New C-SPAN/PSB Survey: American Attitudes about U.S. Supreme Court

  • 91% Say Supreme Court Decisions Affect their Lives
  • 69% Closely Following News About President Trump’s Nominee
  • 56% Say Supreme Court Justices Split on Political Grounds

One Week from Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing:
New Poll Shows Continued Strong Public Support for Cameras in the Court

(For immediate release, August 28, 2018) As the Senate readies its consideration of a new Supreme Court Justice, a new poll suggests high public interest in the Court and strong understanding of the Court’s influence on our society.

C-SPAN asked research-based consultancy PSB (psbresearch.com) to gauge public opinion among likely voters regarding our third branch of government. Over two-thirds of respondents follow news stories about the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, according to the poll, they find the Supreme Court has an impact on their everyday lives, see the Supreme Court as partisan, and express an interest in a more transparent Court:

  • Nine in ten (91%) say “decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court have an impact on their everyday life as citizens”
  • Over half (56%) say recent Supreme Court decisions demonstrate Justices are split into parties, similar to Republicans and Democrats in Congress
  • Just 28% think the Supreme Court “acts in a serious and constitutionally sound manner”
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) favor television cameras in the Supreme Court and 71% agree that the Supreme Court should allow same-day release of audio recordings of its oral arguments if the Justices continue to block cameras in the courtroom.

Sixty-nine percent say they have been following the news in recent weeks concerning President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Just over a third (35%) could identify Brett Kavanaugh as President Trump’s pick; 65% could not. Thirty percent say they are closely following the news concerning the Kavanaugh nomination. In the poll, 39% support Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Court, 35% oppose, and 26% have no opinion or don’t know.

Television news remains the top source of the public’s information about the Supreme Court, with nearly three quarters of those surveyed saying they get their information about the high court from TV. However, online media has now outpaced newspapers as the public’s second most popular information source for Court news—increasing nine percentage points from our 2017 survey (to 44% from 35%). Newspapers are now the public’s third most common source of Supreme Court news at 37%.

“Two in three American citizens who have an opinion think the U.S. Supreme Court is a partisan political body similar to Congress and those numbers are rising,” said Robert Green, Principal at PSB. “More Americans get their information on the High Court from TV and online media today than ever before. The easiest way to convey to the public that the Supreme Court takes its responsibilities seriously as a constitutional court would be to permit Americans to view the Court oral arguments unfiltered through TV or online.”

The C-SPAN/PSB survey tested public opinion on other Supreme Court-related issues, such as diversity, stare decisis, whether the Constitution is a living document, Senate rules on voting for Justices, and term limits for Justices.
See what the public thinks –as well as which current Supreme Court Justice is most correctly identified and which case is most commonly named — in the complete poll results here: https://www.c-span.org/SCOTUSsurvey2018/

Watch live coverage of the confirmation hearings on the C-SPAN Networks beginning September 4, 2018.

Methodology

PSB (psbresearch.com) conducted online interviews from August 13-15, 2018 among n=1,000 U.S. likely voters. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3.10% at the 95% confidence level and larger for subgroups. Some percentages may add to more or less than 100% due to rounding.

About C‐SPAN

Created by the cable TV industry and now in nearly 100 million TV households, C‐SPAN programs three commercial-free public affairs television networks; C‐ SPAN Radio, heard in Washington D.C., at 90.1 FM and available as an App; and C-SPAN.org, a video‐rich website offering live coverage of government events and access to the vast archive of C‐SPAN programming.

About PSB

PSB is a global strategic communication advisory rooted in the science of public opinion that specializes in messaging and strategy for blue-chip political, corporate, and entertainment clients. For over 40 years, PSB has provided actionable insights and advice to help client win in highly competitive situations. PSB serves Fortune 100 corporations and has helped elect more than 30 presidents and prime ministers around the world. PSB is a part of Y&R and WPP. Visit http://psbresearch.com

PSB & NACS win Four Pollie Awards for Public Affairs

PSB & NACS win Four Pollie Awards for Public Affairs

American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) recognizes
PSB with three “Gold” Pollies for exceptional work on behalf of NACS

For Immediate Release – April 16, 2018

WASHINGTON DC – PSB is proud to announce that it has been awarded three Gold Pollie Awards in the Public Affairs category, the industry’s highest honor bestowed upon political consultants at the national and international level. For their research-based work on behalf of NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) that helped successfully defend swipe fee reform, the PSB team was recognized with the Gold Pollie Award for Best Newspaper Campaign (Public Affairs), the Gold Pollie Award for Best Use of Radio (Public Affairs), and the Gold Pollie Award in the category of Full Page Newspaper. In addition, the PSB team was recognized with a Silver Pollie in Full Page Newspaper category.

The Pollie Awards (Pollies) are bipartisan honors annually awarded by the AAPC to members of the political advertising and communications industry who have demonstrated superior work on behalf of their candidates and causes. A blind jury of their peers selects AAPC award winners. Esquire magazine has dubbed the Pollies as “…the Oscars of political advertising.” A “Gold” Pollie is the highest level awarded; other contenders in the categories won Silver and Bronze.

Lyle Beckwith, Senior Vice President of Government Relations, is credited with establishing and leading the all-star Pollie-winning team, which includes PSB Principal Robert Green and PSB Senior Strategist Adam Rosenblatt, Roy Fletcher, Marius Penczner, and Jay Ragsdale.

Earlier this year, the NACS/PSB team received similar high praise and recognition in the form of three Reed Awards from Campaigns & Elections magazine, including “Best Public Affairs Campaign”, “Best Radio Ad – Public Affairs”, and “Best Television Ad – Public Affairs.”

These awards recognize the successful NACS campaign in 2017 that defended swipe fee reform. Last year, some in Congress sought to overturn bipartisan reforms that had saved consumers and Main Street merchants over $40 billion dollars. NACS led the effort to defend swipe fee reform, guided by PSB research-based strategy, message, and creative, which included a coordinated campaign of print, digital, radio, and TV ads. As a result of the campaign, opponents in Congress backed down and swipe fee reform was saved – a massive win for merchants and consumers.

ABOUT PSB: PSB provides cutting-edge research and insights that help the world’s most admired brands solve their most critical challenges. PSB brings together lessons from the campaign trail and the boardroom to yield a competitive mindset that is fast and focused on winning. Rooted in the science of public opinion and advanced analytics, PSB specializes in providing messaging and strategic guidance for blue-chip political, corporate, technology, healthcare, entertainment, and government/public sector clients. Learn more at www.psbresearch.com

ABOUT NACS: NACS advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 160 million customers daily—half of the U.S. population—and has sales that are 10.8% of total U.S. retail and foodservice sales. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries. Learn more at www.convenience.org

 

 

 

Dr. Sarah Evans Joins PSB as Vice President

PSB is proud to announce the hire of Dr. Sarah Evans, Vice President, as of September 2017. Sarah brings strategic and technical direction to the execution and extension of PSB’s qualitative and formative research offerings and to growth strategies in the federal space. Notably, Sarah provides leadership to multi-year, large-scale formative research efforts supporting the development of a national social marketing campaign for the U.S. Census Bureau – one of the most extensive efforts of its kind in U.S. history.

“Led by social science practitioners and backed by the tremendous communications talent of the WPP network, PSB is uniquely positioned to deliver measurable outcomes via research-informed messaging,” Sarah said. “It’s the application of our deep expertise in human behavior and of boundary-pushing, custom research that sets us apart and resonates so strongly with my identity.”

With special interest in risk communication and health decision-making, Sarah has conducted the majority of her past work in partnership with advertising agencies and more than a dozen federal clients with related missions – the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Defense to name a few. As such, she brings to PSB a wealth of specialized experience in federal marketing and research. Sarah’s recent efforts have focused on tobacco use disparities, substance abuse prevention, chronic disease management, prescription drug advertising, nutrition, and reproductive health.

Across her past engagements, Sarah has demonstrated research as a powerful tool for enhancing the pivotal role of message strategy, design, and evaluation in inspiring behavior and policy that improves lives. “Bringing that value to the Government and to causes our talented teams are passionate about is a priority for PSB,” she said. “This is a high-energy and quickly growing group of diverse problem-solvers who are defining the space in which creativity and data become seamlessly intertwined. We’re all excited about what we’re building together, and that’s what it is all about.”

Prior to joining PSB, Sarah developed and directed a behavior change communication and research practice area at Fors Marsh Group. Sarah holds a Ph.D. in Communication, with an emphasis on Persuasion and Social Influence, from the University of Maryland. She is based in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about our public sector work and mission, connect with us at federalpractice@ps-b.com.

New C-SPAN/PSB Survey

Timed for #SunshineWeek & Gorsuch hearings: New Poll Shows Strong Public Support for Cameras in the Court

  •  90% Say Supreme Court Decisions Affect their Lives
  •  82% Say Supreme Court Appointments Were Important in Presidential Vote
  •  71% Following News About President Trump’s Nominee

In conjunction with Sunshine Week and timed for the opening of confirmation hearings for President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, the public affairs TV network C-SPAN asked strategic research firm PSB to examine public attitudes on several topics related to the Court.

Here are some of the findings:

  • Nine in ten likely voters (90%) say “decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court have an impact on their everyday life as citizens”
  • 82% say U.S. Supreme Court appointments were an important issue when considering their 2016 presidential election vote
  • Nearly three in four likely voters (71%) are following the news concerning President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch

Thinking about recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, a nearly two-third majority (62%) say they believe that “Supreme Court justices are split on political grounds like Congress.” By comparison, just over a third (38%) say they believe the Supreme Court “acts in a serious and constitutionally sound manner.”

Meanwhile, 42% say that President Trump’s criticism of sitting judges is appropriate – including 20% of Democrats and 22% liberals.

Television news is the top source of the public’s information about the Supreme Court — seventy percent say they get their information about the high court from TV, followed by newspapers (37%) and online media (35%).

Fully three quarters (76%) say the U.S. Supreme Court should allow TV coverage of its oral arguments. PSB has tracked this particular metric over several years on behalf of C-SPAN, and public support for cameras in the high court amid the current video-rich news media environment is presently 15 percentage points higher than when PSB first measured this topic starting in June 2009.

“Three in five Americans believe the high court is split into parties because they are presented no evidence to the contrary,” says Robert Green, Principal at PSB, which has conducted 11 national public opinion studies on the high court, including six studies commissioned by C-SPAN. “The absence of TV cameras inside the Supreme Court for oral arguments has allowed others to define the court. Cameras would provide a counterbalance to what voters are constantly hearing about the judiciary from Presidents, Congress, and the media.”

Green adds, “The public’s perception of the Court as partisan, political entity did not form overnight. A direct line can be drawn between President Obama lecturing Justices during his State of the Union address and later President Trump openly criticizing decisions and judges by name. The high court’s decision to remain literally out of sight has hurt rather than helped their reputation and the legitimacy of many of their most controversial decisions.”

The C-SPAN/PSB Supreme Court survey is timed for both Sunshine Week (March 12- 18), an annual campaign for greater access to government and public information, as well as the upcoming Supreme Court nomination hearings for Neil Gorsuch.

Watch live coverage of the confirmation hearings on the C-SPAN Networks beginning the morning of March 20, 2017.

Download the complete poll results here >

Methodology

PSB conducted online interviews from March 7-9, 2017, among n=1,032 U.S. likely voters. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3.05% at the 95% confidence level and larger for subgroups.

About C-SPAN: Created by the cable TV industry in 1979 and now in nearly 100 million TV households, C-SPAN programs three public affairs television networks in both SD and HD; C-SPAN Radio, heard in Washington DC at 90.1 FM and available as an App (Android, iPhone, Blackberry); and a video- rich website offering live coverage of government events and access to the vast archive of C-SPAN programming. Visit http://www.cspan.org/

About PSB: PSB is a global strategic communication advisory rooted in the science of public opinion that specializes in messaging and strategy for blue-chip political, corporate, and entertainment clients. For over 40 years, PSB has provided actionable insights and advice to help client win in highly competitive situations. PSB serves Fortune 100 corporations and has helped elect more than 30 presidents and prime ministers around the world. PSB is a part of Y&R and WPP. Visit http://psbresearch.com

Kyley McGeeney Joins PSB as Senior Director, Survey Methods

PSB is thrilled to announce the hire of Kyley McGeeney, Senior Director of Survey Methods, as of November 2016. In this role she serves as a methodology consultant to researchers company-wide and works closely with the firm’s Census Bureau team. She’ll also be working to design the firm’s 2018 likely voter screens and modeling.

McGeeney’s expertise includes overall research design, pre-election polling, sampling, questionnaire design, data collection protocol, weighting and analysis, and new survey technologies. She is as a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Pre-Election Polling Task Force, convened to examine the performance of polls in the 2016 presidential election.

Her past work includes Pew Research Center reports “Can Likely Voter Models Be Improved?” and “Why 2016 Election Polls Missed Their Mark” as well as Gallup’s 2012 Presidential Election Polling Review, analyzing why Gallup’s 2012 presidential prediction was inaccurate. She is co-author of numerous publications, studying online panels, comparing web to telephone surveys, examining the use of technology for surveys (mobile, texting, apps) as well as reviewing more traditional telephone survey methods.

Prior to joining PSB, McGeeney has nearly a decade of experience as a methodologist at Pew Research Center and at Gallup. McGeeney is a graduate of The New School, and she earned her Master of Professional Studies degree in Applied Statistics at Cornell University. McGeeney is a member of AAPOR (Education and Standards Committees), DC-AAPOR, European Survey Research Association, Washington Statistical Society and Marketing Research Association. She is based in Washington, D.C.