Worth Discussing

What a Difference a Year Makes - Comparing Key Demographic Subgroups on Two Resurgent Republic Polls

Gary Andres | May 14, 2010

In recognition of Resurgent Republic's first year anniversary, we conducted a follow up national survey in April, 2010, asking many of the same questions first posed in April 2009. The topline results posted on the website reveal all of the overall year over year change. But comparing the shifts among key demographic subgroups since last April also yields some fascinating results.

For example, while the overall percent saying the country was on the "right track" dipped by 7 points (40 percent in 2009 to 33 percent in 2010), the drop among Hispanics was significantly higher at 22 points (60 percent in 2009 to 38 percent in 2010). And while most other demographic subgroups also fell between 7 to 9 points, African Americans remained unchanged over the last year with 73 percent saying the country was on the "right track" in both surveys.

Approval of President Obama demonstrated more variation among subgroups in the two surveys.  While his overall support declined by 13 points (61 percent to 48 percent) among all registered voters, it dropped 16 points among 18-to-34 year olds, but only 9 points (56 percent to 47 percent) among seniors (65 and over).

Comparing the polls also yields some significant differences among racial groups.  For example, approval dropped 17 points and 15 points among Whites and Hispanics respectively, but remained steady among African Americans (94 percent in 2009 compared to 93 percent in 2010).

An increasing percent of these subgroups, except blacks and Hispanics, also believes President Obama is "very liberal." The biggest movement came among seniors (+9 points). In April 2009, 36 percent of those 65 and over believed Obama was "very liberal." In April 2010 the percent climbed to 45 percent.

Finally, voter views about Republicans and Democrats in Congress also diverged over the last year. Overall, favorability of Republicans in Congress increased by 3 points (37 percent to 40 percent) from 2009 to 2010. On the other hand, favorability of Democrats dipped slightly by 4 points (45 percent to 41 percent). Republicans improved among white voters (+5), Hispanics (+9), Men (+9) and seniors (+5) and declined among black voters (-9), Women (-4) and younger voters, 18-to-34 (-1).

Democrats in Congress on the other hand declined between 1 to 10 points with all these demographic groups with the exception of African Americans, where favorability increased in the last year by 2 points (78 percent to 80 percent).

Year over year movement on these five questions among key demographic subgroups paint a mostly positive picture for Republicans going into the November elections.  With just a few exceptions, looking at trends among men vs. women, young vs. old, and even Hispanics suggest continued public opinion movement in a direction favorable toward Republicans this fall.

A shrinking number of voters who believe the country is on the "right track," declining presidential approval numbers, more people thinking Obama is "very liberal," increasing favorability for Republicans in Congress and decreasing favorability for congressional Democrats all point to an improving electoral environment as the 2010 cycle unfolds.

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Filed under: Hispanic Voters, Generic Ballot, Obama Approval Rating, News, 2010 Elections, and Congressional Approval Rating