sinister (and it is), but again, psychometric predictions are a pretty common practice. Researchers have predicted personality from Instagram photos, Twitter profiles and phone-based metrics. IBM offers a tool that infers personality from unstructured text (such as Tweets, emails, your blog). The start-up Crystal Knows gives customers access to personality reports of their contacts from Google or social media and offers real-time suggestions for how to personalise emails or messages.

From a technical perspective, it doesn’t matter whether you predict gender, interests, political opinions or personality, the point is that you are using some data (your keystroke speed, your browsing history, your location) to learn additional, unknown information (your sexual orientation, your interests etc.).
IBM Watson personality prediction
This is terrifying! So everything can be predicted?

Well, yes, but also not quite. Profiling feels creepy (and it is), because it allows anybody with access to enough personal data to learn highly intimate details about you, most of which you never decided to disclose in the first place. This is worth repeating: someone can use your data to find out whether you are gay, even though you’ve never shared this information. Now here’s where it gets tricky: this derived information is often uncannily accurate (which makes profiling a privacy nightmare) but by virtue of being predictive, predictions also sometimes get it wrong. Also, a lot of things are inherently subjective. Who defines what is reliable or suspicious in the first place?

Think about the targeted ads you see online: how often do they misjudge your interests, or even your entire identity? From the perspective of an advertiser this is not a problem, as long as enough people click on ads. For you and me, and every single one of us, systematic misclassifications can have real-life consequences.

Even worse, profiling and similar techniques are increasingly used not just to classify and understand people, but also to make decisions that have far-reaching consequences, from credit to housing, welfare and employment. Intelligent CCTV software automatically flags “suspicious behaviour”, intelligence agencies predict internet users’ citizenship to decide they are foreign (fair game) or domestic (usually not fair game), and the judicial system claims to be able to predicts future criminals.

As someone once said: it’s Orwell when it’s accurate and Kafka when it’s not.
So profiling is widespread. But did Cambridge Analytica influence the Brexit vote and the US election?

This is my favourite question because the answer is so simple: this is very unlikely.

It’s one thing to profile people, and another to say that because of that profiling you are able to effectively change behaviour on a mass scale. Cambridge Analytica clearly does the former, but only claims (!) to succeed in the latter. Even before the company was in the news, their methods raised a lot of eyebrows amongst experts on data-driven campaigning, with one consultant claiming that “everyone universally agrees that their sales operation is better than their fulfilment product”.

The idea that a single company influenced an entire election is also difficult to maintain because every single candidate used some form of profiling and micro-targeting to persuade voters — including Hillary Clinton and Trump’s competitors in the primaries. Not every campaign used personality profiles but that doesn’t make it any less invasive or creepy!

Evangelicals use data mining to identify unregistered Christians and get out the vote through the non-profit United In Purpose. The organisation profiles individuals and then uses a scoring system to measure how serious they take their faith.

As early as 2008, the Obama campaign employed a data operation to assign every voter in the country a pair of scores that predicted how likely they would cast a ballot, and whether they supported him. The campaign was so confident in its predictions that the Obama consultant Ken Strasma has been quoted to boast that: “[w]e knew who … people were going to vote for before they decided.” Before Cambridge Analytica worked for Trump, the company supported Ted Cruz who described his data operation as “very much the Obama model — a data-driven, grassroots-driven campaign”. By the time Trump hired Cambridge Analytica in 2016, Clinton employed more than 60 mathematicians and analysts.

Voter tracking also doesn’t end online. Shortly after the Iowa caucus in early 2016, the CEO of “a big data intelligence company” called Dstillery told public radio program Marketplace that the company had tracked 16,000 caucus-goes via their phones to match them with their online profiles. Dstillery was able to learn curious facts, such as people who loved to grill or work on their lawns overwhelmingly voted for Trump in Iowa.

All of these efforts to use data, profiling, and targeting to change voters’ minds make it incredibly hard for any one of these data companies to singlehandedly manipulate the outcome of an entire election.
So Cambridge Analytica is a snake oil vendor and I shouldn’t be worried?

No, no, you should definitely be worried!

Using profiling to micro-target, manipulate, and persuade individuals is still dangerous and a threat to democracy. The entire point of building intimate profiles of individuals, including their interests, personalities, and emotions, is to change the way that people behave. This is the definition of marketing — political or commercial. When companies know that you are depressed or feeling lonely to sell you products you otherwise wouldn’t want, political campaigns and lobbyists around the world can do the same: target the vulnerable, and manipulate the masses.

We are moving towards a world where your hairbrush has a microphone and your toaster a camera; where the spaces we move in are equipped with sensors and actuators that make decisions about is in real-time. All of these devices collect and share massive amounts of personal data that will be used to make sensitive judgements about who we are and what we are going to do next.
Is this even legal?

Good question that begs a lawyer-answer: it depends. There are vast differences in the way that data is regulated in the US, around the world, and currently even within different countries of the EU.

Nearly every single 2016 US presidential candidate has either sold, rented, or loaned their supporters’ personal information to other candidates, marketing companies, charities, or private firms. Marco Rubio alone made $504,651 by renting out his list of supporters. This sounds surprising but can be legal as long as the fine print below a campaign donation says that the data might be shared.

Under UK and European data protection law, the situation is slightly different. Data protection regulates the way in which organisations can process personal data. You need some legal grounds for obtaining, analysing, selling, or sharing data and even then, the processing needs to be fair and not excessive. This is why the UK Information Commissioner Office is currently investigating whether Cambridge Analytica and others might have violated these rules, and some have argued that there is evidence they did.

What is also important to know: according to the UK Data Protection Act 1998 implementing EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC, any individual whose data is processed in the UK has the right to access it (Article 7), regardless of nationality.

Profiling is specifically addressed by the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which gives citizens more rights to information and objection. It contains more explicit requirements for consent than previous regulations and the penalties for violations of the law can be much higher. The regulation is a good start but won’t solve all problems.
I want to read more about this!

Sure, here are some more resources.

We have an irregular newsletter that informs you about recent news on data exploitation.

If you want to understand the legal basis for profiling in the UK, the Information Commissioners Office has some good resources on their website, including a guide on how to file a data subject access request and raise a concern. We are contributing to ongoing consultations about profiling under GDPR, both in Brussels and with the ICO — check our website for updates.

Here’s an excellent Twitter feed that argues how Cambridge Analytica might have violated the UK Data Protection Act 1998.

David Carroll filed a data subject access request to Cambridge Analytica and shared some of his data on Twitter.

Wolfie Christl and Sarah Spiekermann wrote a superb report on corporate surveillance and digital tracking with lots of timely examples from finance to employment and marketing.

In 2012, ProPublica investigated how political campaigns use data about voters to target them in different ways.

In 2014, the US Federal Trade Commission published a report on data brokers in the US, called “A Call for Transparency and Accountability”. Tighter regulations of data brokers would affect the way that campaigns use data.

Potential democrats candidates for 2020

At least a dozen potential candidates are bolstering their teams by adding aides with campaign experience.

Some aides — including one for former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe — who would likely play large roles in potential 2020 campaigns have moved on to top-tier midterm races for this election cycle.

The hiring stage of the 2020 shadow primary is underway.

At least a dozen possible Democratic presidential candidates have begun bolstering their teams by adding aides with campaign experience to their Senate staffs, personal offices or 2018 reelection payrolls.

The hires are never explicitly advertised or designed to be about 2020. But the behind-the-scenes shuffle is a long-overdue stage in the traditional precampaign scramble. Potential candidates who have run before — like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden — largely have their core teams in place.

Yet in many other cases, chiefs of staff and senior strategists are now actively looking for new talent after receiving clear instructions from their bosses: I don’t know whether I’m going to run for president, but do everything you need to do to get me in position, just in case.

Recent moves have come in a variety of forms. Some consultants are working more than ever with potential candidates who are first up for reelection in 2018. Barack Obama’s former top digital strategist, Joe Rospars, for example, has been helping Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s team.

In other cases, aides who would likely be expected to play large roles in potential 2020 campaigns have moved on to top-tier midterm races for this election cycle, sometimes in a bid to gain even more experience. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s longtime aide Michael Halle is now running a gubernatorial campaign in Ohio.

And still other potential candidates have brought campaign veterans into their official offices: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker recently hired Tamia Booker (no relation) — Hillary Clinton’s national African-American outreach director in the 2016 general election and a veteran of the Obama administration and the 2016 Democratic convention — as his deputy chief of staff.

“Given the number of potential candidates running in 2020, it’s even more necessary to start early, because the political consultants tap out: There’s only so many of them. It’s a race to get the quality folks,” said Patti Solis-Doyle, the Democratic strategist who managed Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008. “It takes time to pull the team together: It takes time to really figure out whether you have the potential resources to run a national campaign, whether that’s national political support or the ability to raise money on a national level.”

By this point in 2016’s election cycle, Clinton’s core team had already been mapping out her political strategy for months, and Sanders’ top advisers were beginning to chart their own course.

“It’s time,” added Erik Smith, a former top aide to Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, “to have a plan in place.”

Though they've mostly occurred behind closed doors, the moves paint a picture of a Democratic Party slowly but surely building up to a raucous primary contest. But desperate to avoid painting a Donald Trump-shaped target on their backs, the potential candidates have largely tried keeping almost all of their political maneuvers quiet — a significant break from the practice of recent election cycles, at least ahead of competitive multi-candidate primaries.

Eager to avoid the spotlight or appear to be looking beyond the midterms so early, few White House aspirants have ventured far into the early-voting state territory of Iowa or New Hampshire politics. Washington-based veterans of other national campaigns say that when the possible candidates call for advice, it’s seldom about primary state strategy, and more about top-line political guidance.

The relative circumspection is due largely to the massive list of Democrats considering a run: Dozens of pols have asked aides to look into what it would take to mount a real campaign, potentially stretching thin the staffing pool and leading political professionals to be extra-careful about signing on with any one possible candidate.
Rubén Weinsteiner

How Millennials today compare with their grandparents 50 years ago

Female “human computers” perform calculations at Langley Research Center, 1955; a day in the office at Velocity Global, 2018. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images, left; Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The past five decades – spanning from the time when the Silent Generation (today, in their 70s and 80s) was entering adulthood to the adulthood of today’s Millennials – have seen large shifts in U.S. society and culture. It has been a period during which Americans, especially Millennials, have become more detached from major institutions such as political parties, religion, the military and marriage. At the same time, the racial and ethnic make-up of the country has changed, college attainment has spiked and women have greatly increased their participation in the nation’s workforce.

Our new interactive graphic compares the generations today and in the years that each generation was young (ages 21 to 36) to demonstrate the sea change in young adults’ activities and experiences that has occurred over the past 50 years.


 Members of the Silent Generation were ages 72 to 89 in 2017. Since the Current Population Survey aggregates those ages 85 and older into one category, outcomes for members of the Silent and Greatest generations cannot be separately shown. Whites, blacks and Asians include only single-race non-Hispanics. Hispanics are of any race. Asians include Pacific Islanders. "Other races" includes non-Hispanics of other races and non-Hispanics who identify with multiple races. Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding.

Source: Pew Research Center tabulations of the 2017 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS).

Our analysis finds several distinctive ways that Millennials stand out when compared with the Silent Generation, a group of Americans old enough to be grandparents to many Millennials:

1Today’s young adults (Millennials ages 21 to 36 in 2017) are much better educated than the Silent Generation. The educational trajectory of young women across the generations has been especially steep. Among Silent Generation women, only 9% had completed at least four years of college when they were young. By comparison, Millennial women are four times (36%) as likely as their Silent predecessors were to have at least a bachelor’s degree at the same age. Educational gains are not limited to women, as Millennial men are also better educated than earlier generations of young men. Three-in-ten Millennial men (29%) have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 15% of their young Silent counterparts. These higher levels of educational attainment at ages 21 to 36 suggest that Millennials – especially Millennial women – are on track to be our most educated generation by the time they complete their educational journeys.

2A greater share of Millennial women have a bachelor’s degree than their male counterparts – a reversal from the Silent Generation. In the past half-century, growing shares of both men and women have earned a bachelor’s degree. However, women have made bigger gains over the period. Among Millennials ages 21 to 36 in 2017, women are 7 percentage points more likely than men to have finished at least a bachelor’s degree (36% vs. 29%). Back when Silents were ages 21 to 36, women were 6 points less likely than men to have finished at least four years of college education. Gen Xers were the first generation of women to outpace men in educational attainment, with a 3-percentage-point advantage among Gen X women ages 21 to 36. By comparison, the Baby Boom generation was the most recent in which men were better educated than women, having a 2-point advantage over young Boomer women.

3Young women today are much more likely to be working, compared with Silent Generation women during their young adult years. In 1965, when Silent women were young, a majority (58%) were not participating in the labor force and 40% were employed. Among Millennials, that pattern has flipped. Today, 71% of young Millennial women are employed, while 26% are not in the labor force. This shift to more women in the workplace occurred as early as 1985, when Boomers were young. Then, nearly seven-in-ten young Boomer women (66%) were employed and 29% were not in the labor force.

4Millennials today are more than three times as likely to have never married as Silents were when they were young. About six-in-ten Millennials (57%) have never been married, reflecting broader societal shifts toward marriage later in life. In 1965, the typical American woman first married at age 21 and the typical man wed at 23. By 2017, those figures climbed to 27 for women and 29.5 for men. When members of the Silent Generation were the same age as Millennials are now, just 17% had never been married. Still, about two-thirds of never-married Millennials (65%) say they would like to get married someday. When asked the reasons they have not gotten married, 29% say they are not financially prepared, while 26% say they have not found someone who has the qualities they are looking for; an additional 26% say they are too young and not ready to settle down.

5Millennials are much more likely to be racial or ethnic minorities than were members of the Silent Generation. Fifty years ago, America was less racially and ethnically diverse than it is today. Large-scale immigration from Asia and Latin America, the rise of racial intermarriage and differences in fertility patterns across racial and ethnic groups have contributed to Millennials being more racially and ethnically diverse than prior generations. In 2017, fewer than six-in-ten Millennials (56%) were non-Hispanic whites, compared with more than eight-in-ten (84%) Silents. The share who are Hispanic is five times as large among Millennials as among Silents (21% vs. 4%), and the share who are Asian has also increased. However, the share who are black has remained roughly the same.

6Young Silent men were more than 10 times more likely to be veterans than Millennial men are today. Although Millennials came of age at a time when the United States engaged in military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, they are far less likely to have served in the military than their Boomer or Silent predecessors. Among men, only 4% of Millennials are veterans, compared with 47% of Silent men, many of whom came of age during the Korean War and its aftermath. The number of young men serving in the active-duty military has decreased drastically since the establishment of an all-volunteer force in 1973, which is reflected in the decreased share who are veterans since then. Comparable historical data for veteran status by generation is not available for women, but contrary to men, the number of women serving in the active-duty military has risen in recent decades.

7Greater shares of Millennials today live in metropolitan areas than Silents or Boomers did when they were young. In 1965, when members of the Silent Generation were young, two-thirds (67%) lived in a metropolitan area, while one-third (33%) lived in non-metropolitan areas. And a similar share of Baby Boomers (68%) lived in metro areas when they were young. By comparison, more recent generations are residing in metropolitan areas at higher rates. More than eight-in-ten Gen Xers (84%) lived in metropolitan areas when they were young and about nine-in-ten Millennials (88%) today live in metro areas.
Rubén Weinsteiner

jueves, 15 de marzo de 2018

Disagreements about Trump widely seen as reflecting divides over ‘other values and goals’


(Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Sizable shares of Americans say that those with views different from their own about how Donald Trump is handling his job as president also probably don’t share many of their other values and goals.

Just over half (54%) of the public disapproves of the job Trump is doing, while fewer (39%) say they approve of his job performance, according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted March 7-14. Trump’s job ratings have changed little since the start of the year.

Among those who approve of the job Trump is doing as president, 51% say that those who feel differently about him probably do not share many of their other values and goals, while 44% say they probably do share their other values and goals.

Among those who disapprove of Trump – the larger share of the overall public – 56% say that those who approve of him probably do not share their other values and goals; fewer (39%) say that they probably do.

There are partisan and demographic differences in views on this question among both Trump approvers and disapprovers.

Among those who disapprove of Trump, 65% of self-identified Democrats say they don’t think those with a different view of Trump share their other values and goals. Among those who disapprove of Trump and lean toward the Democratic Party (but don’t identify with it), views are more mixed: 47% think those with a different view of Trump probably share many of their other values and goals, while 52% think they probably do not.

Similarly, among those who disapprove of Trump, liberals (62%) are more likely than conservatives and moderates (52%) to say those who take a different view of Trump probably also do not share many of their other values and goals.

Opinion patterns among those who approve of Trump largely mirror those seen among disapprovers.

By 60%-34%, self-identified Republicans who approve of Trump say those with a different view of him probably do not share their other values and goals. Among those who lean toward the Republican Party and approve of Trump, 53% think those with a different view of him probably share many of their other values and goals, compared with 44% who say they probably don’t.

The current question, which focuses on views of Trump, elicits a somewhat different pattern of response than a related question, asked in 2017, which focused on political affiliation. Last July, most Democrats (59%) and Republicans (56%) said they felt that even though members of the other party felt differently about politics, they probably shared many of their other values and goals. The current question, which asks about differences outside of views of Trump – not politics more broadly – finds less widespread perceptions of common ground.

There continue to be demographic differences by gender, race, education and religious affiliation in Trump’s overall approval ratings.

Currently, whites remain divided in their views of Trump: Half (50%) approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while 45% disapprove. Blacks (85%) and Hispanics (74%) overwhelmingly disapprove of Trump’s job performance.

Wide differences in views of Trump by educational attainment also persist. By 71% to 26%, those with a postgraduate degree disapprove more than approve of Trump’s performance. Similarly, nearly two-thirds of those with a bachelor’s degree (64%) disapprove.

By contrast, adults with a high school degree or less education are divided in their views: While 49% approve, about as many (46%) disapprove of Trump.

Among religious groups, white evangelical Protestants continue to be solidly supportive of the president’s job performance: 78% approve today, while just 18% disapprove. By comparison, white mainline Protestants are divided in their views on Trump, while black Protestants express overwhelming disapproval. A majority of Catholics disapprove of Trump’s job as president (57%), as do 68% of those who are religiously unaffiliated.

About a quarter of U.S. adults say they are ‘almost constantly’ online

As smartphones and other mobile devices have become more widespread, 26% of American adults now report that they go online “almost constantly,” up from 21% in 2015, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January 2018.

Overall, 77% of Americans go online on a daily basis. That figure includes the 26% who go online almost constantly, as well as 43% who say they go online several times a day and 8% who go online about once a day. Some 11% go online several times a week or less often, while 11% of adults say they do not use the internet at all.

Adults with mobile connectivity are especially likely to be online a lot. Among mobile internet users – the 83% of Americans who use the internet at least occasionally using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device – 89% go online daily and 31% go online almost constantly. Among Americans who go online but not via a mobile device, by comparison, 54% go online daily and just 5% say they go online almost constantly.

Younger adults are at the vanguard of the constantly connected: Roughly four-in-ten 18- to 29-year-olds (39%) now go online almost constantly and 49% go online multiple times per day. By comparison, just 8% of those 65 and older go online almost constantly and just 30% go online multiple times per day.

Americans ages 30 to 49 are now about as likely as younger adults to use the internet almost constantly (36% versus 39%). The share of 30- to 49-year olds who say this has risen 12 percentage points since 2015. Meanwhile, the share of constantly online Americans ages 50 to 64 has risen from 12% to 17%.

Other demographic groups that report going online frequently include college-educated adults, black adults, adults who live in higher-income households and non-rural residents.

Some 34% of adults with a college education or more go online almost constantly (and 92% go online daily), compared with 20% of adults with a high school education or less. At the same time, roughly four-in-ten blacks (37%) report using the internet almost constantly, compared with 30% of Hispanics and 23% of whites. The share of blacks who are almost constantly online has risen 14 points since 2015, while the share of Hispanics who say this has gone up by 11 points. Among whites, there has been little change.

While 35% of adults with an annual household income of $75,000 or more use the internet almost constantly (and 91% use it daily), this is true for just 24% of those making less than $30,000. Adults who live in urban and suburban areas are more likely to go online almost constantly than those who live in rural areas: 32% of adults living in urban areas and 27% living in suburban areas say this, compared with 15% of rural residents.