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Taking the public's pulse on business, politics, and culture, by KARLYN BOWMAN.
Black Views of Bias 08/28/2014 

In 1993, when the Gallup Organization asked black and white adults about whether the American justice system was biased against blacks, 68 percent of blacks said it was. When they repeated the question 20 years later in 2013, the response of blacks was identical. In 1993, a third of whites said the U.S. justice system was biased against blacks; in 2013, a quarter did.

Vacation Partners 08/27/2014 

Registered voters in a new Fox News poll split evenly about whether they would rather vacation with Michelle and Barack Obama (38 percent) or Laura and George Bush (39 percent). In another question in the poll, those sampled were much more likely to say they would rather spend time with Hillary and Bill Clinton (42 percent) than with the Obamas (23 percent).

Obama Wants the Job? 08/18/2014 

When Fox News asked registered voters whether Barack Obama wanted to be president any longer, 52 percent said he did, while 41 percent said he did not. Fifty-seven percent of Democratic registered voters said he did, but 37 percent disagreed. The responses of Republicans and Independents were similar. Forty-eight percent of each group said he still wanted the job.

Drinking Age 08/14/2014 

In a new poll from Gallup, a strong 74 percent of adults oppose a federal law lowering the drinking age to 18, while a quarter are in favor. These results are in line with what Gallup has found in the past. Those with postgraduate degrees, those who drink alcohol weekly, and self-described liberals are most likely to favor a law lowering the drinking age, while those who do not drink, are conservative, and attend church weekly are least supportive.

Obama's Sincerity 08/12/2014 

When CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation updated a battery of questions about President Obama’s characteristics and qualities, they included a question they haven’t asked since 2011. In January that year, 65 percent said the phrase “is sincere in what he says” applied to Obama, while 35 percent said it did not. In the new poll, the responses were split, 49 to 49 percent. People viewed the president negatively on sharing their values (46 percent said that phrase applied, 53 percent said it did not). A bare majority, 51 percent, said that he cares about people like them. Forty-eight percent said that phrase didn’t apply to Obama. 

The Cost of College 08/08/2014 

The Reason Foundation recently released a survey of 18- to 29-year-old millennials, providing new information to add to millennial surveys conducted by Pew and Harvard’s Institute of Politics. The survey, conducted by YouGov, explored many topics, including millennials’ views about the value of a college education. In the February-March 2014 survey, 35 percent said college was definitely a worthwhile investment, while 40 percent thought it probably was. Twenty-two percent said it was probably or definitely not. In another question, nearly eight in ten millennials said colleges could provide the same quality of education at a lower price, while 19 percent said the current tuition levels were necessary to maintain the quality of education.

Anti-incumbent Sentiment 08/04/2014 

It is hardly news that Congress as a whole is held in low regard. But a new poll form the Pew Research Center shows that people are very critical of their own representative. Forty percent of adults surveyed in mid-July say they approve of the job their representative is doing, while 47 percent disapprove. That approval rating is the lowest since Pew began asking the question in 1992. In another question, less than half, 48 percent, say they would like to see their representative reelected. This response is similar to Pew’s responses from the summer of 2010.

Party ID and Age 07/31/2014 

In a survey based on interviews with 267,321 adults aged 18 to 85 years old, Gallup was able to look at partisan identification in various age groups. In the overall sample, 44 percent called themselves Democrats or said they leaned to the Democratic Party, while 39 percent identified as Republicans. Although party identification varied greatly across all ages, Gallup found that the Democrats had a double-digit advantage at every age point from age 18 to 35. The GOP’s edge among seniors was not as large as the Democrats’ advantage among the young. At no point across the entire age spectrum did the GOP enjoy a double-digit advantage. 

Undocumented Immigrants 07/29/2014 

ABC News and the Washington Post recently asked adults about how President Obama and, separately, the Republicans in Congress were handling the issue of undocumented immigrants coming into the United States over the border with Mexico. Only a third approved of the job the president was doing, while 58 percent disapproved. As for the Republicans in Congress, 23 percent approved, while 66 percent disapproved. Among Independents, 28 percent approved of the job Obama was doing. Just 22 percent of them approved of the GOP in Congress.

Can Religion Answer Today's Problems? 07/24/2014 

In 1957, when the Gallup Organization asked adults if religion could answer all or most of today’s problems, 82 percent said it could. The next time Gallup asked the question in the mid-1970s, 62 percent agreed. When Gallup repeated the question this May, a smaller but still solid majority, 57 percent, said it could, while 30 percent said that religion was largely old-fashioned and out of date. Those who attend church weekly are much more likely than those who have no religious identification to say religion can answer today’s problems, 84 and 21 percent, respectively.