In past decades, voting was deemed an honorable, patriotic and responsible act — a civic duty. Concern about voter fraud, however, has taken center stage. Republicans suspect Democrats are padding voter rolls with undocumented immigrants and even dead people.
“While Democrats launch dishonest theatrics, Republicans will continue our comprehensive efforts to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat,” the Republican National Committee said in a statement.
Democrats in turn accuse the GOP of voter suppression and remain wary of election-integrity reforms. A meticulous new poll, however, offers some clarity as the 2022 midterm elections loom on the horizon.
“Nearly all Americans (94%) — including 95% of both Republicans and Democrats — say it is important that people who are legally qualified to vote are able to cast a ballot, with 82% saying it is very important,” reports a new Pew Research Center poll.
Then the persistent difference of opinions emerge.
Another 81% overall also say it is important to prevent people who are not legally qualified to vote from doing so; 78% of Republicans and 44% of Democrats agree. Among all respondents 56% are confident that measures to achieve this already happen, though with another sharp party split — 30% of Republicans and 79% of Democrats agree.
The survey found that 57% overall agreed that voting was a “fundamental right for every adult U.S. citizen and should not be restricted in any way”; 32% of Republicans and 78% of Democrats agreed with that idea.
Meanwhile, 42% overall believe in this statement: “Voting is a privilege that comes with responsibilities and can be limited if adult U.S. citizens don’t meet some requirements.” Among Republicans, 67% agreed, compared to 21% of Democrats.
And one more item for those who believe that the electoral system is flawed or unfair: 77% of Americans overall are “confident” that legally qualified voters are able to cast a ballot; 87% of Republicans and 69% of Democrats agree.
The poll of 10,221 U.S. adults was conducted July 8-18.
MR. POMPEO HAS A SAY
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will weigh in on the future of the Republican Party on Monday, courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute’s “Time for Choosing” speaker series, a new forum for leading voices in the conservative movement.
His speech will be broadcast live and online through the foundation’s website and social media channels at 6 p.m. Pacific. Consult with Reaganfoundation.org; check for “Live Webcasts” under the Programs & Events heading.
Next up in the “Time for Choosing” series is Mark Levin, whose new book “American Marxism” is rocking the bestseller lists and who will appear Aug. 14.
THE HONEYMOON WANES
The 46th president’s honeymoon is on the wane.
“President Biden‘s latest job approval rating of 50% is down from 56% in June. Before this month, his ratings had not shown meaningful variation during his time in office, and the current figure marks the lowest measured for him to date,” reported a new Gallup poll released Friday.
“Currently, 90% of Democrats, 12% of Republicans and 48% of independents approve of the job Biden is doing. His ratings among Democrats and independents are the lowest to date among those groups. The new poll marks the first time he has less-than majority approval among independents,” Gallup said.
“The new rating is from a July 6-21 Gallup poll, which also finds that 45% of U.S. adults disapprove of Biden‘s performance and 5% do not have an opinion,” the pollster noted.
Evolving circumstances around the nation also play a role.
While there have been positive developments in the economy and the stock market, consumers are paying higher prices while health officials fret over stagnant COVID-19 vaccination rates and rising case levels. The president also has “struggled” to produce greater bipartisanship, the poll analysis said.
“Biden‘s approval rating is showing the first signs of meaningful decline. If the lower ratings persist, it could indicate his ‘honeymoon’ period is over. Because Republicans have been unlikely to support him from the beginning of his presidency, changes in his approval are likely to come from Democrats’ and independents’ evaluations of him. That is what has occurred now, with both groups slightly less positive toward Biden than they have been to this point,” the analysis concluded.
SOME TLC FOR LAFAYETTE PARK
The National Park Service begins some significant work Monday, just across from the White House.
The federal agency will “improve the streets” around Lafayette Park, including the historic stretches of Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Madison Place and Jackson Place — which have long been revered by the public. They have also been the scene of some serious public demonstrations, particularly in 2020.
During the road construction, the National Park Service will temporarily close these streets and post detours to guide pedestrians and bicyclists. The project is expected to last until fall. Lafayette Park itself will remain open during construction, however.
“Special steps to preserve the historic landscape of Lafayette Park,” are paramount, the Park Service said, vowing that it will not remove or change the granite pavers on either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, or on any of the area’s sidewalks.
It is a team effort as well. The Federal Highway Administration will manage construction activities and will complete the work in three phases — removing old pavement, repairing joints in the roadway and installing new pavement. The new pavement will be a similar brown color to the existing road surface.
POLL DU JOUR
• 51% of U.S. adults are not interested in reading an upcoming memoir by Britain’s Prince Harry; 67% of British adults agree.
• 46% of U.S. adults think it is appropriate for Prince Harry to publish a memoir; 23% of British adults agree.
• 21% of U.S. adults say it is inappropriate for Prince Harry to publish a memoir; 53% of Britons agree.
• 33% of U.S. adults don’t know whether it is appropriate; 24% of Britons agree.
SOURCE: A YouGov America poll of 7,585 U.S. adults and 5,808 U.K. adults surveyed July 21–22.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.