Category: Politics and Elections

Resource Category Topic Type
New Voters Will Influence Outcome in New Hampshire Primary
In this data snapshot, authors Kenneth Johnson, Dante Scala, and Andrew Smith discuss factors that could influence the outcome of New Hampshire's 2020 Primary.
Demography, New Hampshire Demography, New Hampshire, Politics and Elections Publication
On Renewable Energy and Climate, Trump Voters Stand Apart
Globally, 2016 was the warmest year on record, surpassing records set in 2015 and 2014,1 and each new record emphasizes the longer-term upward trend. Though not every place on Earth experienced warming effects last year, they were quite evident in many areas. Rising South Pacific sea temperatures caused the largest die-off ever recorded of the coral that composes Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and both Arctic and Antarctic sea ice reached record lows for several months of the year. Among scientists looking at such data, there is overwhelming agreement that human activities are shifting Earth’s climate in hazardous directions, and urgent actions are needed to slow this down.2 Among U.S. politicians and the public, however, there remain wide divisions on whether human-caused climate change is real, whether scientists agree, and whether anything should be done.3 Though climate change received little media attention during the 2016 presidential campaign, recent surveys indicate that climate change and related energy issues are taken seriously by a growing majority of the public. An example is shown in Figure 1, which charts responses to climate-change and renewable-energy questions from a post-election Polar, Environment, and Science (POLES) survey carried out by Carsey School researchers in November–December 2016. The sample comprised 707 adults from all 50 states.4
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Climate Change, Energy, Politics and Elections, Public Opinion Publication
Polling and the New Hampshire Primary
In this brief, authors David Moore and Andrew Smith discuss caveats that should be considered when interpreting what the polls mean for the February 2020 New Hampshire primary.
New Hampshire New Hampshire, Politics and Elections Publication
Red Rural, Blue Rural
Political commentators routinely treat rural America as an undifferentiated bastion of strength for Republicans. In fact, rural America is a deceptively simple term describing a diverse collection of places encompassing nearly 75 percent of the U.S. land area and 50 million people. Voting trends in this vast area are far from monolithic. Republican presidential candidates have generally done well in rural America, but there are important enclaves of Democratic strength there as well. In “battleground” states, these rural differences may have a significant impact on tightly contested elections. Rural Is Red With Pockets of Blue The political divisions between urban and rural America are well documented. Democrats count on a strong performance in cities to offset a poor performance outside of them. The political divisions within rural America are less well understood. The growing political diversity of rural America is evident when counties dominated by the old and new rural economy are compared. For instance, voters who reside in areas dominated by the “old rural economy,” exemplified by farming, strongly favor Republican presidential candidates. In contrast, rural areas dominated by the “new rural economy,” based on recreation, amenities, and services, have become critical pockets of strength for Democratic presidential candidates. These partisan differences remain even after controlling for demographic factors and the North–South split.
Demography Demography, Politics and Elections, Rural Publication
Religion, Politics, and the Environment in Rural America
Reflecting the heterogeneous nature of rural America, rural Americans are divided primarily along religious lines on their perspectives of environmental conservation and climate change. And as rural voters and environmental issues become key issues in the upcoming presidential election, this religious divide presents a challenge to political candidates.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Environment, Politics and Elections, Public Opinion, Religion, Rural Publication
Rising Student Debt and the 2020 Election
In this perspectives brief, authors James Kvaal and Jessica Thompson explore the challenge of college affordability and summarize the campaign proposals to address it.
Education, Politics and Elections Publication
Rural Voting in the 2004 Election
Rural votes can often make the difference between what party controls Congress and who is living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This Carsey fact sheet presents detailed patterns of rural voting by region and shows that these patterns are better explained by looking at demographic factors rather than simply by where people live.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Politics and Elections, Rural Publication
Social Impact of the Gulf Oil Disaster: Diverging Views From Communities in Florida and Louisiana
Carsey researchers surveyed over two thousand residents of the Gulf Coast following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in 2010 to analyze their perception of the spill. Nearly one-half of all Gulf Coast residents perceived damage to the environment and wildlife as the most serious result of the oil spill. Perceptions regarding the impact of the spill reflect the different relationships to the oil economy in the two states--”Floridians are most concerned about effects on tourism and Louisianans on the fishing and oil industries. Louisianans were more than twice as likely as Floridians to think that their state and local governments were doing an excellent job responding to the spill, though this does not account for differences in government responses. Approximately three-fourths of Gulf Coast residents thought that the federal government was doing a poor or fair job responding. The most trusted source of information about the spill for all respondents was scientists. Environmental organizations were the second most trusted source. Network TV news, BP, and websites or blogs were the least trusted sources of information. This brief examines the impact of the spill on Gulf Coast residents and provides important insights that can inform disaster relief efforts in the future to better meet the needs of those affected.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Environment, Politics and Elections, Public Opinion Publication
Steyer Spends the Most, but Only Yang and Gabbard Focus Facebook Advertising on New Hampshire
In this data snapshot, author Jordan Hensley reports on top presidential candidate spending on Facebook ads in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire New Hampshire, Politics and Elections Publication
The First Primary: Why New Hampshire?
For the past half century, political leaders, representatives of various states, and media pundits have excoriated the premier positions that New Hampshire and Iowa hold in the presidential delegate selection process.
New Hampshire New Hampshire, Politics and Elections Publication
Trump and Sanders Supporters Differ Sharply on Key Scientific Fact
During the week of September 17–23, a WMUR/CNN poll by the UNH Survey Center1 asked more than 700 New Hampshire residents who they would vote for, given hypothetical pairs of candidates. For example, Suppose the 2016 presidential election was being held today and the candidates were Donald Trump, the Republican, and Bernie Sanders, the Democrat, who would you vote for? Other pairings in the poll were Trump vs. Clinton, or Trump vs. Biden. In the Trump/Sanders matchup, the poll found Sanders leading by 57 to 37 percent, with 6 percent saying another candidate or undecided.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Politics and Elections, Public Opinion Publication
Values and Religion in Rural America: Attitudes Toward Abortion and Same-Sex Relations
The rural vote is critical, but how do rural voters' views on issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and religion influence elections? This brief compares rural and urban views on these divisive issues and examines how much rural opinions vary within rural regions of the country.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Politics and Elections, Religion, Rural Publication
Views of a Fast-Moving Pandemic
In this brief, authors Thomas Safford and Lawrence Hamilton report the results of a Granite State Panel survey (March 17-26), asking New Hampshire residents about their views concerning government responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and whether they changed their daily routine because of the pandemic.
COVID-19, New Hampshire Climate Change, COVID-19, Politics and Elections, Public Opinion Publication
Voting and Attitudes Along the Red Rural–Blue Urban Continuum
Political commentary often divides the nation into two partisan zones, urban and rural, but new analysis demonstrates that the rural–urban gradient is a continuum, not a dichotomy. In this study of the 2018 congressional midterms, authors Kenneth Johnson and Dante Scala confirm their earlier analysis of the 2016 presidential election and demonstrate how voting patterns and political attitudes vary across the spectrum of urban and rural areas.
Demography Demography, Politics and Elections, Rural, Urban Publication
Was December Warm?
In 2015 New Hampshire experienced its warmest December on record. The temperature exceeded twentieth century average temperatures by a wider margin than for any month in historical records dating back to 1895. In February 2016, as part of an ongoing study of environmental perceptions, the Granite State Poll asked whether residents thought that New Hampshire’s recent December had been generally colder, warmer, or about average. Only 63 percent recalled or guessed that this exceptional month had been warmer than average. Some said they did not know; others thought that December had been about average. Sixteen percent thought it had been colder than average. January, February, and March temperatures were less extreme, but each ranked among the top fifteen warmest for that month, making the 2015–2016 cold season (December through March) overall the warmest on record. In April 2016, another Granite State Poll asked whether people thought that the winter just ending had been colder, warmer, or about average. Ground bare of snow through much of the season and the early arrival of spring (both in stark contrast to the snowy winter of 2014–2015) had been widely noticed,1 and 73 percent recognized a warm winter. But who recalled the unusual season and who did not? The two surveys found no significant differences in the accuracy of responses by men and women or by age groups. Nor did temperatures on the day of interview seem to matter. Married respondents, however, and people with children at home tended to be more aware of recent warmth. Awareness also was higher among those who agree with the scientific consensus on climate change. Connections between climate-change beliefs and perceptions about weather have been observed in other studies, although not with regard to such extreme and recent local events.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change, New Hampshire Climate Change, New Hampshire, Politics and Elections, Public Opinion, Trust Publication
Where Is the North Pole?
The north and south polar regions have been rapidly changing, affecting global weather and sea levels and sparking international concern about shipping and resources. While these global impacts occur, physical changes such as warming and less ice directly affect ecosystems and people living in polar regions. President Obama, visiting the northern Alaska town of Kotzebue in summer 2015, noted the impact of climate change on the American Arctic, where several towns may be abandoned due to rising flood risks in the next few decades, if not sooner. To explore public knowledge and perceptions about climate change, University of New Hampshire researchers conducted the first Polar, Environment, and Science (POLES) survey in August 2016. A random sample of U.S. adults were asked for their views regarding science, climate change, sources of information, current problems, and possible solutions. In addition, the survey tested basic geographical knowledge related to polar regions, such as whether the United States has a significant population living in the Arctic, and what respondents know about the location of the North Pole. Results from the survey highlight areas of knowledge, uncertainty, and division. Public views on almost everything related to climate change—acceptance of basic science observations, trusted sources of information, the seriousness of current problems, or the need for any policy response—exhibit wide differences depending on political orientation. In this election year, such divisions appear as stark contrasts between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Geographic questions that are not obviously tied to climate beliefs evoke less political division, but often reveal low levels of background knowledge.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Climate Change, Environment, Politics and Elections, Public Opinion, Trust Publication